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Pamir Languages

Posted: 2013-03-13, 23:13
by Limagne
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 and Yidgha 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 and Sanglichi) 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. Schmitt

Links of interest

The Pamir Times
Razaik - Learn Wakhi
Xik Wakhi - Wakhi on the roof of the world
Learn Wakhi
Learn Wakhi 2
Wakhi Tajik Culture Association
Xikwor, Sadoye Bom Dunyo
Wakhi Dictionary
Wakhi Language Book
Photos of the Pamir
Shughni language page

Music ... UDy5FeM5QI

Re: Pamir Languages

Posted: 2013-03-14, 17:53
by Meera
Well I have heard of the Pamir languages but never actually met anyone who spoke one or actually heard the languages. Very interesting stuff, Limagne! Merci!

Re: Pamir Languages

Posted: 2013-03-18, 19:31
by Limagne
Yeah, I guess it must be terribly hard to come across a native speaker outside of the Pamir.

Anyway, I've just found an article from a scholarly publication that deals with the specificities of the Pamir languages. It's in French though.

Les langues indo-iraniennes des Pamirs et de l’Hindou Kouch
François Jacquesson

Re: Pamir Languages

Posted: 2013-04-21, 10:53
by Serge

Re: Pamir Languages

Posted: 2013-05-03, 9:56
by Limagne

Re: Pamir Languages

Posted: 2013-06-04, 11:23
by Limagne

Re: Pamir Languages

Posted: 2014-03-18, 18:53
by Limagne

Re: Pamir Languages

Posted: 2014-03-18, 23:22
by melski
I knew nothing of those languages before reading this thread, but the music is really beautiful, especially the acapella tracks like the munajat. Merci Limagne, la musique de ces langues est vraiment magnifique !

Re: Pamir Languages

Posted: 2015-01-29, 20:43
by vijayjohn
Which language are "Pomir Kuen" and "Dil Dile Kenum" in? Shughni?

This is another song in Shughni. It's called "Tut Ajab Berahm":
And this is another. I think "Lidush" is the name of the singer, not part of the title of the song:
This is apparently a song in the Rushani dialect of Shughni:
And I think this song is in Sarikoli (with a translation into Chinese in the subtitles). There's apparently a Chinese version of this song, too, with much simpler lyrics than the original:

Re: Pamir Languages

Posted: 2016-01-04, 8:49
by vijayjohn
Here are some more songs that appear to be in Sarikoli:
(Sorry for the poor audio quality in this one)
Here's another instrumental Sarikoli dance, like the Raqse Sarikoli that Limagne posted earlier :lol:
And here a another song in Shughni:
And one more I think in Rushani? (I finally figured out that was probably the language "Shams" performs in! :D):

Re: Pamir Languages

Posted: 2016-11-13, 3:16
by vijayjohn
These are two songs by Imatikhudo Amrikhudoyev (Иматихудо Амрихудоев). I'm guessing that they're both from Tajikistan. The titles of both of them begin with "Язгулям." The first one of these is called "Khanda Ba Lab." Does this mean that one or both of these songs is in Yazghulami, or are they just in Tajik/Persian? I seem to be bad at telling the difference between Persian and some of the other Iranian languages at least sometimes:

Re: Pamir Languages

Posted: 2016-11-30, 23:22
by eskandar
They're both in Persian; I recognized the second one right away as a famous ghazal by Hafez. Maybe the title indicates that the songs are sung in a style associated with the Yazghulami people :?: - just a guess.

Re: Pamir Languages

Posted: 2017-02-05, 12:43
by Limagne
A Shughni Grammar - Baxtibekov, 1979 (in Tajiki)

Re: Pamir Languages

Posted: 2017-02-06, 4:37
by vijayjohn
Thanks, Limagne, and a late thanks to eskandar as well! :)

Re: Pamir Languages

Posted: 2018-01-03, 8:42
by vijayjohn
I think I might have finally found one song each in Ishkashimi, Yazghulami, and Yidgha as well as one in Khufi, which I didn't even know existed until no! Khufi is apparently a language variety that's usually considered a dialect of Shughni, but Wikipedia says Khufi and Bartangi are distinct enough to the point where they should perhaps be considered separate languages.

This is apparently a song in Ishkashimi by Tavakali Shirinbek called "Amshtoki Qadbaland":
This song is apparently in Yazghulami:
This is an interesting though very short documentary with one song in Yidgha (0:51-1:07):
I'm not sure, but I think maybe these songs might be in Khufi (or they could just be more songs in Standard Persian/Tajik for all I know :P):
These are videos in Bartangi with subtitles in Bartangi (written in something sort of close to IPA) and English:
These are similar videos from the same channel (the Endangered Language Alliance) in Wakhi:
And these are in Shughni: