|Eastern Afghanistan, Northern India (Jammu and Kashmir), Northern Pakistan (Gilgit-Baltistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa)|
The Dardic languages (also Dardu or Pisaca) are a sub-group of the Indo-Aryan languages natively spoken in Northern Pakistan's Gilgit Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Northern India's Jammu and Kashmir and Eastern Afghanistan.Kashmiri/Koshur is the most prominent Dardic language, with an established literary tradition and official recognition as one of the official languages of India.
The terms "Dardic" and "Dardistan" were coined by G. W. Leitner in the late 19th century, derived from the Greek and Latin term Daradae, which is itself derived from the Sanskrit term for the people of the region, Daradas. These terms are not in current use in the region. In Vedic records, Daradas is identified to be the Gilgit region, in the Gilgit-Baltistan region (part of ancient Baloristan) along the river Sindhu (Indus).
George Abraham Grierson (1919), with scant data, postulated a family of "Dardic languages", which he characterised as an independent branch of the Indo-Iranian languages, separate from the Iranian and Indo-Aryan branches. His Dardic language family had three subfamilies, "Kafiri" (now called Nuristani), "Central" and "Dard" languages. Grierson's view is now considered obsolete and incorrect in its details. However, it continues to be often cited in works of reference.
Georg Morgenstierne (1961), after a "lifetime of study," came to the view that only the "Kafiri" (Nuristani) languages formed an independent branch of the Indo-Iranian languages separate from Indo-Aryan and Iranian families. He found the Dard languages to be Indo-Aryan.
Dardic languages contain absolutely no features which cannot be derived from old [Indo-Aryan language]. They have simply retained a number of striking archasisms, which had already disappeared in most Prakrit dialects... There is not a single common feature distinguishing Dardic, as a whole, from the rest of the [Indo-Aryan] languages... Dardic is simply a convenient term to denote a bundle of aberrant [Indo-Aryan] hill-languages which, in their relative isolation, accented in many cases by the invasion of Pathan tribes, have been in varying degrees sheltered against the expand influence of [Indo-Aryan] Midland (Madhyadesha) innovations, being left free to develop on their own.
This is the scheme generally accepted by recent scholarship. The "Midland languages", such as Punjabi and Hindustani, are spoken in the plains whereas the Dardic languages are spoken in the mountains. The essential difference is between the plains languages and the mountain languages.
The case of Kashmiri is peculiar. Its Dardic features are close to Shina, often said to belong to an eastern Dardic language subfamily. "The Kashmiri language used by Kashmiri Hindu Pandits has been powerfully influenced by Indian culture and literature and the greater part of its vocabulary is now of Indian origin and is allied to that of Sanskritic Indo-Aryan languages of northern India".
While it is true that many Dardic languages have been influenced by non-Dardic neighbors, Dardic may in turn also have left a discernible imprint on non-Dardic Indo-Aryan languages, such as Punjabi and allegedly even far beyond. It has also been asserted that some Central Pahari languages of Uttarakhand demonstrate Dardic influence. Although it has not been conclusively established, some linguists have hypothesized that Dardic may, in ancient times, have enjoyed a much bigger linguistic zone, stretching from the mouth of the Indus (in Sindh) northwards in an arc, and then eastwards through modern day Himachal Pradesh to Kumaon.
Dardic languages have been organized into the following subfamilies:
In other classifications, Pashai may be included within Kunar, and Kashmiri within Shina. Khetrani may be a remnant Dardic language in the Siraiki region.
The term Kohistani is popularly used to refer to several distinct languages in the mountain areas of Northern Pakistan, including Maiya, Kalami, and Torwali. It can be translated as 'mountain language'.
Recording about the Torwals, a non-Pashtun tribe which with the Gabaris, occupied both lower and upper Swat prior to the invasion of Swat by the Yusufzai Pashtun in the sixteenth century AD.
|"||The Pathans call them, and all other Muhammadans of Indian descent in the Hindu Kush valleys, Kohistanis.||"|
The languages of the Dardic group share some common defining characteristics, including the loss of aspirated sounds and word ordering that is unique for Indo-Iranian languages.
Virtually all Dardic languages have experienced a partial or complete loss of voiced aspirated consonants. Khowar uses the word buum for 'earth' (Sanskrit: bhumi),1 Pashai uses the word duum for 'smoke' (Hindi: dhuan, Sanskrit: dhum) and Kashmiri uses the word dod for 'milk' (Sanskrit: dugdha, Hindi: d?dh).Tonality has developed in some (but not all) Dardic languages, such as Khowar and Pashai, as a compensation. Punjabi and Western Pahari languages similarly lost aspiration but have virtually all developed tonality to partially compensate (e.g. Punjabi kar for 'house', compare with Hindi ghar).
Both ancient and modern Dardic languages demonstrate a marked tendency towards metathesis where a "pre- or postconsonantal 'r' is shifted forward to a preceding syllable". This was seen in Ashokan rock edicts (erected 269 BCE to 231 BCE) in the Gandhara region, where Dardic dialects were and still are widespread. Examples include a tendency to spell the Classical Sanskrit words priyadarshi (one of the titles of Emperor Ashoka) as instead priyadrashi and dharma as dhrama. Modern-day Kalasha uses the word driga 'long' (Sanskrit: dirgha). Palula uses drubalu 'weak' (Sanskrit: durbala) and brhuj 'birch tree' (Sanskrit: bhurja). Kashmiri uses drolid2 'impoverished' (Sanskrit: daridra) and krama 'work' or 'action' (Sanskrit: karma). Western Pahari languages (such as Dogri), Sindhi and Lahnda (Western Punjabi) also share this Dardic tendency to metathesis, though they are considered non-Dardic, for example cf. the Punjabi word drakhat 'tree' (from Persian darakht).
Dardic languages also show other consonantal changes. Kashmiri, for instance, has a marked tendency to shift k to ch and j to z (e.g. zon 'person' is cognate to Sanskrit jan 'person or living being' and Persian j?n 'life'). Punjabi and Western Pahari share this tendency also, though they are non-Dardic (e.g. compare Hindi dekho 'look' to Punjabi vekho and Kashmiri vuchiv).[clarification needed]
Unlike most other Indo-Aryan (or Iranian) languages, several Dardic languages present "verb second" as the normal grammatical form. This is similar to many Germanic languages, such as German and Dutch, as well as Uto-Aztecan O'odham and Northeast Caucasian Ingush. Most Dardic languages, such as Indus Kohistani, however, follow the usual Indo-Iranian SOV pattern, similar to Japanese.
|English (Germanic)||This is a horse.||We will go to Tokyo.|
|Kashmiri (Dardic)||Yi chu akh gur.||As gachav Tokyo.|
|Sanskrit (Indo-Aryan)||Ayám á?va? ásti.||Vayám Tokya? gámi?y?ma?.|
|Japanese (Japonic)||Kore wa uma de aru.||Watashitachi wa T?ky? ni ikimasu.|
|Kamkata-vari (Nuristani)||Ina u?pa âsa.||Imo Tokyo â?amo.|
|Dari Persian (Iranian)||In yak asb ast.||Mâ ba Tokyo khâhem raft.|
|Shina (Dardic)||Anu ek aspo han||Be Tokyo et bujun|
|Pashto (Iranian)||Masculine: D? yo as day / Feminine: D? yawa aspa da.||M?ng/M?n ba ?okyo ta/tar lsh?.|
|Indus Kohistani (Dardic)||Sho akh gho thu.||Ma Tokyo ye bum-thu .|
|Sindhi (Indo-Aryan)||Heeu hiku ghoro aahe.||Asaan Tokyo veendaaseen.|
|Hindustani (Indo-Aryan)||Ye ek ghora hai.5||Ham Tokyo j?enge.|
|Punjabi (Indo-Aryan)||Ae ikk kora ai.||Assi Tokyo j?vange.|
|Nepali (Indo-Aryan)||Yo euta ghoda ho.||Aami Tokyo j?nechhau.|
|Garhwali (Indo-Aryan)||Seey/Si/Yi/Ai Yakh Guntt Chh||Aami Tokyo Jaula.|
|Kumaoni (Indo-Aryan)||Yo ek ghoda Chhu||Aami Tokyo Jaal.|
Kashmiri is one of the twenty-two official languages of India, and belongs to the Dardic group, a non-genetic term that covers about two dozen Indo-Aryan languages spoken in geographically isolated, mountainous northwestern parts of South Asia ...
'Dardic' is a geographic cover term for those Northwest Indo-Aryan languages which [..] developed new characteristics different from the IA languages of the Indo-Gangetic plain. Although the Dardic and Nuristani (previously 'Kafiri') languages were formerly grouped together, Morgenstierne (1965) has established that the Dardic languages are Indo-Aryan, and that the Nuristani languages constitute a separate subgroup of Indo-Iranian.
... Dardic Group of about fifteen Indo-Iranian languages in northwestern India; the most significant language is Kashmiri (approx. 3 million speakers) ...
Among all the languages of the Dardic group, Kashmiri is the only one which has a long literary tradition ...
... Konkani is spoken. It shows a good deal of Dardic (Paisachi) influence ...
... must have covered nearly the whole of the Punjabi ... still show traces of the earlier Dardic languages that they superseded. Still further south, we find traces of Dardic in Sindhi ...
... greater Dardic influence in the western dialects of Garhwali ...CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
At one period, the Dardic languages spread over a very much wider extent, but before the oncoming 'outer Aryans' as well as owing to the subsequent expansion of the 'Inner Aryans', the Dards fell back to the inaccessible ...
It may be possible that the Dardic speaking Aryans were still in the process of settling in other parts of the western Himalaya in the Mauryan times ...
... the Dradic branch remained in northwest India - the Daradas, Kasmiras, and some of the Khasas (some having been left behind in the Himalayas of Nepal and Kumaon) ...
Based on historical sub-grouping approximations and geographical distribution, Bashir (2003) provides six sub-groups of the Dardic languages ...CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
In others, traces remain as tonal differences (Khowar buúm 'earth', Pashai dum 'smoke') ...
... 'Dardic metathesis,' wherein pre- or postconsonantal 'r' is shifted forward to a preceding syllable ... earliest examples come from the A?okan inscriptions ... priyadar?i ... as priyadra?i ... dharma as dhrama ... common in modern Dardic languages ...
... drakhat 'tree' ...
The literature on the verb-second construction has concentrated largely on Germanic ... we can compare with the Germanic phenomena, however: Kashmiri ... in two 'Himachali' languages, Kotgarhi and Koci, he finds word-order patterns quite similar ... they are sometimes said to be part of a 'Dardic' subfamily ...
... the verbs, positioned in the middle of the sentences (rather than at the end) intensify the dramatic quality ...