Pashayi languages

Pashayi or Pashai is a group of languages spoken by the Pashai people in parts of Kapisa, Laghman, Nuristan, Kunar, and Nangarhar provinces in Northeastern Afghanistan. It belongs to the Dardic branch of the Indo-Aryan languages.[3] The Pashayi languages had no written form prior to 2003.[4] There are four mutually unintelligible varieties, with only about a 30% lexical similarity:[1]

  • Northeastern: Aret, Chalas (Chilas), Kandak, Korangal, Kurdar dialects
  • Northwestern: Alasai, Bolaghain, Gulbahar, Kohnadeh, Laurowan, Najil, Nangarach, Pachagan, Pandau, Parazhghan, Pashagar, Sanjan, Shamakot, Shutul, Uzbin, Wadau dialects
  • Southeastern: Damench, Laghmani, Sum, Upper and Lower Darai Nur, Wegali dialects
  • Southwestern: Ishpi, Isken, Tagau dialects
Native toAfghanistan
EthnicityPashayi people
Native speakers
400,000 (2000–2011)[1]
Arabic script
Language codes
ISO 639-3Variously:
aee – Northeastern
glh – Northwestern
psi – Southeastern
psh – Southwestern

A grammar of the language was written as a doctoral dissertation in 2014.[5]


  1. ^ a b Northeastern at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Northwestern at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Southeastern at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Southwestern at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Pashayi". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Masica, Colin P. (1991). The Indo-Aryan Languages. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 440.
  4. ^ Yun, Ju-Hong (2003). "Pashai Language Development Project: Promoting Pashai language, literacy and community development" (PDF). Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  5. ^ Lehr, Rachel. 2014. A descriptive grammar of Pashai: The language and speech of a community of Darrai Nur. Phd dissertation, University of Chicago.