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Kalami language

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Title: Kalami language  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Languages of Pakistan, Swat District, Nepali language, Arabic script, Kalami
Collection: Dardic Languages, Languages of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Languages of Pakistan
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Kalami language

Region Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Native speakers
100,000 (2004)[1]
Arabic script
Language codes
ISO 639-3 gwc
Glottolog kala1373[2]
Linguasphere 59-AAC-c

Kalami (کالامي) also known as Gawri (ګاوری, IPA: ), is a Dardic language spoken in the Swat Kohistan region in the upper Swat District and in the upper Panjkora river valley of Upper Dir District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.


  • Classification 1
  • Geographic distribution 2
  • Phonology 3
    • Vowels 3.1
    • Consonants 3.2
    • Tone 3.3
  • Grammar 4
    • Syntax 4.1
    • Morphology 4.2
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • Further reading 7
  • External links 8


According to its genealogical classification (Strand, 1973:302 and 2004), Kalam Kohistani belongs to the Kohistani subgroup of the north-western zone of Indo-Aryan languages, along with several closely related languages in its geographical vicinity: Torwali (in the Swat valley south of Kalam), Indus Kohistani, Bateri, Chilisso, and Gawro (the latter four east of Kalam in Indus Kohistan). Together with a range of other north-western Indo-Aryan mountain languages, these languages are sometimes collectively referred to as ‘Dardic’ languages.[3]

Geographic distribution

Kalam Kohistani (also called Gawri, a name that has old historical roots.

The same language is also spoken across the mountains to the West of Kalam Kohistan, in the upper reaches of the Panjkora river valley of Upper Dir District. When added together, the two Kalam-Kohistani-speaking communities comprised over 200,000 people.



Front Back
Close i u
Mid e o
Open a ɑ

Length (/ː/) and nasalization (/ ̃/) are probably contrastive for all vowels.


Labial Dental Retroflex Palatal Velar Uvular Glottal
Nasal m n ɳ ŋ
Stop voiceless p t ʈ k (q)
voiced b d ɖ ɡ
aspirated ʈʰ
Affricate plain ts
aspirated tsʰ tʂʰ tʃʰ
Fricative voiceless (f) s ʂ ʃ x h
voiced z ɣ
Lateral voiceless ɬ
voiced l
Approximant j w
Flap ɾ ɽ

/q f z x ɣ/ occur mainly in loanwords. /q f/ tend to be replaced by /x p/, respectively.

After the front vowels /i e a/, the velars /k ɡ ŋ/ are palatalized: [kʲ ɡʲ ŋʲ].


Kalami has 5 contrastive tones: high level, high falling, delayed high falling, low level, low rising.



The default sentence order is SOV, but this can be changed for emphasis.


See also


  1. ^ Kalami at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Kalami".  
  3. ^ Tone and song in Kalam Kohistani

Further reading

  • Baart, Joan L.G. (2004). "Constrastive tone in Kalam Kohistani". Linguistic Discovery 2 (2).  

External links

  • The Gawri Language of Kalam and Dir Kohistan
  • Tone and song in Kalam Kohistani
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