Pashayi languages

Native to Afghanistan
Ethnicity Pashayi people
Native speakers
400,000 (2000–2011)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 Variously:
aee  Northeastern
glh  Northwestern
psi  Southeastern
psh  Southwestern
Glottolog pash1270[2]
Linguasphere 59-AAA-a

Pashayi or Pashai (sometimes referred to colloquially in neighbouring languages as "Shari") 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.[3] Most speakers are bilingual in Pashto with a literacy rate of about 25%, with the Pashayi languages having no written form prior to 2003.[4] There are four mutually unintelligible varieties, with only about a 30% lexical similarity:[1]

A grammar of the language was written as a doctoral dissertation in 2014.[5]


  1. 1 2 Northeastern at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Northwestern at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Southeastern at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Southwestern at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Pashayi". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. Masica, Colin P. (1991). The Indo-Aryan Languages. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 440.
  4. Yun, Ju-Hong (2003). "Pashai Language Development Project: Promoting Pashai language, literacy and community development" (PDF).
  5. 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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