Garhwali is the main language/dialect (BOLI) spoken in Garhwal. It is one of the languages of the central Pahari language group of the Himalaya. Languages of this group are spoken in the eastern parts of Himachal Pradesh and Garhwal. In turn, Garhwali has a number of dialects which are variations of the main languages-
- Jaunsari of the people of Jaunsar-Babar and the adjoining tracts
- Marchi or Bhotia dialect of the Marchas
- Jadhi or dialect of parts of Uttarkashi
- Sailani or dialect of parts of Tehri.
Influence of Other Languages and Dialects
Many languages and dialects have had an effect on the Garhwali language. These are:
- Bhotia dialect of Tibet and China
- Sanskrit, or Hindi, or Hindustani, that is spoken in the areas to the south of Garhwal.
- Kumaoni and Nepali spoken in the area to the east of Garhwal.
- Languages and dialects of the western Pahari group that is spoken by the people living in the adjoining tracts of Himachal Pradesh.
The influence of these languages and dialects have been found on the Garhwali language because the people speaking them have moved across the borders of various regions and settled in Garhwal. In turn, the peopie of Garhwal, too, have moved to these areas picking up influences of the language spoken there, gradually incorporating them into Garhwali.
Origin of Garhwali
Garhwali is believed to have originated due to any or a combination of the factors below:
- Sauraseni Prakrit, which is also considered to be the source of Rajasthani and Brij bhasha
- Western or central Pahari language
- Sanskrit or its variations