Kamkata-viri language

Kamkata-viri language

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Kamkata-viri, the largest Nuristani language, contains the main dialects Kata-vari
Kata-vari is a dialect of the Kamkata-viri language spoken by the Kata in parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan. The most used alternative names are Kati, Kativiri or Bashgali, which derive from Khowar....

, Kamviri
Kamviri is a dialect of the Kamkata-viri language spoken by 5,500 of the Kom people of Afghanistan and Pakistan. There are slight dialectal differences of the Kamviri speakers of Pakistan...

and Mumviri
Mumviri is a dialect of the Kamkata-viri Nuristani language spoken by perhaps 1,500 of the Mumo people of Afghanistan. There are only slight differences to the Kata-vari, Mumviri has Kamviri phonetic features. The most used alternative name is Bashgali, which derive from Khowar.Mumviri is spoken...

. Kata-vari and Kamviri are often defined as two separate languages, but according to linguist Richard Strand they form one language.

The Kamkata-viri language is spoken by the Kata
Kata (people)
The Katir or Kator/Kata are a Nuristani tribe in Afghanistan and Pakistan.-History:In 1895, following conquest by Emir Abdur Rahman Khan, the Katir Kafir people in Afghanistan were forcibly converted to Islam. The former Kafiristan Kafiri were renamed Nuristani from the proper noun Nuristan...

, Kom
Kom (people)
The Kom or Kam or kamboj are a Nuristani tribe in Afghanistan and Pakistan.Most used alternative names are Kamozi, Kamoz/Camoze, Caumojee/Kaumoji, and Camoje The Kom or Kam or kamboj are a Nuristani tribe in Afghanistan and Pakistan.Most used alternative names are Kamozi, Kamoz/Camoze,...

, Mumo, Ksto and some smaller former Black-Robed tribes in parts of 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...

 and 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...

. There are dialectal differences of the Kamkata-viri speakers of Pakistan. Most used alternative names are Bashgali or Kati, which derive from Khowar
Khowar language
For the ethnic group, see under Chitrali people.Khowar , also known as Chitrali, is a Dardic language spoken by 400,000 people in Chitral in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, in the Ghizer district of Gilgit-Baltistan , and in parts of Upper Swat...


Kamkata-viri is spoken by 18,700 Kata people (15,000 in Afghanistan, just over 3,700 in Pakistan), and approximately 5,500 (or up to 10,000) Kom.

It belongs to the Indo-European
Indo-European languages
The Indo-European languages are a family of several hundred related languages and dialects, including most major current languages of Europe, the Iranian plateau, and South Asia and also historically predominant in Anatolia...

 language family
Language family
A language family is a group of languages related through descent from a common ancestor, called the proto-language of that family. The term 'family' comes from the tree model of language origination in historical linguistics, which makes use of a metaphor comparing languages to people in a...

, and is on the Nuristani
Nuristani languages
The Nuristani languages are one of the three groups within the Indo-Iranian language family, alongside the much larger Indo-Aryan and Iranian groups. They are spoken primarily in eastern Afghanistan...

 group of the Indo-Iranian
Indo-Iranian languages
The Indo-Iranian language group constitutes the easternmost extant branch of the Indo-European family of languages. It consists of three language groups: the Indo-Aryan, Iranian and Nuristani...


Literacy rates are low: below 1% for people who have it as a first language
First language
A first language is the language a person has learned from birth or within the critical period, or that a person speaks the best and so is often the basis for sociolinguistic identity...

, and between 15% to 25% for people who have it as a second language
Second language
A second language or L2 is any language learned after the first language or mother tongue. Some languages, often called auxiliary languages, are used primarily as second languages or lingua francas ....

. The Kativiri dialect can be heard on radio in Afghanistan.

There are four main dialects: Eastern Kata-vari, Western Kata-vari, Kamviri and Mumviri, the last two are often defined as separate languages.