Pahari Distinctiveness without Pahari Language: A Study of Language Attitudes of the Pahari Community
Pahari language spoken in Murree and its suburbs is in contact with Urdu, the national language of Pakistan. It is also in contact with Punjabi and English. The present study explores the views and attitudes of the Pahari speaking community regarding the Pahari identity and culture vis-à-vis languages like Pahari, Punjabi, Urdu, and English. The study is ethnographic and is based on detailed observation and in-depth interviews of a sample of 91 people belonging to three generations. The study concludes that Pahari speaking community especially the Abbasi tribe, on the whole, claims to protect their culture and identity but gradually each new generation is hesitant in continuing Pahari as the symbol of their identity. As a result, language is, to a great extent, shifting towards Urdu. On a minor level, its shift to English and Punjabi cannot be ignored. The paper also explores certain reasons latent behind this kind of attitude.