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Balochi
بلوچی baločî
Spoken in Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, UAE, Oman
Total speakers 7–8 million (1998, Ethnologue) not include Northern Balochi
Language family Indo-European
Official status
Official language in Pakistan Balochistan, Pakistan
Regulated by No official regulation
Language codes
ISO 639-1 None
ISO 639-2 bal
ISO 639-3 variously:
bal – Baluchi (generic)
bgp – Eastern Balochi
bgn – Western Balochi
bcc – Southern Balochi
Indic script
This page contains Indic text. Without rendering support you may see irregular vowel positioning and a lack of conjuncts. More...

Balochi (بلوچی also Baluchi) is a Northwestern Iranian language.[1] It is the principal language of the Baloch of Balochistan, Pakistan, eastern Iran and southern Afghanistan. It is also spoken as a second language by some Brahui. It is designated as one of nine official languages of Pakistan.

Contents

Phonology

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Vowels

The Balochi vowel system has at least eight vowels: five long vowels and three short vowels.[2] The long vowels are /aː/, /eː/, /iː/, /oː/, and /uː/. The short vowels are /a/, /i/ and /u/. The short vowels have more centralized phonetic qualities than the long vowels.

Southern Balochi (at least as spoken in Karachi) also has nasalized vowels, most importantly /ẽː/ and /ãː/.[3]

Consonants

The following consonants are common to both Western Balochi and Southern Balochi.[4] The place of articulation of the consonants /s/, /z/, /n/, /ɾ/ and /l/ is claimed to be alveolar in Western Balochi, while at least the /ɾ/ is claimed to be dental in Southern Balochi. The stops /t/ and /d/ are claimed to be dental in both dialects.

Geographic distribution of Balochi and the other Iranian languages
Labial Dental Alveolar Retroflex Palatoalveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Stop p b t d ʈ ɖ k ɡ
Affricate t͡ʃ d͡ʒ
Fricative s z ʃ ʒ[cn 1] h[cn 2]
Tap ɾ ɽ[cn 3]
Nasal m n
Approximant w l j

Notes

  1. ^ Words with /ʒ/ are uncommon.
  2. ^ Word-initial /h/ is dropped in Balochi as spoken in Karachi.
  3. ^ The retroflex tap has a very limited distribution.

In addition, /f/ is listed for Southern Balochi, but is found in few words. /x/ (voiceless velar fricative) in some loanwords in Southern Balochi corresponding to /χ/ (voiceless uvular fricative) in Western Balochi; and /ɣ/ (voiced velar fricative) in some loanwords in Southern Balochi corresponding to /ʁ/ (voiced uvular fricative) in Western Balochi.

Grammar

The normal word order is Subject Object Verb. Like many other Indo-Iranian languages, Balochi has split ergativity. In the present tense or future tense, the subject is marked as nominative, and the object is marked as accusative. In the past tense, however, the subject of a transitive verb is marked as oblique, and the verb agrees with the object.[5]

Dialects

History

Balochi is closely related to other Northwestern Iranian languages such as Kurdish.

Writing system

Before the 19th century, Balochi was an unwritten language. The official written language was Persian, although Balochi was still spoken at the Baloch courts. British linguists and political historians wrote form with the Roman script, but following the creation of Pakistan, Baloch scholars adopted Urdu Arabic script. Sayad Zahurshah Hashomi was the first scholar who wrote a comprehensive guidance on the usage of Urdu Arabic script. This earned Sayad Hashomi the title of 'the Father of Balochi'. Sayad's guidances are widely used in Eastern and Western Balochistan. In Afghanistan, however, Balochi is written in a modified Arabic script based on what is used for Pashto.

The Sayad Zahurshah Hashomi 'Urdu Arabic orthography'

ا آ ب پ ت ٹ ج چ د ڈ ر ڑ ز ژ س ش ک گ ل م ن و ھ ء ی ے

Baluchi Roman orthography

The following Latin-script based orthography was adopted in the International Workshop on "Balochi Roman Orthography" (University of Uppsala, Sweden, May 28-30, 2000).

Alphabetical order:

a á b c d ď e f g ĝ h i í j k l m n o p q r ř s š t ť u ú v w x y z ž ay aw

(33 letters and 2 digraphs)

A/a amb (mango), angúr (grape), bagg (camel-caravan), sardar (naked-head), namb (mist)

Á/á dár (wood), árt (flour), bahá (price), pád (foot), áhag (to come), áhán (them)

B/b (be) barp (snow, ice), bám (dawn), bágpán (gardner), baktáwar (lucky)

C/c (che) cattr (umbrella), bacc (son), kárc (knife), Karácí, Kulánc, Cákar, Bálác

D/d (de) dard (pain), drad (rainshower), dárú (medicine), wád (salt)

Ď/ď is same as Ř/ř (ře) so this latter is preferably used to simplify the orthography.

E/e eš (this), cer (below), eraht (end of date harvest), pešraw (leader, forerunner), kamer (ploughshare)

F/f (fe) To be used only in loan words where its use is inevitable, like Fráns (France), fármaysí (pharmacy)

G/g (ge) gapp (talk), ganok (mad), bág (garden), bagg (herd of camels), pádag (foot), Bagdád (Baghdad)

Ĝ/ĝ (like ĝhaen in Perso-Arabic script) Only in loan words and in eastern dialects

H/h (he) hár (flood), máh (moon), koh (mountain), mahár (rein), hon (blood)

I/i (i) istál (star), idá (here), pit/piss (father), bigir (take), kirr (near)

Í/í (í) ímmán (faith), šír (milk), pakír (beggar), samín (breeze), gálí (carpet)

J/j (je) jang (war), janag (to beat), jing (lark), ganj (treasure), sajjí (roasted meat)

K/k (ke) Kirmán (Kirman), kárc (knife), náko (uncle), gwask (calf), kasán (small)

L/l (le) láp (stomach), gal (joy), gall (party, organization), gull (cheek), gul (rose)

M/m (me) mát/más (mother), bám (dawn), camm (eye), mastir (leader, bigger).

N/n (ne) nán/nagan/nagan (bread), nok (new, new moon), dann (outside), kwahn (old), náko (uncle)

O/o (o) oštag (to stop), ožnág (swim), roc (sun), dor (pain), socag (to burn)

P/p (pe) Pád (foot), šap (night), šapád (bare-footed), gapp (talk), aptád (70)

Q/q (qú) Used in loan words, like Qábús

R/r (re) Rustum (a name), rek (sand), barag (to take away), girag (to get), garrag (to bray), gurrag (to roar), šarr (good), sarag (head), sarrag (a kind of donkey's braying)

Ř/ř (ře) řák (post), řukkál (famine), gařř (urial), guřř (last), guřřag (to chop).

S/s (se) sarag (head), kass (someone), kasán (little), bass (enough), ás (fire)

Š/š (še) šap (night), šád (happy), meš (sheep), šuwánag (shepherd), wašš (happy, tasty).

T/t (te) tagird (mat), tahná (alone) tás (bowl), kilítt (kay), masítt (mosque), battí (lantern)

Ť/ť (ťe) ťung (hole), ťíllo (bell), baťť (cooked rice), baťťág (eggplant).

U/u uštir (camel), šumá (you), ustád (teacher), gužn (hunger), buz (goat)

Ú/ú (ú, sounds like the "oo" in English word "root") úrt (thin), zúrag (to take), bizú (take), dúr (distant)

V/v (ve) used in loanwords only, like in the English word service, very.

W/w (we) warag (food, to eat), wardin (provision), dawár (abode), wád (salt), kawwás (learned)

X/x (khe) Xudá (God),

Y/y (ye) yád (remembrance), yár (friend), yázdah (eleven), biryání (roasted meat), raydyo (radio), yakk (one)

Z/z (ze) zarr (monay), zí (yesterday), muzz (wages), moz (banana), nazzíkk (nearby), bazgar (tenant)

Ž/ž (že) žand (tired), žáng (bells), pažm (wool), gažžag (to swell), gužnag (hungry).

ay (h)ayrán (surprise), ayrát (distribution), say (3), may (our), kay (who), šumay (your)

Aw/aw kawr (river), hawr (rain), kissaw (story), dawl (sort), dawr (jump), awlád (off-spring), kawl (promise), gawk (neck).

Grammatical works on Balochi

  • Axenov, Serge. 2006. The Balochi language of Turkmenistan: A corpus-based grammatical description. Uppsala, Sweden: Acta Uppsala Universitet.
  • Barker, Muhammad A. & Aqil Khan Mengal. 1969. A course in Baluchi. Montreal: McGill University.
  • Collett, Nigel A. 1983. A grammar, phrase book, and vocabulary of Baluchi. Abingdon: Burgess & Son.
  • Farrell, Tim. 1989. A study of ergativity in Balochi.' M.A. thesis: School of Oriental & African Studies, University of London.
  • Farrell, Tim. 1990. Basic Balochi: An introductory course. Naples: Instituto Universitario Orientale, Dipartimento di Studi Asiatici.
  • Farrell, Tim. 1995. Fading ergativity? A study of ergativity in Balochi. In David C. Bennett, Theodora Bynon & B. George Hewitt (eds.), Subject, voice, and ergativity: Selected essays, 218-243. London: School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
  • Gilbertson, George W. 1923. The Balochi language. A grammar and manual. Hertford: Stephen Austin & Sons.
  • Gilbertson, George W. 1925. English-Balochi colloquial dictionary. Hertford: Stephen Austin & Sons.
  • Jahani, Carina. 1990. Standardization and orthography in the Balochi language. Studia Iranica Upsaliensia. Uppsala, Sweden: Almqvist & Wiksell Internat.
  • Jahani, Carina. 2000. Language in society: Eight sociolinguistic essays on Balochi. Uppsala, Sweden: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis.
  • Korn, Agnes. 2009. Marking of arguments in Balochi ergative and mixed constructions. In Simin Karimi, VIda Samiian & Donald Stilo (eds.) Aspects of Iranian Linguistics, 249-276. Newcastle upon Tyne (UK): Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Eastern Iranian languages". Encyclopedia Iranica. "Baluchi, a North-Western Iranian language, is spoken chiefly in Pakistan, in the south-eastern corner of the Iranophone area."
  2. ^ See Farrell (1990) for Southern Balochi (as spoken in Karachi, Pakistan, and Axenov (2006) for Western Balochi as spoken in Turkmenistan.
  3. ^ Farrell (1990).
  4. ^ See Axenov (2006) and Farrell (1990), respectively.
  5. ^ "Balochi" at National Virtual Translation Center. Archive copy at the Internet Archive

External links


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