Bhili language

From Bharatpedia, an open encyclopedia

भीली, ભીલી
Native toIndia
RegionDadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman and Diu, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Maharashtra
EthnicityBhil people
Native speakers
3,206,533 (2011 census)[1]
Devanagari, Gujarati[2]
Language codes
ISO 639-3Variously:
bhb – Bhili (Bhagoria, Bhilboli, Patelia)
gas – Adiwasi Garasia
gra – Rajput Garasia (Dungri)
Glottologbhil1251  Bhili
rajp1235  Rajput Garasia
adiw1235  Adiwasi Garasia

Bhili (Bhili: भीली), IPA: [bʱiːliː], is a Western Indo-Aryan language spoken in west-central India, in the states of Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Madhya Pradesh.[3] Other names for the language include Bhagoria and Bhilboli; several varieties are called Garasia. Bhili is a member of the Bhil languages, which are related to Gujarati and Rajasthani. The language is written using the Devanagari script.

Partial specimen of the Bhili language

The term Bhili is of Dravidian-origin Vil which means bow, referring to the Bow people.



Labial Dental/
Retroflex Palatal Velar Glottal
Stop voiceless p t ʈ k
aspirated ʈʰ
voiced b d ɖ ɡ
breathy ɖʱ ɡʱ
Affricate voiceless
Fricative s (ʃ) h
Nasal m n ɳ (ŋ)
Lateral l ɭ
Trill r
Approximant w j
  • /w/ may also be heard as [ʋ] in free variation.
  • /ʃ/ occurs in loanwords from Persian and Hindi.[4]
  • [ŋ] is heard as an allophone of /n/ preceding /k/.


Front Central Back
High i u
Mid-high e ə o
Mid-low ɛ ɔ
Low (æ) a
  • Vowels /i, u/ can also be heard as [ɪ, ʊ].
  • [æ] is borrowed from Hindi.
  • /ə/ may also be heard as [ɤ] in final position.[5]

Further reading[edit]

  • Bodhankar, Anantrao. Bhillori (Bhilli) – English Dictionary. Pune: Tribal Research & Training Institute, 2002.[[[Bharatpedia:Cleanup|not Bhilori language?]]]
  • Jungblut, L. A Short Bhili Grammar of Jhabua State and Adjoining Territories. S.l: s.n, 1937.
  • Thompson, Charles S. Rudiments of the Bhili Language. Ahmedabad [India]: United Printing Press, 1895.

See also[edit]


  1. "Statement 1: Abstract of speakers' strength of languages and mother tongues - 2011". Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  2. "ScriptSource - Bhili". Retrieved 13 February 2017.
  3. Ishtiaq, M. (1999). Language Shifts Among the Scheduled Tribes in India, A Geographical Study. Delhi: Motilal Banarsidass Publishers. ISBN 9788120816176.
  4. Phillips, Maxwell P. (2012). Dialect Continuum in the Bhil Tribal Belt: Grammatical Aspects. University of London.
  5. Yogendra Dhirubhai, Vyas (1967). A linguistic study of Bhili dialects: A descriptive study of central and north Bhili. Gujarat University.

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