Wasi-wari (Vasi-vari, Wasi-weri) is the language of the Wasi people, spoken in a few villages in the Pârun Valley (Prasun Valley) in Afghanistan. It also goes by the name Prasun or Paruni.

Wasi-wari
Prasun, Paruni
Vâsi-vari
Native toAfghanistan
RegionPârun Valley
Native speakers
8,000 (2011)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3prn
Glottologpras1239
ELPPrasuni
Linguasphere58-ACB-b

Vasi-vari belongs to the Indo-European language family, and is on the Nuristani group of the Indo-Iranian branch. Vasi-vari is the most isolated of the Nuristani languages.

As far as is known, its speakers are 100% Muslim. Literacy rates are low: below 1% for people who have it as a first language, and between 15% and 25% for people who have it as a second language.

DemographicsEdit

Wasi-wari is a language spoken by the Vâs’i people who are located in the Pârun Valley, known as Vâs’i gul, at the beginning of the Pech River Basin in the Nurestân Province of Northeastern Afghanistan. The Vâs’i refer to the language as Vâs’i-vari or Vâs’i-vare, but it is also known as Prasuni, Paruni, Parun, Vasi-vari, Prasun, Veron, Verou, Veruni, Wasi-veri, Wasi-weri, Wasin-veri, Vasi Vari, and Pārūnī. The population of Vâs’i gul is between 3000-6000, and there are approximately 8000 native speakers, which makes it a vulnerable language.

DialectsEdit

Wasi-wari is broken up into three dialects that are spoken in six villages. The upper dialect, Ṣup'u-vari, is spoken in the northernmost village, Ṣup'u. The central dialect, üšʹüt-üćʹü-zumʹu-vari, is spoken in the middle four villages, S’eć, Üć’ü, Üšʹüt, and Zum’u. The Lower dialect, Uṣ'üt-var’e, is spoken in Uṣ'üt, the lowest village.[2]

ClassificationEdit

Wasi-wari is part of the Nuristani branch of the Indo-Iranian languages, which has both Iranian and Indo-Aryan influences.[3] Nuristani languages were formerly considered to be Dardic languages,[4] however, they are dissimilar enough from the other Dardic languages to constitute their own branch of the Indo-Iranian language tree. There was also previously confusion on whether Wasi-wari and Prasun were the same or separate languages, but it was determined that both names referred to the same language.[5] Although it is substantially different from the other Nuristâni languages, Wasi-wari forms the northern cluster of Nuristâni languages with Kâmk’ata-Mumkst’a-vari, so they share some similarities.[6]

PhonologyEdit

VowelsEdit

Wasi-wari has eight vowels, â, u, o, i, e, ü, ö, and the unmarked vowel, a, which is pronounced as a high central vowel, [ɨ]. Long vowels are denoted with :, such as [i:].

PronounsEdit

nominative accusative genitive
1sg. unźū andeš am
1pl. āsẽm ās
2sg. ūyu utyōiš ĩ
2pl. miū āsen

NumeralsEdit

Number Vâs’i-vari Word
1 ipin or attege
2 lūe
3 chhī
4 chipū
5 uch
6 ushū
7 sete
8 aste
9 nūh
10 leze
11 zizh
12 wizū
13 chhīza
14 chipults
15 vishilhts
16 ushulhts
17 setilts
18 astilts
19 nalts
20
30 lezaij
40 jibeze
50 lejjibets
60 chichegzū
70 chichegzālets
80 chipegzū
90 chipegzualets
100 ochegzū

[7]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Wasi-wari at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ Strand, R. F. (2000). The Vâsi. Retrieved from: http://nuristan.info/Nuristani/Vasi/vasi.html
  3. ^ Strand, R. F. (2010). Nurestâni languages. In Encyclopedia Iranica. Retrieved from: http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/nurestani-languages
  4. ^ Grierson, G. A. (1919). Specimens of the Dardic or Piśācha languages (including Kāshmīrī). Linguistic Survey of India, 8 (2), 59. Retrieved from: http://dsal.uchicago.edu/books/lsi/lsi.php?volume=8-2&pages=584#page/74/mode/1up
  5. ^ Strand, R. F. (1973). Notes on the Nūristāni and Dardic languages. Journal of the American Oriental Society, 93, 297-305. Retrieved from: https://www.jstor.org/stable/599462
  6. ^ Strand, R. F. (2010). Nurestâni languages. In Encyclopedia Iranica. Retrieved from: http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/nurestani-languages
  7. ^ Grierson,G. A. (1919). Specimens of the Dardic or Piśācha languages (including Kāshmīrī). Linguistic Survey of India, 8 (2), 67. Retrieved from: http://dsal.uchicago.edu/books/lsi/lsi.php?volume=8-2&pages=584#page/82/mode/1up

External linksEdit

  • Prasuni at the Endangered Languages Project