A language of India

Alternate Names
Cashmeeree, Cashmiri, Kacmiri, Kaschemiri, Keshur, Koshur
کٲشُر‎ (kạ̄šur), कॉशुर‎ (kọ̄šur)

5,360,000 (2001 census). Total users in all countries: 5,485,780.


Himachal Pradesh state: Chamba and Lahul Spiti districts in Kashmir valley; Jammu and Kashmir state: Anantag, Badgam, Bandipore, eastern Baramula and Kupwara, Doda, Ganderbal, Kargil, Kishtwar, Kulgam, west Leh, Ranban, and Shupian districts.

Language Status

4 (Educational). Statutory language of provincial identity in Jammu and Kashmir (1950, Constitution, Articles 345–347).


Bakawali, Bunjwali, Standard Kashmiri, Kishtwari (Kashtawari, Kashtwari, Kathiawari, Kistwali), Miraski, Poguli, Rambani, Riasi, Shah-Mansuri, Siraji of Doda, Siraji-Kashmiri, Zayoli, Zirak-Boli. Transitional dialects to Punjabi [pan]. Kashtawari dialect is standard, other dialects are influenced by Dogri [dgo].


SVO; gender (masculine/feminine); case-marking (5 cases); verb affixes mark person, number, object; ergativity; tense and aspect; 23 consonant and 8 vowel phonemes.

Language Use

Most also use Urdu [urd] (Koul and Schmidt 1983). Also use English [eng], Hindi [hin]. Used as L2 by Bhadrawahi [bhd], Changthang [cna], Gujari [gju].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 88% male; 12% female over 35 years of age (Koul and Schmidt 1983). Literacy rate in L2: 55% for Jammu and Kashmir (2001 census). 83% would prefer use of Kashmiri rather than Urdu as medium in primary school, 48% in middle school (Koul and Schmidt 1983). Literature. Newspapers. Radio. Videos. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 1899–2005.

Arabic script, Naskh variant [Arab]. Arabic script, Nastaliq variant [Aran], primary usage. Devanagari script [Deva]. Latin script [Latn]. Sharada script [Shrd], no longer in use.

Other Comments

Muslim, Hindu, Sikh.

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