|कॉशुर كأشُر kạ̄šur|
|Native to||Azad Jammu and Kashmir (Pakistan)|
|Region||Northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent|
|5.6 million (2001)|
|Perso-Arabic script (contemporary),
Devanagari script (contemporary),
Sharada script (ancient/liturgical)
Official language in
Kashmiri // (कॉशुर, کأشُر Kashur) is a language from the Dardic subgroup of the Indo-Aryan languages and it is spoken primarily in the Kashmir Valley, in Jammu and Kashmir. There are approximately 5,527,698 speakers throughout India, according to the Census of 2001. Most of the 105,000 speakers in Pakistan are émigrés from the Kashmir Valley after the partition of India. They include a few speakers residing in border villages in Neelam District.
The Kashmiri language is one of the 22 scheduled languages of India, and is a part of the Sixth Schedule in the constitution of the Jammu and Kashmir. Along with other regional languages mentioned in the Sixth Schedule, as well as Hindi and Urdu, the Kashmiri language is to be developed in the state. Most Kashmiri speakers use Urdu or English as a second language. Since November 2008, the Kashmiri language has been made a compulsory subject in all schools in the Valley up to the secondary level.
In 1919 George Abraham Grierson wrote that “Kashmiri is the only one of the Dardic languages that has a literature”. Kashmiri literature dates back to over 750 years, this is, more-or-less, the age of many a modern literature including modern English.
There are three orthographical systems used to write the Kashmiri language: the Sharada script, the Devanagari script and the Perso-Arabic script. The Roman script is also sometimes informally used to write Kashmiri, especially online.
The Kashmiri language was traditionally written in the Sharada script after the 8th Century A.D. This script however, is not in common use today, except for religious ceremonies of the Kashmiri Pandits.
Today it is written in Devanagari script and Perso-Arabic script (with some modifications). Among languages written in the Perso-Arabic script, Kashmiri is one of the very few which regularly indicates all vowel sounds. This script has been in vogue since the Muslim conquest in India and has been used by the people for centuries, in the Kashmir Valley. However, today, the Kashmiri Perso-Arabic script has come to be associated with Kashmiri Muslims, while the Kashmiri Devanagari script has come to be associated with the Kashmiri Hindu community.
Kashmiri has the following vowel phonemes:
Though Kashmiri has thousands of loan words (mainly from Persian and Arabic) due to the arrival of Islam in the Valley, however, it remains basically an Indo-Aryan language. There are a few minor differences between the Kashmiri spoken by Pandits and Muslims. For 'fire', a traditional Hindu may use the Kashmiri word agun (derivative of Sanskrit Agni) while a Muslim more often will use the Arabic word naar. Note that the use of "agun" by Kashmiri Hindus is limited to references to the 'fire' used in Hindu religious ceremonies. In quotidian parlance, however, "naar" is the word of choice for 'fire' for all Kashmiris.
Preservation of old Indo-Aryan vocabulary
First person pronoun
Both the Indo-Aryan and Iranian branches of the Indo-Iranian family have demonstrated a strong tendency to eliminate the distinctive first person pronoun ("I") used in the nominative case. The Indo-European root for this is reconstructed as *eǵHom, which is preserved in Sanskrit as aham and in Avestan Persian as azam. This contrasts with the m- form ("me", "my") that is used for the accusative, genitive, dative, ablative cases. Sanskrit and Avestan both used forms such as ma(-m). However, in languages such as Modern Persian, Baluchi, Hindi and Punjabi, the distinct nominative form has been entirely lost and replaced with m- in words such as ma-n and mai. However, Kashmiri belongs to a relatively small set that preserves the distinction. 'I' is bi/ba/boh in various Kashmiri dialects, distinct from the other me terms. 'Mine' is myoan (rhyming with English 'loan') in Kashmiri. Other Indo-Aryan languages that preserve this feature include Dogri (aun vs me-), Gujarati (hu-n vs ma-ri), and Braj (hau-M vs mai-M). The Iranian Pashto preserves it too (za vs. maa).
- Dardic languages
- List of topics on the land and the people of “Jammu and Kashmir”
- List of Kashmiri poets
- States of India by Kashmiri speakers
- Kashmiri Wikipedia
- Kashmir Valley
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|Kashmiri edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia|
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