Dhatki language

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Native toPakistan and India (Marwar region of Rajasthan and Thar region of Sindh)(sociolect)
Native speakers
150,000 (2000)[1]
Devanagari, Mahajani, Arabic script
Language codes
ISO 639-3mki
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Dhatki (धाटकी; ڍاٽڪي), also known as Dhatti (धत्ती; ڍاٽي) or Thari (थारी; ٿَري), is one of the Rajasthani languages of the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European language family.[3] It is most closely related to Marwari.


Dhatki/Dhati is spoken in western parts of Jaisalmer and Barmer districts of Rajasthan in India and eastern parts of Sindh province of Pakistan by about 2,000,000 people in all; some Dhatki-speaking communities migrated to India in 1947 after the independence and continued to do so in small numbers after that date, but the great majority of Dhatki speakers still reside in Pakistan. Dhatki/Dhati is spoken by these communities:

The majority speakers of Dhatki language live in Umerkot District and Tharparkar District in Sindh, Pakistan. 80% of the language's speakers are Muslim's, 15% are Hindu and the remaining 5% practice traditional desert religions (often folk variations of Vedic Hinduism).


Dhatki has implosive consonants, unlike other closely related Rajasthani languages but like the neighbouring (but more distantly related) Sindhi language, it is likely that these consonants developed in the language from contact with more culturally dominant Sindhi speakers. Aside from this, its phonology is much like other Indo-Aryan languages:

Dhakti consonants
Labial Dental/
Retroflex Palatal Velar Uvular Glottal
Nasal m n (ɳ)1 (ɲ)1 (ŋ)1
voiceless p ʈ k (q)1
voiceless aspirated t̪ʰ ʈʰ tʃʰ
voiced b ɖ ɡ
voiced aspirated d̪ʱ ɖʱ dʒʱ ɡʱ
Implosive voiced ɓ ɗ ʄ ɠ
Fricative voiceless f s (ʂ)1 ʃ (x)1
voiced z (ɣ)1,2 ɦ
Flap plain ɾ (ɽ)1
voiced aspirated (ɽʱ)1
Approximant ʋ l ɭ j
  1. Marginal and non-universal phonemes are in parentheses. /ɽ/ is lateral [ɺ̢] for some speakers (Masica 1991:98).
  2. /ɣ/ is post-velar.[4]

Dhakti has a fairly standard set of vowels for an Indo-Aryan language: [ə aː ɪ iː ʊ (sometimes: u) uː eː oː ɛː ɔː]; the vowel ʊ may be realized as a short u and the vowel ɪ may be realized as a short i. The vowel ɛː is often realized as the diphthong əiː based and context or as an æː based on the speaker's accent; the vowel ɔː is often realized as the diphthong əuː based and context. Nazalized vowels occur word finally in Dhakti, they are: [ĩː ẽː ɛ̃ː ɑ̃ː ɔ̃ː õː ũː].


A few of the typical sentences in Dhatki are:

  • [tu ki karin to?] "What are you doing?",
  • [tahayo naalo ki aheyy?] "What is your name?",
  • [mana roti kharie aheyy] "I have to eat" (Literally translates to "I have to eat roti).
  • [tu kith jaee to?] "where are you going?
  • [tu kin ahay?] "How are you?".

Writing System[edit]

The language uses two major writing systems. In India, the Devanagari script (which is also used for Marwari, Hindi and many other north Indian languages) is employed; whereas is in Pakistan, the Sindhi script is used; some mercantile families, particularly on the Indian side of the border use their own scripts, usually variations of the Mahajani script.


  1. ^ Dhatki at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Dhatki". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=mki
  4. ^ Kachru (2006:20)