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Burushaski in Nastaliq.png
Burushaski written in Nastaliq style.
Native toPakistan, India
RegionHunza, Nagar, Ghizer, Gilgit (Pakistan) and Hari Parbat, Jammu and Kashmir (India)[1]
EthnicityBurusho people
Native speakers
112,000[2] (2016)[3]
Language codes
ISO 639-3bsk
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

Burushaski (/bʊrʊˈʃæski/;[4] Burushaski: بروشسکی, romanized: burū́šaskī) is a language isolate spoken by Burusho people, who reside almost entirely in northern Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan,[5][6] with a few hundred speakers in northern Jammu and Kashmir, India.[5][7] In Pakistan, Burushaski is spoken by people in Hunza District, Nagar District, northern Gilgit District, the Yasin valley in the Gupis-Yasin District and the Ishkoman valley of the northern Ghizer District. Their native region is located in northern Gilgit–Baltistan and borders with the Pamir corridor to the north. In India, Burushaski is spoken in Botraj Mohalla of the Hari Parbat region in Srinagar.[1][8] It is generally believed that the language was spoken in a much wider area in the past. Other names for the language are Biltum, Khajuna, Kunjut, Brushaski, Burucaki, Burucaski, Burushaki, Burushki,[9] Brugaski, Brushas, Werchikwar and Miśa:ski.


Attempts have been made to establish links between Burushaski and several different language families, although none has been accepted by a majority of linguists.

Following Berger (1956), the American Heritage dictionaries suggested that the word *abel 'apple', the only name for a fruit (tree) reconstructed for Proto-Indo-European, may have been borrowed from a language ancestral to Burushaski. ("Apple" and "apple tree" are báalt in modern Burushaski.)

Other hypotheses posit a genealogical relationship between Burushaski and the North Caucasian languages, Kartvelian languages,[10] Yeniseian languages and/or Indo-European languages, usually in proposed macrofamilies.

The linguist Sadaf Munshi stated that Burushaski may have developed alongside the Dravidian languages before the Indo-Aryan migration to South Asia, mentioning the fact that both possess retroflex sounds.[20]

(Burushaski was not included in a 2008 study from Edward Vajda,[21] to revive Merritt Ruhlen's proposed "Dené–Yeniseian macrofamily",[22] which linked Yeniseian and Na-Dene. Vajda rejects any relation between Yeniseian and Burushaski.)


Burushaski is spoken by about 120,000 speakers in Pakistan, and also by a few hundred in India.[5] In Pakistan, it is spoken in three main valleys: Yasin, Hunza, and Nagar. The varieties of Hunza and Nagar diverge slightly, but are clearly dialects of a single language. The Yasin variety, also known by the Khowar exonym Werchikwar, is much more divergent. Intelligibility between Yasin and Hunza-Nagar is difficult, and Yasin is sometimes considered a distinct language and the pure Burushaski is spoken in Yasin valley.[23] Yasin is the least affected by contact with neighboring languages, though speakers are bilingual in Khowar. Yasin is spoken by a quarter of Burushaski speakers.[24]

In India, Jammu & Kashmir Burushaski (JKB) "has developed divergent linguistic features which make it systematically different from the varieties spoken in Pakistan."[25] The dialect of Burushashki spoken in India has been influenced by Kashmiri, as well as Hindi and Urdu.[26] Unique to JKB is the features of vowel syncopation.[1] Jammu & Kashmir Burushaski shares more similarities with the dialect spoken in Nagar than with that spoken in Hunza.[25] The Srinagar variety of Burushaski has been known as low toned and is spoken a Kashmiri way of speaking the language.[27] The Srinagar variety of Burushaski has only 300 speakers.

Writing system[edit]

Burushaski is a predominantly spoken rather than written language. Occasionally the Urdu alphabet is used,[28] and there are some specific characters in Unicode,[29] but no fixed orthography exists.[30] Adu Wazir Shafi wrote a book Burushaski Razon using a Latin script.

Tibetan sources record a Bru zha language of the Gilgit valley, which appears to have been Burushaski, whose script was one of five scripts used to write the extinct Zhang Zhung language. Although Burushaski may once have been a significant literary language, no Bru zha manuscripts are known to have survived.[31] There is a very voluminous Buddhist tantra of the 'Ancient' (rNying ma) school of Tibetan Buddhism, preserved in Tibetan as the mDo dgongs 'dus,[32] which has been the subject of numerous Tibetological publications, including a recent monograph by Jacob P. Dalton, The Gathering of Intentions,[33] which is supposed to be translated from the Burushaski (bru zha'i skad). It contains words that are not Sanskrit but which, at this stage, it has not been ascertained whether they could actually be related to the Burushaski, or belong to another language (or, else, be purely "elfic"). If at least part of this text had actually been translated from Burushaski, it would make it one of the major monuments of an apparently lost literature.

Linguists working on Burushaski use various makeshift transcriptions based on the Latin alphabet, most commonly that by Berger (see below), in their publications.

Burushaski Letter Romanization IPA
ا aa /aː/
ݳ a /a/
ݴ áa /ˈaː/
ب b /b/
پ p /p/
ت t /t/
ٹ /ʈ/
ث s /s/
ج j /dʑ/ʑ/
ݘ ć /tɕ/
ݼ ch /tsʰ/
څ /ʈʂ/
ح h /h/
خ qh /qʰ~qχ~χ/
د d /d/
ڎ c /ts/
ڈ /ɖ/
ذ z /z/
ر r /r/
ڑ /ɖ/
ز z /z/
ژ j /dʐ~ʐ/
س s /s/
ش ś /ɕ/
ݽ /ʂ/
ص s /s/
ڞ c̣h /ʈʂʰ/
ض z /z/
ط t /t/
ظ z /z/
ع /ʔ/
غ ġ /ɣ~ʁ/
ف ph /pʰ~pf~f/
ق q /q/
ک k /k/
گ g /ɡ/
ݣ /ŋ/
ل l /l/
م m /m/
ن n /n/
ں /˜/
و w/oo /w/oː/
ݸ o /o/
ݹ óo /ˈoː/
ہ h /h/
ھ h /ʰ/
ء /ʔ/
ی y /j/
ݶ íi /ˈiː/
ݷ /ɻ/
ے ee /eː/
ݺ e /e/
ݻ ée /ˈeː/


Burushaski primarily has five vowels, /i e a o u/. Various contractions result in long vowels; stressed vowels (marked with acute accents in Berger's transcription) tend to be longer and less "open" than unstressed ones ([i e a o u] as opposed to [ɪ ɛ ʌ ɔ ʊ]). Long vowels also occur in loans and in a few onomatopoeic words (Grune 1998). All vowels have nasal counterparts in Hunza (in some expressive words) and in Nager (also in proper names and a few other words).

Berger (1998) finds the following consonants to be phonemic, shown below in his transcription and in the IPA:

Bilabial Dental/
Retroflex Velar Uvular Glottal
Nasal m ⟨m⟩ n ⟨n⟩ ŋ ⟨ṅ⟩
Plosive aspirated ⟨ph⟩[1] ⟨th⟩ ʈʰ ⟨ṭh⟩ ⟨kh⟩ ⟨qh⟩[2]
voiceless p ⟨p⟩ t ⟨t⟩ ʈ ⟨ṭ⟩ k ⟨k⟩ q ⟨q⟩
voiced b ⟨b⟩ d ⟨d⟩ ɖ ⟨ḍ⟩ ɡ ⟨g⟩
Affricate aspirated[3] t͡sʰ ⟨ch⟩ t͡ɕʰ ⟨ćh⟩ ʈ͡ʂʰ ⟨c̣h⟩
voiceless t͡s ⟨c⟩ t͡ɕ ⟨ć⟩ ʈ͡ʂ ⟨c̣⟩
voiced d͡ʑ ⟨j⟩[4] ɖ͡ʐ ⟨j̣⟩[5]
Fricative voiceless s ⟨s⟩ ɕ ⟨ś⟩ ʂ ⟨ṣ⟩ h ⟨h⟩
voiced z ⟨z⟩ ʁ ⟨ġ⟩
Trill r ⟨r⟩
Approximant l ⟨l⟩ j ⟨y⟩[6] ɻ ⟨ỵ⟩[7] w ⟨w⟩[6]


  1. ^ Pronunciation varies: [pʰ] ~ [p͡f] ~ [f].
  2. ^ Pronunciation varies: [qʰ] ~ [q͡χ] ~ [χ].
  3. ^ The Yasin dialect lacks aspirated affricates and uses the plain ones instead.
  4. ^ Sometimes pronounced [ʑ].
  5. ^ Sometimes pronounced [ʐ].
  6. ^ a b Berger (1998) regards [w] and [j] as allophones of /u/ and /i/ that occur in front of stressed vowels.
  7. ^ This phoneme has various pronunciations, all of which are rare sounds cross-linguistically. Descriptions include: "a voiced retroflex sibilant with simultaneous dorso-palatal narrowing" (apparently [ʐʲ]) (Berger 1998); "a fricative r, pronounced with the tongue in the retroflex ('cerebral') position" (apparently [ɻ̝]/[ʐ̞], a sound which also occurs in Standard Chinese, written r in Pinyin) (Morgenstierne 1945); and "a curious sound whose phonetic realizations vary from a retroflex, spirantized glide to a retroflex velarized spirant" (Anderson forthcoming). In any case, it does not occur in the Yasin dialect, and in Hunza and Nager it does not occur at the beginning of words.


Burushaski is a double-marking language and word order is generally subject–object–verb.

Nouns in Burushaski are divided into four genders: human masculine, human feminine, countable objects, and uncountable ones (similar to mass nouns). The assignment of a noun to a particular gender is largely predictable. Some words can belong both to the countable and to the uncountable class, producing differences in meaning. For example, when countable, báalt means 'apple' but when uncountable, it means 'apple tree' (Grune 1998).

Noun morphology consists of the noun stem, a possessive prefix (mandatory for some nouns, and thus an example of inherent possession), and number and case suffixes. Distinctions in number are singular, plural, indefinite, and grouped. Cases include absolutive, ergative/oblique, genitive, and several locatives; the latter indicate both location and direction and may be compounded.

Burushaski verbs have three basic stems: past tense, present tense, and consecutive. The past stem is the citation form and is also used for imperatives and nominalization; the consecutive stem is similar to a past participle and is used for coordination. Agreement on the verb has both nominative and ergative features: transitive verbs and unaccusatives mark both the subject and the object of a clause, while unergatives verbs mark only subject agreement on the verb.[clarification needed][dubious ] Altogether, a verb can take up to four prefixes and six suffixes.


Noun classes[edit]

In Burushaski, there are four noun classes, similar to declensional classes in Indo-European languages, but unlike Indo-European, the nominal classes in Burushaski are associated with four grammatical "genders":

  • m = male human beings, gods and spirits
  • f = female human beings and spirits
  • x = animals, countable nouns
  • y = abstract concepts, fluids, uncountable nouns

Below, the abbreviation "h" will stand for the combination of the m- and f-classes, while "hx" will stand for the combination of the m-, f- and x-classes. Nouns in the x-class typically refer to countable, non-human beings or things, for example animals, fruit, stones, eggs, or coins; conversely, nouns in the y-class are as a rule uncountable abstractions or mass nouns, such as rice, fire, water, snow, wool, etc.

However, these rules are not universal – countable objects in the y-class are sometimes encountered, e.g. ha, 'house'. Related words can subtly change their meanings when used in different classes – for example, bayú, when a member of the x-class, means salt in clumps, but when in the y-class, it means powdered salt. Fruit trees are understood collectively and placed in the y-class, but their individual fruits belong to the x-class. Objects made of particular materials can belong to either the x- or the y- class: stone and wood are in the x-class, but metal and leather in the y-class. The article, adjectives, numerals and other attributes must be in agreement with the noun class of their subject.


There are two numbers in Burushaski: singular and plural. The singular is unmarked, while the plural is expressed by means of suffix, which vary depending on the class of the noun:

  • h-class: possible suffixes -ting, -aro, -daro, -taro, -tsaro
  • h- and x-class: possible suffixes -o, -išo, -ko, -iko, -juko; -ono, -u; -i, -ai; -ts, -uts, -muts, -umuts; -nts, -ants, -ints, -iants, -ingants, -ents, -onts
  • y-class: possible suffixes -ng, -ang, -ing, -iang; -eng, -ong, -ongo; -ming, -čing, -ičing, -mičing, -ičang (Nagar dialect)

Some nouns admit two or three different prefixes, while others have no distinctive suffix, and occur only in the plural, e.g. bras 'rice', gur 'wheat', bishké, 'fur', (cf. plurale tantum). On the other hand, there are also nouns which have identical forms in the singular and plural, e.g. hagúr 'horses'. Adjectives have a unique plural suffix, whose form depends on the class of the noun they modify, e.g. burúm 'white' gives the x-class plural burum-išo and the y-class plural burúm-ing.

Examples of pluralisation in Burushaski:

  • wazíir (m), pl. wazíirishu 'vizier, minister'
  • hir (m), pl. hiri 'man' (stress shifts)
  • gus (f), pl. gushínga 'woman' (stress shifts)
  • dasín (f), pl. daseyoo 'girl', 'unmarried woman'
  • huk (x), pl. huká 'dog'
  • thely (x), pl. tilí 'walnut'
  • thely (y), pl. theleng 'walnut tree'


Burushaski is an ergative language. It has five primary cases.

Case Suffix Function
Absolutive unmarked The subject of intransitive verbs and the object of transitive ones.
Ergative -e The subject of transitive verbs.
Oblique -e; -mo (f) Genitive; the basis of secondary case endings
Dative -ar, -r Dative, allative.
Ablative -um, -m, -mo Indicates separation (e.g. 'from where?')

The case suffixes are appended to the plural suffix, e.g. Huséiniukutse, 'the people of Hussein' (ergative plural). The genitive ending is irregular, /mo/, for singular f-class nouns, but /-e/ in all others (identical to the ergative ending). The dative ending, /-ar/, /-r/ is attached to the genitive ending for singular f-class nouns, but to the stem for all others. Examples:

  • hir-e 'the man's', gus-mo 'the woman's' (gen.)
  • hir-ar 'to the man', gus-mu-r 'to the woman' (dat.)

The genitive is placed before the thing possessed: Hunzue tham, 'the Emir of Hunza.'

The endings of the secondary cases are formed from a secondary case suffix (or infix) and one of the primary endings /-e/, /-ar/ or /-um/. These endings are directional, /-e/ being locative (answering 'where?'), /-ar/ being terminative (answering 'where to?'), and /-um/ being ablative (answering 'where from?'). The infixes, and their basic meanings, are as follows:

  1. -ts- 'at'
  2. -ul- 'in'
  3. -aṭ- 'on; with'
  4. -al- 'near' (only in the Hunza dialect)

From these, the following secondary or compound cases are formed:

Infix Locative Terminative Ablative
-ts- -ts-e 'at' -ts-ar 'to' -ts-um 'from'
-ul- -ul-e 'in' -ul-ar 'into' -ul-um 'out of'
-aṭ- -aṭ-e 'on','with' -aṭ-ar 'up to' -aṭ-um 'down from'
-al- -al-e 'near' -al-ar 'to' -al-um 'from'

The regular endings /-ul-e/ and /-ul-ar/ are archaic and are now replaced by /-ul-o/ and /-ar-ulo/ respectively.

Pronouns and pronominal prefixes[edit]

Nouns indicating parts of the body and kinship terms are accompanied by an obligatory pronominal prefix. Thus, one cannot simply say 'mother' or 'arm' in Burushaski, but only 'my arm', 'your mother', 'his father', etc. For example, the root mi 'mother', is never found in isolation, instead one finds:

  • i-mi 'his mother', mu-mi 'her mother', "gu-mi" 'your mother'(3f sg.), u-mi 'their mother' (3h pl.), u-mi-tsaro 'their mothers'(3h pl.).

The pronominal, or personal, prefixes agree with the person, number and – in the third person, the class of their noun. A summary of the basic forms is given in the following table:

Noun class
Singular Plural
1st person a- mi-, me-
2nd person gu-, go- ma-
3rd person m i-, e- u-, o-
3rd person f mu- u-, o-
3rd person x i-, y- u-, o-
3rd person y i-, e-

Personal pronouns in Burushaski distinguish proximal and distal forms, e.g. khin 'he, this one here', but in, 'he, that one there'. In the oblique, there are additional abbreviated forms.


The Burushaski number system is vigesimal, i.e. based on the number 20. For example, 20 altar, 40 alto-altar (2 times 20), 60 iski-altar (3 times 20) etc. The base numerals are:

  • 1 han (or hen, hak)
  • 2 altó (or altán)
  • 3 isko (or iskey)
  • 4 wálto
  • 5 čindó
  • 6 mishíndo
  • 7 thaló
  • 8 altámbo
  • 9 hunchó
  • 10 tóorumo (also toorimi and turma)
  • 100 tha

Examples of compound numerals:

11 turma-han, 12 turma-alto, 13 turma-isko, ... , 19 turma-hunti; 20 altar, 30 altar-toorumo, 40 alto-altar, 50 alto-altar-toorumo, 60 iski-altar and so on; 21 altar-hak, 22 altar-alto, 23 altar-isko and so on.



The verbal morphology of Burushaski is extremely complicated and rich in forms. Many sound changes can take place, including assimilation, deletion and accent shift, which are unique for almost every verb. Here, we can specify only certain basic principles.

The Burushaski finite verb falls into the following categories:

Category Possible forms
Tense/Aspect Present, Future, Imperfect, Perfect, Pluperfect
Mood Conditional, three Optatives, Imperative, Conative
Number Singular, Plural
Person 1st, 2nd and 3rd Person (2nd person only in the imperative).
Noun class the four noun classes m, f, x and y (only in the 3rd person)

For many transitive verbs, in addition to the subject, the (direct) object is also indicated, also by pronominal prefixes which vary according to person, number and class. All verbs have negative forms, and many intransitive verbs also have derived transitive forms. The infinitive forms – which in Burushaski are the absolutives of the past and present, the perfect participle, and two infinitives – admit all the finite variations except tense and mood. Infinitive forms are made together with auxiliary verbs and periphrastic forms.

The 11 positions of the finite verb[edit]

All verb forms can be constructed according to a complex but regular position system. Berger describes a total of 11 possible positions, or slots, although not all of these will be filled in any given verb form. Many positions also have several alternative contents (indicated by A/B/C below). The verb stem is in position 5, preceded by four possible prefixes and followed by seven possible suffixes. The following table gives an overview of the positions and their functions

The positions of Burushaski finite verbs
Position Affixes and their meanings
1 Negative prefix a-
2a/b d-prefix (creates intransitive verbs) / n-prefix (absolutive prefix)
3 Pronominal prefixes: subject of intransitive, object of transitive verbs
4 s-prefix (creates secondary transitive verbs)
5 Verb Stem
6 Plural suffix -ya- on the verb stem
7 Present stem mark -č- (or š, ts..) forming the present, future and imperfect
8a/b Pronominal suffix of the 1.sg. -a- (subject) / linking vowel (no semantic meaning)
9a m-suffix: forms the m-participle and m-optative from the simple /
9b m-suffix: forms the future and conditional from the present stem /
9c n-suffix: marks the absolutive (see position 2) /
9d š-suffix: forms the š-optative and the -iš-Infinitive /
9e Infinitive ending -as, -áas / optative suffix -áa (added directly to the stem)
10a Pronominal suffixes of the 2nd and 3rd Person and 1. pl. (subject) /
10b Imperative forms (added directly to the stem) /
10c Forms of the auxiliary verb ba- for forming the present, imperfect, perfect and pluperfect
11 Nominal endings and particles

Formation of tenses and moods[edit]

The formation of the tenses and moods involves the use of several positions, or slots, in complicated ways. The preterite, perfect, pluperfect and conative are formed from the 'simple stem,' whereas the present, imperfect, future and conditional are formed from the 'present stem,' which is itself formed from the simple stem by placing -č- in position 7. The optative and imperative are derived directly from the stem. Altogether, the schema is as follows:

The formation of the tenses and moods of the verb her 'to cry', without prefixes:

Simple stem tenses
Construction Form and meaning
Conative stem + personal suffix her-i 'he starts to cry'
Preterite stem [+ linking vowel] + m-suffix + personal suffix her-i-m-i 'he cried'
Perfect stem [+ linking vowel] + present auxiliary her-a-i 'he has cried'
Pluperfect stem [+ linking vowel] + perfect auxiliary her-a-m 'he had cried'
Present stem tenses
Construction Form and meaning
Future stem + present marker [+ linking vowel + m-suffix] + personal ending her-č-i 'he will cry'
Present stem + present marker + linking vowel + present auxiliary her-č-a-i 'he is crying'
Imperfect stem + present marker + linking vowel + perfect auxiliary her-č-a-m 'he was crying, used to cry'
Conditional stem + present marker + linking vowel + m-Suffix (except 1. pl.) + če her-č-u-m-če '... he would cry',
stem + present marker + linking vowel + 1. pl. ending + če her-č-an-če 'we would cry'
Optatives and Imperative
Construction Form and meaning
áa-optative stem + áa (in all persons) her-áa "... should.. cry"
m-optative stem [+ linking vowel] + m-suffix her-u-m "... should.. cry“
š-optative stem + (i)š + personal suffix her-š-an "he should cry"
stem [+ é for ending-accented verbs] her "cry!"
stem + in her-in "cry!"

Indication of the subject and object[edit]

The subject and object of the verb are indicated by the use of personal prefixes and suffixes in positions 3, 8 and 10 as follows:

Affix Position Function
Prefixes 3 direct object of transitive verbs, subject of intransitive ones
Suffixes 8/10 subject of transitive and intransitive verbs

The personal prefixes are identical to the pronominal prefixes of nouns (mandatory with body parts and kinship terms, as above). A simplified overview of the forms of the affixes is given in the following table:

Personal prefix
(Position 3)
noun class
Singular Plural
1st Person a- mi-
2nd Person gu- ma-
3rd Person m i- u-
3rd Person f mu- u-
3rd Person x i- u-
3rd Person y i-
Personal suffixes
(Positions 8 and 10)
noun class
Singular Plural
1st/2nd Person -a -an
3rd Person m -i -an
3rd Person f -o -an
3rd Person x -i -ie
3rd Person y -i

For example, the construction of the preterite of the transitive verb phus 'to tie', with prefixes and suffixes separated by hyphens, is as follows :

  • i-phus-i-m-i "he ties him" (filled positions: 3-5-8-9-10)
  • mu-phus-i-m-i "he ties her (f)"
  • u-phus-i-m-i "he ties them (pl. hx)"
  • mi-phus-i-m-i "he ties us"
  • i-phus-i-m-an "we/you/they tie him"
  • mi-phus-i-m-an "you/they tie us"
  • i-phus-i-m-a "I tie it"
  • gu-phus-i-m-a "I tie you"

The personal affixes are also used when the noun occupies the role of the subject or the object, e.g. hir i-ír-i-mi 'the man died'. With intransitive verbs, the subject function is indicated by both a prefix and a suffix, as in:

  • gu-ir-č-u-m-a "you will die" (future)
  • i-ghurts-i-m-i "he sank" (preterite)

Personal prefixes do not occur in all verbs and all tenses. Some verbs do not admit personal prefixes, others still do so only under certain circumstances. Personal prefixes used with intransitive verbs often express a volitional function, with prefixed forms indicating an action contrary to the intention of the subject. For example:

  • hurúṭ-i-m-i "he sat down" (volitional action without prefix)
  • i-ír-i-m-i "he died" (involuntary action with prefix)
  • ghurts-i-mi "he went willingly underwater", "he dove" (without prefix)
  • i-ghurts-i-m-i "he went unwillingly underwater", "he sank" (with prefix)

The d- prefix[edit]

A number of verbs – mostly according to their root form – are found with the d-prefix in position 2, which occurs before a consonant according to vowel harmony. The precise semantic function of the d-prefix is unclear. With primary transitive verbs the d-prefix, always without personal prefixes, forms regular intransitives. Examples:

  • i-phalt-i-mi 'he breaks it open' (transitive)
  • du-phalt-as 'to break open, to explode' (intransitive)

A master's thesis research work of a native speaker of Burushaski on Middle Voice Construction in the Hunza Dialect claims that the [dd-] verbal prefix is an overt morphological middle marker for MV constructions, while the [n-] verbal prefix is a morphological marker for passive voice.[34] The data primarily come from the Hunza dialect of Burushaski, but analogous phenomena can be observed in other dialects. This research is based on a corpus of 120 dd-prefix verbs. This research has showed that position {-2} on the verb template is occupied by voice-marker in Burushaski. The author argues that the middle marker is a semantic category of its own and that it is clearly distinguished from the reflexive marker in this language. The middle marker (MM) means the grammatical device used to "indicate that the two semantic roles of Initiator and Endpoint refer to a single holistic entity" (Kemmer 1993: 47). In the view of that definition, I look at a middle marked verb in Burushaski and illustration follows the example.[34]

  • hiles dd-i-il-imi 'the boy drenched'

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Munshi, Sadaf (2006). Jammu and Kashmir Burushashki: Language, Language Contact, and Change. The University of Texas at Austin. p. 6. The J & K Burushos – speakers of the variety of Burushaski spoken in Jammu & Kashmir (henceforth "JKB") in India – are settled in and around a small locality by the foothills of Hari Parbat Fort in Srinagar, the capital of the state of Jammu & Kashmir (henceforth "J & K").
  2. ^ "ethnologue".
  3. ^ Burushaski at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  4. ^ Laurie Bauer, 2007, The Linguistics Student’s Handbook, Edinburgh
  5. ^ a b c "Pakistan's 'Burushaski' Language Finds New Relatives". NPR. 20 June 2012. Retrieved 23 September 2017. It's spoken by about 90,000 people, the Burusho people, and nearly all of them live in Pakistan. A few hundred live in India.
  6. ^ "Encyclopedia - Britannica Online Encyclopedia". Original.britannica.com. Retrieved 14 September 2013.
  7. ^ Ahmed, Musavir (2016). "Ethnicity, Identity and Group Vitality: A study of Burushos of Srinagar". Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Studies. 3 (1): 1–10. doi:10.29333/ejecs/51. ISSN 2149-1291.
  8. ^ "Dissertation Abstracts". Linguist List. Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 14 September 2013.
  9. ^ "Burushaski". Ethnologue. 19 February 1999. Retrieved 14 September 2013.
  10. ^ Holst (2014), pp. 15–16.
  11. ^ John Bengtson, Some features of Dene–Caucasian phonology (with special reference to Basque). Cahiers de l’Institut de Linguistique de Louvain (CILL) 30.4: 33-54,
  12. ^ John Bengtson and V. Blazek, "Lexica Dene–Caucasica". Central Asiatic Journal 39, 1995, 11-50 & 161-164
  13. ^ George van Driem (2001) Languages of the Himalayas: An Ethnolinguistic Handbook of the Greater Himalayan Region, Brill
  14. ^ Hamp, Eric P. (August 2013). "The Expansion of the Indo-European Languages: An Indo-Europeanist's Evolving View" (PDF). Sino-Platonic Papers. 239: 8. Retrieved 5 April 2014.
  15. ^ Casule, Ilija. 2003. Evidence for the Indo-European laryngeals in Burushaski and its genetic affiliation with Indo-European. The Journal of Indo-European Studies 31:1–2, pp 21–86.
  16. ^ Čašule, Ilija. 2012. Correlation of the Burushaski Pronominal System with Indo-European and Phonological and Grammatical Evidence for a Genetic Relationship. The Journal of Indo-European Studies 40:1–2, pp 59 ff, with review by Hamp, Huld, and Bengtson & Blazek
  17. ^ I. Čašule. Correlation of the Burushaski pronominal system with Indo-European and phonological and grammatical evidence for a genetic relationship
  18. ^ Smith, Alexander D. (2017). "Burushaski". In Lyle Campbell (ed.). Language isolates. Routledge Language Family Series. New York: Routledge. pp. 117–138.
  19. ^ "John D Bengtson". jdbengt.net. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  20. ^ Munshi, Sadaf (2006). Jammu and Kashmir Burushashki: Language, Language Contact, and Change. The University of Texas at Austin. pp. 12, 105.
  21. ^ [1] Archived 26 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  22. ^ Merritt Ruhlen (November 1998). ""The origin of the Na-Dene", Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA" (PDF). pp. 13994–13996. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 July 2011. Retrieved 15 September 2013.
  23. ^ Backstrom & Radloff (1992), Anderson (2006)
  24. ^ Anderson 1997: 1022
  25. ^ a b Munshi, Sadaf (2006). Jammu and Kashmir Burushashki: Language, Language Contact, and Change. The University of Texas at Austin. pp. 13, 19.
  26. ^ Munshi, Sadaf (2006). Jammu and Kashmir Burushashki: Language, Language Contact, and Change. The University of Texas at Austin. pp. 17–18. Linguistic influence from Urdu on JKB is primarily via second language speakers of Urdu. This is because Urdu is the second language of the people of the state of Jammu & Kashmir. On the other hand, linguistic contact with Kashmiri is mediated through first language or native speakers of Kashmiri. In addition to language contact via spoken interaction, contact with Urdu is also mediated through local media and television. Television is also a source of linguistic influence from Hindi, which is very close to Urdu.
  27. ^ Munshi, Sadaf (2018). Srinagar Burushaski: A Descriptive and Comparative Account with Analyzed Texts. Srinagar: University of Austin. p. 26. ISBN 9789004387898.
  28. ^ Bashir, Elena; Hussain, Sarmad; Anderson, Deborah (5 May 2006). "N3117: Proposal to add characters needed for Khowar, Torwali, and Burushaski" (PDF). ISO/IEC JTC1/SC2/WG2.
  29. ^ "Shaping behavior of Burushaski characters and other Arabic additions in L2/06-149" (PDF). Retrieved 16 April 2020.
  30. ^ Charagi, Nipa (19 January 2019). "Burushaski, the language that survived". mint. Retrieved 22 September 2022.
  31. ^ George van Driem, Languages of the Himalayas, Brill 2001:921
  32. ^ Complete title: De bzhin gshegs pa thams cad kyi thugs gsang ba’i ye shes | don gyi snying po rdo rje bkod pa’i rgyud | rnal ’byor grub pa’i lung | kun ’dus rig pa’i mdo | theg pa chen po mngon par rtogs pa | chos kyi rnam grangs rnam par bkod pa zhes bya ba’i mdo, in the mTshams brag edition of the rNying ma rgyud 'bum: vol. 16 (Ma), p. 2-617.
  33. ^ Dalton, Jacob P. 2016. Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0231176002. This book is a state of the art history of this tantra in Tibet, but does not deal in depth with the issue of its original source and whether it was actually translated from the Burushaski.


  • Anderson, Gregory D. S. 1997. Burushaski Morphology. In Morphologies of Asia and Africa, ed. by Alan Kaye. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns.
  • Anderson, Gregory D. S. 1997. Burushaski Phonology. In Phonologies of Asia and Africa, ed. by Alan Kaye. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns.
  • Anderson, Gregory D. S. 1999. M. Witzel's "South Asian Substrate Languages" from a Burushaski Perspective. Mother Tongue (Special Issue, October 1999).
  • Anderson, Gregory D. S. forthcoming b. Burushaski. In Language Islands: Isolates and Microfamilies of Eurasia, ed. by D.A. Abondolo. London: Curzon Press.
  • Backstrom, Peter C. Burushaski in Backstrom and Radloff (eds.), Languages of northern areas, Sociolinguistic Survey of Northern Pakistan, 2. Islamabad, National Institute of Pakistan Studies, Qaid-i-Azam University and Summer Institute of Linguistics (1992), 31–54.
  • Berger, Hermann. 1974. Das Yasin-Burushaski (Werchikwar). Volume 3 of Neuindische Studien, ed. by Hermann Berger, Lothar Lutze and Günther Sontheimer. Wiesbaden: Otto Harrassowitz.
  • Berger, Hermann. 1998. Die Burushaski-Sprache von Hunza und Nager [The B. language of H. and N.]. Three volumes: Grammatik [grammar], Texte mit Übersetzungen [texts with translations], Wörterbuch [dictionary]. Altogether Volume 13 of Neuindische Studien (ed. by Hermann Berger, Heidrun Brückner and Lothar Lutze). Wiesbaden: Otto Harassowitz.
  • Grune, Dick. 1998. Burushaski – An Extraordinary Language in the Karakoram Mountains.
  • Holst, Jan Henrik (2014). Advances in Burushaski Linguistics. Tübingen: Narr. ISBN 978-3-8233-6908-0.
  • Karim, Piar. 2013. Middle Voice Construction in Burushaski: From the Perspective of a Native Speaker of the Hunza Dialect. Unpublished MA Thesis. Denton: University of North Texas. Department of Linguistics.
  • Morgenstierne, Georg. 1945. Notes on Burushaski Phonology. Norsk Tidsskrift for Sprogvidenskap 13: 61–95.
  • Lorimer, D. L. R. 1937. Burushaski and its Alien Neighbours .
  • Munshi, Sadaf. 2006. Jammu and Kashmir Burushaski: Language, language contact, and change. Unpublished Ph.D. Dissertation. Austin: University of Texas at Austin, Department of Linguistics.
  • Munshi, Sadaf. 2010. "Contact-induced language change in a trilingual context: the case of Burushaski in Srinagar". In Diachronica. John Benjamins Publishing Company. 27.1: pp32–72.

Further reading[edit]

  • Bashir, Elena. 2000. A Thematic Survey of Burushaski Research. History of Language 6.1: 1–14.
  • Berger, Hermann. 1956. Mittelmeerische Kulturpflanzennamen aus dem Burušaski [Names of Mediterranean cultured plants from B.]. Münchener Studien zur Sprachwissenschaft 9: 4-33.
  • Berger, Hermann. 1959. Die Burušaski-Lehnwörter in der Zigeunersprache [The B. loanwords in the Gypsy language]. Indo-Iranian Journal 3.1: 17–43.
  • Casule Ilija. 2016. Evidence for the Indo-European and Balkan Origin of Burushaski.München: Lincom GmbH. 205 p.Lincom Etymological Studies 05.
  • Casule, Ilija. 2017. Burushaski etymological dictionary of the inherited Indo-European lexicon. München: Lincom GmbH. 325 p. (LINCOM Etymological Studies; no. 6)
  • Casule, Ilija. 2018, New Burushaski etymologies and the origin of the ethnonym Burúśo, Burúśaski, Brugaski and Miśáski. Acta Orientalia. Vol. 79: 27–71.
  • Lorimer, D. L. R. 1935–1938. The Burushaski Language (3 vols.). Oslo: Instituttet for Sammenlignende Kulturforskning.
  • Munshi, Sadaf. 2016. Burushaski Language Resource. A digital collection of Burushaski oral literature available at URL: https://digital.library.unt.edu/explore/collections/BURUS/
  • van Skyhawk, Hugh. 1996. Libi Kisar. Ein Volksepos im Burushaski von Nager. Asiatische Studien 133. ISBN 3-447-03849-7.
  • van Skyhawk, Hugh. 2003. Burushaski-Texte aus Hispar. Materialien zum Verständnis einer archaischen Bergkultur in Nordpakistan. Beiträge zur Indologie 38. ISBN 3-447-04645-7.
  • Tiffou, Étienne. 1993. Hunza Proverbs. University of Calgary Press. ISBN 1-895176-29-8
  • Tiffou, Étienne. 1999. Parlons Bourouchaski. Paris: L'Harmattan. ISBN 2-7384-7967-7
  • Tiffou, Étienne. 2000. Current Research in Burushaski: A Survey. History of Language 6(1): 15–20.
  • Tikkanen, Bertil. 1988. On Burushaski and other ancient substrata in northwest South Asia. Studia Orientalia 64: 303–325.
  • Varma, Siddheshwar. 1941. Studies in Burushaski Dialectology. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal, Letters 7: 133–173.

External links[edit]