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Khowar ( کهووار), also known as Chitrali ( چترالي) and Arniya, is an Indo-Aryan language of the Dardic branch, spoken by the Kho people in Chitral in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, in the Ghizer district of Gilgit-Baltistan (including the Yasin Valley, Phandar Ishkoman and Gupis), and in parts of Upper Swat. Speakers of Khowar have also migrated heavily to Pakistan's major urban centres with Peshawar, Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi, having sizeable populations. It is spoken as a second language in the rest of Gilgit and Hunza. There are believed to be small numbers of Khowar speakers in Afghanistan, China, Tajikistan and Istanbul.
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-mondr, Palula, Dameli, Gawar-Bati, Nuristani, Yidgha, Burushaski, Gojri, Wakhi, Kyrgyz, and Pashto. Since many of these languages have no written form, letters are usually written in Urdu, Pakistan's national language.
Khowar is designated as one of 14 regional
languages of Chitral, Pakistan.
Khowar has a variety of dialects which may vary phonemically.
The following tables lay out the basic phonology of Khowar. [3 ] [4 ] [5 ]
Khowar may also have nasalized vowels and a series of
long vowels /aː/, /eː/, /iː/, /oː/, and /uː/. Sources are inconsistent on whether length is phonemic, with one author stating "vowel-length is observed mainly as a substitute one. The vowel-length of phonological value is noted far more rarely." Unlike the neighboring and related [3 ] Kalasha language, Khowar does not have retroflex vowels. [4 ]
The phonemic status of
/tsʰ/ is unclear in the sources
Khowar, like many
Dardic languages, has either phonemic tone or stress distinctions. [6 ]
The names of the days of the week, in Khowar, are compared with their equivalents in
Shina, Sanskrit, and English.
Swati Khowar (Swat Kohistan)
Lotkuhiwar (Lotkuh Valley)
Gherzikwar (Ghizer Valley)
Gilgiti Khowar (Gilgit-Baltistan), spoken by a few families in Gilgit city.
Khowar has been written in the
Nasta'liq script since the early twentieth century. Prior to that, the administrative and literary language of the region was Persian and works such as poetry and songs in Khowar were passed down in oral tradition. Today Urdu and English are the official languages and the only major literary usage of Khowar is in both poetry and prose composition. Khowar has also been written in the Roman script since the 1960s.
These are not dedicated Khowar channels but play most programmes in Khowar.
^ Khowar at (18th ed., 2015) Ethnologue
^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Khowar". . Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. Glottolog
^ a b Edelman, D. I. (1983). The Dardic and Nuristani Languages. Moscow: Institut vostokovedenii︠a︡ (Akademii︠a︡ nauk SSSR). p. 210.
^ a b Bashir, Elena L. (1988), "Topics in Kalasha Syntax: An areal and typological perspective" (PDF), Ph.d Dissertation, University of Michigan: 37–40
^ Bashir, Elena L., Maula Nigah and Rahmat Karim Baig, A Digital Khowar-English Dictionary with Audio
^ Baart, Joan L. G. (2003), Tonal features in languages of northern Pakistan (PDF), National Institute of Pakistan Studies, Quaid-i-Azam University and Summer Institute of Linguistics, pp. 3, 6
Bashir, Elena (2001)
Spatial Representation in Khowar. Proceedings of the 36th Annual Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society. Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society.
Decker, D. Kendall (1992). . Languages of Chitral ISBN 969-8023-15-1. L'Homme, Erik (1999)
Parlons Khowar. Langue et culture de l'ancien royaume de Chitral au Pakistan. Paris: L'Harmattan
Morgenstierne, Georg (1936) Iranian Elements in Khowar. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, Vol. VIII, London.
Badshah Munir Bukhari (2001) Khowar language. University publisher. Pakistan Morgenstierne, Georg (1947)
Some Features of Khowar Morphology. Norsk Tidsskrift for Sprogvidenskap, Vol. XIV, Oslo. Morgenstierne, Georg (1957)
Sanskritic Words in Khowar. Felicitation Volume Presented to S.K. Belvalkar. Benares. 84–98 [Reprinted in Morgenstierne (1973): Irano-Dardica, 267-72]
Mohammad Ismail Sloan (1981) Khowar-English Dictionary. Peshawar. ISBN 0-923891-15-3. Decker, Kendall D. (1992).
Languages of Chitral (Sociolinguistic Survey of Northern Pakistan, 5). National Institute of Pakistani Studies, 257 pp. ISBN 969-8023-15-1.