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. Most speakers are bilingual in Pashto with a literacy rate of about 25%, with the Pashayi languages having no written form prior to 2003. There are four mutually unintelligible varieties, with only about a 30% lexical similarity:
- 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
A grammar of the language was written as a doctoral dissertation in 2014.
- Northeastern at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
Northwestern at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
Southeastern at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
Southwestern at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
- Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Pashayi". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
- Masica, Colin P. (1991). The Indo-Aryan Languages. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 440.
- Yun, Ju-Hong (2003). "Pashai Language Development Project: Promoting Pashai language, literacy and community development" (PDF).
- Lehr, Rachel. 2014. A descriptive grammar of Pashai: The language and speech of a community of Darrai Nur. Phd dissertation, University of Chicago.
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