Southern Pashto

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Kandahārī Pashtō (Pashto: کندهارۍ پښتو‎), also known as Southern Pashto, Western Pashto, or Southwestern Pashto,[1] is a Pashto dialect, spoken in southern and western Afghanistan, including the city of Kandahar. It is similar with Quetta (Kakar) and Khattak dialects (95–100% similarities in vocabulary, and 80% with Yusufzai dialect). It is one of the most archaic and most prestigious varieties of Pashto.

Kandahari Pashto is spoken in Kandahar, Helmand, Ghazni, most of Urozgan, Farah, and Nimruz, southeastern Ghor, the districts of Murghab, Ghormach, Muqur, and Jawand in Badghis, and parts of Zabul, Paktika, and Herat provinces of Afghanistan. It is also spoken in parts of the provinces of Razavi Khorasan and South Khorasan in Iran, where they numbered roughly 120,000 (in 1993).[2] Kandahari Pashto is almost same as the southeastern Pashto dialect, spoken in northern Balochistan including Quetta city, except for few phonetic differences.

The Kandahari dialect retains archaic retroflex sibilants, /ʂ/ and /ʐ/ (in other dialects, they have shifted to ʃ/x and ʒ/g). In the Quetta and Kakar dialects they change to ʃ and ʒ. Kandahari also has the affricates /t͡s/ and /d͡z/.

Dialect[3] ښ ږ څ ځ ژ ā
Kandahar [ʂ] [ʐ] [t͡s] [d͡z] [ʒ] [ɑ]
Khattak [ʃ] [ʒ] [t͡s] [z] [ʒ] [ɔ]
Quetta [ʃ] [ʒ] [t͡s] [d͡z] [ʒ, z] [ɑ]
Peshawar [x] [ɡ] [s] [z] [d͡ʒ] [ɑ]

Pronouns are also archaic. It is differences in 'he' and 'she' pronouns. In all 3rd-person pronouns 'h' is articulated.

Personal pronoun[3] Kandahar Quetta Peshawar Meaning
زه I
ته tə, реже təi tə, реже təi you (singular)
هغه hağə ağə əğə he
هغه hağe ağə əğə she
موږ/مونږ mʊž̥ mʊž/məž muŋ/muŋg we
تاسو/تاسې tāse/tāsī tāse/tāsī tāso you (plural)
هغوی hağwi/hağūi ağwi/ağūi ağʷi/ağʷəi they


  1. ^ Prods Oktor Skjærvø, P.O. 1989. Pashto. In "Compendium Linguarum Iranicarum", R. Schmitt (ed.), 384-410.
  2. ^
  3. ^ a b Hallberg, Daniel G. 1992. Pashto, Waneci, Ormuri. Sociolinguistic Survey of Northern Pakistan, 4.

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