Balochi language

Balochi language

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Balochi is a Northwestern Iranian language. It is the principal language of the Baloch
Baloch people
The Baloch or Baluch are an ethnic group that belong to the larger Iranian peoples. Baluch people mainly inhabit the Balochistan region and Sistan and Baluchestan Province in the southeast corner of the Iranian plateau in Western Asia....

 of Balochistan
Balochistan (region)
Balochistan or Baluchistan is an arid, mountainous region in the Iranian plateau in Southwest Asia; it includes part of southeastern Iran, western Pakistan, and southwestern Afghanistan. The area is named after the numerous Baloch tribes, Iranian peoples who moved into the area from the west...

, Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, eastern Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

 and southern Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

. It is also spoken as a second language by some Brahui
Brahui people
The Brahui or Brohi are ethnic Baloch group of about 2.2 million people with the majority found in Kalat, Baluchistan, Pakistan, but they are also found in smaller numbers in neighboring Afghanistan and Iran. The Brahuis are almost entirely Sunni Muslims.-Origins:The ethnonym "Brahui" is a very...

. It is designated as one of nine official languages of Pakistan
Languages of Pakistan
Languages of Pakistan include two official languages: Urdu, which is also Pakistan's national language and lingua franca, and English. Additionally, Pakistan has four major provincial languages: Punjabi, Pashto, Sindhi, Farsi and Balochi, as well as three major regional languages: Saraiki, Hindko...

.

Vowels


The Balochi vowel system has at least eight vowels: five long vowel
Vowel length
In linguistics, vowel length is the perceived duration of a vowel sound. Often the chroneme, or the "longness", acts like a consonant, and may etymologically be one, such as in Australian English. While not distinctive in most dialects of English, vowel length is an important phonemic factor in...

s and three short vowel
Vowel length
In linguistics, vowel length is the perceived duration of a vowel sound. Often the chroneme, or the "longness", acts like a consonant, and may etymologically be one, such as in Australian English. While not distinctive in most dialects of English, vowel length is an important phonemic factor in...

s. The long vowels are /aː/, /eː/, /iː/, /oː/, and /uː/. The short vowels are /a/, /i/ and /u/. The short vowels have more centralized phonetic qualities than the long vowels.

Southern Balochi (at least as spoken in Karachi) also has nasalized vowels, most importantly /ẽː/ and /ãː/.

Consonants


The following consonants are common to both Western Balochi and Southern Balochi. The place of articulation of the consonants /s/, /z/, /n/, /ɾ/ and /l/ is claimed to be alveolar
Alveolar consonant
Alveolar consonants are articulated with the tongue against or close to the superior alveolar ridge, which is called that because it contains the alveoli of the superior teeth...

 in Western Balochi, while at least the /ɾ/ is claimed to be dental in Southern Balochi. The stops /t/ and /d/ are claimed to be dental in both dialects.

Labial
Labial consonant
Labial consonants are consonants in which one or both lips are the active articulator. This precludes linguolabials, in which the tip of the tongue reaches for the posterior side of the upper lip and which are considered coronals...

Dental Alveolar
Alveolar consonant
Alveolar consonants are articulated with the tongue against or close to the superior alveolar ridge, which is called that because it contains the alveoli of the superior teeth...

Retroflex
Retroflex consonant
A retroflex consonant is a coronal consonant where the tongue has a flat, concave, or even curled shape, and is articulated between the alveolar ridge and the hard palate. They are sometimes referred to as cerebral consonants, especially in Indology...

Palatoalveolar Palatal
Palatal consonant
Palatal consonants are consonants articulated with the body of the tongue raised against the hard palate...

Velar
Velar consonant
Velars are consonants articulated with the back part of the tongue against the soft palate, the back part of the roof of the mouth, known also as the velum)....

Glottal
Glottal consonant
Glottal consonants, also called laryngeal consonants, are consonants articulated with the glottis. Many phoneticians consider them, or at least the so-called fricative, to be transitional states of the glottis without a point of articulation as other consonants have; in fact, some do not consider...

Stop
Stop consonant
In phonetics, a plosive, also known as an occlusive or an oral stop, is a stop consonant in which the vocal tract is blocked so that all airflow ceases. The occlusion may be done with the tongue , lips , and &...

p b t d ʈ ɖ k ɡ ʔ
Affricate
Affricate consonant
Affricates are consonants that begin as stops but release as a fricative rather than directly into the following vowel.- Samples :...

t͡ʃ d͡ʒ
Fricative
Fricative consonant
Fricatives are consonants produced by forcing air through a narrow channel made by placing two articulators close together. These may be the lower lip against the upper teeth, in the case of ; the back of the tongue against the soft palate, in the case of German , the final consonant of Bach; or...

s z ʃ ʒWords with /ʒ/ are uncommon. hWord-initial /h/ is dropped in Balochi as spoken in Karachi.
Tap
Trill consonant
In phonetics, a trill is a consonantal sound produced by vibrations between the articulator and the place of articulation. Standard Spanish <rr> as in perro is an alveolar trill, while in Parisian French it is almost always uvular....

ɾ ɽThe retroflex tap has a very limited distribution.
Nasal
Nasal consonant
A nasal consonant is a type of consonant produced with a lowered velum in the mouth, allowing air to escape freely through the nose. Examples of nasal consonants in English are and , in words such as nose and mouth.- Definition :...

m n
Approximant
Approximant consonant
Approximants are speech sounds that involve the articulators approaching each other but not narrowly enough or with enough articulatory precision to create turbulent airflow. Therefore, approximants fall between fricatives, which do produce a turbulent airstream, and vowels, which produce no...

w l j

Grammar


The normal word order is subject–object–verb. Like many other Indo-Iranian languages, Balochi has split ergativity
Split ergativity
Split ergativity is shown by languages that have a partly ergative behaviour, but employ another syntax or morphology — usually accusative — in some contexts...

. In the present tense or future tense, the subject is marked as nominative, and the object is marked as accusative. In the past tense, however, the subject of a transitive verb is marked as oblique
Oblique case
An oblique case in linguistics is a noun case of synthetic languages that is used generally when a noun is the object of a verb or a preposition...

, and the verb agrees with the object.

History


Balochi is closely related to other Northwestern Iranian languages such as Kurdish
Kurdish language
Kurdish is a dialect continuum spoken by the Kurds in western Asia. It is part of the Iranian branch of the Indo-Iranian group of Indo-European languages....

. It has influences on other languages in Pakistan
Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

, including Sindhi
Sindhi language
Sindhi is the language of the Sindh region of Pakistan that is spoken by the Sindhi people. In India, it is among 22 constitutionally recognized languages, where Sindhis are a sizeable minority. It is spoken by 53,410,910 people in Pakistan, according to the national government's Statistics Division...

.

Writing system


Before the 19th century, Balochi was an unwritten language. The official written language was Persian, although Balochi was still spoken at the Baloch courts. British linguists and political historians wrote form with the Roman script, but following the creation of Pakistan, Baloch scholars adopted Urdu Arabic script. The first collection of poetry in Balochi
Balochi
Balochi or Baluchi may refer to:* Baloch people, an ethnic group primarily found in the Balochistan region of Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan* Beluch, a Baluch ethnic sub-group in Turkmenistan* Balochi language* Balochi dialects...

, Gulbang by Mir Gul Khan Nasir was published in 1951 and incorporated the Urdu Arabic Script. But it was much later that Sayad Zahurshah Hashomi wrote a comprehensive guidance on the usage of Urdu Arabic script and standardized it as the Balochi Orthography in Pakistan. This earned Sayad Hashomi the title of 'the Father of Balochi'. Sayad's guidances are widely used in Eastern and Western Balochistan. In Afghanistan, however, Balochi is written in a modified Arabic script based on what is used for Pashto
Pashto language
Pashto , known as Afghani in Persian and Pathani in Punjabi , is the native language of the indigenous Pashtun people or Afghan people who are found primarily between an area south of the Amu Darya in Afghanistan and...

.

The Sayad Zahurshah Hashomi 'Urdu Arabic orthography'


ا آ ب پ ت ٹ ج چ د ڈ ر ڑ ز ژ س ش ک گ ل م ن و ھ ء ی ے

Professor Saba Dashtiyari Shaheed did amendment in 'Urdu Arabic orthography'

Baluchi Roman orthography


The following Latin-script based orthography was adopted in the International Workshop on "Balochi Roman Orthography" (University of Uppsala, Sweden, May 28–30, 2000).

Alphabetical order:

a á b c d ď e f g ĝ h i í j k l m n o p q r ř s š t ť u ú v w x y z ž ay aw

(33 letters and 2 digraphs)

A/a amb (mango), angúr (grape), bagg (camel-caravan), sardar (naked-head), namb (mist)

Á/á dár (wood), árt (flour), bahá (price), pád (foot), áhag (to come), áhán (them)

B/b (be) barp (snow, ice), bám (dawn), bágpán (gardner), baktáwar (lucky)

C/c (che) cattr (umbrella), bacc (son), kárc (knife), Karácí, Kulánc, Cákar, Bálác

D/d (de) dard (pain), drad (rainshower), dárú (medicine), wád (salt)

Ď/ď is same as Ř/ř (ře) so this latter is preferably used to simplify the orthography.

E/e eš (this), cer (below), eraht (end of date harvest), pešraw (leader, forerunner), kamer (ploughshare)

F/f (fe) To be used only in loan words where its use is inevitable, like Fráns (France), fármaysí (pharmacy)

G/g (ge) gapp (talk), ganok (mad), bág (garden), bagg (herd of camels), pádag (foot), Bagdád (Baghdad)

Ĝ/ĝ (like ĝhaen in Perso-Arabic script) Only in loan words and in eastern dialects

H/h (he) hár (flood), máh (moon), koh (mountain), mahár (rein), hon (blood)

I/i (i) istál (star), idá (here), pit/piss (father), bigir (take), kirr (near)

Í/í (í) ímmán (faith), šír (milk), pakír (beggar), samín (breeze), gálí (carpet)

J/j (je) jang (war), janag (to beat), jing (lark), ganj (treasure), sajjí (roasted meat)

K/k (ke) Kirmán (Kirman), kárc (knife), náko (uncle), gwask (calf), kasán (small)

L/l (le) láp (stomach), gal (joy), gall (party, organization), gull (cheek), gul (rose)

M/m (me) mát/más (mother), bám (dawn), camm (eye), mastir (leader, bigger).

N/n (ne) nán/nagan/nagan (bread), nok (new, new moon), dann (outside), kwahn (old), náko (uncle)

O/o (o) oštag (to stop), ožnág (swim), roc (sun), dor (pain), socag (to burn)

P/p (pe) Pád (foot), šap (night), šapád (bare-footed), gapp (talk), aptád (70)

Q/q (qú) Used in loan words, like Qábús

R/r (re) Rustum (a name), rek (sand), barag (to take away), girag (to get), garrag (to bray), gurrag (to roar), šarr (good), sarag (head), sarrag (a kind of donkey's braying)

Ř/ř (ře) řák (post), řukkál (famine), gařř (urial), guřř (last), guřřag (to chop).

S/s (se) sarag (head), kass (someone), kasán (little), bass (enough), ás (fire)

Š/š (še) šap (night), šád (happy), meš (sheep), šuwánag (shepherd), wašš (happy, tasty).

T/t (te) tagird (mat), tahná (alone) tás (bowl), kilítt (kay), masítt (mosque), battí (lantern)

Ť/ť (ťe) ťung (hole), ťíllo (bell), baťť (cooked rice), baťťág (eggplant).

U/u uštir (camel), šumá (you), ustád (teacher), gužn (hunger), buz (goat)

Ú/ú (ú, sounds like the "oo" in English word "root") úrt (thin), zúrag (to take), bizú (take), dúr (distant)

V/v (ve) used in loanwords only, like in the English word service, very.

W/w (we) warag (food, to eat), wardin (provision), dawár (abode), wád (salt), kawwás (learned)

X/x (khe) Xudá (God),

Y/y (ye) yád (remembrance), yár (friend), yázdah (eleven), biryání (roasted meat), raydyo (radio), yakk (one)

Z/z (ze) zarr (monay), zí (yesterday), muzz (wages), moz (banana), nazzíkk (nearby), bazgar (tenant)

Ž/ž (že) žand (tired), žáng (bells), pažm (wool), gažžag (to swell), gužnag (hungry).

ay (h)ayrán (surprise), ayrát (distribution), say (3), may (our), kay (who), šumay (your)

Aw/aw kawr (river), hawr (rain), kissaw (story), dawl (sort), dawr (jump), awlád (off-spring), kawl (promise), gawk (neck).

Grammatical works on Balochi

  • Axenov, Serge. 2006. The Balochi language of Turkmenistan: A corpus-based grammatical description. Uppsala, Sweden: Acta Uppsala Universitet.

  • Barker, Muhammad A. & Aqil Khan Mengal. 1969. A course in Baluchi. Montreal: McGill University.

  • Collett, Nigel A. 1983. A grammar, phrase book, and vocabulary of Baluchi. Abingdon: Burgess & Son.

  • Farrell, Tim. 1989. A study of ergativity in Balochi.' M.A. thesis: School of Oriental & African Studies, University of London.

  • Farrell, Tim. 1990. Basic Balochi: An introductory course. Naples: Instituto Universitario Orientale, Dipartimento di Studi Asiatici.

  • Farrell, Tim. 1995. Fading ergativity? A study of ergativity in Balochi. In David C. Bennett, Theodora Bynon & B. George Hewitt (eds.), Subject, voice, and ergativity: Selected essays, 218-243. London: School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.

  • Gilbertson, George W. 1923. The Balochi language. A grammar and manual. Hertford: Stephen Austin & Sons.

  • Gilbertson, George W. 1925. English-Balochi colloquial dictionary. Hertford: Stephen Austin & Sons.

  • Jahani, Carina. 1990. Standardization and orthography in the Balochi language. Studia Iranica Upsaliensia. Uppsala, Sweden: Almqvist & Wiksell Internat.

  • Jahani, Carina. 2000. Language in society: Eight sociolinguistic essays on Balochi. Uppsala, Sweden: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis.

  • Korn, Agnes. 2009. Marking of arguments in Balochi ergative and mixed constructions. In Simin Karimi, VIda Samiian & Donald Stilo (eds.) Aspects of Iranian Linguistics, 249-276. Newcastle upon Tyne (UK): Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

See also

  • Baloch people
    Baloch people
    The Baloch or Baluch are an ethnic group that belong to the larger Iranian peoples. Baluch people mainly inhabit the Balochistan region and Sistan and Baluchestan Province in the southeast corner of the Iranian plateau in Western Asia....

  • Balochi dialects
    Balochi dialects
    The Balochi language is divided in three major dialects: Western Balochi, Southern Balochi and Eastern Balochi. Each of these dialects are divided in sub-dialects.-Western:# Sarhaddi Rakhshani# Afghan Rakhshani# Turkmen Rakhshani# Panjguri Rakhshani...

  • Other languages spoken by the Baloch

External links