Languages of Central, South, and West Asia: Urdu and Persian

This entry examines the history and politics as well as the grammar and other linguistic properties of the Urdu and Persian languages in the central, southern, and western regions of Asia.


Urdu is an Indo-Aryan language of the Indian subcontinent and its diaspora, spoken by 51 million in India and an estimated 13 million in Pakistan. Despite the fact that the language is spoken as a first language by a minority of speakers in both countries (about 8% in Pakistan and about 5% in India), it is a language of importance—it is Pakistan’s national language, and one of the 22 constitutionally recognized languages in India, and the official language of three Indian states.

History and Politics of Urdu

The use of the language name Urdu to refer to ...

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