Khowar language

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Native to Afghanistan, Pakistan,
Native speakers 290,000 [1]  (2016)
Language family
Language codes
ISO 639-2 ine
ISO 639-3 khw

Khowar (کهووار) is an Indo-Aryan language of the Dardic branch.[2][3]

It is also spoken in parts of Gilgit and Hunza. There are believed to be small numbers of Khowar speakers in Afghanistan. Khowar is an Indo-Aryan language of the Dardic sub-group of languages. It is also one of the oldest languages of the Dardic group.[4]


The kho which means mountain and war means language in Khowar is belive spoken from 500 years in Chitral region. Many Indo-European language words are found in Khowar.


Khowar has a variety of dialects, which may vary phonemically. The following tables lay out the basic phonology of Khowar.


Khowar like many Dardic languages has either phonemic tone or stress distinctions.


  1. Ethnologue
  3. "Khowar; A Language of Pakistan". Ethnologue. Retrieved 25 December 2015.
  4. Danesh Jain; George Cardona, The Indo-Aryan Languages (London; Routledge, 2003), p. 843

More reading

  • Elena Bashir, (2001) Spatial Representation in Khowar. Proceedings of the 36th Annual Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society. Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society.
  • Kendall D. Decker, (1992) Languages of Chitral ISBN 969-8023-15-1
  • Erik L’Homme, (1999) Parlons Khowar. Langue et culture de l’ancien royaume de Chitral au Pakistan. Paris: L’Harmattan
  • Georg Morgenstierne, (1936) Iranian Elements in Khowar. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, Vol. VIII, London.
  • Badshah munir Bukhari (2001) Khowar language. University publisher.Pakistan
  • Georg Morgenstierne, (1947) Some Features of Khowar Morphology. Norsk Tidsskrift for Sprogvidenskap, Vol. XIV, Oslo.
  • Georg Morgenstierne, (1957) Sanskritic Words in Khowar. Felicitation Volume Presented to S.K. Belvalkar. Benares. 84-98 [Reprinted in Morgenstierne (1973): Irano-Dardica, 267-72]
  • Mohammad Ismail Sloan (1981) Khowar-English Dictionary. Peshawar. ISBN 0-923891-15-3.