Indus Kohistani

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Indus Kohistani (Kōstāĩ) is a Dardic language spoken in part of the Indus valley in Kohistan District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, Pakistan. The language was referred to as Maiyã (Mayon) or Shuthun by early researchers, but subsequent observations have not verified that these names are known locally.[2] It is also known as Abasin Kohistani.[citation needed]

Indus Kohistani
RegionIndus Kohistan
Native speakers
(200,000 cited 1992)[1]
Arabic script
Language codes
ISO 639-3mvy
Minor languages of Pakistan as of the 1998 census.png
Kohistani is a minor language of Pakistan which is mainly spoken in the Kohistan region, it is given a space in this map.


The phonology of Indus Kohistani varies between its major dialects as shown below.[3]


Front Central Back
Close i iː u uː
Mid e eː o oː
Open a aː

In the Kanyawali dialect, the back vowels /u/ and /o/ are described as variants of each other, as are the front vowels /i/ and /e/.


The consonant inventory of Indus Kohistani is shown in the chart below. (Consonants particular to the Kanyawali Dialect of Tangir and those found only in the Kohistan Dialects are color-coded respectively.)

Labial Coronal Retroflex Palatal Velar Uvular Glottal
Nasal Voiced m n ɳ
Breathy Voiced ()
Stop Voiceless p t ʈ k (q)
Aspirated ʈʰ
Voiced b d ɖ ɡ
Breathy Voiced ɖʱ ɡʱ
Affricate Voiceless ts
Aspirated tsʰ tʃʰ
Fricative Voiceless f s ʂ ʃ x h
Voiced v z ʐ ʒ ɣ
Lateral l
Rhotic Voiced r ɽ
Breathy Voiced ɽʱ
Semivowel j w

The phonemes /x/, /ɣ/, and /q/ are mainly found in loan words. The status of /q/ in the Kanyawali Dialect is unclear. The sounds /f, v/ can also be bilabial [ɸ, β].[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Indus Kohistani at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Zoller 2005, p. 2.
  3. ^ Edelman 1983, pp. 246, 253.
  4. ^ Zoller 2005, p. 36.


  • Edelman, D. I. (1983). The Dardic and Nuristani Languages. Moscow: (Institut vostokovedenii︠a︡ (Akademii︠a︡ nauk SSSR).CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Zoller, Claus Peter (2005). A grammar and dictionary of Indus Kohistani. Volume 1: Dictionary. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. ISBN 978-3-11-017947-7.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)