Kashmiri language: Wikis


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कॉशुर كأشُر kạ̄šur
Spoken in Jammu and Kashmir (India)[1]

Azad Kashmir (Pakistan)[1]

Region northwestern region of the Indian subcontinent
Total speakers 4.6 million[1]
Language family Indo-European
Writing system Perso-Arabic script (contemporary),[2]
Devanagari script (contemporary),[2]
Sharada script (ancient/liturgical)[2]
Official status
Official language in  India [1]
Regulated by No official regulation
Language codes
ISO 639-1 ks
ISO 639-2 kas
ISO 639-3 kas

Kashmiri (कॉशुर, كأشُر Koshur) is a language from the Dardic sub-group[3] of the Indo-Aryan group of languages and it is spoken primarily in the Kashmir Valley, in the Indian Administered part of Jammu and Kashmir.[4][5][6] There are approximately 5,554,496 speakers in India, according to the Census of 2001.[7] Most of the 105,000 speakers or so in Pakistan are émigrés from the Kashmir Valley after the partition of India.[8] They include only a few speakers residing in border villages in Neelum District as well as individuals who settled in the towns in the plains of West Punjab after the partition.[8]

The Kashmiri language is one of the 22 scheduled languages of India,[9 ] and is a part of the Sixth Schedule in the constitution of the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Along with other regional languages mentioned in the Sixth Schedule, as well as Hindi and Urdu, the Kashmiri language is to be developed in the state.[10] Some Kashmiri speakers frequently use Hindi or English as a second language.[1] Since November 2008, the Kashmiri language has been made a compulsory subject in all schools in the Valley up to the secondary level.[11]



In 1919 George Abraham Grierson wrote that “Kashmiri is the only one of the Dardic languages that has a literature”. Kashmiri literature dates back to over 750 years, this is, more-or-less, the age of many a modern literature including modern English.

Writing system

There are three orthographical systems used to write the Kashmiri language—these are the Perso-Arabic script, the Devanagari script, and the Sharada script; additionally, due to internet technology, the Roman script is sometimes used to write Kashmiri, especially online.[2] The Kashmiri language was traditionally written in the Sharada script after the 8th Century A.D.[12] This script however, is not in common use today, except for religious ceremonies of the Kashmiri Pandits.[13] However, today, it is written in the Perso-Arabic (with some modifications) and Devanagari scripts.[14] Among languages written in the Perso-Arabic script, Kashmiri is one of the very few which regularly indicates all vowel sounds.[15] This script has been in vogue since the Muslim conquest in India and has been used by both Muslims and Hindus for centuries, in the Kashmir Valley.[16 ] However, today, the Kashmiri Perso-Arabic script has come to be associated with Kashmiri Muslims, while the Kashmiri Devanagari script, has come to be associated with the Kashmiri Hindu community, who employ the latter script.[16 ][17]


Kashmiri, like German and Old English and unlike other Indo-Aryan languages, has V2 word order.[18]

There are four cases in Kashmiri: nominative, genitive, and two oblique cases: the ergative and the dative case [19].


Kashmiri is rich in Persian words[20], much as is the case with Urdu. In reference [6], Shashishekhar Toshkhani, a scholar on Kashmir's heritage[21], provides a detailed analysis where he shows extensive linguistic relationship between the Sanskrit language and the Kashmiri language, and presents detailed arguments contesting George Grierson's classification of the Kashmiri language as a member of the Dardic sub-group (of the Indo-Aryan group of languages.)

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e "Kashmiri: A language of India". Ethnologue. http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=kas. Retrieved 2007-06-02.  
  2. ^ a b c d "Sociolinguistics". Mouton de Gruyter. http://books.google.com/books?id=LMZm0w0k1c4C&printsec=frontcover#v=onepage&q=&f=false. Retrieved 2009-08-30.  
  3. ^ "Kashmiri language". Encyclopædia Britannica. http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9044802/Kashmiri-language. Retrieved 2007-06-02.  
  4. ^ "Koshur: An Introduction to Spoken Kashmiri". Kashmir News Network: Language Section (koshur.org). http://www.koshur.org/contents.html. Retrieved 2007-06-02.  
  5. ^ "Kashmiri Literature". Kashmir Sabha, Kolkata. http://vitasta.org/2001/2.1.html. Retrieved 2007-06-02.  
  6. ^ a b S. S. Toshkhani. "Kashmiri Language: Roots, Evolution and Affinity". Kashmiri Overseas Association, Inc. (KOA). http://www.koausa.org/Languages/Shashi.html. Retrieved 2007-06-02.  
  7. ^ Abstract of speakers’ strength of languages and mother tongues – 2001, Census of India (retrieved 17 March 2008)
  8. ^ a b "The Kashmir Dispute – a cause or a symptom?". Stockholm University. http://www.sasnet.lu.se/ishtiaqkashmir.html. Retrieved 2009-07-07.  
  9. ^ "Scheduled Languages of India". Central Institute of Indian Languages. http://www.ciil.org/Main/languages/indian.htm. Retrieved 2007-06-02.  
  10. ^ "The Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir (India)". General Administrative Department of the Government of Jammu & Kashmir (India). http://jkgad.nic.in/statutory/Rules-Costitution-of-J&K.pdf. Retrieved 2007-06-02.  
  11. ^ "Kashmiri made compulsory subject in schools". API News. http://apinewsonline.com/index2.php?option=com_content&do_pdf=1&id=15922. Retrieved 2007-06-02.  
  12. ^ "Sarada". Lawrence. http://www.ancientscripts.com/sarada.html. Retrieved 2007-06-02.  
  13. ^ "The Sharada Script: Origin and Development". Kashmiri Overseas Association. http://www.koausa.org/Languages/Sharda.html. Retrieved 2009-07-07.  
  14. ^ "Kashmiri (कॉशुर / كٲشُر)". Omniglot. http://www.omniglot.com/writing/kashmiri.htm. Retrieved 2009-07-07.  
  15. ^ Daniels & Bright (1996). The World's Writing Systems. pp. 753–754.  
  16. ^ a b "Valley divide impacts Kashmiri, Pandit youth switch to Devnagari". Indian Express. http://www.indianexpress.com/news/valley-divide-impacts-kashmiri-pandit-youth/472872/. Retrieved 2009-07-07.  
  17. ^ "Devnagari Script for Kashmiri: A Study in its Necessity, Feasibility and Practicality". Kashmiri Overseas Association. http://www.koausa.org/Languages/devan1.html. Retrieved 2009-07-07.  
  18. ^ "V-2 and the Verb Complex in Kashmiri". University of Michigan and Central Institute of Indian Languages. http://www-personal.umich.edu/~pehook/kash.verb.html. Retrieved 2008-06-04.  
  19. ^ Edelman (1983). The Dardic and Nuristani Languages.  
  20. ^ Krishna, Gopi (1967). Kundalini: The Evolutionary Energy in Man. Boston: Shambhala. p. 212. ISBN 978-1570622809. http://www.scribd.com/doc/7577310/KUNDALINI-the-evolutionary-energy-in-man.  
  21. ^ "Dr. Shashishekhar Toshkhani: The Literary Works". Kashmir News Network. http://ikashmir.net/sstoshkhani/. Retrieved 2009-08-21.  

External links

Kashmiri language edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Simple English

Population 4,391,000 in Indian-administered Kashmir. Population includes including 4,370,000 Kashmiri, 21,000 Kishtwari (1997). Population total all countries: 4,611,000.

Region Indian-administered Kashmir; Punjab (Pakistan); North-West Frontier Province; Kashmir Valley. Also spoken in other parts of Pakistan, United Kingdom.

Alternate names Keshur, Kaschemiri, Cashmiri, Cashmeeree, Kacmiri

Dialects Bakawali, Bunjwali, Standard Kashmiri, Kishtwari (Kashtawari, Kistwali, Kashtwari, Kathiawari), Miraski, Poguli, Rambani, Riasi, Shah-Mansuri, Siraji of Doda, Siraji-Kashmiri, Zayoli, Zirak-Boli. Transitional dialects to Panjabi. Kashtawari dialect is standard, other dialects are influenced by Dogri.

Classification Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Northwestern zone, Dardic, Kashmiri Language use Official language. 80% in Urdu (85% male, 12% female over 35 years) (Koul and Schmidt). 83% prefer use of Kashmiri as medium in primary school, 48% in middle school (Koul and Schmidt). Some use English or Urdu as a second language.

Language development Literacy rate in first language: 88% male 12% female over 35 years of age (Koul and Schmidt). Literacy rate in second language: Men 36.3%, women 15.9%; rural 21.6%, urban 45.5% (1981 census). Persian-based script. Newspapers. Radio programs. Films. Grammar. Bible: 1899.

Comments Literature can be traced to the 1400s, and poetry is important. Not used in primary education. SVO. Mountain slope, valleys. 1,800 meters. Agriculturalists: rice, wheat, maize; craftsmen: weaving, carpets, carving, furniture, papier-mâché. Muslim.

Spoken In

Pakistan Language name Kashmiri Population 105,000 in Pakistan (1993). Region Azad Jammu and Kashmir, south of Shina. Alternate names Kaschemiri, Kacmiri, Keshuri, Cashmiri, Cashmeeree

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