Wakhi language

Wakhi language

Overview
Wakhi is an Indo-European language in the branch of Eastern Iranian
Eastern Iranian languages
The Eastern Iranian languages are a subgroup of the Iranian languages emerging in Middle Iranian times .The Avestan language is often classified as early Eastern Iranian. The largest living Eastern Iranian language is Pashto, with some 50 million speakers between the Hindu Kush mountains in...

 language family and is intimately related to other Southeastern Iranian languages in the Pamir languages
Pamir languages
The Pamir languages are a group of the Eastern Iranian languages, spoken by numerous people in the Pamir Mountains, primarily along the Panj River and its tributaries. This includes the Badakhshan Province of northeastern Afghanistan and the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province of eastern Tajikistan...

 group.

Wakhi is one of several languages that belong to the Pamir language group
Pamir languages
The Pamir languages are a group of the Eastern Iranian languages, spoken by numerous people in the Pamir Mountains, primarily along the Panj River and its tributaries. This includes the Badakhshan Province of northeastern Afghanistan and the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province of eastern Tajikistan...

. A reflection of this is the fact that the Wakhi people
Wakhi people
The Wakhi people, or Khik , are an ethnic group originating in the Wakhan of today's Afghanistan. They also live in adjacent areas of Tajikistan and Xinjiang and in Pakistan . They speak the Wakhi language.-Population and demographics:A very rough estimate puts the population of Wakhis at about...

 are occasionally called Pamiris
Pamiri people
Pamiri is the name of an Iranian ethnic group in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province in Tajikistan.-Ethnic Identity:The Pamiris are composed of people who speak the Pamiri languages, the indigenous language in the Gorno-Badakhshan autonomous province, and adhere to the Ismaili sect of Shia...

. The origin of this language is Wakhan
Wakhan
Wakhan or "the Wakhan" is a very mountainous and rugged part of the Pamir and Karakoram regions of Afghanistan. Wakhan District is a district in Badakshan Province.-Geography:...

 in 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...

 and is, according to sources, more than four thousand years old.
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Encyclopedia
Wakhi is an Indo-European language in the branch of Eastern Iranian
Eastern Iranian languages
The Eastern Iranian languages are a subgroup of the Iranian languages emerging in Middle Iranian times .The Avestan language is often classified as early Eastern Iranian. The largest living Eastern Iranian language is Pashto, with some 50 million speakers between the Hindu Kush mountains in...

 language family and is intimately related to other Southeastern Iranian languages in the Pamir languages
Pamir languages
The Pamir languages are a group of the Eastern Iranian languages, spoken by numerous people in the Pamir Mountains, primarily along the Panj River and its tributaries. This includes the Badakhshan Province of northeastern Afghanistan and the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province of eastern Tajikistan...

 group.

Classification and Distribution


Wakhi is one of several languages that belong to the Pamir language group
Pamir languages
The Pamir languages are a group of the Eastern Iranian languages, spoken by numerous people in the Pamir Mountains, primarily along the Panj River and its tributaries. This includes the Badakhshan Province of northeastern Afghanistan and the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province of eastern Tajikistan...

. A reflection of this is the fact that the Wakhi people
Wakhi people
The Wakhi people, or Khik , are an ethnic group originating in the Wakhan of today's Afghanistan. They also live in adjacent areas of Tajikistan and Xinjiang and in Pakistan . They speak the Wakhi language.-Population and demographics:A very rough estimate puts the population of Wakhis at about...

 are occasionally called Pamiris
Pamiri people
Pamiri is the name of an Iranian ethnic group in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province in Tajikistan.-Ethnic Identity:The Pamiris are composed of people who speak the Pamiri languages, the indigenous language in the Gorno-Badakhshan autonomous province, and adhere to the Ismaili sect of Shia...

. The origin of this language is Wakhan
Wakhan
Wakhan or "the Wakhan" is a very mountainous and rugged part of the Pamir and Karakoram regions of Afghanistan. Wakhan District is a district in Badakshan Province.-Geography:...

 in 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...

 and is, according to sources, more than four thousand years old. This is spoken by the inhabitants the Wakhan Corridor of Afghanistan, parts of Gilgit-Baltistan (the former NAs) of Pakistan, Gorno-Badkhshan (mountainous-Badakhshan, in Russian) region of Tajakistan, and Xinjiang in western China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

. The Wakhi use the self-appellation ‘Xik’ (ethnic) and suffix it with ‘wor’/’war’ to denote their language as ‘Xik-wor’ themselves. The noun ‘Xik’ comes from ‘oxik’ (an inhabitant of ‘Ox’, for Wakhan, in Wakhi. There are other equivalents for the name Wakhi (Anglicised) or Wakhani (Arabic and Persian), Vakhantsy (Russian), Gojali/Gojo (Dingrik-wor/Shina), Guyits/Guicho (Borushaski), Wakhigi/Wakhik-war (Kivi-wor/Khow-wor) and Cert (Turki). The language belongs, as yet to be confirmed according to studies and sources, to the southern group of the Pamir languages, in the Iranian group of the Indo-European family (450) of languages, where the different Ishkashmi, Shighni/…nani and Wakhi languages are included. A very rough estimate of the population of Wakhis is 50,000 worldwide. The Wakhi live in four different countries. In the Gilgit-Baltistan northern-areas region of 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...

, the Wakhi people mainly live in Gojal
Gojal
Gojal, also known as Upper Hunza, is an area north of Gilgit in the far north of Pakistan near the Chinese and Afghan borders. It is the largest tehsil of the Gilgit-Baltistan autonomous area of northern Pakistan....

, Ishkoman
Ishkoman
The Ishkoman valley lies in the north of Pakistan, bordering Afghanistan and the Pamir corridor.-Political status:Administratively, Ishkoman valley constitutes a Tehsil of Ghizer District. It is located at a range of altitudes, from . The valley consists of 20 villages, with a total population of...

, Darkut and in Chitral District's Broghol
Broghol
Broghol, also spelled Broghil, Boroghil and several other ways, is a high mountain pass that crosses the Hindu Kush and connects the Wakhan Corridor of Afghanistan with Chitral in Pakistan....

. They also live in some parts of Gorno-Badakhshan in Tajikistan
Tajikistan
Tajikistan , officially the Republic of Tajikistan , is a mountainous landlocked country in Central Asia. Afghanistan borders it to the south, Uzbekistan to the west, Kyrgyzstan to the north, and China to the east....

 and Xinjiang
Xinjiang
Xinjiang is an autonomous region of the People's Republic of China. It is the largest Chinese administrative division and spans over 1.6 million km2...

 in China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

.

In Afghanistan


In the Wakhan Corridor
Wakhan Corridor
Wakhan Corridor is commonly used as a synonym for Wakhan, an area of far north-eastern Afghanistan which forms a land link or "corridor" between Afghanistan and China. The Corridor is a long and slender panhandle or salient, roughly long and between wide. It separates Tajikistan in the north...

 of Afghanistan, Wakhi is spoken from Putur, near Ishkashim, to the upper reaches of the Wakhan River.

In Tajikistan


In Tajikistan the Wakhi and other communities that speak one of the Pamir languages
Pamir languages
The Pamir languages are a group of the Eastern Iranian languages, spoken by numerous people in the Pamir Mountains, primarily along the Panj River and its tributaries. This includes the Badakhshan Province of northeastern Afghanistan and the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province of eastern Tajikistan...

 refer to themselves as Pamiri
Pamiri people
Pamiri is the name of an Iranian ethnic group in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province in Tajikistan.-Ethnic Identity:The Pamiris are composed of people who speak the Pamiri languages, the indigenous language in the Gorno-Badakhshan autonomous province, and adhere to the Ismaili sect of Shia...

 or Badakhshani
Pamiri people
Pamiri is the name of an Iranian ethnic group in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province in Tajikistan.-Ethnic Identity:The Pamiris are composed of people who speak the Pamiri languages, the indigenous language in the Gorno-Badakhshan autonomous province, and adhere to the Ismaili sect of Shia...

 and there has been a movement to separate their identity from that of the majority Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

-speaking Tajiks. Linguists
Linguistics
Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. Linguistics can be broadly broken into three categories or subfields of study: language form, language meaning, and language in context....

 universally refer to Wakhi as an East Iranian language
Eastern Iranian languages
The Eastern Iranian languages are a subgroup of the Iranian languages emerging in Middle Iranian times .The Avestan language is often classified as early Eastern Iranian. The largest living Eastern Iranian language is Pashto, with some 50 million speakers between the Hindu Kush mountains in...

 independent of Tajik Persian, but many Tajik nationalists insist that Wakhi and other Pamir languages are actually dialects of Tajik.

In Pakistan


In Pakistan Wakhi is spoken in the sparsely populated upper portions of five of the northernmost valleys: Hunza (many ethnic Wakhi of this valley now speak Burushaski), Gojal that including the valleys of Chipursan and Shingshal, (Upper-Hunza—mostly intact), Ishkoman (many ethnic Wakhi speak, now, Shina), Yasin (many ethnic Wakhi of this valley speak, now, Khow-wor or Burushaski/Virchik-wor), Gupis (many ethnic Wakhi speak, now, Shina) and Yarkhun (many ethnic Wakhi of this valley now speak Khow-wor). Yarkhun is located in the Chitral district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, while others are in the Gilgit-Baltistan. Gojal, in the Hunza valley, has the largest Wakhi population of any of the above five areas. The Wakhis of Ishkoman live primarily in the Karambar valley, in the town of Imit and beyond. In Yasin, they live mostly in the vicinity of Darkot, and in Yarhkun, they are found in Baroghil and in a few other small villages in the high, upper portion of valley.
In Pakistan, the central organization of the Wakhi is the Wakhi Cultural Association Pakistan (WCA), an organization that is registered with the Government of Pakistan
Government of Pakistan
The Government of Pakistan is a federal parliamentary system, with an indirectly-elected President as the Head of State and Commander in Chief of the Pakistani Armed Forces, and an indirectly-elected Prime Minister as the Head of Government. The President’s appointment and term are...

 and which works with the collaboration of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and Lok Virsa Pakistan. The Association is working for the preservation of the Wakhi language and culture, as well as documenting their poetry
Poetry
Poetry is a form of literary art in which language is used for its aesthetic and evocative qualities in addition to, or in lieu of, its apparent meaning...

 and music
Music
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...

.

Radio Pakistan Gilgit
Gilgit
Gilgit is a city in northern PakistanGilgit may refer to other terms related with the area of the city:* Gilgit River* Gilgit Valley* Gilgit District* Gilgit Agency * Gilgit Airport...

 relays the Wakhi radio programme "Sadoyah Boomy Dunyo", the voice of the roof of the world. The Wakhi Cultural Association has arranged more than twenty programmes since 1984, which includes cultural shows, musical nights, and large-scale musical festivals with the collaboration of Lok Virsa Pakistan, the Aga Khan Cultural Service Pakistan (AKCSP)
Aga Khan Trust for Culture
The Aga Khan Trust for Culture is an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network . It focuses on the revitalization of communities in the Muslim world—physical, social, cultural, and economic...

, and Pakistan television
Pakistan Television Corporation
The Pakistan Television Corporation is Pakistan's national television broadcaster. The first live transmission of PTV began on November 26, 1964, in Lahore...

. In 2000, the WCA won a "Best Programme" organizer award in the Silk Road
Silk Road
The Silk Road or Silk Route refers to a historical network of interlinking trade routes across the Afro-Eurasian landmass that connected East, South, and Western Asia with the Mediterranean and European world, as well as parts of North and East Africa...

 Festival
Festival
A festival or gala is an event, usually and ordinarily staged by a local community, which centers on and celebrates some unique aspect of that community and the Festival....

 from the President of Pakistan
President of Pakistan
The President of Pakistan is the head of state, as well as figurehead, of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. Recently passed an XVIII Amendment , Pakistan has a parliamentary democratic system of government. According to the Constitution, the President is chosen by the Electoral College to serve a...

, Pervez Musharraf
Pervez Musharraf
Pervez Musharraf , is a retired four-star general who served as the 13th Chief of Army Staff and tenth President of Pakistan as well as tenth Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee. Musharraf headed and led an administrative military government from October 1999 till August 2007. He ruled...

. A computerized codification of the Wakhi script has been released, which will help to promote the language development programme and documentation of Wakhi poetry, literature, and history
History
History is the discovery, collection, organization, and presentation of information about past events. History can also mean the period of time after writing was invented. Scholars who write about history are called historians...

.

Orthography


Traditionally Wakhi was not a written language. Writing systems have been developed for the language using Arabic script, Cyrillic and a modified Roman alphabet.

.
Sample text from a Bible translation published in 2001 is shown below.
Lord's Prayer
Lord's Prayer
The Lord's Prayer is a central prayer in Christianity. In the New Testament of the Christian Bible, it appears in two forms: in the Gospel of Matthew as part of the discourse on ostentation in the Sermon on the Mount, and in the Gospel of Luke, which records Jesus being approached by "one of his...

 (Luke
Gospel of Luke
The Gospel According to Luke , commonly shortened to the Gospel of Luke or simply Luke, is the third and longest of the four canonical Gospels. This synoptic gospel is an account of the life and ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. It details his story from the events of his birth to his Ascension.The...

 11:2-4)
Wakhi in Roman alphabet Wakhi in Cyrillic alphabet English (KJV
King James Version of the Bible
The Authorized Version, commonly known as the King James Version, King James Bible or KJV, is an English translation of the Christian Bible by the Church of England begun in 1604 and completed in 1611...

)
2 2 2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, "Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.
3 3 3 Give us day by day our daily bread.
4 4 4 And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil."

Vocabulary


The Wakhi lexicon exhibits significant differences with the other Pamir languages. Gawarjon's comparison of the dialects of Sarikoli
Sarikoli
The Sarikoli language is a member of the Pamir subgroup of the Southeastern Iranian languages spoken by Tajiks in China...

 and Wakhi spoken in China is reproduced below.
Lexical comparison of six Iranian languages
English gloss
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

Tajik
Tajik language
Tajik, Tajik Persian, or Tajiki, is a variety of modern Persian spoken in Central Asia. Historically Tajiks called their language zabani farsī , meaning Persian language in English; the term zabani tajikī, or Tajik language, was introduced in the 20th century by the Soviets...

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...

Shughni
Shughni language
Shughni is one of the Pamir languages of the Southeastern Iranian language group. Its distribution is in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province in Tajikistan and Badakhshan Province in Afghanistan....

Sarikoli Wakhi Oruq
meat ɡuʃt̪ (گوشت) ɡʉʃt (гӯшт) ɣwəxa, ɣwəʂa ɡuːxt ɡɯxt ɡuʂt ɡuʂt
fire æt̪iʃ (اتش) otaʃ (оташ) or joːts juts rɯχniɡ rniɡ
water æb (اب) ob (об) obə xats xats jupk xət
hand d̪æst̪ (دست) dast (даст) lɑs ðust ðɯst ðast dašč
foot pɔ (پا) po (по) pxa, pʂa poːð peð pɯð pɯð
son pisær (پسر) pisar (писар) zoj puts pɯts putr putràé
tooth d̪ænd̪ɔn (دندان) dandon (дандон) ɣɑx, ɣɑʂ ðinðʉn ðanðun ðɯnðɯk ðɯnðɯk/ðɯnðɯka
eye tʃæʃm (چشم) tʃaʃm (чашм) stərɡa tsem tsem tʂəʐm ghah
horse æsb (اسب) asp (асп) ɑs voːrdʒ vurdʒ jaʃ jatnij
cloud æbr (ابر) abr (абр) uriədz abri varm mur mu
wheat gænd̪um (گندم) gandum (гандум) ɣanəm ʒindam ʒandam ɣɯdim
many bisjɔr (بسيار) bisjor (бисёр) ɖer, pura lap pɯr təqi
high bulænd̪ (بلند) baland (баланд) lwəɻ biland bɯland bɯland
far dur (دور) dur (дур) ləre ðar ðar ðir
good xub (خوب) xub (хуб) xə, ʂə bashand tʃardʒ baf
small xurd̪ (خرد) χurd (хурд) ləɡ, ləʐ dzul dzɯl dzəqlai
to say guft̪ (گفت) guft (гуфт) wəjəl lʉvdow levd xənak
to do kærd̪ (كرد) kard (кард) kawəl tʃiːdow tʃeiɡ tsərak
to see d̪id̪ (ديد) did (дид) winəm wiːntow wand wing

Consonants

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...

Alveolo-
palatal
Alveolo-palatal consonant
In phonetics, alveolo-palatal consonants are palatalized postalveolar sounds, usually fricatives and affricates, articulated with the blade of the tongue behind the alveolar ridge, and the body of the tongue raised toward the palate...

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...

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)....

Uvular
Uvular consonant
Uvulars are consonants articulated with the back of the tongue against or near the uvula, that is, further back in the mouth than velar consonants. Uvulars may be plosives, fricatives, nasal stops, trills, or approximants, though the IPA does not provide a separate symbol for the approximant, and...

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...

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

t͡s d͡z t͡ɕ d͡ʑ ʈ͡ʂ ɖ͡ʐ
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...

f v θ ð s z ɕ ʑ ʂ ʐ x ɣ χ ʁ h
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...

l j w
Rhotic
Rhotic consonant
In phonetics, rhotic consonants, also called tremulants or "R-like" sounds, are liquid consonants that are traditionally represented orthographically by symbols derived from the Greek letter rho, including "R, r" from the Roman alphabet and "Р, p" from the Cyrillic alphabet...

r

External links