Kata-vari dialect

Kata-vari is a dialect of the Kamkata-vari language spoken by the Kata in parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan. The most used alternative names are Kati, Kativiri or Bashgali.

Native toAfghanistan, Pakistan
RegionNuristan, Kunar, Chitral
Native speakers
134,010 (2017)[1]
Arabic script
Language codes
ISO 639-3bsh

It is spoken by approximately 40,000 people (mostly in Afghanistan, just over 3,700 in Pakistan), and its speakers are Muslim. Literacy rates are low: below 1% for people who have it as a first language, and between 15% to 25% for people who have it as a second language.

There are two main sub-dialects: Eastern Kata-vari and Western Kata-vari. In Afghanistan, Western Kata-vari is spoken in the Ramgal, Kulam, Ktivi and Paruk valleys of Nuristan. Eastern Kata-vari is spoken in the upper Landai Sin Valley. In Pakistan, Eastern Kata-vari is spoken in Chitral District, in Gobar and the upper Bumboret Valley.



Labial Dental/
Retroflex Palatal Velar
Plosive voiceless p t ʈ k
voiced b d ɖ ɡ
Affricate voiceless t͡s t͡ʃ t͡ʂ
voiced (d͡z) d͡ʒ d͡ʐ
Fricative voiceless (f) s ʃ ʂ (x)
voiced v z (ʒ) ʐ (ɣ)
Nasal m n ɳ ŋ
Tap ɾ (ɽ)
Approximant lateral l
central ɻ (j)
  • Sounds /ʒ ɽ ɣ/ occur from neighboring languages. /f d͡z x/ are borrowed from loanwords.
  • /ʈ/ can also be heard as an allophone [ɽ].
  • [j] is heard as an allophone of /i/.
  • /v/ can also be heard as bilabial [β] or a labial approximant [w].


Front Central Back
High i ə u
Mid e o
Low a
  • Mid /ə/ can be heard as a close central [ɨ].



1sg. uze (nominative), ie (accusative), iema (genitive)

1pl. imu (nominative/accusative/genitive)

2sg. tiu (nominative), tu (accusative), tuma (genitive)

2pl. šo (nominative/accusative/genitive)


1: ev

2: diu

3: tre

4: štavo

5: puč

6: ṣu

7: sut

8: uṣṭ

9: nu

10: duć


  1. ^ Simons, Gary F; Fennig, Charles D, eds. (2018). Ethnologue: Languages of the World (21st ed.). Dallas, Texas: SIL International.
  • Grjunberg, Aleksandr L. (1980). Jazyk Kati: Teksty, Grammatičeskij Očerk. Moskva: Glavnaya Redaktsija Vostočnoj Literatury.
  • Strand, Richard F. (1973). Notes on the Nūristāni and Dardic Languages. Journal of the American Oriental Society.
  • Strand, Richard F. (2010). "Nurestâni Languages". Encyclopaedia Iranica, Online Edition. Archived from the original on 2016-11-06. Retrieved 2012-01-16.
  • Strand, Richard F. (2011). "Kâtʹa-vari Lexicon". Retrieved 2020-11-22.

External linksEdit