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group Leila Dodykhudoeva
Proceedings of Conference on
Language Documentation & Linguistic Theory
Edited by Peter K. Austin, Oliver Bond & David Nathan
7-8 December 2007 School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London School of Oriental and African Studies Thornhaugh Street, Russell Square London WC1H 0XG United Kingdom Department of Linguistics: http://www.soas.ac.uk/academics/departments/linguistics Hans Rausing Endangered Languages Project: http://www.hrelp.org firstname.lastname@example.org © 2007 Leila Dodykhudoeva No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, on any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the author(s) of that part of the publication, except as permitted by UK copyright law. ISBN: 978-0-7286-0382-0 This paper can be cited as: Leila Dodykhudoeva. 2007. Revitalization of minority languages: comparative dictionary of key cultural terms in the languages and dialects of the Shugni-Rushani group. In Peter K. Austin, Oliver Bond & David Nathan (eds) Proceedings of Conference on Language Documentation and Linguistic Theory. London: SOAS. pp. 69-79. or: Leila Dodykhudoeva. 2007. Revitalization of minority languages: comparative dictionary of key cultural terms in the languages and dialects of the Shugni-Rushani group. In Peter K. Austin, Oliver Bond & David Nathan (eds) Proceedings of Conference on Language Documentation and Linguistic Theory. London: SOAS. www.hrelp.org/eprints/ldlt_09.pdf
Wakhi. This happened first approximately several centuries ago and later in 1911 as a result of an earthquake. Zarubin and others (1924. DODYKHUDOEVA Russian Academy of Sciences 1. and Sarikoli. and China. by glacier and landslides. INTRODUCTION1 ‘Pamiri languages’ serves as the conventional denomination of the languages belonging to the East Iranian branch of the Iranian language family. So. Another 1 The project is supported by Russian Humanitarian Science Foundation grant No. Yerxt. Other Pamiri languages. the Pamiri group included now extinct Old Wanji. are sited on the Tajik border with Afghanistan. This process is taking place in Badakshan.I. The languages have now deteriorated: they are spoken only in private. Rushani. Pakistan. and possibly Sarghulami that is known only from I. Ishkashimi.I. The Shughnani-Rushani language group consists of closely related Pamiri languages: Shughnani. 69 . Khufi. All of them are under the pressure from titular Tajik and are in the situation of language endangerment. depending on the number of their speakers and their local status. 07-04-18009E. Zarubin in his description of Pamiri languages (1924). Sanglechi. He was one of the first researchers who identified the Upper Bartang population with Sarikoli settlers migrated to Hinkiang (Hinjiang. within the community until the native speakers adopt the externally conveyed negative attitude towards them and cease completely to pass the languages on to their children. These languages are located in Tajikistan. in favour of the surrounding dominant Tajik language. in particular their linguistic status is still discussed in Iranistics. Gouthiot (1928). This language group as well as the closely related Yazghulami language is prevalent in the mountainous badakhshan Autonomous region of the Republic of Tajikistan (with the exception of Sarikoli located in China). and Zebaki. and the emergence of the Sarez lake. Afghanistan. Rozenfeld 1964). Wakhi people live also in Pakistan. This and other migrations changed the traditional location and the whole profile of the speech varieties of this highland isolated valley. Old Wanji closely related to ShughnaniRushani group is known just by a dozen recorded words and several phrases written down by Prof. The Upper Bartang communities were described by I. Withoy (Usoy). These language communities have ceased to speak their mother tongues in public. Bartangi. Apart from that the social and linguistic situation of these languages is not simple. R. affecting different languages. Zebaki.Revitalization of minority languages: comparative dictionary of key cultural terms in the languages and dialects of the ShughnaniRushani group LEILA R. Roshorvi. Iranian Shinghon) in China through the Pamir mountains. Zarubin at the beginning of the 20th century during his own and mutual expeditions with Prof. These vernaculars have no written tradition and are used only as spoken languages in the region. In 18th-20th centuries. which destroyed local villages Sarez.
where the Sarikoli Pamiri language is surrounded not by Iranian languages. the status of such speech deteriorates to that of a ‘home language’. As a result of the relocations. multi. as well as under social. speaks a distinct language variety. Its community has ceased to speak it in public in favour of the surrounding dominant language(s) and culture(s). Rushani (men also Shughnani) and Tajik – languages of communication with other communities. In the situation of shortage of employment and opportunities for education this contraposition could become rather frustrating. it is under pressure from both. Such a process is taking place in Badakshan and Sarikol affecting different languages according to the number of their speakers and their local status. such as legends. As soon as electricity will be accessible for the villagers. For instance. the language is used only within the borders of the community. lack of pastures and fuel in higher parts of Bartang valley. it is among the most ill-described and endangered vernaculars. such as Roshorv. new language communities decrease or change the dialect base. As a result of political and economic reasons the language is doomed. Finally. A similar and even more complicated situation could be observed with Sarikoli in China. especially inside family. Such bi-. The mother tongue is used only for contact within the community. songs of emotional longing. The settlers usually also speak Bartangi (sometimes Roshorvi). transmitted from one generation to another in the family. One community located in the remote and isolated village at the higher end of the side tributary of the Bartang river – Bardara. local traditions. 70 .and poly-cultural societies today more than ever confront issues generated from self-identification efforts at the grass-root-level. Uzbeks and North Tajiks. This language is in danger of extinction. the language of the bazaar for Bardara settlers. the official language of the state and school. as happened in Tajikistan during the Civil War in the 1990s. but by Turkic Uyghur language and Chinese. Sarikoli speakers traditionally identify themselves as Tajiks (along with Wakhi people also called by the ethnonym Tajik in China) in opposition to the Uyghur and Chinese population. as well as complex marriage patterns.LANGUAGE DOCUMENTATION AND LINGUISTIC THEORY reason for frequent relocations was bad harvest. Ghudara. cultural activities that are still preserved in the area are threatened and fast disappearing. The other possibility in the age of globalization is to witness a reshaping of ethnic identity as well as the (re)emergence of newly constructed nationhood. its native speakers adopt the externally conveyed unenthusiastic attitude towards it and cease to pass it on to their children. to a younger audience will be lessened and step by step eliminated. As a rule. like regular story-telling and by this the transmission of oral tradition. riddles. The number of speakers in the village is limited to approximately 180 households. and could be considered as transitional. economic and political pressures from Rushani – the major language of the administrative center – and from Shughnani. While current political developments exacerbate or neglect such phenomena. Thawnob or Nisur and BarChidif. etc. Along with the local vernacular. It is also in danger from Tajik. pacts of forgetting and other silent alliances that had historically been established are interrogated and challenged by younger generations. when South Tajiks and Badakhshanis resisted Russians. As it lies in the borderland between Bartangi and Roshorvi.
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