There was no thread for those small yet intriguing languages spoken in one of the most remote places in the world.
The Pamir mountains are home to some of the most fascinating languages of the Indo-European family.
The Pamir languages
belong to the Eastern branch of the Iranian family. They are thus related to Pashto.Shughni
(which is mostly spoken in Tajikistan) is said to have the most native speakers. According to J. Payne, Shughni serves as a local lingua frinca between the different Pamiri groups. Dialects include Roshani, Bartangi and Roshorvi.Sarikoli
is the main language in the chinese Pamir. It is sometimes regarded as a dialect of Shughni even though it has been somewhat influenced by the neighbouring Wakhi.Munji
are two smaller Pamir languages to be found in Afghanistan (Munjian valley, Badakhshan) and Pakistan (Ludukh valley). They are considered to be closely related to Shughni.Yazghulami
is a minor language spoken around Andarbag in Tajikistan.Ishkashimi
and its variants (Zebaki
) are spoken across the border region of Ishkashim (Tajikistan/Afghanistan).Wakhi
comes second as far as the number of speakers is concerned. It is used mostly in the Wakhan corridor in Afghanistan as well as the in Gilgit-Baltistan region in Pakistan.
Those languages are presumably not mutually intelligible but they form a sprachbund. Since they are not the culturally dominating languages of the region where they are natively spoken, the surrounding Pashto, Urdu, Uyghur and Persian/Tajik have exerted a noticeable influence over them.
It should be noted that the Pamiri people has not been granted any official status as a minority in Tajikistan and Afghanistan. In China and in Pakistan on the other hand, it seems that efforts have been made to preserve the languages.
are unfortunately very scarce. A few works on Wakhi have been published in French. There is also some literature on Shughni in Russian and Tajik.
Parlons Wakhi - Karim Khan Saka [I have a copy of it, it's a fantastic book]
La langue wakhi I : Corpus de littérature orale - Dominique Indjoudjian
La langue Wakhi II : Essai grammatical et dictionnaire - Dominique Indjoudjian
Compendium Linguarum Iranicum - R. SchmittLinks of interestThe Pamir TimesRazaik - Learn WakhiXik Wakhi - Wakhi on the roof of the worldLearn WakhiLearn Wakhi 2Wakhi Tajik Culture AssociationXikwor, Sadoye Bom DunyoWakhi DictionaryWakhi Language BookPhotos of the PamirShughni language pageMusichttp://www.dailymotion.com/video/xu0uvn ... UDy5FeM5QIhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dCltyGFbswhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISR3qKj3c0ghttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QaptNKw1azEhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCYhm3ufKn8http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TONQHrqowp8http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VkV9-5tDJEw