Kalasha (Bumburet variety)

By Alexei Kochetov, Paul Arsenault, Jan Heegård Petersen, Sikandar Kalas and Taj Khan Kalash
View profile for: Dr. Paul Arsenault

Kalasha, also known as Kalashamon, is a Northwestern Indo-Aryan language spoken in Chitral District of Khyber Pakhtunkwa Province in northern Pakistan, primarily in the valleys of Bumburet, Rumbur, Urtsun, and Birir. The number of speakers is estimated between 3000 and 5000. The Ethnologue classifies the language status as ‘vigorous’ (Eberhard, Simons & Fennig 2019) but some researchers consider it ‘threatened’ (Rahman 2006, Khan & Mela-Athanasopoulou 2011). Kalasha has been in close contact with Nuristani and other Northwestern Indo-Aryan languages. Among the latter, the influence of Khowar has been particularly strong because it functions as a lingua franca of Chitral District (Liljegren & Khan 2017). The Kalasha lexicon includes many loanwords from Khowar, as well as from Persian, Arabic, and Urdu (Trail & Cooper 1999). Early efforts to put the language in writing employed Arabic script but a Latin-based script was adopted in 2000 (Cooper 2005, Kalash & Heegård 2016)

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This is a peer reviewed Article

Article in Journal of the International Phonetic Association
Volume #: 51
Issue #: 3
Pages: 468-489
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Year: 2021
ISBN/ISSN: 1475-3502

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