|Arabic script (primarily Nastaliq)|
Torwali is a minor language of Pakistan which is mainly spoken in Central Swat District, it is given a space in this map.
Torwali (توروالی) is an Indo-Aryan language mainly spoken in the Bahrain and Chail areas of the Swat District in Pakistan. The language and other non-Pashtun communities are often referred to as "Kohistani" which is a name given by the Swat Pashtuns. Fredrik Barth says "The Pathans call them, and all other Muhammadans of Indian descent in the Hindu Kush valleys, Kohistanis". The Torwali language is said to have originated from the pre-Muslim communities of Swat. It is the closest modern Indo-Aryan language still spoken today to Niya, a dialect of Gāndhārī, a Middle Indo-Aryan language spoken in the ancient region of Gandhara.
Torwali is an endangered language: it is characterised as "definitely endangered" by UNESCO's Atlas of Endangered Languages, and as "vulnerable" by the Catalogue of Endangered Languages. There have been efforts to revitalize the language since 2004, and mother tongue community schools have been established by Idara Baraye Taleem-o-Taraqi (IBT).
Although descriptions of Torwali phonology have appeared in the literature, some questions still remain unanswered.
|Close||i iː||u uː|
|Mid||e eː||o oː|
Edelman's analysis, which was based on Grierson and Morgenstierne, shows nasal counterparts to at least /e o a/ and also found a series of central (reduced?) vowels, transcribed as: ⟨ä⟩, ⟨ü⟩, ⟨ö⟩.
|Close||i ĩ||(ɨ̙)||u ũ|
|Mid||e ẽ (e̙)||ə (ə̙)||o õ|
|Open||æ æ̃||a ã|
Lunsford had some difficulty determining vowel phonemes and suggested there may be retracted vowels with limited distribution: /ɨ/ (which may be [i̙]), /e̙/, /ə̙/. Retracted or retroflex vowels are also found in Kalash-mondr.
The phonemic status of the breathy voiced series is debatable.
Sounds with particularly uncertain status are marked with a superscript question mark.
((cite journal)): Cite journal requires
... It might be going too far to say that Torwali is the direct lineal descendant of the Niya Prakrit, but there is no doubt that out of all the modern languages it shows the closest resemblance to it. A glance at the map in the Linguistic Survey of India shows that the area at present covered by "Kohistani" is the nearest to that area round Peshawar, where, as stated above, there is most reason to believe was the original home of the Niya Prakrit. That conclusion, which was reached for other reasons, is thus confirmed by the distribution of the modern dialects.