L1 users: 2,910,000 (2011 UNSD), increasing. 1,000,000 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 2,910,000. Total users in all countries: 4,163,800.
Badghis, Baghlan, Balkh, Faryab, Ghowr, Jowzjan, Kondoz, Samangan, and Takhar provinces; Aqcha, Maimana, Saripul, and Sheberghan towns.
2 (Provincial). Statutory language of provincial identity in Fariab, Jawzjan, Saripul, other northern provinces (2004, Constitution, Article 16(2)).
SOV; postpositions; noun head final; content q-word final; one prefix in words borrowed from Dari [prs], many suffixes (agglutinative); verbal affixation marks of person and number for subject and object; verb tense and aspect marked by suffixes; nontonal; no vowel harmony (unlike some other, closely-related Turkic languages).