19th Edition



A language of Afghanistan

Alternate Names
Bashgali, Kata viri, Kativiri, Nuristani

15,000 in Afghanistan (1994), increasing. Ethnic population: 114,000. 110,000 in Nuristan and 4,000 in diaspora. Total users in all countries: 21,010.


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

Language Status

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


Eastern Kativiri, Western Kativiri (Jadidi, Ramgulviri), Mumviri. 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], Southern Pashto [pbt].

Language Development
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 first through twelfth grades; the first grade textbook is in progress (2010). Poetry. TV. Dictionary. Grammar.

Arabic script, Naskh variant [Arab], Naskh style, limited usage, in development. Arabic script, Nastaliq variant [Aran], used in handwriting and for book titles.

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.

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