Zemiaki language

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Native to Afghanistan
Region Nurestan Province
Native speakers
500 (1999)
Language codes
ISO 639-3 (included in [nli])
Glottolog zemi1238[1]

Zemiaki (Zamyaki) is a Nuristani language spoken by some 400–500 people in the Kunar Province of Afghanistan.[2]

It is named after the settlement in which it is spoken, from the Pashto Zemyaki žə́ba "language of Zemyaki", the native equivalent being J̌amlám-am bašá. It is closely related to Waigali, and ancestors of the Zemyakis were, according to local tradition, Waigalis who migrated into the area several centuries ago.[2] The language is surrounded by speakers of Pashto, which has been a source of a large number of lexical borrowings, including several common conjunctions.[3]

There is no grammatical gender, while number is marked on the verb, alongside person.[4] Verbs show a split-ergative pattern of agreement.[5]


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Zemiaki". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  2. ^ a b Grünberg 1999, p. 123.
  3. ^ Grünberg 1999, pp. 123, 125.
  4. ^ Grünberg 1999, pp. 124.
  5. ^ Grünberg 1999, pp. 125.


  • Grünberg, A.L. (1999). "Zemiaki jazyk/dialekt". In Edelman, D.I. Jazyki mira: Dardskie i nuristanskie jazyki. Moscow: Indrik. pp. 123–125. ISBN 585759085X.