Pashayi language

Pashayi language

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Pashayi - also known as Pashai - is a language
Language may refer either to the specifically human capacity for acquiring and using complex systems of communication, or to a specific instance of such a system of complex communication...

 (or a group of languages) spoken by the Pashai people in parts of Kapisa, Laghman, Nuristan, Kunar
Kunar Province
Kunar is one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan, located in the northeastern part of the country. Its capital is Asadabad. It is one of the four "N2KL" provinces...

, and Nangarhar Provinces in Northeastern 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 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 Dardic
Dardic languages
The Dardic languages are a sub-group of the Indo-Aryan languages spoken in northern Pakistan, eastern Afghanistan, and the Indian region of Jammu and Kashmir...

 group of the Indo-Aryan
Indo-Aryan languages
The Indo-Aryan languages constitutes a branch of the Indo-Iranian languages, itself a branch of the Indo-European language family...


It was spoken by over 216,842 people who are predominantly Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

. Most of them are bilingual in 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...

with a literacy rate of about 25%, with the Pashai language having no written form prior to 2003.

There are four main varieties, which are all mutually unintelligible: the Northeastern, the Northwestern, the Southeastern and the Southwestern. The inhabitants of the Korengal Valley in the Pech District of Kunar Province speak a variety of Pashai Language.