- Pamir languages
Infobox Language family
fam5=SoutheasternThe Pamir languages are a subgroup of the
Iranian languages, spoken by Pamiri peoplein the Pamir Mountains, primarily along the Panj Riverand its tributaries. This includes the southern Gorno-Badakhshanprovince of Tajikistanand the neighboring Badakhshanregion that extends into northeastern Afghanistan. Smaller communities can be found in the adjacent areas of Pakistanwhere many have settled in recent decades. Sarikoli, one of the languages of the Pamir group, is spoken beyond the Sarikol ridgeon the Afghanistan-China border, and thus qualifies as the eastern-most of the extant Iranian languages.
Members of the Pamir language group include Shughni, Sarikoli,
Yazgulyam, Munji, Sanglechi-Ishkashmi, Wakhi, and Yidgha. These are Southeastern Iranian languagesand have the Subject Object Verb syntactic typology. The vast majority of Pamir language speakers also speak Tajik, which is—unlike the languages of the Pamir group—a Southwestern Iranian tongue. The language group is endangered, with total number of speakers roughly around 100,000 (as of 1990).
The Bulgar language spoken by the ancestors of modern-day
Bulgariansis believed by some to have been a Pamir language (although it is more commonly regarded as Turkic). After the Bulgars migrated to the Balkansin 7th century, Bulgarsmerged with the local Slavsand adopted their South Slavic language, from which modern Bulgarian developed.
The Shughni, Sarikoli, and Yazgulyam languages belong to the
Shugni-Yazgulamisub-branch. There are about 75,000 speakers of languages in this family in Afghanistanand Tajikstan(including the dialects of Rushani, Oroshani, Bartangi, Oroshor, Khufi, and Shughni). As of 1982, there were about 20,000 speakers of Sarikoli in the Sarikol Valleylocated in the TashkorganTajik Autonomous County in XinjiangProvince, China. Shughni and Sarikoli are not mutually intelligible. In 1994, there were 4000 speakers of Yazgulyam along the Yazgulyam Riverin Tajikistan. Yazgulyam is not written.
Munji languageis closely related to Yidgha, and in 1992there were around 2500 speakers in the Munjan and Mamalgha Valleys of northeastern Afghanistan.
There are around 29,000 speakers of the
Wakhi languagein Afghanistan, Tajikistan, China, and Pakistan.
There are about 6000 speakers of Yidgha in
Pakistan. Yidgha is closely related to the Munjilanguage of Afghanistan.
Vanji languagewas spoken in the Vanjriver valley the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Provincein Tajikistan. In the 19th century the region was forcibly annexed to the Bukharan Emirateand a violent assimilation campaign was undertaken. By the end of the 19th century the Vanji language had disappeared.
*Payne, John, "Pamir languages" in "Compendium Linguarum Iranicarum", ed. Schmitt (1989), 417–444.
* [http://www.ling.su.se/staff/ljuba/maps/tajikistan.gifEthnolinguistic map of Tajikistan]
* [http://www.angelfire.com/sd/tajikistanupdate/ishstory.html Ishkashimi story with English translation]
* [http://www.angelfire.com/sd/tajikistanupdate/isheng.html Ishkashimi-English Vocabulary List, also featuring words from other Pamir languages added for comparison]
* [http://www.angelfire.com/sd/tajikistanupdate/engpamirlanguages.html English-Ishkashimi- Zebaki-Wakhi-Yazghulami Vocabulary]
* [http://www.angelfire.com/sd/tajikistanupdate/yazghulami.html A Short List of Yazghulami Words]
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