Ethnologue: Areas: Asia

Tajikistan

6,311,000 (1995). Formerly part of USSR. Capital: Dushanbe. 54,019 square miles. Literacy rate 99%. Also includes Aimaq, Armenian 6,000, Central Asian Vernacular Arabic, Western Balochi 4,842, Bashkir 5,412, Belorussian, Georgian 808, a few German, Hazaragi, Kazakh 9,606, Kirghiz 64,000, Korean 13,000, Lak 861, Lithuanian 472, Osetin 8,000, Rumanian 580, Russian 237,000, Tatar 80,000, Turkish, Turkmen 13,991, Ukrainian 41,000, Uyghur 3,581, Northern Uzbek 873,000, Arabic. Data accuracy estimate: B. Muslim, Jewish (14,667). The number of languages listed for Tajikistan is 10.

ARABIC, TAJIKI SPOKEN (JUGARI, BUKHARA ARABIC, BUXARA ARABIC, TAJIJI ARABIC, CENTRAL ASIAN ARABIC) [ABH] 1,000 in Tajikistan; 5,000 in Afghanistan (1967 Farhadi); 6,000 in all countries. These may be members of the ethnic group, not speakers. Villages in Vakhsh Valley of Khatlon Province, and communities in Kuliab and Leninabad cities. They mainly live in small villages. Some in Uzbekistan. Afro-Asiatic, Semitic, Central, South, Arabic. Few members of the ethnic group now speak Arabic. Others speak Tajiki as mother tongue. The language is close to Mesopotamian Spoken Arabic. Sharp dialect differences between Bukhara and Kashkadarya regions. Bukhara is strongly influenced by Tajiki; Kashkadarya by Uzbek and other Turkic languages. Speakers use Tajiki to communicate with each other, and as literary language. No diglossia with Modern Standard Arabic. They are endogamous and do not mix with speakers of other languages. Agriculturalists; cattle raisers. Hanafi Sunni Muslim. Survey needed.

FARSI, WESTERN (PERSIAN) [PES] 31,000 in Tajikistan (1993 Johnstone), 31% speak it as mother tongue; 5,068 in Turkmenistan (1979); 31,300 in Uzbekistan (1979); 26,523,000 in all countries. Also in Iran, Iraq, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, USA, Canada, United Arab Emirates. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Southwestern, Persian. Not a literary language in Tajikistan. Dialect blending into Tajiki. Shi'a Muslim. Bible 1838-1995. NT 1815-1979. Bible portions 1546-1965.

PARYA (AFGHANA-YI NASFURUSH, AFGHANA-YI SIYARUI, LAGHMANI, PBHARYA) [PAQ] 1,000 in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan (1960). Hissar Valley in Tajikistan and some in the upper part of the Surkhandarya Valley in Uzbekistan. Also some in Afghanistan. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Central zone, Unclassified. Tajiki is the second language. Parya remains the exclusive language within the home. Uzbek and Tajiki men who marry Parya women learn Parya and become assimilated into the community. They came to Tajikistan from Laghman, Afghanistan in 1880. It may be a dialect of Marwari, related to Panjabi, or the Laghman dialect of Southeast Pashayi of Afghanistan. Subgroups: Kalu, Jitain, Juni, Maggar, Bisiyan, Mussali, Shuiya. They refer to themselves as 'Changgars'. Subgroup names are similar to those of the Changgars of Lahore, and to names used for groups mistakenly called 'Gypsies'. Collective farm workers. Sunni Muslim. Survey needed.

PASHTO, WESTERN (PAKTU, PAKHTU, AFGHAN, AFGHANTSY, PASSTOO, PAKHTOO, PUSHTO, PASHTU, PUSHTU) [PBT] 4,000 in Tajikistan (1970); 8,000,000 in Afghanistan (1989); 113,000 in Iran (1993); 8,117,000 in all countries. Tajikistan. Also in UAE. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Eastern, Southeastern, Pashto. Dialects: GHILZAI, DURANI. Different from Eastern Pashto of Pakistan. Tajiki is used as their literary language in Tajikistan. Sunni Muslim. Survey needed.

SANGLECHI-ISHKASHIMI [SGL] 500 in Tajikistan; 2,000 in Afghanistan; 2,500 in all countries. Tajikistan. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Eastern, Southeastern, Pamir. Dialects: ISHKASHIMI (ISHKASHIM, ESHKASHMI), ZEBAK (ZEBAKI), SANGLICH. Used in daily family communication. Traditional territory and way of life. Speakers are bilingual in Tajiki, which is used as literary language. Not a written language. Dialects listed may be separate languages. Ismaili Muslim.

SHUGHNI (SHUGNAN-RUSHAN) [SGH] 35,000 to 40,000 in Tajikistan including 20,000 Shugan, 1,500 to 2,000 Oroshor, 15,000 Rushan (1975 SIL); 20,000 in Afghanistan ((1994); 55,000 to 60,000 in all countries. Tajikistan, Gorno-Bagakhshan, Pamir Mts. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Eastern, Southeastern, Pamir, Shugni-Yazgulami. Dialects: RUSHANI (RUSHAN, ROSHANI, OROSHANI), BARTANGI (BARTANG), OROSHOR, KHUFI (KHUF, CHUF), SHUGHNI (SHUGAN, SHUGNAN, SHIGHNI, KHUGNI). Used in daily family communication. Traditional territory and way of life. Khufi and Bartangi may be separate languages. Oroshani may be separate from Rushani. Tajiki is used as a literary language. Not intelligible with Sarikoli (called 'Tajiki' in China). Mountain slope. Pastoralists. Ismaili Muslim. Work in progress.

TAJIKI (TADZHIK, TAJIKI PERSIAN, GALCHA) [PET] 3,344,720 in Tajikistan (1991), 98% speak it as mother tongue; 26,000 in Kazakhstan; 34,000 in Kyrghyzstan; 38,000 in Russia; 1,277 in Turkmenistan; 2,215 in Ukraine; 934,000 in Uzbekistan; 4,380,000 in all countries. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Southwestern, Persian. There is some literature. Cyrillic script. Four groups of small dialects; no distinct boundaries. Most Tajiki are trilingual in Northern Uzbek, Russian, and Tajiki. Russian sources refer to all Persian dialects in Afghanistan as 'Tajiki'. Dialect blending into Dari Persian in Afghanistan. So-called 'Tajiki' in China is actually Shugni or Wakhi. There are Tajiki-speaking Gypsy communities in Soviet central Asia. National language. Agriculturalists. Sunni Muslim. Braille code available. Bible 1992. NT 1983. Bible portions 1981.

WAKHI (VAKHAN, WAKHANI, WAKHIGI, GUHJALI, KHIK) [WBL] 7,000 in Tajikistan (1993 UBS); 7,000 in Afghanistan; 9,100 in Pakistan (1992); 6,000 in China; 29,000 in all countries. Gorno-Badakhshan, Pamir Mts. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Eastern, Southeastern, Pamir. Dialects: WESTERN WAKHI, CENTRAL WAKHI, EASTERN WAKHI. Dialects are inherently intelligible. Not a written language. Tajiki is used as a literary language. Speakers are called 'Guhjali'. Ismaili Muslim. Needs survey.

YAGNOBI (YAGNOB) [YAI] 2,000 (1975 SIL). A high mountain valley of the Yagnob River. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Eastern, Northeastern. Dialects: WESTERN YAGNOBI, EASTERN YAGNOBI. Used in daily family communication. Not a written language. Tajiki is used as literary language. People were resettled in the 1960's to southern Tajikistan; a change from cool mountain valleys with water to irrigated desert plains. Sunni Muslim.

YAZGULYAM (IAZGULEM, YAZGULAM, YAZGULYAMI) [YAH] 4,000 (1994 UBS). Along the Yazgulyam River, Gorno-Badakhshan AO. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Eastern, Southeastern, Pamir, Shugni-Yazgulami. Dialects: UPPER YAZGULYAM, LOWER YAZGULYAM. Used in daily family communication. Traditional territory and way of life. Little dialect difference. Not a written language. Speakers are bilingual in Tajiki, which is used as literary language. Ismaili Muslim. Work in progress.


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Part of the Ethnologue, 13th Edition, Barbara F. Grimes, Editor.
Copyright © 1996, Summer Institute of Linguistics, Inc. All rights reserved.

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