Number Marking in English and Thali: A Contrastive Study

  •  Zafar Iqbal Bhatti    
  •  Muhammad Asad Habib    
  •  Tamsila Naeem    


The aim of this paper is to explore the number system in Thali, a variety of Punjabi spoken by natives of Thal desert. There are three number categories singular, dual, and plural but all modern Indo Aryan languages have only singular and plural (Bashir & Kazmi, 2012, p. 119). It is one of the indigenous languages of Pakistan from the Lahnda group as described by Grierson (1819) in his benchmark book Linguistic Survey of India. Layyah is one of the prominent areas of Thal regions. The native speakers of Thali use this sub dialect of Saraiki in their household and professional life. The linguistic boundaries of the present Siraiki belt have changed under different linguistic variational rules as described by Labov (1963), Trudgal (2004), Eckert (2002) and Meryhoff (2008). There are many differences between Thali and Saraiki, on phonological, morphological and orthographical levels. Husain (2017) has pointed out linguistic differences between Saraiki and Lahnda and Thali is one of the popular languages of Lahnda spoken in different parts of Thal regions. According to the local language activists, Thali has been greatly influenced by Saraiki and Punjabi. The lexicon of Thali is composed for 20% of Punjabi, 45% of Saraiki, and 5% of loan words particularly English. Another particularity is that Perso-Arabic characters are used to write Thali. The most distinguishing characteristics of Thali are its parts of speech, word order, case marking, verb conjugation and, finally, usage of grammatical categories in terms of number, person, tense, voice and gender. In this perspective, number marking is the area to focus on noun morphology and exclusively on the recognition of number system in Thali nouns. The analysis of linguistic systems including grammar, lexicon, and phonology provide sound justifications of number marking systems in languages of the world (Chohan & García, 2019).

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1923-869X
  • ISSN(Online): 1923-8703
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: bimonthly

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