Siraiki and Siraiki literature, c.1750-1900, in Upper Sind and South-West Panjab.
This thesis, being based upon the study of the Siräiki verse of seven
poets writing in Upper Sind and South-West Panjab between c,1750 and 1900,
represents an attempt to come to terms with the problems presented to the
serious investigator of the pre-modern literatures of most New Indo-Aryan
languages by the general lack of adequate critically prepared material. While
small enough to be manageable, this sample is large. enough to afford an adequate
basis for analysis and generalization, and it is hoped that the work may
facilitate more detailed studies in the future, besides serving to illuminate
problems in the immediately related fields of Panjabi and Sindhi literature.
The thesis is divided into four parts. The first outlines the scope and
context of Siräiki literature, before summarizing the lives of the principal
writers and describing the texts used.
The second part describes the literary language and its relationship to the
local spoken dialects known as 'Southern Lahndä', previous studies of which are
critically examined. In addition to a general phonological and morphological
description, attention is paid to the use of the pronominal suffixes and to
other noteworthy points of syntax. An appendix deals with the problems of
The third part investigates formal poetic features of the literature, with
particular reference to the types of rhyme and metre. Stress-accentuation
is shown to be an important part of prosodic analysis.
In the fourth part the content of the poetry is examined, and the combination
of classical Islamic themes and Persian literary conventions with elements drawn
from the local folk-tradition is discussed in detail, as it occurs in the work
of the different poets. The thesis concludes with a short anthology of
Siräiki poems, accompanied by translation and commentary.