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Waigali language

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Title: Waigali language  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Nuristani languages, Kayort language, Mirgan language, Kharia Thar language, Shumashti language
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Waigali language

Native to Afghanistan
Region Nuristan Province
Native speakers
12,000  (2011)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 wbk
Glottolog waig1243[2]
Linguasphere 58-ACC-a

Waigali is a language spoken by the Kalasha of the Waigal Valley in Afghanistan's Nuristan Province. The native name is Kalaṣa-alâ 'Kalasha-language'. "Waigali" refers to the dialect of the Väy people of the upper part of the Waigal Valley, centered on the town of Waigal, which is distinct from the dialect of the Čima-Nišei people who inhabit the lower valley. The word "Kalasha" is the native ethnonym for all the speakers of the southern Nuristani languages.

Kalaṣa-alâ belongs to the Indo-European language family, and is in the southern Nuristani group of the Indo-Iranian branch. There are approximately 10,000 speakers of Kalaṣa-alâ.

Kalaṣa-alâ is closely related to the Tregami language, with a lexical similarity of approximately 76% to 80% according to one estimate.

Note that there is close connection between Kalaṣha-alâ and Kalaṣa-mun, which is spoken in Pakistan's southern Chitral District. These two languages descend from different branches of the Proto-Indo-Iranian language. According to linguist Richard Strand the Kalasha of Chitral apparently adopted the name of the Nuristani Kalasha, who at some unknown time extended their influence into the region of southern Chitral.


  1. ^ Waigali at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Waigali". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  • Strand, Richard F. (2010). "Nurestâni Languages". Encyclopaedia Iranica, Online Edition. Retrieved 2012-01-16. 

External links

  • Strand, Richard F. (1997-present). "Nuristan: Hidden Land of the Hindu-Kush". Retrieved 2012-01-16. 
  • Strand, Richard F. (1998). "The Kalaṣa of Kalaṣüm". Retrieved 2012-01-16. 
  • Strand, Richard F. (2011). "Kalaṣa-alâ Lexicon". Retrieved 2012-01-16. 
  • Strand, Richard F. (2011). "The Sound System of Kalaṣa-alâ". Retrieved 2012-01-16. 

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