Gawar-Bati language

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Native toPakistan, Afghanistan
RegionChitral, Kunar Province
Native speakers
(9,500 cited 1992)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3gwt

Gawar-Bati or Narsati is a Dardic language spoken in the Chitral region of northern Pakistan, and across the border in Afghanistan. It is also known as Aranduyiwar in Chitral 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]

Study and classification[edit]

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 an independent branch of Indo-Iranian, but today they are placed within Indo-Aryan following Morgenstierne's work.[5]


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[edit]

  1. ^ Gawar-Bati at Ethnologue (14th ed., 2000).
  2. ^ Endangered Languages Project data for Gawar-Bati.
  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.; 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[edit]

External links[edit]

35°19′38″N 71°35′05″E / 35.32722°N 71.58472°E / 35.32722; 71.58472