زبان پشه‌ای
Zabân Pašhây
Pashayi in Nastaliq
Native toAfghanistan
EthnicityPashayi people
Native speakers
400,000 (2000–2011)[1]
Persian alphabet
Language codes
ISO 639-3Variously:
aee – Northeastern
glh – Northwestern
psi – Southeastern
psh – Southwestern
Linguistic map of Afghanistan; Pashayi is spoken in the purple area in the east.

Pashayi or Pashai (پشه اې ژبه) is a group of Indo-Aryan languages spoken by the Pashai people in parts of Kapisa, Laghman, Nangarhar, Nuristan, Kunar and Kabul (Surobi District) provinces in Northeastern Afghanistan.[2]

The Pashayi languages had no known written form prior to 2003.[3] There are four mutually unintelligible varieties, with only about a 30% lexical similarity:[1]

A grammar of the language was written as a doctoral dissertation in 2014.[4]



Pashayi consonants[4]: 70 
Labial Dental/
Retroflex Dorsal Glottal
Nasal m n ɳ ŋ
Plosive voiceless p ʈ k
voiced b ɖ ɡ
Affricate voiceless t͡ʃ
voiced d͡ʒ
Fricative voiceless s ʃ (ʂ) x (h)
voiced z ʒ (ʐ) ɣ
lateral ɬ
Rhotic tap ɾ ɽ
trill r
Approximant lateral l
central ʋ ~ w j


Pashayi vowels[4]: 91 
Front Central Back
High i u
Mid e o
Low a

Further reading


  1. ^ a b Northeastern at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
    Northwestern at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
    Southeastern at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
    Southwestern at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ Masica, Colin P. (1991). The Indo-Aryan Languages. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 440.
  3. ^ Yun, Ju-Hong (2003). Pashai Language Development Project: Promoting Pashai language, literacy and community development (PDF). Conference on language development, language revitalization and multilingual education in minority communities in Asia. 6–8 November 2003. Bangkok, Thailand. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 November 2018. Retrieved 5 November 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d Lehr, Rachel (2014). A Descriptive Grammar of Pashai: The Language and Speech Community of Darrai Nur (PhD thesis). University of Chicago. ISBN 978-1-321-22417-7. ProQuest 1620321674.