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Shina (Sina, Shinaki). 300,000 in Pakistan (1981 census); 20,416 in India (1994); 320,000 in all countries. Northern Areas including Gilgit District, scattered villages in Yasin and Ishkoman valleys, Punial, Gilgit, Haramosh, lower Hunza Valley; Diamer District, Chilas area, Darel and Tangir valleys, Astor Valley; scattered areas of Baltistan District, Satpara, Kharmang, Kachura, and other small valleys; NWFP, east part of Kohistan District, Sazin, Harban. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Northwestern zone, Dardic, Shina. Dialects: GILGITI (GILGIT, PUNIAL, HUNZA-NAGAR, BAGROTE, HARAMOSH, RONDU, BUNJI), ASTORI (ASTOR, GUREZI, DRAS, SATPARA, KHARMANGI), CHILASI KOHISTANI (CHILAS, DAREL, TANGIR, SAZIN, HARBAN). 79% to 99% lexical similarity within the Gilgiti (Northern) dialect cluster, 81% to 96% among the Astori (Eastern) cluster, 84% to 98% among the Chilas (Diamer) cluster. Gilgit functions as the language standard. Shina is the primary language in Gilgit and Diamer districts. ‘Brocpa’ is the name used for Shina speakers in Baltistan and Ladakh. ‘Brokskat’ refers to their language. ‘Brokskat’ is used semi-officially in India to refer to a highly divergent variety of Shina spoken by Buddhists. Below 20% literacy rate. Muslim, some Shi'a, some Sunni.

Shina, Kohistani (Palasi-Kohistani, Kohistani, Kohistyo). 200,000 (1981 census). East bank of the Indus in Kohistan District, NWFP, in the Jalkot, Palas, and Kolai valleys and surrounding areas. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Northwestern zone, Dardic, Shina. Dialects: PALASI, JALKOTI, KOLAI. A somewhat divergent variety of Shina linguistically and socially. Closer to Shina of Chilas, but more distinct from that of Gilgit. Mainly Sunni Muslim.

Source: www.ethnologue.com

© 2002 Muhammad Zaman Sagar
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Last updated September 13, 2002

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