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Nomenclature of the Minority Pamir Languages
in Russia and Tajikistan: origin and evolution



The minority languages belonging to the East Iranian branch of the Iranian language group have a single conventional denomination – Pamir languages. The term reflects a socio-historical and cultural areal union. None of the Iranian languages are autochthonous with regard to the place of their present location in the Pamir-Hindukush ethnolinguistic region; however, they have been present in this region for more than a millennium. Today Pamir languages are located in four countries: Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and China. Most speakers of Pamir languages live in the Mountainous Badakhshan Autonomous Region (MBAR) (Tajikistan), with some enclaves in central Tajikistan; they also live in the Province of Badakhshan (Afghanistan). In China, some affiliated communities live in Taxkorgan Tajik Autonomous County, and are scattered in Yarkand and Khotan areas of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. In Pakistan, Wakhi diasporas resettled from Tajikistan and Afghanistan; they live in Khayber-Puhtunhva Province (Chitral and Gilgit-Baltistan districts).

All these minority peoples live in close contact with speakers of different languages. In Tajikistan and Afghanistan, they coexist with Western Iranian languages, such as Tajik or Dari. In China and Pakistan, they coexist with non-Iranian languages, such as Urdu, Uygur or Chinese. In today’s globalized environment, many Pamir speakers in search of jobs and better economic conditions migrate, living as diasporas in the large cities of Eurasia and the USA. In Tajikistan, they seek jobs and education in the cities.

This group of Pamir languages consists of the Shughnani-Rushani subgroup (Shughnani, Rushani, Khufi, Bartangi, Roshorvi and Sariqoli) with related Yazghulami; Ishkashimi with Sanglichi; and Wakhi. Usually another minority language – Munji with its relation Yidgha – is included into the group. Up to the 19th century, this group included Zebaki, Old Wanji, and probably the East Iranian vernaculars of Darwaz, and a variety, today still under question, which was described by language consultants as Sarghulami.1 These languages have no script and written tradition and are used only as spoken languages in the region. To a certain extent, nearly all Pamir languages can be called “endangered”, and some of them, especially Yazghulami, Roshorvi and Ishkashimi are under severe threat.

The term “Pamir languages” represents the presence of a secondary ethnocultural union in addition to the genetic linguistic relationship. It can be traced back to the ancient dialects of the East Iranian group (in contrast to Tajik, which belongs to the western group of Iranian languages); they descend from not one, but different ancient East Iranian dialects (Morgenstierne 1938; Oranskij 1979).

Within the large East Iranian group, there are genetic (and typological) subgroups. Some of these genetic subgroups include certain languages of the Pamirs. These include: 1) the Northern Pamir subgroup, which includes the vernaculars of the Shughnani-Rushani group, the Yazghulami language and extinct Old Wanji; 2) the Ishkashimi language with closely related Sanglichi and extinct Zebaki; 3) the Wakhi language, a distant descendant of Saka vernaculars. On ethnolinguistic grounds, the Munji language with closely related Yidgha (associated, in turn, with the Bactrian language) is relatively close to the Pamir languages (Sokolova 1973).

The structural and typological similarity of modern Pamir languages in terms of phonology, morphosyntax, word formation and vocabulary give grounds to consider Pamir languages as an areal group – a kind of linguistic union. The main distinctive features of this ethnolinguistic area are its convergent development, as well as the ethnographic unity and specific branch of religion (Ismailism) of the language speakers. These factors resulted in intensive bilingualism with Persian (Tajik, Dari), and also in the mutual influence of these languages between themselves (Dodykhudoev 1970: 23-24; Dodykhudoev 1971-1972; Èdel’man 1980; 1981). In the Russian tradition, Pamir languages were first mentioned as the language-dialects of Iranian Pamir minorities, and later as languages (Sokolova 1953). On the application of terms and status of various Pamir vernaculars, see (Dodykhudoeva 2019; Dodykhudoeva 2000: 170-174).

Map of Iranian minority languages of Gorno-Badakhshan region (map created by Yuri B. Koryakov, with our thanks for his authorization to publish it here).
Map of Iranian minority languages of Gorno-Badakhshan region (map created by Yuri B. Koryakov,
with our thanks for his authorization to publish it here).

Formation of the term “Pamir languages”

At the origin of the term “Pamir languages” – a well-established linguistic term to date – were the pioneers of research on the “minority” languages of the Pamirs: Tomaschek (1880), Geiger (1901) and later Ivan I. Zarubin. The work of Shaw employed the terms “Ghalchah Languages (Wakhi and Sarikoli)” and “Ghalchah dialect (Shighni)” (Shaw 1876, 1877), but in later English-language research, the term “Pamir languages” (Morgenstierne 1938; Payne 1989; Skalmowski 1974; Wendtland 2009) was applied. In the early 20th century, R. Gauthiot established the French tradition in relation to Yazghulami, calling this and related languages, “dialecte iranien” (Gauthiot 1916).

Ghalcha languages

Scholarly research in Pamir Studies was started by the British Political Agent R.B. Shaw in the 19th century. He was working in the Kashgar area of China and later in Ladak (today’s Pakistan). At that time, the sociocultural life and religious beliefs in the zone of Anglo-Russian influence were studied intensively.

Shaw applied the ethnonym ǧalča2 to the broadest geographical spread of people living in Matcha, Kulab, Karategin, Darwaz and Badakhshan, including Shughnan, Rushan, Wakhan, and as far as Munjan. These inhabitants included both the Tajik (i.e. Persian) speaking population and Eastern Iranian vernaculars. Shaw described three of their vernaculars, under the umbrella of a unifying descriptive ethnic name for the groups living in the region, and applying that name to their languages: his works were entitled “On the Ghalcha Languages (Wakhi and Sarikoli)” (1876), “On the Ghalcha Language (Shighni)” (1877). As he pointed out, Ghalcha was an exonym (a group name designated by Turkic people); it applied to those groups that today are known as mountainous Tajiks. For Shaw, the inhabitants of Kulab, Matcha, Karategin, Darwaz, Rushan, Shughnan, Wakhan, Badakhshan, Zebak, Sanglich and Munjan were all included under the general designation of Ghalcha; he underlined that they were mostly Shia Muslims, and spoke either Persian or other kindred dialects. Confirming earlier sources, Shaw writes that the local population ascribes to these groups a Tajik (i.e. Iranian) origin. He further asserts that Tajiks form the substratum of the population of Western Turkistan, where Iranians are intermixed with, and dominated by, Turkish tribes (Shaw 1876: 1). This is the first description grouping these languages, and giving them a unified designation based on the ethnic name ascribed to the population.

We come across the designation of Ghalcha in Biddulph’s “Tribes of the Hindoo Kush”, where he refers to mountaineers of the Hindu Kush of Iranian origin. He specifically mentions that the people of “Hissar, Darwaz, and Karategin, … may, probably, claim close relationship with this group, though they now speak Persian or Toorki, and, in some places, have received a considerable infusion of Usbeg blood” (Biddulph 1875; 1880: 155, 158). Later, Wilhelm Geiger, the author of an authoritative compendium “Grundriss der Iranischen philologie”, who researched Pamir languages, defined them as “kleine Pamir dialekte”. He points out that the general name for the Iranian inhabitants of the Pamir valleys was Ghalcha from the word ǧar for “mountain(ous range)” and adds that it already appeared in the form of Galcia in Benedict Goёs (1603). He understood the term ǧalča as designating the inhabitants of the Pamir valleys, who spoke specific dialects, and not the people living in Tajik-speaking regions (Geiger 1901: 290).

The name of “Ghalcha languages” is assigned to these languages by G. Grierson. He dedicated to them part of the 10th volume of his Linguistic Survey of India (Grierson 1921: 455-526), also including into this group Munjani, Yidgha and Yaghnobi (while mentioning that some authors exclude Yaghnobi from theGhalcha group). Moreover, he assumed that in earlier times people in Badakhshan spoke Ghalcha languages (Grierson 1921: 456).

Geiger drew attention to points which were subsequently verified in detail by V.V. Barthold: the latter refers to texts of the Islamic period, where the relevant terms are represented: g/ǧar “mountain” and ǧarča “mountain region”, later acquiring the meaning of ǧalča “highlander”, and also Ǧarč(istan) “Mountain region” (as a place name used for the upper reaches of the Murghab of Merv, which constituted an independent principality). According to Barthold, apart from Shaw’s reference, there are no other indications of this term bring applied to the inhabitants of the Upper Amu Darya, and also no special connection of this term with speakers of the languages. This is verified by the contemporary meaning of ǧalča as a “highlander” (in general), but not as a representative of a special language group. There are some indications of the application of this name to the population of Upper Zeravshan, who spoke Persian, but are anthropologically different from the Tajiks. Barthold notes that although this term (ǧalča) was originally used to denote the “mountainous Persians”, in Persian dictionaries ǧarčagi (the noun from ǧarča) means “stupidity, ignorance”, and ǧalča “tramp, vagabond/rogue.” He observes that “it is quite natural that the highlanders of the upper Zeravshan … do not want to be called by that term.” This was confirmed by S.D. Maslovsky who was apparently told, in the area of Zeravshan, “we are not tramps/rogues; ǧalča live in Yaghnob, this is in the Matcha, there live bad Tajiks, and we are not” (Bartol’d 1963, 1: 457-458).3

In the early 20th century, in the Russian area of influence in Central Asia, this term acquired a pejorative meaning and was not approved as a means of designating people in the area.4

As discussed below, in the Soviet period, central policy considerations came to be a key influence in determining Tajik terminology.

Pamir languages

Definition of the term “Pamir people”

In line with the Soviet policy of nation-building (Russian “âzykovoe stroitel’stvo”) in 1920-1930s, “national states” and “national/administrative division/units (avtonomii)” for minorities were demarcated, based on the identification of ethnic groups. This policy was implemented within a short period of time (Zarubin 1925; 1927a), and demarcation proceeded on a relatively random basis (Krasovskij 1936: 67). It led to the creation of four Turkic republics in Central Asia. As part of one these (Uzbekistan), the Tajik Soviet Socialist Autonomous Republic was formed in 1924.5 Within the Republic, MBAR was created; its population, speaking different languages and with different socio-cultural customs, was officially admitted to be different from the majority of Tajiks.

Ivan I. Zarubin, who participated in the work of the commission dealing with the national demarcation of Central Asia,6 was active in advising administrators and state bureaucrats on the various ethnic and demographic issues, in particular on the ethnic, cultural and language profiles of the local population and on the territorial demarcation and zoning of the territory.

Until that time, ethnic borders in Central Asia had been at odds with the administrative ones, so the issue of national-territorial delimitation was on the agenda.7 Within the framework of the USSR, the creation of republics with the status of nation states (based on the Russian titul’naja naciya “titular nation”) was intended to boost the economic and cultural development of the peoples of Central Asia, but created a new set of problems in terms of ethnic identity for peoples who were not given official status, such as ethnic entities in autonomous republics or regions, and minority ethnic groups (narodnost’) which did not receive the same level of consideration.

As Hudoyorov mentions, despite the religious, cultural and linguistic differences from the Tajiks, the population of MBAR8 is officially registered as “Tajik” and is considered by the authorities as an “ethnographic group” within the Tajik nation; the local (i.e. Pamir) languages have no official status, and many people from the autonomous region are indeed easily assimilated into the Tajik environment and consider themselves “Tajiks” (Hudoërov 2012: 3).

It is probable that the term “Pamir people” (Russian pamirec, pl. pamircy, pamirskie narody) has replaced the word “ǧalča” because of its prestige;9 and the ethnic identity of the Pamir peoples is better considered as a multi-layered phenomenon that remains under discussion and requires further analysis. The term “Pamir people” became established due to its clarity and brevity, being preferred to several other terms existing at that time, such as “inhabitants of Pamir” (Russian sg. pamirec), “Mountainous Tajiks” (Russian gornye tadžiki), “people of Pamir” and “people of Western Pamir” or recently “Badakhshani” (Russian badahšanec”).For the latest discussion on the term “Pamir(i)” and its usage in application only to Tajik context, see Dagiev & Faucher 2018, p. 5-6 ff; recently it came into usage also in Afghanistan. In any case, as was spotted by H. Kreutzmann, these groups “confronted with many outsiders’ appellations” (Kreutzmann 2019). However, some authors view this ethnic name as a synonym for Badakhshani and Ismaili (Mastibekov 2014).

Definition of the term “Pamir languages”

Wilhelm Tomaschek called these vernaculars “Pamir-dialekte”, in his “Centralasiatische Studien II. Die Pamir-Dialekte” (Tomaschek 1880) and later the same designation was used by Lentz (1933), and “Pamir sprachen” by Sköld (1936).

This group of languages located mainly in Russian Turkestan was studied extensively in Russia from the beginning of the 19th century. Extensive research and fieldwork were conducted by Ivan I. Zarubin, who spent some time in the Western Pamir in the second decade of the 20th century.

Zarubin used the term “Pamir” when applied to the territory of the Pamir region, and to the Russian border regiment there. Zarubin used the epithet “poetry of Pamir” (Russian pripamirskaâ poèziâ) in relation to local folk poetry to distinguish it from creative activity in the Persian-Tajik language (Zarubin 1924b; 1924c), as well as the term “Pamir dialects/languages”, for example, in his article “On the list of Pamir languages” (Zarubin 1924a). This term was widely used in the Russian-language tradition of the 20th century and is still adopted today. It is applied to Pamir languages as a common name of all vernaculars historically located in MBAR; the Russian adjective pamirskie literally means (languages) of Pamir, as a marker of the geographical location (Èdel’man 1964; Pahalina 1969; Ol’derogge & Zelinskij 1975; Karamšoev 1977; Dodykhudoeva 2000; Edelman & Dodykhudoeva 2009).

Along with the issue of ethnic identity, there emerged a new set of problems in terms of the identification and awareness of mother-tongues in this multilingual region. In this regard, the term “Pamir languages” is considered by Hudoyorov in the section “The problem of the Pamir languages”, where he considers issues of the preservation and development of Pamir languages, and their significance for the ethnic self-identification of the inhabitants of the region. As he sees it, the relevance of the language issue lies in the fact that by the 1980-1990s, language had become the main marker of ethnic identity among the peoples of the Pamirs, and strongly influenced the development of the national movement for strengthening and raising the status of autonomy (Hudoërov 2012: 18). See also the recent work by Tohir Kalandarov, who also uses the term “Pamir languages” (Kalandarov 2020).

Nevertheless, in the Republic of Tajikistan, we observe a tendency to designate these languages by their place of origin, i.e. MBAR (Tajik Viloyati Muxtori Kūhistoni Badaxšon), see Table 1.10 This table shows linguistic nomenclature for the idioms used in former CIS countries, as well as in Russia and Tajikistan in the second part of the 20th century and beyond.

We indicate below a brief summary of the main terms used in legislative documents. So the designation “Mountainous Badakhshani (Pamiri) languages” (zabonhoi Badaxšoni Kuhī (Pomirī)) was applied in the 1989 Law “On Language” (Zakon 1989), and in the next document, the 2009 “Law of the Republic of Tajikistan, about the state language of the Republic of Tajikistan” (Zakon 2009), we encounter “Badakhshani (Pamiri) languages” (zabonhoi Badaxšonī (Pomirī)). In the 2015 publication of the State Committee on Language and Terminology, “Badakhshani languages (Pamiri)” (zabonhoi Badaxšonī (Pomirī)), “Pamir languages” (zabonhoi Pomirī) or even “Badakhshi languages” (zabonhoi Badaxšī) all appear (Hamdam et al. 2015). However, in 2017, we once more observe active usage of the term “Pamiri languages” – although occasionally in conjunction with the term Badakhshani – for instance in the English transcript of the report by the Tajikistan representative Rustam Shohmurod, Minister of Justice of Tajikistan, to the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination 2017a; 2017b). As a particularly striking example, in the transcript of the report of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (International Convention 2012), the Tajikistan representative Mr Mengeliev designates the entire group of Pamir languages by the erroneous term of a single Badakhshani language “zaboni Badaxšonī” (Russian badahšanskij âzyk).

As highlighted on the website of the Tajik State Committee on Language and Terminology (Committee on Language and Terminology 2017), the languages spoken in the MBAR are Eastern Iranian languages. The website goes on to state that these languages have been conventionally called “Pamir languages” (pomirī) by scholars of oriental studies, and that in recent years this term has been replaced by “Badakhshani languages” (badaxšonī) (Committee on Language and Terminology 2017).

In post-Soviet period documents, the Tajik state switched to a different strategy of naming these languages by listing each distinct language separately such as in the first text of the Constitutional Law of the Republic of Tajikistan On the Mountainous Badakhshan Autonomous Region: in the 5th article of the 1st chapter of this document it is indicated that “The state creates conditions for the free development and use of the Kyrgyz, Shughnani, Rushani, Wakhi and Yazghulami languages in schools and the media on the territory of the Mountainous Badakhshan Autonomous Region” (Konstitucionnyj zakon… 2000).11

With regard to the academic discourse in connection with the Constitutional Law of Tajikistan “about the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO)”, in a book dedicated to the 20th anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Tajikistan, the authors, – renowned Tajik scholars, – analyse the problems of the post-Soviet transition period, and the socioeconomic and cultural achievements of the MBAR, employing the terms “Pamir languages” and “Badakhshani languages” interchangeably (see, for instance, Table 1: Masov & Pirumšoev 2011: 250).

Writing in English about Pamir languages, the Canadian academic Carole Faucher, addressing issues of the teaching syllabus in the region, as well as transmission of the languages in a family context, uses the conventional term “Pamiri languages”. At the same time, she maintains that identification with any one of the Pamirs’ regional or linguistic groups has become less relevant, while identification with both MBAR and Tajikistan has become more significant for the youth of the region (Faucher 2018: 261, 264). This may be open to question – it may be valid for 2nd or 3rd generations living in diasporas who already lost their mother tongues, but it is much less applicable to people who remain in their homeland. In recent years, due to campaigns of language revitalization, the minority languages of the region have acquired an enduring status as a cultural heritage, enhancing Pamiri self-image. With the introduction of English as a core element in the education curriculum and a wide network of English tuition centres, the Tajik language has become less attractive for young people, whose perspective is becoming increasingly transnational.

To amplify our review of the usage of this term, we give an example from the media, specifically the BBC Russian Service, popular in Tajikistan and among expatriates. In report “Tajikistan is losing its ancient languages”, the BBC journalist remarked that Tajikistan adopted a language law, which officially established a special status for the ancient languages of the Pamirs and of Yaghnob. She also interviewed an elderly resident of MBAR, who had lived all her life in a remote village of the Khuf valley and who affirmed that although she studied Tajik at school, she had always spoken Pamiri (Sarkorova 2011).

This report requires some explanation. Behind the phrase “I learned Tajik at school, but I spoke Pamiri all my life” is a story about a rare case of practical monolingualism in a mother tongue. In fact, the elderly resident of the Khuf valley actually spoke the local Khufi vernacular, which the inhabitants of the neighbouring valleys hardly understand. However, apparently to expand the meaning and clarify what kind of vernacular is involved, the journalist describes the woman’s speech by employing the general term “Pamiri”.

Finally, bearing in mind that ethnic identity is a vulnerable construct, and is subject to change, we can demonstrate that today people of Pamir origin, when speaking English, Russian or Tajik, describe themselves as “Pamiris” and call their own languages “Pamir(i)”.

As highlighted in the “Alternative report on Tajikistan…,” prejudice against Pamiri people “has ethnic, cultural-linguistic, religious, and political dimensions” as “they are visually and linguistically distinct”; furthermore “The Pamiri people view the lack of government support for Pamiri languages, the fact that Pamiri languages are excluded from the educational system and the official sphere (state institutions, courts, documents), as threatening intentional, gradual assimilation.” In the words of Pamir people themselves, “our languages are not encouraged…, some people are beginning to see Pamiri languages as ‘second rate.’ As we say, ‘our languages are needed until you get to the airport in Khorugh and no further.’” (Alternative Report 2017: 2, 9).

Nomenclature of Pamir languages

The group of Pamir languages constitutes an ethnolinguistic union, a “Pamir-Hindukush region”, in the words of I.M. Steblin-Kamenskij (1999: 8). This linguistic situation in the Pamirs and the Eastern Hindu Kush was defined by Ivan Zarubin as a “compact mix of tongues” (the so called “Pamir knot”). People cultivating the land lived in the mountain valleys in relative isolation from one another, and therefore they preserved particular features of their languages for a longer period of time. However, in the whole region, we observe a situation of diglossia, as this area was historically a contact zone. The region had much in common, due to a shared culture and religion, and a common language (Persian) reserved for administration, education and trade. Pamir languages include: the Shughnani-Rushani group (including Sariqoli), Yazghulami, Wakhi, Ishkashimi, Sanglechi; Munji-Yidgha and some Badakhshani Tajik dialects are often added to this list. In Table 2 we demonstrate the range of terms applied to the variety of these Pamir languages, and the evolution of their nomenclature.

We comment on some of the changing trends that emerged in academic or colloquial discourse. In line with broad migration trends, Pamir people living abroad prefer to identify themselves not with their Tajik identity (as indicated in their national passport), but with the traditional generalised name for all inhabitants of the Mountainous Badakhshan Autonomous Region – Pamiri. Similarly, they call their language (in many cases Shughnani) – Pamiri. Children raised outside areas where Pamir languages are spoken do not know the particular name of their parents’ mother-tongue, and use the same collective designation.

As for the names of specific Pamir languages, these were based mainly – as it is widespread in Iranian tradition – on place names where speakers live. The following are some examples: the traditional xuɣ̆nůni ziv or Tajikicized variant šuǧn(ůn)i ziv is equivalent to Tajik zaboni šuǧn(on)ī and to English Shughnani. The shorter forms xuɣ̆ni, šuǧni “Shughn(an)i” are derived from the ethnic name; forms with the suffix ůn (from on) are derived from the place name, Shughnan (Xuɣ̆nůn, Tajik Šuǧnon). We observe a similar trend in Afghanistan in the case of the Munji language, known by speakers as Munji (mə/unji roy) or Munjāni, which is echoed in Dari language. For instance, see the recent Munji dictionary (2016), compiled by Paul Williamson and Dust Mohammad Munjani (2016), entitled Farhanji Zāboni Munjāni in Dari, and Dictionary of the Munji Language in English. Here also the form with the suffix ān indicates its derivation from the place name Munjan.

In the case of the Yazghulami language of Tajikistan, lately the indigenous designation of the language zg̍(ə)migay(i) zveg has increasingly begun to shift to the Tajikicized version yůzdomi zveg or even to the loan translation (calque) from the Tajik zaboni yůzdomī, where the name of the language is based on the place name Yůzdom “Yazghulam”; and in Tajik discourse zaboni yazǧulomī.

As regards Wakhi, the traditional name is derived from the ethnic name x̌ikwor zik “Wakhi language”. Here x̌ik is an endonym – the way Wakhi people designate themselves – and -wor is a component identifying speech variety. The Tajik or other common exonym of this group is Wakhi ((wu)x̌ik), so the language is known as Waxī or Waxonī in Tajik, the latter from the place name in the local language, Wux̌ “Wakhan”. For this language variety, the name of nyəngin zik “local language”, i.e. Wakhi language (literally nyəng “local; settled, sitting”, from the verb nыzd: nəyn “to sit, live”) is also documented (Steblin-Kamenskij 1999).

The evolution of the Ishkashimi language has been greatly affected by population movements and marriage patterns. Thus, the number of Ishkashimi language speakers (currently up to 1,500 people) within the territory of Tajik Mountainous Badakhshan Autonomous Region, in the villages of Ryn and Sumjin, has significantly decreased due to migration, which has led to the loss of knowledge of the native language. In 1920s Ishkashimi speakers also lived in the village of Nyud, today’s Ishakashim-centre, (up to 50% of its population) which has now become a predominantly Tajik speaking area (D’âkov 1975: 169; 1931: 87). At the same time, Ishkashimi mother-tongue speakers live in many neighbouring areas where Wakhi and Tajik are spoken, because women who married inhabitants of these areas move to live with their husbands’ families, and no longer use their mother tongue in everyday speech. Ishkashimi language native speakers also live in the territory of Afghan Badakhshan Province, where they have mainly lost their native language; but, there, around the settlement of Sultan-Ishkashim, knowledge of the native language has been secretly retained by individual speakers of older age groups. Language proficiency has been preserved on the periphery in the villages of Zargaron, Khirmani, Shekhch, Boshend, Darvand and others. Thus, by the beginning of the 21st century, native speakers of Ishkashimi in the territory of Afghanistan had lost their native language. Yet in the adjacent Sanglich valley inhabitants kept their Sanglich vernacular, closely related to Ishkashimi.

In today’s Tajikistan, especially in the lower part of the Wakhan valley, it is a habit among adjacent Wakhi speakers to call the Ishkashimi vernacular ra/əni zik, while Tajik speakers know it as zaboni rəni(gī), in both cases meaning “vernacular of the village Ryn”. This habit came about because today’s younger generations of Ishkashimi call their language by the name of the village rəni zik or rəni(gi). Inevitably, because this name designates just one village, it implies a smaller area of language usage, because speakers who live in other areas are not taken into account.

As for the designation of Pamir languages in China, we should bear in mind that Sariqolis and Wakhis, are officially together designated as Chinese Tajiks, Mountain Tajiks or Tajiks of Xinjiang; both are denominated officially as a single Tajik ethnic group, without regard to the specific names of their languages and their language speakers. In academic research, these languages are known as Sariqoli and Wakhi.

Regarding the names for Sariqoli, a member of the Shughnani-Rushani group, there are variants: sarikuyi, sarkuli, sarikuli, sariquli, and in Tajik sariqulī. An interesting variant was documented by Henry W. Bellew in his “Comparative Vocabulary of Some Dialects Spoken in the Territory of Kashgar” (Bellew 1875) which included turkicised Sarigh Culi; in 2010 we documented another interpretation of this name, based on Iranian understanding of the vocabulary, with the meaning “highlander’s language” (sar-i kuyi).

The author of “An Ethnohistorical Dictionary of China”, James Stuart Olson, designates Sariqoli and Wakhi people as “the Tajiks, also sometimes called Sarts or Sarkolis…”, and considers Sariqoli and Wakhi (in his terms “Sarikol and Wakhan”) as “dialects” of the Tajik language, adding that “differences between the dialects are mainly phonetic” (Olson 1998: 319). Just as Shughnani is designated as representative of all Pamir languages, and we often hear in Tajikistan “Pamir language” instead of “Shughnani”, so in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in China the Sariqoli language that has most speakers (in comparison with the less-spoken Wakhi), was labelled as tujik, a designation used even by speakers themselves, as well as by Uygur speakers.

This meta-nomenclature leads to confusion with standard Tajik of Tajikistan12, and in many cases in Tajik discourse it is stressed that these languages are not standard Tajik, nor are their speakers considered as Tajik people, but instead as groups of Pamiris, the Wakhi and Sariqoli. These groups can be designated as Tajiks only in the broadest sense, and were originally so called in China because they were of Iranian origin. Along with names of the vernaculars of the Pamir group, we might also mention the duplication of names in the case of the Dardic language Khowar, known also as Chatrori or Chitrali in the region. Cf. the view of Zarubin who, while providing a profile of his language consultant in the Wershikwar vernacular, mentions that the latter also mastered Chitrali (in Russian čitral’skij âzyk) and šina, known locally as kuhwar and dangrik (Zarubin 1927b: 275).

This diversity of designation is also true especially of the Domaki variety (also known as Do/uma(a)ki), related to the Indo-Aryan Romani and Domari. Domaki is the vernacular of the Dom or Dooma group, traditionally blacksmiths and musicians, who lived in Domyal villages in Hunza, Pakistan. It has been mentioned that Domaki speakers “hesitate to call themselves Dom” (Backstrom & Radloff 1992). Most speakers today prefer Dawoodi (based on the name Dawood, presumably in reference to the prophet in Islamic tradition), due to negative connotations of the previous name (Hussain 2020: 132).

A broad range of nomenclature is also true for the Burushaski language, called variously Burushaski, Burushki, Brugaski, Brusho, Boorishki and also Biltum, Khajuna, Kunjut, with the local speech variant Wershikwar, spread in Hunza, Nagar, Yasin valleys, Pakistan. This is now commonly known as Burusho in Pakistan.13


  1. The Republic of Tajikistan took the political decision to include the Pamiri and Yaghnobi ethnic groups as components of the Tajik nation (Hudoërov 2012: 3). This entailed the exclusion of these languages as minority languages (along with Uzbek, Kyrgyz, Russian, etc.), and also gave grounds to eliminate their use as both a discipline in education, and a medium of instruction. Although in contemporary media discourse, they are positioned as “ancient languages” and “heritage languages”, nothing is done to support them in terms of their preservation, writing systems, and use in education.

  2. Despite the fact that academic traditions, especially in the linguistic sphere, use the term “Pamir languages”, there are official trends on the part of the state towards usage of the term “Badakhshani languages” or “languages of Badakhshan”. Consequently, today we can postulate that in Tajikistan’s political and media discourse, the term used for Pamir languages is not the conventional “Pamiri”, but “Badakhshani” or “Mountainous Badakhshani”, i.e. denomination of these idioms based on the area of their spread (tending to lessen their significance, and treat the whole group as one language variety “Badakhshan language”, thus, reducing their status).

  3. Incorrect designation of an idiom in media discourse leads to misunderstanding and, in some cases, to a shift in meaning as well as to the substitution of language names, and finally to the gradual dilution and disappearance of the correct name along with the language itself. As examples, we have indicated usage of “Pamir language” in the singular (pomeri ziv) used as a surrogate instead of “Shughnani language” or “Khufi language”. Similarly, the term “Tujik” is used in China implying usually Sariqoli people and language, and has recently come to be used even by Sariqoli speakers themselves. (However Wakhis or those who know the community, do not use this term). We have also documented the application of “Ryni” – the name of colloquial speech in one village, instead of “Ishkashimi” – a stronger, more widespread vernacular spoken in the broader area of Ishkashim in Tajikistan and Afghanistan. This leads to the loss of the status of a particular language variety and to reduce it to being just one among many of the local vernaculars.

  4. When the name of an idiom is based on an exonym it becomes a “sensitive issue” for the ethnic group and even for the state where it is spoken. This leads to misunderstandings of the term and its pejorative usage, and can give rise to a number of problems. For example, the term Ghalcha, having the originally neutral meaning of “mountaineer”, has acquired a negative judgmental connotation, or the external term Oroshor(i) of Kyrgyz origin, used by Zarubin in regard to the population and vernacular of Roshorv (Russian orošorskij) when he first described it.

  5. Incorrect designation of an ethnic group at official (state level) andin media discourses leads to misunderstanding, and in some cases to confusion of nomenclature, as well as the substitution of one group for another. One striking example here is the situation regarding the Sariqoli and Wakhi people, who were given a joint ethnic designation – Tajiks – as one of the minorities in China. It is thus important in modern discourse in Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Russia to detail the context of the term, and to clarify whether it refers to either the Tajik people of Tajikistan or their language, or to the Sariqoli and Wakhi people or their languages.


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Table 1. Language nomenclature: Pamir languages in main documents issued in Republic Tajikistan naming all minority languages of Mountainous Badakhshan Autonomous Region

Language name in the documentTajikRussianEnglish
Law “On Language”. Supreme Council of the Soviet Socialist Republic of Tajikistan, N 15, Article 3. 22.07.198914      Ҷумҳурии Тоҷикистон шароит барои рушди озод ва истифода кардани забонҳои Бадахшони Куҳӣ (помирӣ) ва нигоҳ доштани забони Ягнобӣ меорад. Вилояти Мухтори Бадахшони Куҳӣ қарор мустақилона оид ба масъалаҳои фаъолияти забонҳои маҳаллӣ.Республика Таджикистан создает условия для свободного развития и использования горно-бадахшанских (памирских) языков и сохранения ягнобского языка. Горно-Бадахшанская автономная область самостоятельно решает вопросы функционирования местных языков.The Republic of Tajikistan creates the conditions for the free development and use of the Gorno-Badakhshan (Pamir) languages and preserving language Yagnobi. Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast decides independently on matters of functioning of local languages.
Law of the Republic of Tajikistan. About the state language of the Republic of Tajikistan. №553:4, 2 5.10.2009Ҷумҳурии Тоҷикистон барои ҳимоя ва инкишофи забонҳои бадахшонӣ (помирӣ) ва забони яғнобӣ шароит фароҳам меорад.                        Республика Таджикистан создает условия для свободного применения, защиты и развития бадахшанских (памирских) языков и ягнобского языка.The Republic of Tajikistan creates conditions for free application, protection and development of Badakhshan (Pamir) languages and Yagnobi language.  
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. 81 session Summary of the 2171st meeting Geneva. 8.08.2012 Г-н Менгелиев (Таджикистан) сообщает, что … единственным официальным государственным языком является таджикский. В соответствии с законом 2009 года о государственном языке Республики Таджикистан все национальные и этнические группы, проживающие на территории страны, имеют право на свободное использование своего родного языка; были созданы условия, обеспечивающее такое свободное использование, защиту и развитие языков Горно-Бадахшанской автономной области (Памира) и народа ягноби. Бадахшанский язык и язык ягноби, два очень древних языка, неоднократно становились объектом исследований и могут изучаться в школе, однако не имеют статуса официальных.                        Mr. Mengeliev (Tajikistan) said that, … Tajik was the only official State language. The 2009 Act on the State language of the Republic of Tajikistan provided that all ethnic groups and peoples living in Tajikistan were entitled to use their mother tongue without restriction, and had established conditions for the free use, defence and development of the Badakhshan (Pamir) languages and the Yagnobi language. Badakhshan and Yagnobi were two extremely ancient languages that had been the subject of many studies and could be studied at school, but did not have the status of official languages.
Committee on Language and Terminology under the aegis of the Government of Tajikistan. 28.07.2015              Шарофзода ба забонҳои помирӣ ва яғнобӣ «оби ҳаёт» медиҳад. Кумитаи забон ва истилоҳоти назди ҳукумати Тоҷикистон ба хотири ҷилавгирӣ аз хатари нестшавии забонҳои бадахшӣ ё помирӣ ва яғнобӣ давраҳои омӯзиширо созмон доданист.Комитет по языку: «Спасем от исчезновения памирский и ягнобский языки». Комитет по языку и терминологии при правительстве Республики Таджикистан организует учебные курсы с целью спасения от исчезновения бадахшанских языков: памирского и ягнобского.  State Committee on Language and Terminology: “Let’s save the Pamir and Yagnobi languages from extinction.” The State Committee on Language and Terminology of the Republic of Tajikistan intends to introduce training courses with the aim of saving the Badakhshi (or Pamiri) and Yagnobi languages to prevent from them from the threat of extinction.
Committee on Language and Terminology under the aegis of the Government of Tajikistan. 2.10.2017                «Забонҳое, ки дар ҳудуди Вилояти Мухтори Кӯҳистони Бадахшон роиҷанд, ба забонҳои шарқии эронӣ шомиланд. Ин забонҳоро шарқшиносон шартан «забонҳои помирӣ» ном ниҳодаанд ва дар солҳои охир ҷойи ин ибораро таркиби «забонҳои бадахшонӣ» ишғол намудааст» “The languages spoken in the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region are Eastern Iranian languages. These languages have been conventionally called ‘Pamir languages’ by scholars of oriental studies, and in recent years this has been replaced by ‘Badakhshani languages’”
Committee on Language and Terminology under the aegis of the Government of Tajikistan. 26.10.2017; 12.06.202115Забонҳои бадахшонӣ (помирӣ) дар ҳудуди Вилояти Мухтори Кӯҳистони Бадахшон.               Badakhshani (Pamiri) languages in the area of Mountainous Badakhshan Autonomous Region
Alternative Report on Tajikistan’s Implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Nationless Ethnic Groups of Tajikistan (Pamiri, Jughi, Yaghnobi): From Non-Recognition to Discrimination. 93rd session of the CERD 31.07-11.08.2017                 Как угрозу намеренной постепенной ассимиляции воспринимают памирцы отсутствие государственной поддержки памирских языков, исключенность памирских языков из системы школьного образования и официальной сферы употребления (государственные учреждения, суды, документооборот). … Необходима государственная поддержка мер по сохранению и развитию памирских языков: финансирование академических исследований, периодических изданий и книг, учебных пособий; разработка и поддержка существующих систем письменности, внедрение учебных пособий на памирских языках в школьную программу; радио- и телевещание на памирских языках. 12, 13                    The Pamiri view the lack of government support for Pamiri languages, the fact that Pamiri languages are excluded from the educational system and the official sphere (state institutions, courts, documents), as threatening intentional, gradual assimilation. … The government of Tajikistan should develop and systematically implement educational programs to tell the people of Tajikistan about the unique features of Pamiri culture and the Ismaili religion in order to overcome negative stereotypes about the Pamiri. Government support is needed to preserve and develop the Pamiri languages: funding of academic research, periodicals and books, textbooks; the development and support of existing writing systems and the introduction of teaching tools in Pamiri languages into the curriculum; and radio and television broadcasts in Pamiri languages. 9, 10
Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination considers the report of Tajikistan. For use of the information media. Ms. Crickley (Chair). Geneva, 11.08.2017. 13 p.m.                          Mr. Shohmurod explained that minorities were represented in the Tajik Parliament. The State policy did not make any differentiation between regions and conditions had been created for the free development of minority languages and cultures. The Government was aware that there was cultural heritage that needed to be preserved, such as that of the Pamiris who lived in the region of Gorno-Badakhshan in eastern Tajikistan. In the 1930s writing had been introduced in the Shughni language, which was one of the Pamiri languages. The issue of studying minority languages was very much part of the Government’s vision and the Government was conducting training for teachers to study the Pamiri and Yaghnobi languages.                                   
Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination 93rd session. Summary record of the 2563rd meeting. 9-11 periodic reports (CERD/C/TJK/9-11; CERD/C/TJK/Q/9-11). Mr. Khalaf (Vice-Chair). Geneva, 11.08.2017. 10 a.m.-13 p.m.    The Pamiris who inhabited the Region were not an ethnic group per se; rather, they were persons who had ties to the lands in the Pamir Mountains. Under a constitutional law amended in 2007, the authorities in Gorno-Badakhshan had the right to develop and implement educational programmes, taking into account the area’s diverse cultural, linguistic and demographic features. There was no single official language in the Region; a number of different languages and dialects were spoken, including Shughni and other Pamiri, or Badakhshan, languages. Legal provision had been made to ensure that those languages could be freely used, thereby conserving the cultural and linguistic heritage of the Region. Moreover, the fact that the Pamiri languages were spoken in a mountainous, and somewhat isolated, area had aided in their preservation. One of the main obstacles, however, was the lack of an established alphabet for the Pamiri languages. Reforms had been undertaken in the 1930s with a view to developing a Roman alphabet and publishing books; however, when Stalin had come to power, those efforts had ceased.
Масов Раҳим, Пирумшоев Ҳайдаршо. Файзи истиқлол дар «Боми Ҷаҳон». Душанбе, 2011, 250                                                        Мавчудияти ин забонҳо дар Ҷумҳурии Точикистон, вилояти Тошқӯрғони Ҷумҳурии Халқии Хитой, Афғонистон, Ҳиндустон ва Покистон ба омӯзиши забонҳои бадахшонӣ мавқеи байналхалқӣ медиҳад. Забонҳои бадахшонӣ захираи бои фолклорӣ доранд, ки манбаъд манбаи асосии омӯзиши эчодиёти шифоҳии ин мардум мебошанд. Ҳоло инкишофи назм ва шаклҳои дигари адабиёти бадеӣ бо забонҳои помирӣ мавқеи калон пайдо намудааст. Оид ба омӯзиши забонҳои бадахшонӣ чорабиниҳои муҳим баргузор гардиданд. Ба ғайр аз таҳкурсии корҳои илмӣ оид ба забонҳои бадахшонӣ, фолклоршиносӣ ва адабиёт, маводҳои таълимӣ, луғатҳо ва мачмӯаҳои илмӣ барои хонандагон нашр шуданд. Ташкилёбии шӯъбаҳои гуногун дар назди Пажӯҳишгоҳи улуми инсонӣ на танҳо аҳамияти минтақавӣ, балки аҳамияти байналмилалӣ доранд.Наличие этих языков в Республике Таджикистан, Ташкурган-Таджикском уезде Китайской Народной Республики, Афганистане, Индии и Пакистане придает изучению бадахшанских языков статус международного. Бадахшанские языки – богатый источник фольклора, который в дальнейшем становится главным источником для изучения устных традиций этих народов. В настоящее время важное место занимает развитие поэзии и других форм художественной литературы на памирских языках. Были проведены важные мероприятия по изучению бадахшанских языков. Помимо фундаментальных научных трудов по бадахшанским языкам, фольклору и литературе издавались учебные и научные материалы, словари. В этом ряду создание ряда отделов в Институте гуманитарных наук имеет не только региональное, но и международное значение.    Existence of these languages ​​in the Republic of Tajikistan, Tashkurgan-Tajik district of the People’s Republic of China, Afghanistan, India and Pakistan gives to the research of the Badakhshani languages an international status. Badakhshani languages ​​have a rich source of folklore, which will continue to be the main source for studying the oral traditions of these people. Now the development of poetry and other forms of fiction with the Pamir languages ​​has gained a prominent place. Important activities and events were held on the study of Badakhshani languages. In addition to the research works on Badakhshani languages, folklore and literature, educational materials and scientific collections, and dictionaries were published. This way, the establishment of various departments at the Institute for Humanities is of not only regional but also international importance.
Masov, Pirumshoev 2011, 296                    Рӯзномаи «Фарҳанги Бадахшон» аз соли 1991 то соли 1995 дурдонаҳои беназири фарҳангию адабӣ ва таърихиро бо забонҳои тоҷикӣ, русӣ, қирғизӣ ва лаҳҷаҳои шуғнонӣ, рӯшонӣ, язгуломӣ, ишкошимӣ, ринӣ ва вахонӣ нашр менамуд. From 1991 to 1995, the newspaper “Farhangi Badakhshon” published unique cultural, literary and historical masterpieces in the Tajik, Russian, Kyrgyz and Shughnani, Rushani, Yazghulami, Ishkashimi, Ryni and Wakhi languages.
Institute for Humanities, Pamir branch, National Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan16Институти илмҳои гуманитарӣ (ИИГ) 9-сентябри соли 1991 бо Қарори Раёсати Академияи миллии илмҳои Тоҷикистон (№147) дар заминаи шуъбаҳои помиршиносӣ ва тадқиқоти иҷтимоӣ-иқтисодии базаи Помири АМИТ, бо мақсади тавсияи минбаъдаи омӯзиши фундаменталии фарҳанг, забонҳои миноритарии (хурди) помирӣ, ҳамчунин таърих, мардумшиносӣ, бостоншиносӣ, болоравии иқтисодиёт ва тафаккури иҷтимоии мардуми Вилояти Мухтори Куҳистони Бадахшон (ВМКБ) таҳсис дода шуд.       On September 9th, 1991, by decision #147 of the Board of the National Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan, the Pamir branch of the National Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan was established, based on the department of Pamir Studies and departments of socio-economic research, with the objective of conducting research in the fields of general Cultural Studies and minority Pamir languages, as well as the history, ethnography and anthropology, archaeology, economic growth and social sciences of the people of Mountainous Badakhshan Autonomous Region.
Website of the Institute for Humanities, Pamir branch of the National Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan17Шуъбаи забонҳои помирӣ  Отдел памирских языковDepartment of Pamir Languages

Table 2. The range of terms applied to the variety of these Pamir languages

Language name: PamirLanguage name: Tajik, DariLanguage name: RussianLanguage name: English
pomeri zivзабони помирӣ = шуғн(он)ӣпамирский = шугнанскийShughn(an)i
xuγ̌n(ůn)i/ šuγn(ůn)i zivзабони шуғн(он)ӣ18шугнанскийShughn(an)i
rix̌en zivзабони рӯшонӣ Rushani
bartangi zivзабони бартангӣ  
roshorvi zivзабони рошорвӣ, орошор(ӣ)рошорвскийOroshor, Roshorvi
škošəmi zəvůkзабони ишкошимӣишкашимскийIshkashimi
ryni zəvůk, rənigi; rehne (Sic!)забони рынӣ(гӣ)Ишкашимский, букв. рынский, язык РынаIshkashimi
zg̍(ə)migay(i) zveg, yůzdomi zvegзабони язгуломӣязгулямскийYazghulami
x̌ik(wor) zikзабони вах(он)ӣваханскийWakhi
sarikuyi, sarkuli, sariquli, tujik zivзабони сарик/қӯлӣсарыкольскийSarikoli, Saryqoli
mə/unji roy, mə/unjiwār, mənjān zabān, mənjānīзабони мунҷ(он)ӣ / Dari zabāni munj(ān)īмунджанскийMunj(an)i
yidgha, lutkuhyidghaйидгаYidg(h)a


  1. In the area located on the left bank of the river Panj in the Province of Badakhshan (Afghanistan).
  2. In the present study, for Tajik and Pamir languages, we apply transliteration based on ISO-9 with additional symbols used to document Iranian languages (ɣ̆, x̆, ɡˈ, ī, ū, ů, and y, ə)).
  3. On the other hand, the designation Tajik is associated with people who became Muslims and acquired Muslim culture. In Eastern Darwaz, Shughnan and Rushan, Maslovsky encountered the expression “we recently became Tajiks” (Bartol’d 1963, 1: 459).
  4. This is reminiscent of the role of the term “sart” that designated the urban Turkic/Iranian population of Central Asia.
  5. Leading in 1929 to the formation of the Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic.
  6. In 1918, the Commission for the Study of the Tribal Composition of the Population of Russia and Neighbouring Countries sent Zarubin to Central Asia, where he stayed for a year and a half. One of the tasks of this commission, of which Zarubin was a member from 1918 until 1931, was to collect the statistical and ethnographic materials needed to compile a list of the peoples inhabiting Central Asia. In 1922 this list was completed and prepared for publication, but it was not published until 1925. It was planned as a guide to compiling an ethnic map of Central Asia. The main source for Zarubin was census materials, the results of which were compared with data from other sources (Rahimov 1989: 116; Zarubin 1918).
  7. In 1924, in Central Asia, a policy of territorial demarcation was implemented with the aim of creating separate republics with homogenous ethnic populations. This policy encountered problems because it was undertaken by the Soviet administration represented by Russian speaking bureaucrats. Local people resisted these outsiders but, as they were illiterate, they were unable to administer the policy themselves. So to assure the success of the policy, a strategy of “indigenization” (Russian korenizacii) was implemented by the Soviet authorities, whereby people from Central Asia studied in Russian universities, and afterwards returned to their homeland to work as administrative officials. This led to significant transformations in the region. For poor and deprived Pamir people, these were positive changes: they acquired free secular education, equal rights for women, improved infrastructure and healthcare, and higher employment; but at the same time, campaigns such as the expropriation of property (Russian raskulačivanie) and collectivization, led to the local population relocating to adjacent regions.
  8. According to 2018 sources, the population of MBAR is estimated at 226,900 and consists mainly of Pamir and Kyrgyz people, and other minorities. See: Number of Constant Population (2018) https://www.stat.tj/en/database-socio-demographic-sector (viewed on 06/09/2021).
  9. Similarly, the term “Uzbek” has replaced the word “Sart” because of its prestige in the process of national demarcation.
  10. Table 1 provides specific contexts of usage, with references to the relevant documents.
  11. In last version of the Constitutional Law of Tajikistan “about the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region (GBAO)” (Konstitucionnyj zakon… 2007) this discussion about the languages is omitted.
  12. The Sariqoli and Wakhi Pamir nationalities in China, as well as the Tajik, Pakistani and Afghan Pamir people, speak minority Pamir languages belonging to the Eastern Iranian language group, whereas Tajik language is linked along with Persian to the Western Iranian language group.
  13. A peculiar example of the designation and distinctive usage of internal and external ethnic names can be found in the case of the Komi-Perm people of Northern Russia (Russian komi-permâk). This is the official designation of an ethnic group, containing both an external ethnonym and a component of self-identification. In an unofficial setting, part of the group uses the self-identification (komi), while the external component, a term taken from the foreign language perm(âk) is dropped; the other part of the group, who had lost the connection with the self-identification term komi, adopted just the external name permâk (Lobanova 2019: 403).
  14. Tajik language is called in this document Tajik (Farsi).
  15. URL: http://www.kumitaizabon.tj/tg/taxonomy/term/1557 (viewed on 10/06/2021).
  16.   Website of the Institute for Humanities, Pamir branch of the National Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan. URL: https://www.ign.tj/institut/dar-borai-mo.html (viewed on 16/01/2024).
  17. Website of the Institute for Humanities, Pamir branch of the National Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan. URL: www.ign.tj/institut/sokhtor (viewed on 16/01/2024).
  18. Shughnani with its Bajuwi, Shohdara and Barwoz vernaculars.
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Comment citer

Dodykhudoeva, Leyli R., « Nomenclature of the Minority Pamir Languages in Russia and Tajikistan: origin and evolution », in : Moskvitcheva, Svetlana, Viaut, Alain, éd., Les noms des variantes de langue minoritaire. Études de cas en France et en Russie, Pessac, Presses universitaires de Bordeaux , collection Diglossi@ 2, 2024, 311-340 [en ligne] https://una-editions.fr/nomenclature-of-the-minority-pamir-languages-in-russia-and-tajikistan [consulté le 15/04/2024].

Illustration de couverture • L'illustration de la première de couverture a été réalisée par Ekaterina Kaeta (École académique des Beaux-Arts de Moscou - Département de Création graphique). Deux textes y apparaissent en arrière-plan : à gauche, un extrait d'une poésie en mordve de Čislav Žuravlev (1935-2018), recopié manuellement par l'illustratrice à partir de Žuravlev Č. (2000), Večkemanʹ teše [Étoile d’amour] (tome 2, Sarans, Tipografiâ Krasnyj Oktâbrʹ, p. 139), et, à droite, un extrait d'un poème inédit en occitan de l'écrivain Bernard Manciet (1923-2005), avec l'aimable autorisation de sa famille.
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