Burushaski
بُرُشَسکݵ
Burushaski written in Nastaliq style.
Native toPakistan, India
RegionHunza, Nagar, Ghizer, Gilgit (Pakistan) and Hari Parbat, Jammu and Kashmir (India)[1]
EthnicityBurusho
Native speakers
130,000 (2018–2020)[2]
Dialects
  • Burushaski (Yasin)
  • Burushaski (Hunza-Nagar)
Language codes
ISO 639-3bsk
Glottologburu1296
ELPBurushaski
Burushaski is classified as Vulnerable by the UNESCO Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

Burushaski (/ˌbʊrʊˈʃæski/;[3] Burushaski: بُرُشَسکݵ, romanized: burúśaski,[4] IPA: [bʊˈruːɕʌskiː]) is a language isolate, spoken by the Burusho people, who predominantly reside in the northern Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan.[5][6] There are also a few hundred speakers of this language in the northern Jammu and Kashmir, India.[5][7] In Pakistan, Burushaski is spoken by people in the Hunza District, the Nagar District, the northern Gilgit District, the Yasin Valley in the Gupis-Yasin District and the Ishkoman Valley of the northern Ghizer District. Their native region is located in northern Gilgit–Baltistan. It also borders with the Pamir corridor to the north. In India, Burushaski is spoken in Botraj Mohalla of the Hari Parbat region in Srinagar.[1][8] It is generally believed that the language was spoken in a much wider area in the past. It is also known as Werchikwar and Miśa:ski.[9]

Due to the effects of dominant languages in Pakistani media, such as Urdu, Standard Punjabi and English, and the religious impact of Arabic and Persian, Burushaski, like other languages of Pakistan, is continuously expanding its vocabulary with loanwords.[10]

Classification

Attempts have been made to establish links between Burushaski and several different language families, although none has been accepted by a majority of linguists.

Some hypotheses posit a genealogical relationship between Burushaski and the North Caucasian languages, Kartvelian languages,[11] Yeniseian languages and/or Indo-European languages, usually in proposed macrofamilies:

Language contact

Blench (2008) notes that the supposed evidence for external relationships of Burushaski rely on lexical data which may be better explained as originating from language contact. In particular, almost all Burushaski agricultural vocabulary appears to be borrowed from Dardic, Tibeto-Burman, and North Caucasian languages.[21]

Following Berger (1956), the American Heritage dictionaries suggested that the word *abel 'apple', the only name for a fruit (tree) reconstructed for Proto-Indo-European, may have been borrowed from a language ancestral to Burushaski. ("Apple" and "apple tree" are báalt in modern Burushaski.)

Kashmiri linguist Sadaf Munshi stated that Burushaski may have developed alongside the Dravidian languages before the Indo-Aryan migration to South Asia, mentioning the fact that both possess retroflex sounds.[22]

Varieties

Burushaski is spoken by about 120,000 speakers in Pakistan, and also by a few hundred in India.[5] In Pakistan, it is spoken in three main valleys: Yasin, Hunza, and Nagar. The varieties of Hunza and Nagar diverge slightly, but are clearly dialects of a single language. The Yasin variety, also known by the Khowar exonym Werchikwar, is much more divergent. Intelligibility between Yasin and Hunza-Nagar is difficult, and Yasin is sometimes considered a distinct language and thought to be the "pure" or "original" Burushaski by the speakers of Yasin valley itself.[23] Yasin is the least affected by contact with neighboring languages, though speakers are bilingual in Khowar. Yasin is spoken by a quarter of Burushaski speakers.[24]

In India, Jammu & Kashmir Burushaski (JKB) "has developed divergent linguistic features which make it systematically different from the varieties spoken in Pakistan."[25] The dialect of Burushashki spoken in India has been influenced by Kashmiri, as well as Hindi and Urdu.[26] Unique to JKB is the features of vowel syncopation.[1] Jammu & Kashmir Burushaski shares more similarities with the dialect spoken in Nagar than with that spoken in Hunza.[25] The Srinagar variety of Burushaski has been known as low toned and is spoken a Kashmiri way of speaking the language.[27] The Srinagar variety of Burushaski has only 300 speakers.

Phonology

Vowels

Burushaski primarily has five vowels, /i e a o u/. There are two sets of long vowels, distinguished by whether it's the first or the second more that bears a stressor higher pitch. Various contractions result in long vowels; stressed vowels (marked with acute accents in Berger's transcription) tend to be longer and less "open" than unstressed ones ([i e a o u] as opposed to ɛ ʌ ɔ ʊ]). Some have described this as an intentional utterance of a rising tone or a falling tone. For example, a word óosanam اوسَنَم ‘i made them say’ has a falling tone and the stress is on first mora. Another word, oósanam اݹسَنَم ‘i did not say’ has a rising tone and stress is on the second mora.[28]

Long vowels only ever appear in stressed syllables, and will thus carry one tone or the other.[28]

As for short vowels, mid vowels and open vowels [e], [o], [a] can appear in either stressed syllables or unstressed syllables. short close vowels [i] and [u] usually only appear in unstressed syllables. Furthermore, the pair [i] and [u] alternate with [e] and [o] respectively in a stressed syllable.[28]

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

All vowels have nasal counterparts in Hunza (in some expressive words) and in Nager (also in proper names and a few other words).

Consonants

Berger (1998) finds the following consonants to be phonemic, shown below in his romanization scheme and in the IPA:

Bilabial Dental/
Alveolar
(Alveolo-)
palatal
Retroflex Velar Uvular Glottal
Nasal m ⟨m⟩ n ⟨n⟩ ŋ ⟨ṅ⟩
Plosive aspirated ⟨ph⟩[1] ⟨th⟩ ʈʰ ⟨ṭh⟩ ⟨kh⟩ ⟨qh⟩[2]
voiceless p ⟨p⟩ t ⟨t⟩ ʈ ⟨ṭ⟩ k ⟨k⟩ q ⟨q⟩
voiced b ⟨b⟩ d ⟨d⟩ ɖ ⟨ḍ⟩ ɡ ⟨g⟩
Affricate aspirated[3] t͡sʰ ⟨ch⟩ t͡ɕʰ ⟨ćh⟩ ʈ͡ʂʰ ⟨c̣h⟩
voiceless t͡s ⟨c⟩ t͡ɕ ⟨ć⟩ ʈ͡ʂ ⟨c̣⟩
voiced d͡ʑ ⟨j⟩[4] ɖ͡ʐ ⟨j̣⟩[5]
Fricative voiceless s ⟨s⟩ ɕ ⟨ś⟩ ʂ ⟨ṣ⟩ h ⟨h⟩
voiced z ⟨z⟩ ʁ ⟨ġ⟩
Trill r ⟨r⟩
Approximant l ⟨l⟩ j ⟨y⟩[6] ɻ ⟨ỵ⟩[7] w ⟨w⟩[6]

Notes:

  1. ^ Pronunciation varies: [pʰ] ~ [p͡f] ~ [f].
  2. ^ Pronunciation varies: [qʰ] ~ [q͡χ] ~ [χ].
  3. ^ The Yasin dialect lacks aspirated affricates and uses the plain ones instead.
  4. ^ Sometimes pronounced [ʑ].
  5. ^ Sometimes pronounced [ʐ].
  6. ^ a b Berger (1998) regards [w] and [j] as allophones of /u/ and /i/ that occur in front of stressed vowels.
  7. ^ This phoneme has various pronunciations, all of which are rare sounds cross-linguistically. Descriptions include: "a voiced retroflex sibilant with simultaneous dorso-palatal narrowing" (apparently [ʐʲ]) (Berger 1998); "a fricative r, pronounced with the tongue in the retroflex ('cerebral') position" (apparently [ɻ̝]/[ʐ̞], a sound which also occurs in Standard Chinese, written r in Pinyin) (Morgenstierne 1945); and "a curious sound whose phonetic realizations vary from a retroflex, spirantized glide to a retroflex velarized spirant" (Anderson forthcoming). In any case, it does not occur in the Yasin dialect, and in Hunza and Nager it does not occur at the beginning of words.

Writing system

Modern Evolution

Burushaski is predominantly a spoken rather than a written language. One of the earlies examples of modern Burushaski literature was the poetry written by Prof. Allamah Nasiruddin Nasir Hunzai a.k.a "Father of Burushaski", in the 1940s. He used the Urdu alphabet for doing so. Soon he realized that Urdu alphabet was not adequate and it lacked letters to represent unique Burushaski phonemes. Thus he started a process of standardization and compilation of an Urdu-derived alphabet. In this process, new consonant letters such as ݼ [tsʰ], څ [ʈʂ], ڎ [ts], ݽ [ʂ], ڞ [ʈʂʰ], and ݣ [ŋ] were introduced.[29][30] A unique innovation also took place, as Burushaski writers started using superscript Urdu numbers to indicate different stress patterns, tones, or length of verbs. For example, in Burushaski, the letter ـو (waw) represents a long vowel with a falling tone, "óo". The letter ـݸ (waw with a superscript 2) represents a short vowel "o", and the letter ـݹ (waw with a superscript 3) represents a long vowel with a rising tone, "oó".[4]

Parallel to this, a Latin-derived orthography has been created as well, by Hermann Berger. Hermann Burger's romanization scheme has caught popularity among researchers and linguists. Both the Urdu-based orthography and the Latin-based orthography have been adopted by "Burushaski Research Academy".

In the years, 2006, 2009, and 2013, a 3-volume Burushaski-Urdu Dictionary was compiled in collaboration of "Burushaski Research Academy" and University of Karachi, under auspice of Prof. Allamah Nasiruddin Nasir Hunzai a.k.a "Father of Burushaski", and published by the university's "Bureau of Composition, Compilation & Translation".[31] This dictionary primarily uses the Urdu-derived alphabet, but also Berger's Romanization scheme.

History

Tibetan sources record a Bru zha language of the Gilgit valley, which appears to have been Burushaski, whose script was one of five scripts used to write the extinct Zhangzhung language. Although Burushaski may once have been a significant literary language, no Bru zha manuscripts are known to have survived.[32] There is a very voluminous Buddhist tantra of the 'Ancient' (rNying ma) school of Tibetan Buddhism, preserved in Tibetan as the mDo dgongs 'dus,[33] which has been the subject of numerous Tibetological publications, including a recent monograph by Jacob P. Dalton, The Gathering of Intentions,[34] which is supposed to be translated from the Burushaski (bru zha'i skad). It contains words that are not Sanskrit but which, at this stage, it has not been ascertained whether they could actually be related to the Burushaski, or belong to another language (or, else, be purely "elfic"). If at least part of this text had actually been translated from Burushaski, it would make it one of the major monuments of an apparently lost literature.

Alphabet

Below table shows the standardized orthograpy used in University of Karachi-published Burushaski-Urdu Dictionary.[4][35][36]

In addition, linguists working on Burushaski use various makeshift transcriptions based on the Latin alphabet, most commonly that by Berger (see below), in their publications.

Transliteration IPA Forms Unicode Notes
Isolated Final Medial Initial
- / A a / U u / I i []
([a][u][i])
ا - - ا U+0627 Letter alif at the beginning of a word can serve two functions. First, it precedes vowel letters (اݸ) [o], (او / اُو) [óo][úu], (اݹ / اُݹ) [oó][uú], (اِیـ / اِی) [íi], (اِݶـ / اِݶ) [ií], (اݵـ / اݺ) [e], (ایـ / اے) [ée], or (اݶـ / اݻ) [eé]. Second, it acts as a vowel carrier for diacritics of three short vowels of Burushaski, اَ [a], (اُ) [u], and (اِ) [i].
Áa áa [aː˥˩] آ / ا ـا - آ U+0622
U+0627
Vowel phoneme [aː˥˩] (long vowel [a] with a falling tone) is represented with (آ) when at the beginning of a word, and with (ـا / ا) when in the middle or end of a word.
a [a] ݳ ـݳ - - U+0773 Only occurs at the end of the word. Elsewhere, the short vowel [a] is represented with a zabar/fatha diacritic (اَ / ◌َ / ـَ). Alternatively, a final he letter (ه / ـہ) can also be used for a word-final short vowel [a]
Aá aá [aː˨˦] ݴ ـݴ - ݴ U+0774 Vowel phoneme [aː˨˦] represents a long vowel [a] with a rising tone.
B b [b] ب ـب ـبـ بـ U+0628
P p [p] پ ـپ ـپـ پـ U+067e
T t [] ت ـت ـتـ تـ U+062a
Ṭ ṭ [ʈ] ٹ ـٹ ـٹـ ٹـ U+0679
S s [s] ث ـث ـثـ ثـ U+062b Only used in loanwords of Arabic origin.
J j [d͡ʑ ~ ʑ] ج ـج ـجـ جـ U+062c
Ć ć [t͡ɕ] چ ـچ ـچـ چـ U+0686
H h [h] ح ـح ـحـ حـ U+062d Only used in loanwords of Arabic origin.
Ċh ċh [t͡sʰ] ݼ ـݼ ـݼـ ݼـ U+077C Unique letter in Burushaski, not in Urdu alphabet.
In Burushaski orthography, it is more common to write a small Urdu number 4 ie ۴, in place of 4 dots. However, the letter ڇـ ـڇـ ـڇ ڇ is also an acceptable alternative.
Qh qh [~~χ] خ ـخ ـخـ خـ U+062e
C̣ c̣ [ʈ͡ʂ] څ ـڅ ـڅـ څـ U+0685 Unique letter in Burushaski, not in Urdu alphabet.
D d [d] د ـد - - U+062f
Ḍ ḍ [ɖ] ڈ ـڈ - - U+0688
Z z [z] ذ ـذ - - U+0630 Only used in loanwords of Arabic origin.
Ċ ċ [t͡s] ڎ ـڎ - - U+068E Unique letter in Burushaski, not in Urdu alphabet.
R r [r] ر ـر - - U+0631
Ṛ ṛ [ɽ] ڑ ـڑ - - U+0691 No word begins with this letter.
Z z [z] ز ـز - - U+0632
Ż ż [d̠͡ʐ~ʐ] ژ ـژ - - U+0698
S s [s] س ـس ـسـ سـ U+0633
Ś ś [ɕ] ش ـش ـشـ شـ U+0634
Ṣ ṣ [ʂ] ݽ ـݽ ـݽـ ݽـ U+077D Unique letter in Burushaski, not in Urdu alphabet.
In Burushaski orthography, it is more common to write a small Urdu number 4 ie ۴, in place of 4 dots. However, the letter ݜـ ـݜـ ـݜ ݜ is also an acceptable alternative.
S s [s] ص ـص ـصـ صـ U+0635 Only used in loanwords of Arabic origin.
Z z [z] ض ـض ـضـ ضـ U+0636 Only used in loanwords of Arabic origin.
C̣h c̣h [ʈ͡ʂʰ] ڞ ـڞ ـڞـ ڞـ U+069E Unique letter in Burushaski, not in Urdu alphabet.
T t [t] ط ـط ـطـ طـ U+0637U Only used in loanwords of Arabic origin.
Z z [z] ظ ـظ ـظـ ظـ U+0638 Only used in loanwords of Arabic origin.
- []/[ʔ] ع ـع ـعـ عـ U+0639 Only used in loanwords of Arabic origin.
Ġ ġ [ɣ~ʁ] غ ـغ ـغـ غـ U+063a
F f [~pf~f] ف ـف ـفـ فـ U+0641 Only used in loanwords of foreign origin.
Q q [q] ق ـق ـقـ قـ U+0642
K k [k] ک ـک ـکـ کـ U+06a9
Ṅ ṅ [ŋ] ݣ ـݣ ـݣـ ݣـ U+0763 Unique letter in Burushaski, not in Urdu alphabet.
No word begins with this letter.
G g [ɡ] گ ـگ ـگـ گـ U+06af
L l [l] ل ـل ـلـ لـ U+0644
M m [m] م ـم ـمـ مـ U+0645
N n [n] ن ـن ـنـ نـ U+0646
Ṇ ṇ [◌̃] ں ـں U+06BA No word begins with this letter.
W w / Óo óo / Úu úu [w][oː˥˩][uː˥˩] و ـو - او / و U+0648 This letter represents three phonemes based on context, consonant [w], or long vowels with falling tone, [oː˥˩], and [uː˥˩].
In order for this letter to represent vowel [u] and not [o], the letter before will have to carry a pesh/damma diacritic (◌ؙو / ـُو).
If used at the beginning of a word, if representing consonant [w], it will be written standalone (و), if representing a vowel [oː˥˩] or [uː˥˩], it will be preceded by alif (او / اُو). For [u], alef will carry the pesh/damma diacritic.
O o / u [o][u] ݸ ـݸ - اݸ U+0778 This letter represents short vowel [o]. When a word begins with this vowel phoneme, the letter needs to be preceded by alif اݸ. In a final position, this letter also represents short vowel [u], with the preceding letter carrying a pesh/damma diacritic (◌ؙݸ / ـُݸ).
Oó oó / Uú uú [oː˨˦][uː˨˦] ݹ ـݹ - اݹ U+0779 This letter represents vowel phonemes [oː˨˦] and [uː˨˦], long vowels [o] and [u] with a rising tone. When representing [u], the preceding letter will have to carry a pesh/damma diacritic (◌ؙݹ / ـُݹ). When a word begins with this vowel phoneme, the letter needs to be preceded by alif (اݸ / اُݸ). For [u], alef will carry the pesh/damma diacritic.
H h [h] ہ ـہ ـہـ ہـ U+06C1 At the end of the word, depending on context, this letter can represent the consonant [h] or the short vowel [a]. For a word-final vowel, an alef with superscript "2" (ݳ / ـݳ) can also be used.
[◌ʰ]/[◌ʱ] ھ ـھ ـھـ ھـ U+06BE No word begins with this letter. Not a standalone letter, its only function is to be part of digraphs representing aspirated consonants.
Ỵ ỵ [ɻ] ݷ ـݷ ـݷـ ݷـ U+0777 Unique letter in Burushaski, not in Urdu alphabet.
No word begins with this letter. In Burushaski orthography, it is more common to write a small Urdu number 4 ie ۴, in place of 4 dots. However, a letter ye with 4 dots below ( ) is also an acceptable alternative.
Y y [ʔ] ئ ـئ ـئـ ئـ U+0626 No word begins with this letter.
Y y / Ée ée / Íi íi [j][eː˥˩][iː˥˩] ی ـی ـیـ ایـ / یـ U+06CC This letter represents three phonemes based on context, consonant [j], or long vowels with falling tone, [eː˥˩], and [iː˥˩].
In order for this letter to represent vowel [i] and not [e], the letter before will have to carry a zer/kasra diacritic (◌ِیـ / ـِیـ).
If used at the beginning of a word, if representing consonant [j], it will be written standalone (یـ), if representing a vowel [eː˥˩] or [iː˥˩], it will be preceded by alif (ایـ / اِیـ). For [i], alef will carry the zer/kasra diacritic. In final position, this letter does not represent the vowel [e]. Instead, the letter big ye (ے) is used.
E e / i [e][i] ݵ - ـݵـ اݵـ U+0775 This letter represents short vowel [e]. When a word begins with this vowel phoneme, the letter needs to be preceded by alif اݵـ. In a final position, this letter represents short vowel [i]. For writing short vowel [e] in final position, the letter big ye with a superscript "2" (ݺ) is used.
Eé eé / Ií ií [eː˨˦][iː˨˦] ݶ ـݶ ـݶـ اݶـ U+0779 This letter represents vowel phonemes [eː˨˦] and [iː˨˦], long vowels [e] and [i] with a rising tone. When representing [i], the preceding letter will have to carry a zer/kasra diacritic (◌ِݶـ / ـِݶـ). When a word begins with this vowel phoneme, the letter needs to be preceded by alif اݶـ / اِݶـ. For [i], alef will carry the zer/kasra diacritic. In final position, this letter does not represent the vowel [e]. Instead, the letter big ye with a superscript "3"' (ݻ) is used.
 ée [eː˥˩] ے ـے - - U+06D2 This letter is only used at the end of a word and it represents long vowel with falling tone [eː˥˩].
 e [e] ݺ ـݺ - - U+077A This letter is only used at the end of a word and it represents short vowel [e].
 eé [eː˨˦] ݻ ـݻ - - U+077B This letter is only used at the end of a word and it represents long vowel with rising tone [eː˨˦].

Aspirates

Below table shows the digraphs, a combination of a consonant with the letter round he (ھ) that represent aspirated consonants that occur in Burushaski.[4][35][36]

Digraph Transcription IPA
پھ ph [pʰ]
تھ th [tʰ]
ٹھ ṭh [ʈʰ]
چھ ćh [t͡ɕʰ]
کھ kh [kʰ]

Vowels

Below tables show how vowels are written in different parts of the word.

Short Vowel
A O U E I
Vowel at the beginning of a word
اَ اݸ اُ اݵـ اِ
Vowel at the middle of a word
◌َ ݸ / ـݸ ◌ُ ݵـ / ـݵـ ◌ِ
Vowel at the end of a word
ݳ / ـݳ
ہ / ـہ
ݸ / ـݸ ◌ُ / ◌ُݸ / ـُݸ ݺ / ـݺ ݵ / ـݵ
Long vowel, falling tone /˥˩/
Áa Óo Úu Ée  Íi
Vowel at the beginning of a word
آ او اُو ایـ اِیـ
Vowel at the middle of a word
ا / ـا و / ـو ◌ُو / ـُو یـ / ـیـ ◌ِیـ / ـِیـ
Vowel at the end of a word
ا / ـا و / ـو ◌ُو / ـُو ے / ـے ی / ـی
Long vowel, rising tone /˨˦/
Eé 
Vowel at the beginning of a word
ݴ اݹ اُݹ اݶـ اِݶـ
Vowel at the middle of a word
ݴ / ـݴ ݹ / ـݹ ◌ُݹ / ـُݹ ݶـ / ـݶـ ◌ِݶـ / ـِݶـ
Vowel at the end of a word
ݴ / ـݴ ݹ / ـݹ ◌ُݹ / ـُݹ ݻ / ـݻ ݶ / ـݶ

Sample Text

Below poetry, written in praise of University of Karachi for its role in documentation and preservation of Burushaski language and literature, is presented as a sample text in Burushaski Arabic alphabet, alongside Urdu and English translation of each verse.[37]

Burushaski Urdu Translation English Translation

ذاتِ خدا یَکُ ڎُم کھݸت بݺ اکھݵݽ رَحمتَن
جامعهٔ کراچی میر اݹدِکِھرَس نِعمَتَن

ذات خدا کی طرف سے ہم پر یہ ایسی عجیب رحمت ہوئی کہ جامعہ کراچی کی نزدیکی اور ادبی سر پرستی کی لازوال نعمت ہمیں نصیب ہوئی. It has been such an incredible blessing from God that we have been granted with the eternal gift of proximity and literary patronage of University of Karachi.

جامعهٔ کراچی میر تازہ جَہانَن بِلݳ
چشمِ بصیرت پُھٹ اݺ عَقَلݺ نِشانَن بِلݳ

جامعہ کراچی ہمارے لئے ایک جدید کا ئنات ہے۔ ساتھیو! چشم دل سے دیکھو اس امر میں اللہ کا ایک معجزہ ہے۔ University of Karachi is a modern institution for us. Colleagues! Look with your eyes and heart, there is a miracle of Allah in this matter.

رَبِّ تَعالیٰ کرم! علم و ادب بُٹ اُیَم!
اَلتݸ جَہانِݣ ݽِقَم! شُکرݸ مَنِݽ یا خدا!

اللہ تعالی کے فضل و کرم سے علم وادب بے حد شیریں ہیں، ان سے فیضیاب ہونے والوں کی دنیا و آخرت آباد ہو جاتی ہیں، یا اللہ ہمیں توفیق عطا فرما تا کہ ہم تیرا شکر کریں۔ Knowledge and literature are a limitlessly sweet by the grace and mercy of Allah almighty. Bountiful in this world and the next are those who are blessed by them. Oh Allah, grant us the ability to thank You.

علم و ادبݺ صاحِبان، فضل و ہُنرݺ کامِلان!
اُیون کݺ اُیون دوستان! شُکرݸ مَنِݽ یا خدا!

اس وسیلے سے علم وادب اور فضل و کامل والے تمام حضرات کی دوستی کی سعادت ہم کو نصیب ہوئی، خدایا اس نعمت پر ہم تیرا شکر کرتے ہیں۔ By means of this [university], we have been blessed with the friendship of all those who possess knowledge, literature, grace and perfection. God, we thank you for this blessing.

جامِعَه کُڎ نامدار، اسپِ قلَمݺ شَہسَوار
علم و ادبݺ تاجدار شُکرݸ مَنِݽ یا خدا!

جامعہ والے تمام صاحبان نامور و نامدار ہیں، وہ رخش قلم کے میدان کے شہسوار ہیں۔ اور علم و ادب کے تاجدار بادشاہ ہیں۔ خدایا ہم تیرا شکر ادا کرتے ہیں۔ All the scholars of the University are famous and renowned, they are the knights of the field of pen. And the crowned kings of knowledge and literature. God we thank you.

جامِعَه آبِ حیات مَعَلِّمِین اُبون باغبان
شگِرِشݸ ڞا ݽِقَم بَسݵݣ شُکرݸ مَنِݽ یا خدا!

جامعہ گویا سرچشمۂ آب حیات ہے، شاگرد سب اس معنی میں سدا بہار باغات ہیں کہ اساتذۂ کرام اُن کی آبیاری کرتے رہتے ہیں۔ خدایا ہم تیرا شکر ادا کرتے ہیں۔ The university is like the fountain of life, the students are all evergreen gardens in the sense that teachers keep irrigating them. God we thank you.

تازہ گلابݺ نَس اُیَم، دوستیݺ تھݸمَلݺ تَھس اُیَم
قَلَم گیݸ شان کݺ ہَس اُیَم شُکرݸ مَنِݽ یا خدا!

جب گلاب نو شگفتہ ہو، تو اسکی خوشبو مثالی ہوتی ہے، جہاں دوستی کی دھنی اور اپنے ماضی کی دھنی بناتے ہیں تو اس کا دھواں بھی شیریں ہوتا ہے، اھل قلم کی شان و مرتبت لذیذ ہوتی ہے، یا اللہ تیرا شکر ہے۔ Just as a newly blooming rose, whose fragrance is ideal, where friendships and memories are made, then its scent is also sweet, the glory of the pen is delicious, O Allah, thanks be to you.

یَرمݸ ہݸئیلتَرڎ نصیر! جامِعه گمَنا بݵیَم؟
تِک نُمݳ سݵن تِل اَکول شُکرݸ مَنِݽ یا خدا!

زمانہ قدیم کا چوپان نصیر! میں کیا جانوں کہ تو جامعہ ہو گیا ہے۔ خاک بن کرکہا کر «یا خدا تیرا شکر ہے»۔ Nasir, the shepherd of the old times! How should I know that you have completed university? By turning into dust and saying, "O God, thank you."

Grammar

Burushaski is a double-marking language and word order is generally subject–object–verb.

Nouns in Burushaski are divided into four genders: human masculine, human feminine, countable objects, and uncountable ones (similar to mass nouns). The assignment of a noun to a particular gender is largely predictable. Some words can belong both to the countable and to the uncountable class, producing differences in meaning. For example, when countable, báalt means 'apple' but when uncountable, it means 'apple tree' (Grune 1998).

Noun morphology consists of the noun stem, a possessive prefix (mandatory for some nouns, and thus an example of inherent possession), and number and case suffixes. Distinctions in number are singular, plural, indefinite, and grouped. Cases include absolutive, ergative/oblique, genitive, and several locatives; the latter indicate both location and direction and may be compounded.

Burushaski verbs have three basic stems: past tense, present tense, and consecutive. The past stem is the citation form and is also used for imperatives and nominalization; the consecutive stem is similar to a past participle and is used for coordination. Agreement on the verb has both nominative and ergative features: transitive verbs and unaccusatives mark both the subject and the object of a clause, while unergatives verbs mark only subject agreement on the verb.[clarification needed][dubious ] Altogether, a verb can take up to four prefixes and six suffixes.

Nouns

Noun classes

In Burushaski, there are four noun classes, similar to declensional classes in Indo-European languages, but unlike Indo-European, the nominal classes in Burushaski are associated with four grammatical "genders":

Below, the abbreviation "h" will stand for the combination of the m- and f-classes, while "hx" will stand for the combination of the m-, f- and x-classes. Nouns in the x-class typically refer to countable, non-human beings or things, for example animals, fruit, stones, eggs, or coins; conversely, nouns in the y-class are as a rule uncountable abstractions or mass nouns, such as rice, fire, water, snow, wool, etc.

However, these rules are not universal – countable objects in the y-class are sometimes encountered, e.g. ha, 'house'. Related words can subtly change their meanings when used in different classes – for example, bayú, when a member of the x-class, means salt in clumps, but when in the y-class, it means powdered salt. Fruit trees are understood collectively and placed in the y-class, but their individual fruits belong to the x-class. Objects made of particular materials can belong to either the x- or the y- class: stone and wood are in the x-class, but metal and leather in the y-class. The article, adjectives, numerals and other attributes must be in agreement with the noun class of their subject.

Pluralisation

There are two numbers in Burushaski: singular and plural. The singular is unmarked, while the plural is expressed by means of suffix, which vary depending on the class of the noun:

Some nouns admit two or three different prefixes, while others have no distinctive suffix, and occur only in the plural, e.g. bras 'rice', gur 'wheat', bishké, 'fur', (cf. plurale tantum). On the other hand, there are also nouns which have identical forms in the singular and plural, e.g. hagúr 'horses'. Adjectives have a unique plural suffix, whose form depends on the class of the noun they modify, e.g. burúm 'white' gives the x-class plural burum-išo and the y-class plural burúm-ing.

Examples of pluralisation in Burushaski:

Declension

Burushaski is an ergative language. It has five primary cases.

Case Ending Function
Absolutive unmarked The subject of intransitive verbs and the object of transitive ones.
Ergative -e The subject of transitive verbs.
Oblique -e; -mo (f) Genitive; the basis of secondary case endings
Dative -ar, -r Dative, allative.
Ablative -um, -m, -mo Indicates separation (e.g. 'from where?')

The case suffixes are appended to the plural suffix, e.g. Huséiniukutse, 'the people of Hussein' (ergative plural). The genitive ending is irregular, /mo/, for singular f-class nouns, but /-e/ in all others (identical to the ergative ending). The dative ending, /-ar/, /-r/ is attached to the genitive ending for singular f-class nouns, but to the stem for all others. Examples:

The genitive is placed before the thing possessed: Hunzue tham, 'the Emir of Hunza.'

The endings of the secondary cases are formed from a secondary case suffix (or infix) and one of the primary endings /-e/, /-ar/ or /-um/. These endings are directional, /-e/ being locative (answering 'where?'), /-ar/ being terminative (answering 'where to?'), and /-um/ being ablative (answering 'where from?'). The infixes, and their basic meanings, are as follows:

  1. -ts- 'at'
  2. -ul- 'in'
  3. -aṭ- 'on; with'
  4. -al- 'near' (only in the Hunza dialect)

From these, the following secondary or compound cases are formed:

Infix Locative Terminative Ablative
-ts- -ts-e 'at' -ts-ar 'to' -ts-um 'from'
-ul- -ul-e 'in' -ul-ar 'into' -ul-um 'out of'
-aṭ- -aṭ-e 'on','with' -aṭ-ar 'up to' -aṭ-um 'down from'
-al- -al-e 'near' -al-ar 'to' -al-um 'from'

The regular endings /-ul-e/ and /-ul-ar/ are archaic and are now replaced by /-ul-o/ and /-ar-ulo/ respectively.

Pronouns and pronominal prefixes

Nouns indicating parts of the body and kinship terms are accompanied by an obligatory pronominal prefix. Thus, one cannot simply say 'mother' or 'arm' in Burushaski, but only 'my arm', 'your mother', 'his father', etc. For example, the root mi 'mother', is never found in isolation, instead one finds:

The pronominal, or personal, prefixes agree with the person, number and – in the third person, the class of their noun. A summary of the basic forms is given in the following table:

Singular Plural
1st person a- mi-, me-
2nd person gu-, go- ma-
3rd
person
m i-, e- u-, o-
f mu- u-, o-
x i-, y- u-, o-
y i-, e-

Personal pronouns in Burushaski distinguish proximal and distal forms, e.g. khin 'he, this one here', but in, 'he, that one there'. In the oblique, there are additional abbreviated forms.

Numerals

The Burushaski number system is vigesimal, i.e. based on the number 20. For example, 20 altar, 40 alto-altar (2 times 20), 60 iski-altar (3 times 20) etc. The base numerals are:

Examples of compound numerals:

11 turma-han, 12 turma-alto, 13 turma-isko, ... , 19 turma-hunti; 20 altar, 30 altar-toorumo, 40 alto-altar, 50 alto-altar-toorumo, 60 iski-altar and so on; 21 altar-hak, 22 altar-alto, 23 altar-isko and so on.

Verbs

Overview

The verbal morphology of Burushaski is extremely complicated and rich in forms. Many sound changes can take place, including assimilation, deletion and accent shift, which are unique for almost every verb. Here, we can specify only certain basic principles.

The Burushaski finite verb falls into the following categories:

Category Possible forms
Tense/Aspect Present, Future, Imperfect, Perfect, Pluperfect
Mood Conditional, three Optatives, Imperative, Conative
Number Singular, Plural
Person 1st, 2nd and 3rd Person (2nd person only in the imperative).
Noun class the four noun classes m, f, x and y (only in the 3rd person)

For many transitive verbs, in addition to the subject, the (direct) object is also indicated, also by pronominal prefixes which vary according to person, number and class. All verbs have negative forms, and many intransitive verbs also have derived transitive forms. The infinitive forms – which in Burushaski are the absolutives of the past and present, the perfect participle, and two infinitives – admit all the finite variations except tense and mood. Infinitive forms are made together with auxiliary verbs and periphrastic forms.

The 11 positions of the finite verb

All verb forms can be constructed according to a complex but regular position system. Berger describes a total of 11 possible positions, or slots, although not all of these will be filled in any given verb form. Many positions also have several alternative contents (indicated by A/B/C below). The verb stem is in position 5, preceded by four possible prefixes and followed by seven possible suffixes. The following table gives an overview of the positions and their functions

The positions of Burushaski finite verbs
Position Affixes and their meanings
1 Negative prefix a-
2a/b d-prefix (creates intransitive verbs) / n-prefix (absolutive prefix)
3 Pronominal prefixes: subject of intransitive, object of transitive verbs
4 s-prefix (creates secondary transitive verbs)
5 Verb Stem
6 Plural suffix -ya- on the verb stem
7 Present stem mark -č- (or š, ts..) forming the present, future and imperfect
8a/b Pronominal suffix of the 1.sg. -a- (subject) / linking vowel (no semantic meaning)
9a m-suffix: forms the m-participle and m-optative from the simple /
9b m-suffix: forms the future and conditional from the present stem /
9c n-suffix: marks the absolutive (see position 2) /
9d š-suffix: forms the š-optative and the -iš-Infinitive /
9e Infinitive ending -as, -áas / optative suffix -áa (added directly to the stem)
10a Pronominal suffixes of the 2nd and 3rd Person and 1. pl. (subject) /
10b Imperative forms (added directly to the stem) /
10c Forms of the auxiliary verb ba- for forming the present, imperfect, perfect and pluperfect
11 Nominal endings and particles

Formation of tenses and moods

The formation of the tenses and moods involves the use of several positions, or slots, in complicated ways. The preterite, perfect, pluperfect and conative are formed from the 'simple stem,' whereas the present, imperfect, future and conditional are formed from the 'present stem,' which is itself formed from the simple stem by placing -č- in position 7. The optative and imperative are derived directly from the stem. Altogether, the schema is as follows:

The formation of the tenses and moods of the verb her 'to cry', without prefixes:

Simple stem tenses
Grammatical
category
Construction Form and meaning
Conative stem + personal suffix her-i 'he starts to cry'
Preterite stem [+ linking vowel] + m-suffix + personal suffix her-i-m-i 'he cried'
Perfect stem [+ linking vowel] + present auxiliary her-a-i 'he has cried'
Pluperfect stem [+ linking vowel] + perfect auxiliary her-a-m 'he had cried'
Present stem tenses
Grammatical
category
Construction Form and meaning
Future stem + present marker [+ linking vowel + m-suffix] + personal ending her-č-i 'he will cry'
Present stem + present marker + linking vowel + present auxiliary her-č-a-i 'he is crying'
Imperfect stem + present marker + linking vowel + perfect auxiliary her-č-a-m 'he was crying, used to cry'
Conditional stem + present marker + linking vowel + m-Suffix (except 1. pl.) + če her-č-u-m-če '... he would cry',
stem + present marker + linking vowel + 1. pl. ending + če her-č-an-če 'we would cry'
Optatives and Imperative
Grammatical
category
Construction Form and meaning
áa-optative stem + áa (in all persons) her-áa "... should.. cry"
m-optative stem [+ linking vowel] + m-suffix her-u-m "... should.. cry“
š-optative stem + (i)š + personal suffix her-š-an "he should cry"
Imperative
singular
stem [+ é for ending-accented verbs] her "cry!"
Imperative
plural
stem + in her-in "cry!"

Indication of the subject and object

The subject and object of the verb are indicated by the use of personal prefixes and suffixes in positions 3, 8 and 10 as follows:

Affix Position Function
Prefixes 3 direct object of transitive verbs, subject of intransitive ones
Suffixes 8/10 subject of transitive and intransitive verbs

The personal prefixes are identical to the pronominal prefixes of nouns (mandatory with body parts and kinship terms, as above). A simplified overview of the forms of the affixes is given in the following table:

Personal prefix
(Position 3)
Person/
noun class
Singular Plural
1st Person a- mi-
2nd Person gu- ma-
3rd Person m i- u-
3rd Person f mu- u-
3rd Person x i- u-
3rd Person y i-
Personal suffixes
(Positions 8 and 10)
Person/
noun class
Singular Plural
1st/2nd Person -a -an
3rd Person m -i -an
3rd Person f -o -an
3rd Person x -i -ie
3rd Person y -i

For example, the construction of the preterite of the transitive verb phus 'to tie', with prefixes and suffixes separated by hyphens, is as follows :

The personal affixes are also used when the noun occupies the role of the subject or the object, e.g. hir i-ír-i-mi 'the man died'. With intransitive verbs, the subject function is indicated by both a prefix and a suffix, as in:

Personal prefixes do not occur in all verbs and all tenses. Some verbs do not admit personal prefixes, others still do so only under certain circumstances. Personal prefixes used with intransitive verbs often express a volitional function, with prefixed forms indicating an action contrary to the intention of the subject. For example:

The d- prefix

A number of verbs – mostly according to their root form – are found with the d-prefix in position 2, which occurs before a consonant according to vowel harmony. The precise semantic function of the d-prefix is unclear. With primary transitive verbs the d-prefix, always without personal prefixes, forms regular intransitives. Examples:

A master's thesis research work of a native speaker of Burushaski on Middle Voice Construction in the Hunza Dialect claims that the [dd-] verbal prefix is an overt morphological middle marker for MV constructions, while the [n-] verbal prefix is a morphological marker for passive voice.[38] The data primarily come from the Hunza dialect of Burushaski, but analogous phenomena can be observed in other dialects. This research is based on a corpus of 120 dd-prefix verbs. This research has showed that position {-2} on the verb template is occupied by voice-marker in Burushaski. The author argues that the middle marker is a semantic category of its own and that it is clearly distinguished from the reflexive marker in this language. The middle marker (MM) means the grammatical device used to "indicate that the two semantic roles of Initiator and Endpoint refer to a single holistic entity" (Kemmer 1993: 47). In the view of that definition, I look at a middle marked verb in Burushaski and illustration follows the example.[38]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c Munshi, Sadaf (2006). Jammu and Kashmir Burushashki: Language, Language Contact, and Change. The University of Texas at Austin. p. 6. The J & K Burushos – speakers of the variety of Burushaski spoken in Jammu & Kashmir (henceforth "JKB") in India – are settled in and around a small locality by the foothills of Hari Parbat Fort in Srinagar, the capital of the state of Jammu & Kashmir (henceforth "J & K").
  2. ^ Burushaski at Ethnologue (27th ed., 2024) Closed access icon
  3. ^ Laurie Bauer, 2007, The Linguistics Student’s Handbook, Edinburgh
  4. ^ a b c d Hunzai, A. N. N., Burushaski Research Academy, & University of Karachi. (2006). Burushaski Urdu Dictionary – Volume 1 / بروشسکی اردو لغت - جلد اول (الف تا څ). Bureau of Composition, Compilation & Translation, University of Karachi. ISBN: 969-404-66-0 Archive.org
  5. ^ a b c "Pakistan's 'Burushaski' Language Finds New Relatives". NPR. 20 June 2012. Retrieved 23 September 2017. It's spoken by about 90,000 people, the Burusho people, and nearly all of them live in Pakistan. A few hundred live in India.
  6. ^ "Encyclopedia – Britannica Online Encyclopedia". Original.britannica.com. Retrieved 14 September 2013.
  7. ^ Ahmed, Musavir (2016). "Ethnicity, Identity and Group Vitality: A study of Burushos of Srinagar". Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Studies. 3 (1): 1–10. doi:10.29333/ejecs/51. ISSN 2149-1291.
  8. ^ "Dissertation Abstracts". Linguist List. Archived from the original on 2 February 2017. Retrieved 14 September 2013.
  9. ^ "Burushaski". Ethnologue. 19 February 1999. Retrieved 14 September 2013.
  10. ^ Shams, Shammim Ara (2020). "The Impact of Dominant Languages on Regional Languages: A Case Study of English, Urdu and Shina". Pakistan Social Sciences Review. 4 (III): 1092–1106. doi:10.35484/pssr.2020(4-III)79.
  11. ^ Holst (2014), pp. 15–16.
  12. ^ John Bengtson, Some features of Dene–Caucasian phonology (with special reference to Basque). Cahiers de l’Institut de Linguistique de Louvain (CILL) 30.4: 33-54,
  13. ^ John Bengtson and V. Blazek, "Lexica Dene–Caucasica". Central Asiatic Journal 39, 1995, 11-50 & 161-164
  14. ^ George van Driem (2001) Languages of the Himalayas: An Ethnolinguistic Handbook of the Greater Himalayan Region, Brill
  15. ^ Hamp, Eric P. (August 2013). "The Expansion of the Indo-European Languages: An Indo-Europeanist's Evolving View" (PDF). Sino-Platonic Papers. 239: 8. Retrieved 5 April 2014.
  16. ^ Casule, Ilija. 2003. Evidence for the Indo-European laryngeals in Burushaski and its genetic affiliation with Indo-European. The Journal of Indo-European Studies 31:1–2, pp 21–86.
  17. ^ Čašule, Ilija. 2012. Correlation of the Burushaski Pronominal System with Indo-European and Phonological and Grammatical Evidence for a Genetic Relationship. The Journal of Indo-European Studies 40:1–2, pp 59 ff, with review by Hamp, Huld, and Bengtson & Blazek
  18. ^ I. Čašule. Correlation of the Burushaski pronominal system with Indo-European and phonological and grammatical evidence for a genetic relationship
  19. ^ Smith, Alexander D. (2017). "Burushaski". In Lyle Campbell (ed.). Language isolates. Routledge Language Family Series. New York: Routledge. pp. 117–138.
  20. ^ "John D Bengtson". jdbengt.net. Retrieved 19 March 2019.
  21. ^ Blench, Roger (2008). "Re-evaluating the linguistic prehistory of South Asia" (PDF). Linguistics, Archaeology and the Human Past: 169. Retrieved 10 September 2023.
  22. ^ Munshi, Sadaf (2006). Jammu and Kashmir Burushashki: Language, Language Contact, and Change. The University of Texas at Austin. pp. 12, 105.
  23. ^ Backstrom & Radloff (1992), Anderson (2006)
  24. ^ Anderson 1997: 1022
  25. ^ a b Munshi, Sadaf (2006). Jammu and Kashmir Burushashki: Language, Language Contact, and Change. The University of Texas at Austin. pp. 13, 19.
  26. ^ Munshi, Sadaf (2006). Jammu and Kashmir Burushashki: Language, Language Contact, and Change. The University of Texas at Austin. pp. 17–18. Linguistic influence from Urdu on JKB is primarily via second language speakers of Urdu. This is because Urdu is the second language of the people of the state of Jammu & Kashmir. On the other hand, linguistic contact with Kashmiri is mediated through first language or native speakers of Kashmiri. In addition to language contact via spoken interaction, contact with Urdu is also mediated through local media and television. Television is also a source of linguistic influence from Hindi, which is very close to Urdu.
  27. ^ Munshi, Sadaf (2018). Srinagar Burushaski: A Descriptive and Comparative Account with Analyzed Texts. Srinagar: University of Austin. p. 26. ISBN 9789004387898.
  28. ^ a b c Piar, Karim. 2012. « Phonological Sketch of the Hunza Dialect of Burushaski: The CVX Theory and Burushaski Syllable Structure ». University of Texas. [1]
  29. ^ Bashir, Elena; Hussain, Sarmad; Anderson, Deborah (5 May 2006). "N3117: Proposal to add characters needed for Khowar, Torwali, and Burushaski" (PDF). ISO/IEC JTC1/SC2/WG2.
  30. ^ "Shaping behavior of Burushaski characters and other Arabic additions in L2/06-149" (PDF). Retrieved 16 April 2020.
  31. ^ Burushaski Research Academy. Collaboration of Burushaski Research Academy with Karachi University https://www.burushopedia.org/burushaski_urdu/
  32. ^ George van Driem, Languages of the Himalayas, Brill 2001:921
  33. ^ Complete title: De bzhin gshegs pa thams cad kyi thugs gsang ba’i ye shes | don gyi snying po rdo rje bkod pa’i rgyud | rnal ’byor grub pa’i lung | kun ’dus rig pa’i mdo | theg pa chen po mngon par rtogs pa | chos kyi rnam grangs rnam par bkod pa zhes bya ba’i mdo, in the mTshams brag edition of the rNying ma rgyud 'bum: vol. 16 (Ma), p. 2-617.
  34. ^ Dalton, Jacob P. 2016. Columbia University Press. ISBN 978-0231176002. This book is a state of the art history of this tantra in Tibet, but does not deal in depth with the issue of its original source and whether it was actually translated from the Burushaski.
  35. ^ a b Hunzai, A. N. N., Burushaski Research Academy, & University of Karachi. (2009). Burushaski Urdu Dictionary – Volume 2 / بروشسکی اردو لغت - جلد دوم (د تا غ). Bureau of Composition, Compilation & Translation, University of Karachi. Archive.org
  36. ^ a b Hunzai, A. N. N., Burushaski Research Academy, & University of Karachi. (2013). Burushaski Urdu Dictionary – Volume 3 / بروشسکی اردو لغت - جلد دوم (ف تا ی). Bureau of Composition, Compilation & Translation, University of Karachi. Archive.org
  37. ^ Hunzai, A. N. N. (2005) Jawaahir Paaree – Some Glimps of Burushaski language Burushaski Research Academy. University of Karachi: Bureau of Composition, Compilation & Translation, University of Karachi. Pakistan Literature Academy. [2] (Archive)
  38. ^ a b Karim, Piar B.A. (2013). MIDDLE VOICE CONSTRUCTION IN BURUSHASKI: FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF A NATIVE SPEAKER OF THE HUNZA DIALECT (PDF). UNIVERSITY OF NORTH TEXAS. pp. 1–10.

Bibliography

Further reading

  • Bashir, Elena. 2000. A Thematic Survey of Burushaski Research. History of Language 6.1: 1–14.
  • Berger, Hermann. 1956. Mittelmeerische Kulturpflanzennamen aus dem Burušaski [Names of Mediterranean cultured plants from B.]. Münchener Studien zur Sprachwissenschaft 9: 4-33.
  • Berger, Hermann. 1959. Die Burušaski-Lehnwörter in der Zigeunersprache [The B. loanwords in the Gypsy language]. Indo-Iranian Journal 3.1: 17–43.
  • Casule Ilija. 2016. Evidence for the Indo-European and Balkan Origin of Burushaski.München: Lincom GmbH. 205 p. Lincom Etymological Studies 05.
  • Casule, Ilija. 2017. Burushaski etymological dictionary of the inherited Indo-European lexicon. München: Lincom GmbH. 325 p. (LINCOM Etymological Studies; no. 6)
  • Casule, Ilija. 2018, New Burushaski etymologies and the origin of the ethnonym Burúśo, Burúśaski, Brugaski and Miśáski. Acta Orientalia. Vol. 79: 27–71.
  • Lorimer, D. L. R. 1935–1938. The Burushaski Language (3 vols.). Oslo: Instituttet for Sammenlignende Kulturforskning.
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