Kalasha

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A language of Pakistan

Alternate Names
Kalashamon, Kalashi
Population

5,000 (Heegård Petersen 2006). 3,200 in Northern Kalasha area; unknown and decreasing number in Southern Kalasha area.

Location

North-West Frontier Province, south Chitral district; Southern Kalasha dialect: Urtsun valley; Northern Kalasha: Rumbur, Bumboret, and Birir valleys.

Language Maps
Language Status

6a (Vigorous).

Dialects

Southern Kalasha (Urtsun), Northern Kalasha (Birir, Bumboret, Rumbur). Very little contact between northern and southern dialects of Kalasha, so there are difficulties in communication now. Lexical similarity: 75% southern dialect with northern dialects.

Typology

SOV.

Language Use

In the south, Kalasha is being supplanted by Khowar [khw] or Kati [bsh]. Home, in-group communication in the north. Also use Kati [bsh], Khowar [khw], Urdu [urd].

Language Development
Poetry. Dictionary.
Writing

Arabic script, Naskh variant [Arab], Naskh style. Arabic script, Nastaliq variant [Aran], primary usage. Latin script [Latn], used since 2000, primary usage.

Other Comments

Originally Kalasha was the language of most of the southern Chitral district. Now Khowar [khw] is the predominant language, with earlier languages just used in villages of the side valleys. Traditional religion, Muslim.