The Malvi ethnic group of India has a population of 5,560,000 (2001 census). Of these, only 1,110,000 are monolingual. Alternate names for this group include Malavi, Mallow, Malwada, Malwi, and Ujjaini.
The Malvi reside in Madhya Pradesh state: Bhopal, Dewas, Dhar, Indore, Mandsaur, Nimuch, Rajgarh, Rathlam, Sehore, Shajapur, and Ujjain districts; Rajasthan state: Jhalawar district. The Sondwari dialect is geographically isolated from the others.
The linguistic classification is Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Intermediate Divisions, Western, Rajasthani, Unclassified. The dialects of Malvi include Ujjaini (Avanthika, Malvi Proper), Rajawadi, Umadwadi, and Sondwari (Sondhwadi, Soudhwari). The ISO code is mup.
Considered the standard variety, Southeastern Rajasthani Nimadi [noe] is reportedly the most similar language with 70% intelligibility. There is 88%–92% intelligibility of the Ujjaini dialect with other dialects. Lexical similarity is among dialects is 65%–89%. Malvi is a member of the Rajasthani macrolanguage [raj].
The linguistic typology is SOV, nontonal.
The Malvi language is important to the culture, often spoken in the home, the village, and in religious settings. Most speakers also use Hindi [hin]. Literature and radio programs have been produced in Malvi.