Ishkashimi language

Ishkashimi (Ishkashimi: škošmī zəvuk/rənīzəvuk) is an Iranian language spoken predominantly in the Badakhshan Province in Afghanistan and in Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region in Tajikistan.

The total number of speakers is c. 2,500, most of whom are now dispersed throughout Tajikistan and Afghanistan and small villages within the vicinity. Based on this number, Ishkashimi is threatened to becoming critically endangered or extinct in the next 100 years whereas other significant languages are being spoken in schools, homes, etc. These languages are the Tajik language in Tajikistan and the Dari language in Afghanistan, and they are contributing to the decline in the use of Ishkashimi, which at the moment has a status of endangered language. Besides, information about Ishkashimi language is limited due to the lack of extensive and systematic research and the lack of a written system.

Ishkashimi is closely related to Zebaki and Sanglechi dialects (in Afghanistan). It was grouped until recently with the Sanglechi dialect under the parent family Sanglechi-Ishkashimi (sgl), but a more comprehensive linguistic analysis showed significant differences between these speech varieties. Phonology and grammar of Ishkashimi language is similar to phonology and grammar of the closely related Zebaki dialect.