A language of Afghanistan

Alternate Names
Bashgali, Kativiri, Nuristani

15,000 in Afghanistan (1994), increasing. Population total all countries: 18,700. Ethnic population: 114,000. 110,000 in Nuristan and 4,000 in diaspora. L2 users: Some Nuristani people from other language groups can also speak Kati.


Northeast, mainly Nurestan, Badakhshan, and Konar provinces; smaller areas in Laghman and Panjshir provinces; Western Kativiri dialect: Mondul and Duab districts, Ramgal, Kulam, Ktivi (Kantiwo), and Paruk (Papruk) valleys; Mumviri dialect: Mangul, Sasku, Gabalgrom villages in the Bashgal valley; Eastern Kativiri dialect: upper Bashgal valley (Barg-e-Matal).

Language Status

6a (Vigorous). Statutory language of provincial identity in Nuristan Province (2004, Constitution, Article 16(2)).


Eastern Kativiri, Mumviri, Western Kativiri (Jadidi, Ramgulviri). Mumviri may be a separate language. Eastern and Western Kataviri are very similar dialects and almost completely mutually intelligible.


Agglutinative suffixes; CVC, CCVC, CV, CCCVC, CCVCC, CCCVCC.

Language Use

Outside of language area, shifting towards Dari [prs]. All domains. All ages. Positive attitudes. Also use Dari [prs] in the west. Also use Pashto [pbt] in the east.

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 0%. Literacy rate in L2: 1%–3%. Textbooks for teaching Kati as a subject in school not widely used and are unacceptable to those from other Kati dialects. The Afghanistan Ministry of Education plans to produce Eastern Kati language textbooks for 1st through 12th grades; the 1st grade textbook is in progress (2010). Poetry. TV. Dictionary. Grammar.

Arabic script [Arab], limited usage, in development.

Other Comments

Kati is different from Kamviri [xvi], but the two are significantly mutually intelligible and speakers may refer to them as the same language. Muslim (Sunni).

Also spoken in:

Expand All Collapse All