Parya language

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Native to Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan
Region Gissar Valley, Surkhandarya basin
Native speakers
3,000 in Tajikistan (2008)[1]
1,000 in Uzbekistan (no date)[2]
extinct in Afghanistan (no date)[3]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 paq
Glottolog pary1242[4]

Parya (Russian: Парья язык) is a Central Indo-Aryan language spoken in parts of Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan especially on Dushanbe city. Tajuzbeki (or Tadj-Uzbeki) was an alternative name coined by Bholanath Tivari for the same language. Much of the academic research in documenting and characterizing this isolated Indo-Aryan language was done by prominent Soviet linguist I. M. Oranski.

Classification and Geography

Parya is a language that is very close to becoming extinct. It is classified under Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, and the Central Zone[5] but is unclassified within the Indo-Aryan branch of Indo-Iranian.[6] The language may also be referred to as Afgana-Yi Nasfurush, Afghana-Yi Siyarui, Changgars, Laghmani, or Pbharya,[7] but there are no other similar languages with the same ISO number, which is the code used to identify languages around the world. The main dialect of Parya is Marwari. Marwari is related to Punjabi which is related to the Afghanistan dialect.[8] The largest Parya villages in Tajikistan are the villages of Afghonobod, Qalai Hisor, Pravda Vostok, Boloi Kanal, and Kolkhozi Leninism.[6]

Endangerment of the Language

Depending on what source one refers to, there are anywhere from about 3,000 to 7,500 speakers left.[9][10] The language is not even officially recognized or used in schools.[11] With numbers so low, the language is categorized as severely endangered. This means it is mainly spoken by older generations, it is understood younger generations, but the youngest generations don't really use it at all.[12]

Speakers of Parya

Many of those who speak the Parya language Sunni Muslims,[8] and many of them are farmers, and more specifically, primarily rice farmers.[8] Many of the people live in Tajikistan, but some also live in Uzbekistan and Afghanistan. Since the language is so endangered and not many people know it, those who do speak it tend to be bilingual in the dominant languages surrounding them,[13] however, when Uzbek and Tajik men marry Parya women, they tend to learn the language and assimilate.[7] Although many are bilingual, the Tajik language has increasingly influenced the Parya language.[14] The language is mostly spoken with ones family and relations, and it is almost always spoken in the homes of native speakers.[15]

Region and Genealogy

Parya is largely spoken in the border regions between Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, specifically in the towns of Hisor, Shahrinav, Regar/Tursunzoda and Surchi, located in the Hissor Valley of Tajikistan and the Surkhondaryo basin of Uzbekistan. It is based on the Brij Bhasha, Haryanvi and Rajasthani dialects, and is highly influenced by Uzbek, Tajik and Russian languages.[16][17]

There are about 2,500 speakers worldwide. Parya speakers are usually bilingual in Tajik, but tend to exclusively use Parya at home.[18]

Vigesimal counting

Parya employs some vigesimal numeral counting patterns, though the base words used are Hindi.[19][20]

English Parya Hindi Hindi root words
One Jek Ek
Two Du Do
Three Tin Tin
Four Tshar Char
Five Pandzh Panch
Ten Dus Das
Twenty Bis Bis
Seventy Sare tin bisi Sattar Sarhe tin = three and a half; bis = twenty
Ninety Sare char bisi Nabbe Sarhe char = four and a half; bis = twenty


  1. ^ Parya at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Languages of Uzbekistan at Lewis, M. Paul, ed. (2009). Ethnologue: Languages of the World (16th ed.). Dallas, Texas: SIL International.
  3. ^ Parya language at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  4. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Parya". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  5. ^ "Did you know Parya is threatened?". Endangered Languages. Retrieved 2017-03-10.
  6. ^ a b Abbess, Elisabeth; Muller, Katja; Paul, Daniel; Tiessen, Calvin; Tiessen, Gabriela (May 2010). "Language Maintenance Among the Parya of Tajikistan". Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  7. ^ a b "Parya". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2017-03-10.
  8. ^ a b c Project, Joshua. "Parya in Tajikistan". Retrieved 2017-03-10.
  9. ^ Abbess, Elisabeth; Muller, Katja; Paul, Daniel; Tiessen, Calvin; Tiessen, Gabriela (May 2010). "Language Maintenance Among the Parya of Tajikistan". Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  10. ^ Brenzinger, Matthias (2007-01-01). Language Diversity Endangered. Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 9783110170504.
  11. ^ Clifton, John. "Stable Multilingualism in Tajikstan" (PDF). Academia. Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  12. ^ ChartsBin. "Number of Endangered Languages by Country". ChartsBin. Retrieved 2017-03-10.
  13. ^ Abbess, Elisabeth; Muller, Katja; Paul, Daniel; Tiessen, Calvin; Tiessen, Gabriela (May 2010). "Language Maintenance Among the Parya of Tajikistan". Retrieved March 10, 2017.
  14. ^ Moseley, Christopher (2010-01-01). Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger. UNESCO. ISBN 9789231040962.
  15. ^ "Did you know Parya is threatened?". Endangered Languages. Retrieved 2017-03-10.
  16. ^ Bholanath Tivari, "Soviet Sangh mein boli jane vali Hindi boli: Tajuzbeki : Aitihasik aur tulanatmak adhyayan tatha sankshipt shabdkosh" or "Tajuzbeki: The Hindi of the Soviet Union: A historical and comparative study, and glossary", National Publishing House, 1970
  17. ^ Tatiana Oranskaia, "Parya yazyk", Yazyki Rossiyskoy Federatsii i sosednix gosudarstv. Entsiklopediya. V tryox tomax. II K-R. Moskva: "Nauka"; 2001
  18. ^ Barbara F. Grimes, Richard Saunders Pittman, Joseph Evans Grimes, "Ethnologue: Languages of the World", Summer Institute of Linguistics, 1996; ISBN 0-88312-815-2, ISBN 978-0-88312-815-2
  19. ^ Jadranka Gvozdanović, "Numeral types and changes worldwide", Walter de Gruyter, 1999; ISBN 3-11-016113-3, ISBN 978-3-11-016113-7
  20. ^ Iosef Mikhailovich Oranski, "Dva indoariyski dialekta iz Srednei Azii", Indiyskaya i Iranskaya Filologiya; Institut Narodov Azii, Nauka, 1964.

External links

  • The Indo-Aryan languages - a tour
  • Parya numerals
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