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Gawar-Bati language

Not to be confused with Gawar language.

Native to Pakistan, Afghanistan
Region Chitral, Kunar Province
Native speakers
9,500  (1992)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 gwt
Glottolog gawa1247[2]

Gawar-Bati (Narsati) is a language spoken in Chitral, Pakistan and across the border in Afghanistan. It is also known in Chitral as Aranduyiwar, because it is spoken in Arandu, which is the last village in lower Chitral, and is also across the border from Berkot in Afghanistan. There are about 9,000 speakers of Gawar-Bati, with 1,500 in Pakistan, and 7,500 in Afghanistan. The name Gawar-Bati means "speech of the Gawar",[3] a people detailed by the Cacopardos in their study of the Hindu Kush.[4]

The Gawar-Bati Language has not been given serious study by linguists, except that it is mentioned by George Morgenstierne (1926) and Kendall Decker (1992). It is classified as a Dardic Language. The Dardic languages have been historically seen as Indo-Iranian, but today they are placed within Indo-Aryan following Morgenstierne's work.[5]

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.


The following tables set out the phonology of the Gawar-Bati Language.[6]


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

The status of short /e/ and /o/ is unclear.


A breathy voiced series, /bʱ dʱ gʱ/, existed recently in older speakers--and may still do so.

Labial Coronal Retroflex Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ɳ
Stop voiceless p t ʈ k
voiced b d ɖ ɡ
aspirated pʰ [pf f] ʈʰ
Affricate voiceless ts
voiced (dz)
aspirated tsʰ (tʃʰ)
Fricative voiceless s ʂ ʃ x h
voiced z ʒ ɣ
Approximant j w
Lateral plain l
Fricative ɬ ~ l̥
Rhotic r ɽ

Notes and references

  1. ^ Gawar-Bati at Ethnologue (14th ed., 2000).
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Gawar-Bati". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ Decker, Kendall D. (1992). Languages of Chitral. Sociolinguistic Survey of Northern Pakistan, volume 5. Islamabad, Pakistan: National Institute of Pakistan Studies, Quaid-i-Azam University. pp. 153–154. ISBN 978-969-8023-15-7. 
  4. ^ Cacopardo, Alberto M., and Cacopardo, Augusto S. (2001). Gates of Peristan: History, Religion and Society in the Hindu Kush. Rome, Italy: IsIAO. pp. 227–248. OCLC 50292664. 
  5. ^ Bashir, Elena (2007). Jain, Danesh; Cardona, George, eds. The Indo-Aryan languages. p. 905. ISBN 978-0415772945. 'Dardic' is a geographic cover term for those Northwest Indo-Aryan languages which [..] developed new characteristics different from the IA languages of the Indo-Gangetic plain. Although the Dardic and Nuristani (previously 'Kafiri') languages were formerly grouped together, Morgenstierne (1965) has established that the Dardic languages are Indo-Aryan, and that the Nuristani languages constitute a separate subgroup of Indo-Iranian. 
  6. ^ Edelman, D. I. (1983). The Dardic and Nuristani Languages. Moscow: Institut vostokovedenii︠a︡ (Akademii︠a︡ nauk SSSR). p. 139. 

Further reading

External links

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