The term 'Urdu' and its origin
The term Urdu derives from a Turkish word ordu meaning camp or army. The Urdu language developed between the Muslim soldiers of the Mughals armies who belonged to various ethnicities like Turks, Arabs, Persians, Pathans, Balochis, Rajputs, Jats and Afghans. These soldiers lived in close contact with each other and communicated in different dialects, which slowly and gradually evolved into present day Urdu. It is for this reason that Urdu is also referred to as Lashkari Zaban or language of the army. During its development Urdu language also assumed various names like the term Urdu-e-Maullah meaning the exalted army which was given by Emperor Shah Jahan and the term Rekhta meaning scattered (with Persian words) which was coined by the scholars for Urdu poetry. History and Evolution of Urdu Language
Urdu arose in the contact situation which developed from the invasions of the Indian subcontinent by Turkic dynasties from the 11th century onwards, first as Sultan Mahmud of the Ghaznavid empire conqueredPunjab in the early 11th century, then when the Ghurids invaded northern India in the 12th century, and most decisively with the establishment of the Delhi Sultanate. The official language of the Ghurids, Delhi Sultanate, the Mughal Empire, and their successor states, as well as the cultured language of poetry and literature, was Persian, while the language of religion was Arabic. Most of the Sultans and nobility in the Sultanate period were Turks from Central Asia who spoke Turkic as their mother tongue. The Mughals were also Chagatai, but later adopted Persian. Muzaffar Alam asserts that Persian became the lingua franca of the empire under Akbar for various political and social factors due to its non-sectarian and fluid nature. However, the armies, merchants, preachers, Sufis, and later the court, also incorporated the local people and the medieval Hindu literary language, Braj Bhasha. This new contact language soon incorporated other...
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