Kalami (کالامي) also known as Gawri (ګاوری, IPA: [ɡaːwriː]), is a Dardic language spoken in the Swat Kohistan region in the upper Swat District and in the upper Panjkora river valley of Upper Dir District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.
According to its genealogical classification (Strand, 1973:302 and 2004), Kalam Kohistani belongs to the Kohistani subgroup of the north-western zone of Indo-Aryan languages, along with several closely related languages in its geographical vicinity: Torwali (in the Swat valley south of Kalam), Indus Kohistani, Bateri, Chilisso, and Gawro (the latter four east of Kalam in Indus Kohistan). Together with a range of other north-western Indo-Aryan mountain languages, these languages are sometimes collectively referred to as ‘Dardic’ languages.
Kalam Kohistani (also called Gawri) is one of about thirty languages that are spoken in the mountain areas of northern Pakistan. Kohistan is a Persian word that means ‘land of mountains’ and Kohistani can be translated as ‘mountain language’. As a matter of fact, there are several distinct languages in the area that are all popularly called Kohistani. The language under study in this paper is spoken in the upper parts of the valley of the Swat River, in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan. The name of the principal village of this area is Kalam, and hence the area is known as Kalam Kohistan. In the older linguistic literature, the language of Kalam Kohistan is referred to as Bashkarik (Morgenstierne, 1940), or as Garwi or Gawri (Grierson, 1919; Barth & Morgenstierne, 1958). These names are hardly, if at all, known to the speakers of the language themselves, who normally just call their language Kohistani. However, very recently a number of intellectuals belonging to a local cultural society have started to call their language Gawri, a name that has old historical roots.
The same language is also spoken across the mountains to the West of Kalam Kohistan, in the upper reaches of the Panjkora river valley of Upper Dir District. When added together, the two Kalam-Kohistani-speaking communities comprised over 200,000 people.
/q f z x ɣ/ occur mainly in loanwords. /q f/ tend to be replaced by /x p/, respectively.
After the front vowels /i e a/, the velars /k ɡ ŋ/ are palatalized: [kʲ ɡʲ ŋʲ].
Kalami has 5 contrastive tones: high level, high falling, delayed high falling, low level, low rising.
The default sentence order is SOV, but this can be changed for emphasis.
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- Baart, Joan L.G. (2004). "Constrastive tone in Kalam Kohistani". Linguistic Discovery 2 (2). doi:10.1349/PS1.1537-0852.A.265.
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