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Modern Neo-Aryan Languages.
The British linguist George Abraham Grierson came to the conclusion that a group of dialects known collectively as "western Punjabi" or Lahnda spoken north and west of the Punjab heartland, in the Indus valley itself and on the lower reaches of the other four tributaries (excluding the Beas River), in fact constituted a language distinct from eastern or jurdga Punjabi. He christened this group of dialects "Lahindā" in a volume of the Language Survey of India (LSI) published in 1919. He grouped as "southern Lahnda" the dialects that are now recognized as multani or Saraiki. The northern Lahnda sub-Group has eveloved into Modern Panjistani (or pahiri/mirpur/pothoahri)and modern Hindko.
☀ "The Evolution Of modern Panjistani language from Nothern lahnda'' by Mohammad Afzal London UK (1997).
The term Panjistani has been used to cover the dialect continuum of Pothohari, Mirpuri, Jehlumi, Dhanni (chakwali) Western Pahari, Poonchi, and sometimes ghebi and sawain. This language group was formerly called "Northern Lahnda" by Christopher Shackle, (london university, SOAS) but before Mohammad Afzal, (london; UK 1997) it did not have Proper Standard OR Literary eg Hinko/Hindko (for western lahnda) and Seraiki/multani (for southern lahnda).
IT is ONLY SINCE M. AFZAL, (london; uk) that modern Panjistani language has been semi-officially, standardised (and regional-based) as a literary language (starting in the early 1990s) and replaced former names like northern lahnda/Northern Lahndi, poonchi, ghebi,sawain, jehlumi, mirpuri , Dhanni, Pothwari etc.
The origins of the term "Panjistani" comes from "Panjistan" meaning most probably "the land of 5 regions/areas or localities" eg Mirpur, Poonch (kashmir), rawalpindi/FCT, Jhelum and Chakwal (considered part of Northern Panjab or Panjistan region).
Distribution of Modern Panjistani language.
The language is spoken in Northern Panjab (or Panjistan region) covering jhelum rawalinpnd and chakwal distrs. and northern shahpur area (around the salt range) and some parts of Kashmir (around mirpur and poonch regions). It is Est. that over 15 million people can speak or understand panjistani lang. nowdays in nothern panajb where is is common linga franca.
Gradually Panjistani has become an established language in North Panjab (or Panjistan region)and azad kashmir that it is beginning to be used for popular literature, internet, media purposes and eventually hoped to be used in state-run schools and colleges/universities.