Palula language

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Palula
phl
Native speakers
10,000  (2008)[1]
Palula alphabet (Nastaʿlīq script), see other less-used writing systems below
Official status
Official language in
No official status
Language codes
ISO 639-3 phl
Glottolog phal1254[2]

Palula (also spelled Phalura, Palola, Phalulo), Ashreti, Aćharêtâʹ, or Dangarikwar (the name used by Khowar speakers), is a language spoken by approximately 10,000 people in the valleys of Ashret and Biori, as well as in the village Puri (also Purigal) in the Shishi valley, and at least by a portion of the population in the village Kalkatak, in the Chitral District of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan. A related variety of this language is spoken in the village Sau in Afghanistan, and another closely related variety in the village Khalkot in Dir District. Palula is pronounced as /paaluulaá/, with three long vowels and a rising pitch on the final syllable.

The people of Ashret are important because they are strategically located at the main gate to Chitral. All persons entering Chitral through Lowari Top, the 10,230 feet (3,120 m) high pass which connects Chitral to Dir and the rest of Pakistan, must pass the customs checkpost at Ashret.

The area where Palula is spoken includes 35°28′N 71°53′E / 35.467°N 71.883°E / 35.467; 71.883

Tradition has it that the people of Ashret are originally from Chilas in the Indus River Valley. The Mehtar or ruler of Chitral appointed them as the guardians of the gate to Chitral at Ashret. The tradition that the people of Ashret originally come from Chilas is supported by locally recorded genealogies as well as independent historical records, from Chitral as well as the Indus valley. There is an unknown date to this story, but it appears to have happened 250–500 years ago. The present people of Chilas speak the related Shina language. Any connection they may have with the people of Ashret has been lost.

The Palula language has been documented by George Morgenstierne (1926, 1941), Kendall Decker (1992), Henrik Liljegren (2008, 2009, 2010), and Henrik Liljegren & Naseem Haider (2009, 2011). It is classified as a Dardic Language but this is more of a geographical classification than a linguistic one.

In some of the smaller villages, Palula has either ceased to be spoken (in the village Ghos, situated near Drosh) or its speakers are largely shifting (as in Puri and Kalkatak) to the more widely spoken Khowar language. However, in the main Palula settlements in the Biori and Ashret valleys, it is a strong, vibrant and growing language, as the population in those areas increases, and it is still with a few exceptions the mother tongue of almost all people.

In 2004, Anjuman-e-taraqqi-e-Palula, the Society for the promotion of Palula, was founded by people in the Palula community to promote the continued use of their language and to encourage research and documentation of their language, history and culture. After the establishment of a written form of the language, the society is now engaged in producing literature and educational material in Palula. In 2006, Palula Alifbe (Palula alphabet book) and Palula Shiluka (Palula stories) were jointly published by the Anjuman-e-taraqqi-e-Palula and the Frontier Language Institute in Peshawar.

In 2008, a mother-tongue based educational programme was launched by a local school management committee in Ashret and a first batch of Palula children could start learning to read and write in their own language. Since 2010, two schools operate within this programme in Ashret, using a curriculum developed by the community itself with assistance from the Forum for Language Initiatives (a regional language resource centre based in Islamabad).

The Norwegian Linguist Georg Morgenstierne wrote that Chitral is the area of the greatest linguistic diversity in the world. Although Khowar is the predominant language of Chitral, more than ten other languages are spoken here. These include Kalasha-mun, Palula, Dameli, Gawar-Bati, Nuristani, Yidgha, Burushaski, Gujar, Wakhi, Kyrgyz, Persian and Pashto. Since many of these languages have no written form, letters are usually written in Urdu or Persian.

Phonology[edit]

Vowels[edit]

The following table sets out the vowels of Palula.[3][4]

Front Central Back
Close i iː u uː
Mid e eː o oː
Open a aː

Nasalization is found; however, it typically limited to vowels preceding sibilants and nasals and word finally.

Consonants[edit]

The consonant inventory of Palula is shown in the chart below.[5] The phonemic status of the voiceless aspirate and breathy voiced series are debatable. The breathy voiced series is generally considered lexical—a cluster of a consonant + /h/.[4][6] Neither voiceless aspiration nor breathy voicing co-occur with /s ʂ ʃ ɳ ɽ/ or /x ɣ (f?)/ in a syllable onset.[7]

Labial Coronal Retroflex Palatal Velar Uvular Glottal
Nasal Voiced m n ɳ
Breathy Voiced
Stop Voiceless p t ʈ k (q [x])
Aspirated ʈʰ
Voiced b d ɖ ɡ
Breathy Voiced ɖʱ ɡʱ
Affricate Voiceless ts
Aspirated tsʰ tʂʰ tʃʰ
Fricative Voiceless f s ʂ ʃ x h
Voiced z ʐ ʒ ɣ
Lateral Voiced l
Breathy Voiced
Rhotic Voiced r ɽ
Breathy Voiced
Semivowel Voiced j w
Breathy Voiced

Tone[edit]

Like many Dardic languages, Palula shows either tone or, as in Palula, a pitch accent.[8] Words may have only one accented mora, which is associated with high pitch; the remaining mora have a default or low pitch.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Palula at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Phalura". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ Liljegren, Henrik (2008). Towards a grammatical description of Palula: An Indo-Aryan language of the Hindu Kush. PhD dissertation. Stockholm, Sweden: Department of Linguistics, Stockholm University. p. 64. ISBN 978-91-7155-599-1. 
  4. ^ a b Edelman, D. I. (1983). The Dardic and Nuristani Languages. Moscow: Institut vostokovedenii︠a︡ (Akademii︠a︡ nauk SSSR). p. 263. 
  5. ^ Liljegren, Henrik (2008). Towards a grammatical description of Palula: An Indo-Aryan language of the Hindu Kush. PhD dissertation. Stockholm, Sweden: Department of Linguistics, Stockholm University. p. 58. ISBN 978-91-7155-599-1. 
  6. ^ Liljegren, Henrik (2008). Towards a grammatical description of Palula: An Indo-Aryan language of the Hindu Kush. PhD dissertation. Stockholm, Sweden: Department of Linguistics, Stockholm University. p. 71. ISBN 978-91-7155-599-1. 
  7. ^ Liljegren, Henrik (2008). Towards a grammatical description of Palula: An Indo-Aryan language of the Hindu Kush. PhD dissertation. Stockholm, Sweden: Department of Linguistics, Stockholm University. p. 72. ISBN 978-91-7155-599-1. 
  8. ^ Baart, Joan L. G. (2003), Tonal features in languages of northern Pakistan, National Institute of Pakistan Studies, Quaid-i-Azam University and Summer Institute of Linguistics, pp. 3, 6 
  9. ^ Liljegren, Henrik (2008). Towards a grammatical description of Palula: An Indo-Aryan language of the Hindu Kush. PhD dissertation. Stockholm, Sweden: Department of Linguistics, Stockholm University. pp. 74–76. ISBN 978-91-7155-599-1. 

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]