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The Nuristani languages
Nuristani languages
(Pashto: نورستاني‎) are one of the three groups within the Indo-Iranian language family, alongside the much larger Indo-Aryan and Iranian groups.[2][3][4] They have approximately 130,000 speakers primarily in eastern Afghanistan
Afghanistan
and a few adjacent valleys in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Chitral District, Pakistan. The region inhabited by the Nuristanis is located in the southern Hindukush
Hindukush
mountains, and is drained by Alingar River in the west, Pech River
Pech River
in the center, and Landai Sin and Kunar River
Kunar River
in the east. The languages were often confused with one another before they were considered a third branch in Indo-Iranian.[clarification needed]

Contents

1 Languages 2 History 3 Features 4 Literature 5 References 6 See also 7 External links

Languages[edit]

Askunu (Ashkun) 40,000 speakers Kamkata-viri (Bashgali, includes the dialects Kata-vari, Kamviri and Mumviri) 40,000 speakers Vasi-vari (Prasuni) 8,000 speakers Tregami (Gambiri) 3,500 speakers Waigali (Kalasha-ala) 12,000 speakers Zemiaki 500 speakers

History[edit] The Nuristani languages
Nuristani languages
were not described in literature until the 19th century. The older name for the region was Kafiristan
Kafiristan
and the languages were termed Kafiri or Kafiristani, but the terms have been replaced by the present ones since the conversion of the region to Islam
Islam
in 1896. There are three different theories about the origins of the Nuristani languages and their place within the Indo-Iranian languages:

following the studies of Georg Morgenstierne, Nuristani has generally been regarded as one of three primary sub-groups of Indo-Iranian (alongside Iranian and Indo-Aryan); suggestions that Nuristani may instead be a branch of the Indo-Aryan subgroup, due to the evident similarity with Dardic languages, and; it has also been proposed that Nuristani originated within the Iranian sub-group, and was later influenced by an Indo-Aryan language, such as Dardic.

The languages are spoken by tribal peoples in an extremely isolated mountainous region of the Hindu Kush, one that has never been subject to any real central authority in modern times. This area is located along the northeastern border of present-day Afghanistan
Afghanistan
and adjacent portions of the northwest of present-day Pakistan. These languages have not received the attention linguists would like to give them. Considering the very small number of peoples estimated to speak them, they must be considered endangered languages. Many Nuristani people
Nuristani people
now speak other languages, such as Dari and Pashto
Pashto
(two official languages of Afghanistan) and Chitrali in Pakistan. Features[edit] The earliest divergence of Nuristani from the other Indo-Iranian languages may be indicated by the fact that the Ruki sound law does not apply after *u: e.g. Kam-viri /muˈsə/ 'mouse'. Nuristani shares with Iranian the merger of the plain and breathy voiced consonants, and the fronting of the Proto-Indo-Iranian primary palatal consonants. The latter were retained as dental affricates in Proto-Nuristani, in contrast to simplification to sibilants (in most of Iranian) or interdentals (in Persian). Later on *dz has however shifted to /z/ in all Nuristani varieties other than Kam-viri and Tregami. Many Nuristani languages
Nuristani languages
have subject–object–verb (SOV) word order, like most of the other Indo-Iranian languages, and unlike the adjacent Dardic Kashmiri language, which has verb-second word order. Literature[edit]

Decker, Kendall D. (1992) Languages of Chitral. Sociolinguistic Survey of Northern Pakistan, 5. Islamabad: National Institute of Pakistan Studies, Quaid-i-Azam University and Summer Institute of Linguistics. ISBN 4-87187-520-2 Grjunberg, A. L. (1971): K dialektologii dardskich jazykov (glangali i zemiaki). Indijskaja i iranskaja filologija: Voprosy dialektologii. Moscow. Morgenstierne, Georg (1926) Report on a Linguistic Mission to Afghanistan. Instituttet for Sammenlignende Kulturforskning, Serie C I-2. Oslo. ISBN 0-923891-09-9 Jettmar, Karl (1985) Religions of the Hindu Kush ISBN 0-85668-163-6 J. P. Mallory, In Search of the Indo-Europeans: Language, Archaeology and Myth, Thames and Hudson, 1989. James P. Mallory & Douglas Q. Adams, "Indo-Iranian Languages", Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture, Fitzroy Dearborn, 1997. Strand, Richard F. "NURESTÂNI LANGUAGES" in Encyclopædia Iranica

References[edit]

^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Nuristani". Glottolog
Glottolog
3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.  ^ SIL Ethnologue
Ethnologue
[1] ^ Morgenstierne, G. Irano-Dardica. Wiesbaden 1973; Morgenstierne, G. "Die Stellung der Kafirsprachen". In Irano-Dardica, 327–343. Wiesbaden, Reichert 1975 ^ Strand, Richard F. (1973) "Notes on the Nûristânî and Dardic Languages." Journal of the American Oriental Society, 93(3): 297–305.

See also[edit]

Pamir languages Dardic languages Nuristani people Nuristan
Nuristan
Province

External links[edit]

Reiko and Jun's Japanese Kalash Page Hindi/Urdu-English-Kalasha-Khowar-Nuristani-Pashtu Comparative Word List Richard Strand's Nuristân Site This site is the primary source on the linguistics and ethnography of Nuristân and neighboring regions, collected and analyzed over the last forty years by the leading scholar on Nuristân.

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Nuristani languages

Northern

Kamkata-viri

Kamviri Kata-vari Mumviri

Wasi-wari (Prasuni)

Southern

Askunu Waigali Tregami Zemiaki

v t e

Indo-Iranian languages

Indo-Aryan (Indic)

Old / Middle

Old

Vedic Sanskrit

Classical Buddhist

Mitanni-Aryan

Middle

Abahatta Apabhraṃśa Dramatic Prakrits

Magadhi Maharashtri Shauraseni

Elu Gāndhārī Paisaci Pāli Prakrit

Modern

Central (Hindustani)

Hindi

Awadhi Bagheli Bhojpuri Bombay Hindi Braj Bhasha Bundeli Caribbean Hindi Chhattisgarhi Fiji Hindi Haflong Hindi Haryanvi Kannauji Khari Boli Sansi Boli

Urdu

Dakhini Hyderabadi Urdu Rekhta (early form)

Others

Danwar Parya

Eastern

Bengali–Assamese

Assamese Bengali Bishnupriya Manipuri Chakma Chittagonian Hajong Kayort Kharia Thar Nahari Rajbanshi Rohingya Sylheti

Bihari

Angika Vajjika Magahi Maithili Majhi Sadri

Odia

Odia Kosli Bodo Parja Kupia Reli

Halbic

Halbi Bhatri Kamar Mirgan Nahari

Others

Mal Paharia

Northern

Garhwali Kumaoni Nepali

Palpa

Northwestern

Aer Dogri Hindko Kangri Kutchi Punjabi Sindhi Saraiki

Southern

Marathi–Konkani

Konkani Marathi

Insular

Maldivian Sinhala

Western

Bhil

Bhili Gamit

Rajasthani

Bagri Goaria Gojri Jaipuri Malvi Marwari Mewari Dhatki (sociolect)

Others

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Others

Dardic

Dameli Domaaki Gawar-Bati Kalami Kalash Kashmiri Khowar Kohistani Nangalami Palula Pashayi Shina Shumashti Torwali Ushoji

Iranian

Old / Middle

Old

Western

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North

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Sorani Kurmanji Southern group Laki

Mazandarani Semnani Taleshi Deilami Tati Zazaki

Eastern

Pamir

Ishkashimi Sanglechi Wakhi Munji Yidgha Vanji Yazghulami Shughni Roshani Khufi Bartangi Sarikoli

Others

Ossetian

Digor Iron

Pashto

Central Pashto Northern Pashto Southern Pashto Wanetsi

Yaghnobi Ormuri Parachi

Western

South

Persian

Caucasian Tat Dari Tajik

Luri

Feyli Bakhtiari Kumzari

Larestani Bashkardi

Other Indo-Iranian languages

Nuristani

Kamkata-viri

Kamviri Kata-vari Mumviri

Others

Askunu Kalasha-ala Kamkata-viri Tregami Vasi-vari

Italics indicate extinc

.