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Offline Shoaib Shadab

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Introduction to Balochi Language
« on: February 26, 2011, 02:16:40 AM »
 
By: Professor Carina Jahani

Iranian Languages
Uppsala University
Department of Linguistics and Philology
Postal address:Box 635
SE-751 26 Uppsala,Sweden

Balochi is spoken in south-western Pakistan, south-eastern Iran, southern Afghanistan, the Gulf States and Turkmenistan. There are also communities of Baloch in East Africa and India, as well as in several countries of the West, e.g. Great Britain and the USA. It is very hard to estimate the total number of speakers of Balochi, especially since central governments do not generally stress ethnic identity in census reports, but statistics available give at hand that at least between five and eight million Baloch speak the language. Linguistically Balochi belongs to the western group of the Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages, and is closely related to Kurdish and Persian.
     The main dialect split is that between eastern, southern and western dialects. Eastern Balochi dialects are spoken in border areas to Indian languages in Punjab, Sind, and the north eastern parts of Pakistani Balochistan, and are heavily influenced by Indian languages, e.g. Sindhi and Lahnda. Southern Balochi is spoken in the southern areas of the Balochi speaking parts of Iran and Pakistan, including Karachi, as well as in the Gulf States. Western Balochi is spoken in the northern Balochi speaking area in Iran and Pakistan (except in the north east), in Afghanistan and in Turkmenistan.
     The Balochi language is a north-west Iranian language but is nowadays spoken in the south eastern corner of the Iranian linguistic area. According to the epic tradition of the Baloch themselves, they are of Arabic origin and migrated from Aleppo in Syria after the battle of Karbala, where, despite being mainly Sunni Muslims, they fought on the side of the Shi'a Muslim imam and martyr Hussein. Even if these legends must be seriously questioned they may at least carry some truth in them. It is possible that the original home of the Baloch was somewhere in the central Caspian region, and that they then migrated south-eastwards under pressure from Turkic peoples invading the Iranian plateau from Central Asia. It is also possible that tribes and groups of various ethnic origin, including Indo-European, Semitic, Dravidic, Turkic, and others have been incorporated into the very heterogeneous ethnic group known as the Baloch.
     The Balochi language has long been regarded as a dialect of Persian, and has not until recently been used as a written language. Balochi possesses, however, a rich oral literature of both poetry and prose. As a written language Balochi can be divided into two periods, the colonial period with British rule in India, and the period after the Independence of Pakistan. During the first period most of the existing written literature was produced as a result of British influence. The literature of this time on and in Balochi consists of grammar books and collections of oral poetry and tales, compiled in order to provide samples of the language and to make it possible for British military and civil officials to learn Balochi.
     With the withdrawal of the British and the Independence of Pakistan in 1947, the Baloch themselved became increasingly concerned with the development of their language. Baloch poets, who had previously composed in Persian and Urdu started to write poetry in their mother tongue. Literary circles were founded and publication of magazines and books in Balochi got underway. This use of Balochi as a written language has mainly been limited to Pakistan, where Quetta and Karachi soon developed into the two main centres of Balochi literary activities. In Iran, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan and the Gulf States Balochi is still basically an oral language, despite sporadic attempts at writing and publication.
     Balochi, thus, has a very short tradition of writing. The works written in the 19th and early 20th centuries by Englishmen are in Roman script. The orthography used today by the Baloch in Pakistan is based on the Arabic script with Persian-Urdu conventions. There is no standard written language, and therefore no fixed alphabet. Depending on which dialect is written the number of letters in a proposed alphabet may vary. The complete Arabic alphabet has, however, been adopted for Persian/Urdu and thereby also for Balochi, and Arabic loanwords in Balochi are generally spelled in accordance with their spelling in Arabic. This leads to overrepresentation of consonant phonemes. Vowel phonemes are, on the contrary, not fully represented.
     Balochi was more widely spoken in the 19th and early 20th centuries than nowadays. Especially in Punjab and Sind there are today many people who recognize themselves as Baloch but speak Indian languages. There are also Baloch both in the Gulf States and in East Africa who have switched over from speaking Balochi to speaking (and writing) Arabic and Swahili respectively. On the other hand, several Brahui tribes, both in Iran and Pakistan have switched over from speaking Brahui to speaking Balochi.
     Education in the Balochi speaking areas is invariably in a second language, namely in Urdu/English (Pakistan), Persian (Iran and Afghanistan - if there is any education at all in present-day Afghanistan), Arabic (the Gulf States) and Turkmen/Russian (Turkmenistan). This means that Balochi is used only in certain language domains, and by most of its speakers only as a spoken, not as a written language. It also happens that e.g. Baloch from Iran use Persian among themselves for discussing subjects such as science or politics, which are taught in school or acquired through reading books in Persian and other languages. Balochi is thus a language mainly of the home and the local community. In education, administration, and in urban areas, often also at work, other languages are used.
     Baloch are also to be found in the Iranian diaspora after the Islamic Revolution. Thus, a limited number of mainly well educated Baloch live in several European countries, the USA, Canada and other countries where Iranians have taken refuge.
     Balochi is surrounded by languages belonging to at least five language families. In the Balochi mainland it meets other Iranian languages, Persian (Farsi and Dari) in the west and north-west, and Pashto in the north and north-east, as well as Indian languages, e.g. Punjabi, Lahnda and Sindhi in the north-east and east. All these languages belong to the Indo-Iranian branch of Indo-European languages. In the Gulf States Balochi stands in contact with Arabic (Semitic) and in East Africa with Bantu languages (e.g. Swahili). In the central parts of Pakistani Balochistan the Dravidian language Brahui has lived in symbiosis with and been dominated by Balochi for centuries, and in Turkmenistan Balochi meets the Turkic language Turkmen. In the diaspora in Europe and North America, Balochi meets new languages, mainly of the Indo-European family.
     Balochi is not an official language, i.e. not a language of education and/or administration in any of the countries where it is spoken. Efforts to preserve and promote the language are therefore mainly initiatives taken by individuals lacking the authority that official decisions would have been invested with. This can easily be seen e.g. in the lack of a standard written norm for the language.
     However, a number of educated Baloch, mainly in Pakistan, have since the 1950s actively attempted to preserve their language, creating a literature in it, and promoting it as a literary vehicle and in the area of education. Quetta and Karachi are the main centres of these activities. There is a Balochi Academy in Quetta, founded in 1961, receiving some financial support from the Government. Its most important literary activities are publication of books, mainly in Balochi, and arranging literary meetings. There are also other "Academies", publishing houses and individuals active in these fields. A number of periodicals have been published in Balochi for a shorter or longer period of time. Some of the Baloch in the diaspora are also concerned with the preservation and promotion of Balochi, publishing magazines and arranging literacy classes, cultural evenings etc.
     There have been some attempts at starting primary education in Balochi. In 1991 a state programme for mother tongue education in the Province of Balochistan, Pakistan, was established, but it did not carry on for long, neither did it result in any official decision on matters of language standardization. Private initiatives have also been taken to teach Balochi, especially in the main Baloch residential area of Karachi, Lyari. It is also possible to study Balochi for an M. A. degree at the University of Balochistan, Quetta.
     The issue of a Latin based script for Balochi was very fervently discussed among young Baloch intellectuals especially in the 1960s and early 1970s. There was also a considerable number of neologisms coined during this period for new phenomena in society and to replace loanwords.
     In the present volume different aspects of the Balochi language and its role in society are treated. Josef Elfenbein describes a self-lived process of trying to work out a Latin based script for Balochi in the 1960s and 70s. The issue of script is also addressed by Serge Axenov, who describes the different scripts that have been used for Balochi in Turkmenistan. Vyacheslav Moshkalo, too, describes the role of the Baloch and their language in the Turkmen society. The role of the Baloch in another border area, namely East Africa, is the topic of Abdulaziz Lodhi's article. The issue of mother tongue education in Balochi is treated by Tim Farrell and Eunice Tan, and Carina Jahani also touches on this question when she describes language attitudes and language maintenance among the Baloch in Sweden. As for Jan Muhammad Dashti, his contribution is an analysis of the relation between Balochi poetry and society from the beginning of the literary movement up to 1985.
     Each writer has been free to use his or her own preferred system of transcription. Some homogenisation has, however, been carried out. Thus, Baloch, Balochi, and Balochistan are the spellings that have been adopted, rather than Baluch, Baluchi and Baluchistan. The system for references and bibliographical data has also been unified. A common bibliography was preferred, since several references occur in more than one of the articles, and would have had to be repeated if each article was to be accompanied by its own bibliography. Baloch authors are placed in the bibliography according to their first name. Thus, for example, ‘Atā Shād is placed according to ‘Atā, not according to Shād. Geographical names are written without diacritics throughout the book. Several of these have an established spelling in English, and for the sake of consistency it was decided to omit all diacritics on geographical names. On proper names of persons who normally employ the Arabic script (i.e. not persons from Turkmenistan and East Africa), on the other hand, diacritics are used to indicate the correct spelling of these names in the Arabic script. Exceptions are names of persons well known in Europe, e.g. Bhutto, which are spelled according to the English convention. Also in references to books or articles written in English the name of the author is written in accordance with the spelling used by the person himself.
     The aim of the present work is by no means to give a total picture of the status of the Balochi language in the different countries where it is spoken. There is, for example, no reference to Balochi in the Gulf States or in Afghanistan, mainly due to the limited character of the symposium of which this work is the result. Field research, especially of a sociolinguistic character is furthermore a very sensitive issue in all the countries where Balochi is spoken.
     On the other hand, the articles all treat subjects that have hardly been studied, let alone described up to the present. This volume wants to shed some light on how a minority group, like the Baloch, try to preserve and promote their language and culture within the framework of the states where they live. This has not always been an easy task, and although it is only in Pakistan that one can actually talk about the existence of a written Balochi language and literature, Baloch in other countries, too, inspired both by the literary movement in Pakistan and by cultural and ethnic movements among other minorities in their neighbourhood, e.g. the Kurds, are eager to see the development of a standard written Balochi language and the creation of a corpus of written Balochi literature.
 
http://balochilinguist.wordpress.com/2011/02/25/introduction-to-balochi-language/
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Re: Introduction to Balochi Language
« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2011, 02:25:40 AM »
By: TIM FARRELL
Summer Institute of Linguistics, High Wycombe, UK
   
Introduction
 
Of the estimated 6,500 languages in the world today it is reckoned that the majority will cease to exist within fifty years or so. In the history of the world, languages have always come and gone, but in the present time there are some factors which have never existed previously, and which threaten many of the world’s languages in a way they have never been threatened before.
The first is that, with the growing world population and with ever increasing mobility, there are getting to be very few people who have had no contact with speakers of other languages, and the vast majority of people have regular contact with speakers of other languages.
The second is that the spread and use of electronic media and communications is growing exponentially. At times it appears that Balochi, spoken largely by semi-nomadic shepherds or rural farmers and fishermen in the huge open expanses of Balochistan would be unaffected by the developments in urban business and leisure communications. But it is salutary to note that among the Baloch in Lyari within a single generation storytelling has been replaced by radio, then by television, then video, then satellite as a means of family entertainment. This has occurred among a community without extensive economic resources. The development and electrification of population centres in Balochistan, such as Gwadar, Turbat, Panjgur etc. means that this process is rapidly extending throughout the Balochi language area.
It is hard to predict the future, but one scenario would be that this explosion of the mass media, coupled with national language education, would relegate Balochi to being spoken only in the sparsely populated rural areas, and in cities and towns only at home by the older members of the family.

Language domains
Kathryn Woolard observes that studies of minority languages have shown that bilingual speakers where topic/domain determines which language they talk in, the minority language is showing signs of weakness and decline, but where the language to speak in on a particular occasion is chosen according to the participants in the exchange to minority language is not showing sings of shift to the other languages.
So, for example, if a Baloch feels compelled to write letters in Urdu to other Baloch, this is a sign of retrenchment of Balochi. But if a Baloch writes letters in Urdu to non-Baloch, but in Balochi to Baloch, this type of bilingual performance is not a sign of language weakening. Contact and second language use per se are not a threat to a minority language.
This presents a challenge to the Baloch community, since trade, television, newspapers, and education will increasingly be a factor in the lives of more and more Baloch, bringing ever more domains in which they function in languages other than Balochi. The way to meet this challenge is clearly to extend the use of Balochi to as many of these domains as possible, and perhaps the single most powerful instrument in achieving this in mother tongue education, since mother tongue education would be a means of extending Balochi usage of many academic domains. Even if mother tongue education did not extend through the entire school curriculum, the effect of literacy and use of the mother tongue in formal situations would be to greatly increase its domains of use.
Mother tongue education has traditionally been seen as the great hope for reversing language shift, so much that Joshua Fishman has warned against seeing it as a way of reviving a language unless active home use of the language is not also established. So, for example, in Ireland Gaelic is taught at school and used in many government contexts, but it is still not widely used in the home or community. Fishman thus points out that mother tongue education cannot be expected to revive the language on its own. But Balochi is widely spoken in the home and community. What is needed for Balochi is not so much increased use in the home, but increased use outside of the home, especially in formal situations. Thus it is hoped that with mother tongue education and literacy Baloch will increasingly write letters, post signs, notices and bulletins, read newspapers and magazines in Balochi, as well as doing business and government administration
Mother Tongue Education
For many years it has been recognised that the mother tongue is the best language for education, especially for the early years. The UNESCO monograph The Use of Vernacular Language in Education says: “On educational grounds we recommend that the use of the mother tongue be extended to as late a stage in education as possible. In particular, pupils should begin their schooling through the medium of the mother tongue.”
Going to school for the first time can be quite a difficult experience for young children, being away from the informal atmosphere of home, and suddenly being in the very structured and disciplined environment of school, being required to perform taxing exercises to order. Learning to read and write, and to cope with the concepts in maths and subjects with their own terminology and paradigms is daunting task. If all of this rakes place in an unfamiliar language it can be a very confusing experience, and if you add the fact that children are often beaten for not saying or doing the requires thing, then it becomes an experience that many children do not wish to continue with.
Thus the UNESCO report says: “We consider that the shock which the young child undergoes in passing from his house to his school life is so great the everything possible should be done to soften it, particularly where modern methods of infant teaching have not yet penetrated to the school.” The upshot of this in the large Baloch community in Lyari, Karachi is that the drop-out rate for the early years of schooling is possibly as high as 50% (not forgetting the fact that not all children even begin schooling), and other children drop out in later years.
In Lyari we find that, because of the limited number of places at school, reception children are required to sit a test in Urdu and maths before being admitted. In practice this means that they are often enrolled in private school or tuition for a year or two before applying for entrance to the state schools. So they often start their schooling a year or two later than other children, which can be a demoralising experience.
Another thing that suffers because of non-mother tongue education is the quality of education. Visiting a rural school near Gwardar, I remember hearing a child read fairly fluently from his Urdu text book, but when he was asked to tell the meaning of what he had read he had no idea. This state of affairs continues with students for many year. Even intelligent and studious pupils may find that they are not really grasping the content of their lessons until way up in secondary school. Where Baloch students are competing for jobs and places in higher education with students whose mother tongue is the language of business and education, they are clearly at a disadvantage. During the bitter inter-ethnic violence in Karachi over recent years the notion of all places and jobs being allocated according to merit rather than quota was often adduced. In itself the notion of merit is a good one, but to have Baloch and other ethnic minorities, struggling with education in a language not their own, competing with those who have done all their education in their mother tongue is not really according to merit either but according to ethno-linguistic bias.
This lack of education in the mother tongue is one of the reasons why education is seen by so many as a matter of rote learning, exams, and merely a means to a better job. The idea that the student should understand and think about the subjects studied is often lacking, as is the idea that learning in an enjoyable life skill that one can continue with for its own sake even after finishing formal education. One of the interesting aspects of the establishment of Balochi language academies and literary publications is that a number of Baloch have developed an interest in learning, reading and writing in the Balochi language without it having been part of a formal education programme. They are interested in the subject for its own sake.
There have been a number of non-government publications designed to promote literacy and children’s education in Balochi. Apart from these a number of academies have published children’s books and easy reading material aimed at new readers. The Balochi Academy in Quetta has published a large number of books for children. Some have also been published by the Kalakot Coaching Centre, the Azat Jamaldini Academy and the Balochi Labzanki Diwan among others.
Of these, as far as I am aware, La’l Bakhsh Rind’s books were used in a formal literacy programme for a while, and the Azat Jamaldini Academy books are at present being used in a literacy programme. Apart from those, the Shal Association’s Buni kitab was used in a small number of schools in Balochistan and Sweden.
At present state education for the Baloch is in Persian in Iran, Urdu in Pakistani Balochistan and central Karachi, largely Sindhi in Sind, and Arabic in the Gulf. The borrowing of lexicon and structural features from these different languages presents a problem of increasing divergence, and thus weakening, for the Balochi language. To these languages which are used in education and official domains can be added Brahui, Pashto and Saraiki, which although not used in education, form part of the picture of areal influence on the language.
In 1991 a state programme for mother tongue education in Pakistani Balochistan was established. Teaching was to be available in Balochi, Brahui and Pashto, as well as Urdu. The programme was to begin in year one and work up the school with the children. For the Balochi programme a committee met to determine the content, style and orthography of the text books. Because it was seen as desirable to have a single course and set of text books for the entire Balochi area, an attempt was made to harmonise both Eastern and Western dialect vocabulary and orthography. This included the creation of five new combined characters to combine phonological usages in both dialect groupings.
One of the possible causes for the failure of the Balochi mother tongue education programme in Pakistani Balochistan is a political one. Without wishing to get involved in the arcane and complex issues of politics, the situation was that in Balochistan province the large influx of Afghan refugees was, and is, threatening to significantly alter the demography of the province. Many of the refugees have settled in Pakistan and have not found it difficult to gain Pakistani identity papers. Most are ethnically Pashtun, and blend in with the already sizeable Pashtun population in the province. The Baloch and Brahui population combined is larger than that of the Pashtuns. The Baloch and Brahui are ethnically one people, but linguistically quite distinct. Thus, while Urdu is the means of instruction in school in Balochistan, their ethnic unity is not questioned, but when there are separate Balochi and Brahui schools established the distinctiveness of the two language groups is more in focus. If the Baloch and Brahuis were seen as two peoples, rather than one, then it was feared that the Pashtuns might claim to be the single largest people in the province. With demography being one of the most powerful forces in politics, it was felt by some that it would be better to carry on with Urdu education in the province so as not to raise the linguistic profile of the Baloch/Brahui people.
Reference: Tim Farrell,“Mother tongue education and the health and survival of the Balochi Language”, in Jahani, C, ed., Language in Society – Eight Sociolinguistic Essays on Balochi   http://balochilinguist.wordpress.com/2011/02/24/mother-tongue-education-and-the-health-and-survival-of-the-balochi-language/
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Re: Introduction to Balochi Language
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2011, 02:33:57 AM »
    By: Eunice Tan,
Summer Institute of Linguistics
 
 Introduction
 
 There is at present no official mother tongue education of Balochi in the main areas where it is spoken. Official attempts at mother tongue education have been carried out in Pakistan[1] and in Afghanistan.[2] In Turkmenistan there is an attempt to establish a Cyrillic script for Balochi, put together primers and start mother tongue education.[3] For the moment there is no official mother tongue education in Balochi, either in Iran or in Pakistan. There have, however, been a number of private initiatives taken in the area of Balochi mother tongue education in Pakistan.[4]
     The dismal living conditions in the Baloch quarters in Karachi, especially the main Balochi residential area, Lyari, are well pictured by Richard Slimbach in his article “Ethnic binds and pedagogies of resistance: Baloch nationalism and educational innovation in Karachi”.[5] The fact that the Baloch children meet a foreign language already on their first day in school, of course, put them at a disadvantage from the very beginning. Slimbach quotes the words of a Baloch college student who is remarking on and criticizing the lack of mother tongue education in Balochi. He says: “Go and visit all the schools in Lyari and give a language test to the children. You will find that they cannot speak good Urdu or good English. It is due to their mother tongue. If you get education in your mother tongue, you can understand everything. If you don’t, you cannot understand anything.”[6]
     The aim of the present article is to describe one of the unofficial mother tongue literacy programmes in Balochi underway in Pakistan.  This programme is at present running in one of the suburbs of Karachi. We first started our literacy work among the Baloch in the community of Singo Line in 1993. A leader of the community there had approached us to help them in their literacy work. There was already a functioning anjuman ‘society’ in the community which also functioned as a tuition centre.
     Singo Line is situated near Lyari, south-west of the Karachi city centre, where the bulk of the Baloch people live. There are about 5 000 people in this community, and about 55 % of them are from a Zikri background, the rest being Sunnis. Many of the men in this community are labourers working at the port or in Hub Chowki, which is an industrial centre at the Sind-Balochistan border. Some of the men operate a small private business, while a large majority of the male working force are unemployed or perform odd jobs. Unlike other Baloch communities there is a rather high percentage of young women in this community performing jobs in the city and nearby areas.
     Many of the children of Singo Line are enrolled in school nowadays, but the drop-out rate remains very high. In the early eighties about half of the students dropped out before reaching the fifth grade in school. Still only about two thirds of the girls who enroll in the first grade move on to the second grade and more than half of these girls drop out after the sixth class. Most of the children are enrolled in Urdu medium public schools, while some of the more well-to-do send their children, especially their sons, to English medium schools nearby. About 40-45 % of the male young adults are literate while most of the older men are illiterate. The rate of literacy amongst the women is much lower, with about 25-30 % of the young adults being literate.
  A couple of the well-educated women from the community worked closely with me in the production of the Balochi primer that we were to use in the literacy programme. After a while we felt that it would be advantageous to test the primer in actual literacy classes, and at that point we decided to start our first literacy class.
Our students
Seven women came to our first literacy class, but one of them dropped out halfway through the course due to mental illness. The oldest member of the class was about fifty years old. She was able to read the Quran, but did not know how to read and write Urdu or Balochi and therefore decided to join the class. The rest were either mothers with small babies or single girls. Three of them had never learnt to read or write, and the other two had only gone to school for a very limited number of years and could by no means be considered even semi-literate when they started this class.
     The women had expressed an interest in learning to read and write in order to be able to support their children better in their education by helping them with homework etc. Some were also motivated by the fact that we had promised to teach them embroidery after they had completed the reading course. Some had expressed an interest in seeking a job to help sustaining the family after completing the course, while others felt that they would be more able to cope with the needs of their families, like reading a doctor’s prescription, other instructions and notices etc. if they were literate. Some just came to be with their friends, as our classes were seen as social occasions as well.
  Classes were held only twice a week, and very often we had to postpone classes due to the social obligations of the participants. However, the result was good, and within eight months they were able to read quite fluently in both Balochi and Urdu. One of the aims of the mother tongue literacy programme was namely to be a bridge to learning to read and write Urdu.
     In the beginning I noticed that the students came to class with their books well hidden away, and when I asked about the reason why they did so, they told me that they were shy to let others know that they were learning to read. They were also afraid that they would not succeed in learning to read and write. However, when one of the women’s husband after six months found out that she had learnt to read in such a short time he thought that his wife was very clever and told her so. Even more impressive was the fact that his wife had learnt to read in two languages, Urdu and Balochi. Many people in the community had gone to school for three or four years and they had not been able to read after that. Many people have told me that it was not until after some six or seven years of schooling that they could understand what they were learning in school. Up to that point they had just memorized seemingly meaningless things that they were asked to learn.
     When we decided to start another class it was the students in our first class who invited their friends to come. Another class was started, also this time comprising of seven women. All except one were single women.
     Altogether four classes for women have been run in this community. A total of twenty five students have started attending a class, and fifteen of them have completed the primer and are able to read and write. Four of the students had to leave the class towards the end of the course because of various reasons. Getting married was one such reason. Six students dropped out of the classes earlier. They soon found out that they were too busy or not motivated enough to continue, and some did not have any companion to follow them to classes (see below).
     In the classes students are taught in Balochi for the first three months, and after that Urdu is also introduced. As the transition gap is very minimal, students generally pick up reading in Urdu without difficulty. Some actually read better in Urdu after a while provided they are able to speak the language. One of the reasons for this may well be the greater availability of books in Urdu than in Balochi. The aim is that at the end of the course students should be able to read independently in both Balochi and Urdu.
Language attitudes among the students
Almost all the Baloch I have met in Karachi speak Balochi. They are very proud of their language, and the Balochi language is used both in the homes and in the market place of the Baloch residential areas in Karachi. It is also used in announcements and in sermons in the mosque in predominantly Balochi areas. There have also been several efforts to promote Balochi mother tongue education in Karachi, but many of these endeavours have met with numerous obstacles and have eventually fallen through.
     One general misconception about mother tongue literacy is that the students are taught to speak their own language, something which they point out that they already know. In fact, there was a woman whose father was a Baloch and mother a Bihari, and who did not know Balochi even though she considered herself a Baloch, who approached me and asked about literacy in her “mother tongue”. It was evident that she expected to be taught Balochi in the classes.
     Most people are indeed ignorant as to how literacy can be carried out in Balochi and what the benefits to read in their mother tongue are. Parents are generally convinced that it is necessary for their children to learn Urdu and/or English at school in order to be able to advance in Pakistani society, and that they should not waste their time learning to read and write Balochi, which anyway is of no use to them in their future career. However, most of the Baloch would not give up speaking Balochi at home. Still, the women of the older generation hardly know any Urdu, whereas the younger generation of the Baloch in Karachi, especially educated persons, master Urdu well.
     Many Baloch are rather proud of the existence of books and other reading materials in Balochi, but whether they are able to use them is another matter altogether. According to my observations, they somehow think that writing and reading in Balochi are activities only limited to the “elite or scholastic group”. Most of the young adults I have met hardly know how to read Balochi magazines or books, and do not really feel any need to acquire the skill either. Most of those who have heard about Sayyid H®shim¬ respect his works, but generally most people outside the “Balochi literary circle” have little knowledge about and take little interest in these literary issues.
     When it comes to dialect, it has been observed that persons moving to Karachi from other parts of Balochistan generally retain their native dialect, even if they are married into a family that speaks another dialect than their own. This seems to be a totally acceptable thing to do. However, some dialect groups consider their dialect superior to others. This was especially noticed among persons from the Makran coast, who resisted the primer based on the Karachi dialect, complaining that it was not written in their dialect. When modifications were made and more allowance for the dialect of the Makran coast was given, however, the obstacle was removed, since most students accept this dialect as a prestigious one even if their own dialect deviates more or less from it. It is also interesting to note that the students generally read and pronounce the words in accordance with their own dialect.

Educational material and reading theory
Even though there already existed a number of primers in Balochi[7] it was found necessary to construct a primer for the course. This primer was, as already mentioned, compiled in close cooperation with well educated women from the target community. This was necessary in order to make a primer that would be culturally acceptable and contain reading material that was related to the women’s everyday life.
     It was also felt that the best testing of the preliminary version of the primer would be to actually use it in a literacy class. It then appeared that some changes had to be made, especially when it came to the dialect forms used. Karachi-isms had to be avoided in favour of the more prestigious dialect of the Makran coast (see above).Some stories also had to be simplified or changed to be culturally acceptable.
  As for the orthography used in the primer an attempt was made to make transfer to Urdu as easy as possible. That is why the orthography builds on Urdu conventions, and the hamzas[8], for example, which are quite established in the Balochi orthography nowadays but not found in Urdu, were avoided in our primer. There are, however, also some transfer pages to Balochi orthographical conventions at the end of the primer in order for the learners also to become familiar with the Balochi writing system, including the hamzas. The primer is thus meant to serve a double purpose both of transfer into Urdu and into “semi-standard” Balochi.
     In the same way the spelling of loanwords, mainly from Arabic, which are also found in Urdu, is generally kept in the same way as in Urdu. In fact they are also generally spelled the same way in Balochi too. Thus, the whole Arabic-Urdu alphabet is also used for Balochi even if this means overrepresentation of several consonant phonemes.[9] The basic reason for this is to reduce confusion in spelling for the students when they go to school and learn the Urdu spelling of these words and help the transition to the national language.
     After going through the primer it was felt that the students needed more material to read in order to retain their newly learnt skill of reading Balochi. We have therefore continued by producing a number of easy readers using the same Urdu-based orthography as in the primer. These books are e.g. collections of Aesop fables for children and adults, so as to stir their early interest in reading. We have also produced some books on health and simple reading materials on topics based on the customs, food, games and daily events of the Baloch in order to help promote the Balochi culture and to stimulate the new readers to go on reading.
  About half of the students who have been taught in our classes are linear thinkers. This means that they learn to read new passages readily by putting syllables together, and that they remember alphabets and syllables and learn to read by decoding. This group went on to read in Urdu without difficulty and eventually attempted reading story books and new material.
     The other half of the students are global thinkers. They find it easy to read whole words and whole syllables, but find it difficult to build new words from known syllables. They memorise the text and recognise words in the process. Global thinkers read more by guessing than by putting syllables together. They also ask more questions related to the story and memorise the story in a way that the linear thinkers don’t. It was therefore necessary to talk about the story and tell it over and over again in order to make reading meaningful also to the global thinkers.
     In fact, after learning to read the text, the global thinkers generally read it more fluently than the linear thinkers, as these students sometimes had to pause to put syllables together. The process of reading and telling the story several times also encouraged all the students to think the text through in a critical and constructive way.
  The primer was written in order to cater for the needs of both the linear and the global readers. Meaningful stories help the global students, while charts to show syllables help the linear students. At the end of each lesson, the students are also encouraged to write a short text using the words that they have learnt. Sometimes the teacher tells a story using words and syllables they have learn, and the students record it. Sometimes the students write their own stories. Teachers were encouraged to identify the learning style of the different students in the group and to cater for the needs of the group as well as to help individual students in their learning process. For both groups of learners, our primary objective is to teach the students to read for meaning and gather information through reading. Reading is complete only when comprehension is attained.[10]
 
 
 


 
http://balochilinguist.wordpress.com/2011/02/24/a-mother-tongue-literacy-programme-among-the-baloch-of-singo-line-karachi/         
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Offline Shoaib Shadab

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Ten Points to Promote Balochi Language
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2011, 04:10:45 AM »
 
 
By: Malik Siraj Akbar
Balochi Language Analyst
Arizona State University, USA

 Those who passionately champion the cause of preserving, practicing and promoting indigenous languages are still seen by the “more patriotic” section of the population as the ‘enemies’ and ‘traitors” of the land. The biggest service we could do on this day is to change this negative and hateful perception. Those who are advocating the cause of mother tongues are the real friends of cultural diversity and we must listen to them seriously. Balochistan is the home to four rich languages viz Balochi, Bhravi, Pashtu and Hazargi. All these languages largely face identical problems. They lack official patronage for their promotion and complain about lack of breathing space to practice and promote these languages because of the government’s color-blind attitude towards cultural diversity. For the Balochs, this day requires special attention. There is a need to revisit the national strategy to preserve, promote and practice Balochi language. Over the past few years, Pashtunkhawa Milli Awami Party has been celebrating this day on a very large scale by taking out rallies in the provincial capital, Quetta, and holding seminars to create awareness among the people about the significance of mother tongues. On their part, the Baloch political parties and academies have, unfortunately, not marked this day with the same level of consciousness and seriousness. The role of the dormant Balochi Academy is deplorable. It has shrunk into a body which awaits the death of a prominent Balochi writer or poet so that it organizes a memorial reference. In the midst of changing circumstances, the Balochi Academy has a very important role to play with the collaboration of the Balochi Department at the University of Balochistan. Some of the biggest problems the Balochi language faces in the contemporary times are as follows. First, the issue of consensus Balochi script is still pending. Among all available resources, Syed Zahoor Shah’s Syed Ganj, the most versatile dictionary of Balochi language, should be applied as the standard reference book on the Balochi script. Second, no government or private institute is currently offering Balochi learning courses. A lot of foreigners, including those Baloch kids who were born in the Middle East and Europe without getting a chance to learn Balochi , find it hard to enroll in an institute to master Balochi language. Ironically, the University of Balochistan offers Balochi at Masters level but there is no school offering Balochi at primary level.The Balochi Academy and the Balochi Department at the UoB should collaborate to develop a Balochi language course of international standards. Third, there is an urgent need for an online source of Baochi language books. Again, the Balochi Academy has to work on a project to ensure the availability of all Balochi books, journals, magazines and compilations in PDF format to a global audience. Soft copies of Balochi publications will also enable those writers and poets to market their work who do not have the finances to market their work internationally. Interestingly, the only Baloch writers, intellectuals and poets whose works is available in the market are the bureaucrats and professors who can afford to self-publish their works. Writers and editors like Atta Shad, Jan Mohammad Dashti, Munir Ahmed Badini, Dr. Shah Mohammad Marri, Hakeem Baloch, Dr. Naimatullah Gichki, Yar Jan Badini, Abdul Wahid Bandeeg, Professor Saba Dashtyari and Dr. Ali Dost Baloch have all richly contributed to the Balochi literature at the cost of their own pockets. There is a need for a long-term arrangement to publish these and other writers’ works without economically burdening the authors. For this purpose, the Balochi Academy has to organize a fund and a chalk out a publishing strategy. Fourth, the discriminatory role of the Directorate of Public Relations (DPR) toward Balochi language newspaper and magazines is abominable. Even though two of the recent Directors of the Public Relations, whose job, among others, is to distribute official advertisements, were Balochs, they tried their level best to strangulate the Balochi Zind and Monthly Balochi by curtailing their advertisements. These are the two only Balochi language magazines with a wide readership and uninterrupted publication. According to the law, at least 20 % of the official advertisements should be distributed among the newspapers and magazines published in mother tongues. This law is not being properly applied and the sole beneficiaries are the owners of dummy newspapers and magazines mostly owned by the employers of the Directorate of Public Relations. Fifth, the duration of Balochi programs at Radio Pakistan and Pakistan Television Bolan should be increased. All non-Balochs who have been appointed, ironically, as producers and assistant producers in Balochi programs should be replaced by qualified Balochi youth who have a better knowledge and understanding of the language, culture and history. Sixth, the Balochistan Assembly should pass a law to undo a previous announcement by Chief Minister Aslam Raisani to introduce Arabic language at schools in Balochistan. Instead of inducting Arabic, the government should introduce mother tongues at the schools where the language is spoken by the majority of the people. Seventh, all “national newspapers”, which make millions of rupees from Balochistan from legal and illegal means of advertisements, should be urged to start at least one weekly page in the local languages in order to play their role in the promotion of local languages. Eighth, the growing sense of insecurity of the Balochi poets, singers, actors and producers should be addressed by the literary and political bodies. Some Blaochi singers were killed and others were arrested or implicated in different cases for their ‘rebellious work’. The political parties should own these cultural figures and give them a sense of protection so that they continue their cultural work. Ninth, the Balochi, Bravi and Pashtu academies should enhance coordination. They should work jointly on matters of common interest rather than distancing themselves from each other or suspiciously viewing each other as ‘rivals’. The way forward for all these academies is the same. Tenth, Baloch philanthropists and diaspora should do whatever it takes to financially assist fledgling and economically dwindling organizations like Vash TV, Sabzbath Balochistan and the Balochi Academy. There is no government support to these organizations and they may collapse if they are not sufficiently funded to sustain their crucial work. There is surely a lot of work to do but we should at least start cogitating about the future of Balochi language today when people all over the world are contemplating about the future of their mother tongues. always taken mother tongues as a cultural asset and capitalized on this as an element of cultural enrichment. Unfortunately, in our country this day is still considered to be “bad boys’ day” when some intellectuals and politicians cry over dying languages in this part of the world. Those who passionately champion the cause of preserving, practicing and promoting indigenous languages are still seen by the “more patriotic” section of the population as the ‘enemies’ and ‘traitors” of the land. The biggest service we could do on this day is to change this negative and hateful perception. Those who are advocating the cause of mother tongues are the real friends of cultural diversity and we must listen to them seriously. Balochistan is the home to four rich languages viz Balochi, Bhravi, Pashtu and Hazargi. All these languages largely face identical problems. They lack official patronage for their promotion and complain about lack of breathing space to practice and promote these languages because of the government’s color-blind attitude towards cultural diversity. For the Balochs, this day requires special attention. There is a need to revisit the national strategy to preserve, promote and practice Balochi language. Over the past few years, Pashtunkhawa Milli Awami Party has been celebrating this day on a very large scale by taking out rallies in the provincial capital, Quetta, and holding seminars to create awareness among the people about the significance of mother tongues. On their part, the Baloch political parties and academies have, unfortunately, not marked this day with the same level of consciousness and seriousness. The role of the dormant Balochi Academy is deplorable. It has shrunk into a body which awaits the death of a prominent Balochi writer or poet so that it organizes a memorial reference. In the midst of changing circumstances, the Balochi Academy has a very important role to play with the collaboration of the Balochi Department at the University of Balochistan. Some of the biggest problems the Balochi language faces in the contemporary times are as follows. First, the issue of consensus Balochi script is still pending. Among all available resources, Syed Zahoor Shah’s Syed Ganj, the most versatile dictionary of Balochi language, should be applied as the standard reference book on the Balochi script. Second, no government or private institute is currently offering Balochi learning courses. A lot of foreigners, including those Baloch kids who were born in the Middle East and Europe without getting a chance to learn Balochi , find it hard to enroll in an institute to master Balochi language. Ironically, the University of Balochistan offers Balochi at Masters level but there is no school offering Balochi at primary level.The Balochi Academy and the Balochi Department at the UoB should collaborate to develop a Balochi language course of international standards. Third, there is an urgent need for an online source of Baochi language books. Again, the Balochi Academy has to work on a project to ensure the availability of all Balochi books, journals, magazines and compilations in PDF format to a global audience. Soft copies of Balochi publications will also enable those writers and poets to market their work who do not have the finances to market their work internationally. Interestingly, the only Baloch writers, intellectuals and poets whose works is available in the market are the bureaucrats and professors who can afford to self-publish their works. Writers and editors like Atta Shad, Jan Mohammad Dashti, Munir Ahmed Badini, Dr. Shah Mohammad Marri, Hakeem Baloch, Dr. Naimatullah Gichki, Yar Jan Badini, Abdul Wahid Bandeeg, Professor Saba Dashtyari and Dr. Ali Dost Baloch have all richly contributed to the Balochi literature at the cost of their own pockets. There is a need for a long-term arrangement to publish these and other writers’ works without economically burdening the authors. For this purpose, the Balochi Academy has to organize a fund and a chalk out a publishing strategy. Fourth, the discriminatory role of the Directorate of Public Relations (DPR) toward Balochi language newspaper and magazines is abominable. Even though two of the recent Directors of the Public Relations, whose job, among others, is to distribute official advertisements, were Balochs, they tried their level best to strangulate the Balochi Zind and Monthly Balochi by curtailing their advertisements. These are the two only Balochi language magazines with a wide readership and uninterrupted publication. According to the law, at least 20 % of the official advertisements should be distributed among the newspapers and magazines published in mother tongues. This law is not being properly applied and the sole beneficiaries are the owners of dummy newspapers and magazines mostly owned by the employers of the Directorate of Public Relations. Fifth, the duration of Balochi programs at Radio Pakistan and Pakistan Television Bolan should be increased. All non-Balochs who have been appointed, ironically, as producers and assistant producers in Balochi programs should be replaced by qualified Balochi youth who have a better knowledge and understanding of the language, culture and history. Sixth, the Balochistan Assembly should pass a law to undo a previous announcement by Chief Minister Aslam Raisani to introduce Arabic language at schools in Balochistan. Instead of inducting Arabic, the government should introduce mother tongues at the schools where the language is spoken by the majority of the people. Seventh, all “national newspapers”, which make millions of rupees from Balochistan from legal and illegal means of advertisements, should be urged to start at least one weekly page in the local languages in order to play their role in the promotion of local languages. Eighth, the growing sense of insecurity of the Balochi poets, singers, actors and producers should be addressed by the literary and political bodies. Some Blaochi singers were killed and others were arrested or implicated in different cases for their ‘rebellious work’. The political parties should own these cultural figures and give them a sense of protection so that they continue their cultural work. Ninth, the Balochi, Bravi and Pashtu academies should enhance coordination. They should work jointly on matters of common interest rather than distancing themselves from each other or suspiciously viewing each other as ‘rivals’. The way forward for all these academies is the same. Tenth, Baloch philanthropists and diaspora should do whatever it takes to financially assist fledgling and economically dwindling organizations like Vash TV, Sabzbath Balochistan and the Balochi Academy. There is no government support to these organizations and they may collapse if they are not sufficiently funded to sustain their crucial work. There is surely a lot of work to do but we should at least start cogitating about the future of Balochi language today when people all over the world are contemplating about the future of their mother tongues.
https://balochilinguist.wordpress.com/2011/02/10/ten-points/



                                                           
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Offline Zahida Raees Raji

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Re: Introduction to Balochi Language
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2011, 12:55:13 PM »
Dear Brother Shoaib Shadaab,
Salam o drout o durah baatet,

I would like to warrmly welcome u at Baaskani Diwwan and would like to pay you my depest thánks for your wounderful contirbution.  E:D3

I hope to sêe you around

Looking forward for your active role at Baasskani Diwwan

with bést  regards,

 wati raaj e heyr loutouk

Zahida Raees :Raji:
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Offline Shoaib Shadab

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Re: Introduction to Balochi Language
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2011, 09:22:08 PM »
Dear Sister  Raees Raaji

I'm really thankful to you in deed that you encourage and support every one. I've told you before that you are working for Balochi with a honest heart which is praise worthy. I've not seen such hard work on Balochi which you have done, but I'm surprised why people don't give your reference in their writings? I've also seen your learning course you have made on Balochi and I'm way too impressed. Regarding such course I've met many Baloch scholars but I couldn't find any guts in them. I'm not satisfied with their work. I've also made Balochi Grammar course and I'm teaching them to foreigners. If you don't mind, can I take your course and teach my students? Kindly to me this favour.
I can judge that you have linguistic qualities. If you have not done master in Balochi then I'd suggest to you please do it. I can see your bright future in Balochi language Field. Every one doesn't have the qualities to teach foreigners. You should start online  Balochi Teaching through your site. In fact you can find Balochi literature teachers for local students but not Balochi language. Once again I suggest you to do Master in Balochi.


Good Luck!

Shoaib Shadab
Research Associate (Balochi)
International Islamic University Islamabad
shoaib.baloch@iiu.edu.pk
http://balochilinguist.wordpress.com/
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Offline Zahida Raees Raji

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Re: Introduction to Balochi Language
« Reply #6 on: February 28, 2011, 09:30:29 PM »
Dear Sister  Raees Raaji

I'm really thankful to you in deed that you encourage and support every one. I've told you before that you are working for Balochi with a honest heart which is praise worthy. I've not seen such hard work on Balochi which you have done, but I'm surprised why people don't give your reference in their writings? I've also seen your learning course you have made on Balochi and I'm way too impressed. Regarding such course I've met many Baloch scholars but I couldn't find any guts in them. I'm not satisfied with their work. I've also made Balochi Grammar course and I'm teaching them to foreigners. If you don't mind, can I take your course and teach my students? Kindly to me this favour.
I can judge that you have linguistic qualities. If you have not done master in Balochi then I'd suggest to you please do it. I can see your bright future in Balochi language Field. Every one doesn't have the qualities to teach foreigners. You should start online  Balochi Teaching through your site. In fact you can find Balochi literature teachers for local students but not Balochi language. Once again I suggest you to do Master in Balochi.


Good Luck!

Shoaib Shadab
Research Associate (Balochi)
International Islamic University Islamabad
shoaib.baloch@iiu.edu.pk
http://balochilinguist.wordpress.com/

Dear brother Shoaib Shadab,

Thank you so much for your reply with kind words.
Brother, material provided here and some other places for the basic and intermediate learners are for everyone so it would be a great honor for me if you use them in your teaching course.

Although I am not a linguist but last year I had worked with an international team as a translator.  Before this I taught Baluchi to a foreigner on irregular basis (because both student and teacher was busy)

If I get time, inshaAllah I’ll publish my work in form of a book which is under process (since long :) ).

Thanks brother for your suggestion. I wish I could get time to think about my career and take admission in Balochistan University for the Masters in Baluchi but for this I will have to compromise with Baask project.

Thanks and regards,

Zahida Raeesi

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Offline Shoaib Shadab

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Ethnologue report for Balochi language
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2011, 11:47:40 PM »
Balochi, Western
A language of Balochistan
 
ISO 639-3: bgn
Population1,116,000 in Pakistan (1998). Population total all countries:
1,799,842.
Region Northwestern Balochistan Province. Also spoken in Afghanistan, Iran,
Tajikistan, Turkmenistan.
Alternate names Baluchi, Baloci, Baluci
DialectsRakhshani (Raxshani), Sarawani. Strongly influenced by Fars, but
not intelligible with Farsi.
ClassificationIndo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern,
Balochi
Language developmentLiteracy rate in first language: 1% to 5%. Literacy
rate in second language: 5% to 15%. Urdu script; Arabic script in
Afghanistan. Newspapers. Radio programs. Bible portions: 1984.
CommentsBalochi is the official spelling in Pakistan. It has a small body
of literature. Muslim (Sunni).
Also spoken in:

Afghanistan

Language name Balochi, Western
Population200,000 in Afghanistan (1979).
RegionAlong Helmand River and Zaranj area, in the southwest desert region.
Alternate names Baluchi, Baluci, Baloci
DialectsRakhshani (Raxshani).
Language developmentLiteracy rate in first language: 5% to 10%. Literacy
rate in second language: 15% to 25%.
CommentsLargely nomadic. Muslim (Sunni).
 
Iran

Language name Balochi, Western
Population451,000 in Iran (1986).
RegionNorthern Sistan va Baluchistan Province. Half are settled in cities
and villages, half are nomadic.
Alternate names Baluchi, Baluci, Baloci
DialectsRakhshani (Raxshani), Sarawani.
Language useFew speak Farsi.
CommentsDistinct from Eastern and Southern Balochi. Ethnic group:
Yarahmadza. Muslim (Sunni and Shi’a).
 
Turkmenistan

Language name Balochi, Western
Population28,000 in Turkmenistan (1993).
Alternate names Baloci, Baluchi, Baluci
Language useTurkmen is used as the literary language in Turkmenistan.
CommentsDistinct from Eastern and Southern Balochi. Muslim.
Entries from the SIL Bibliography about this language:
Academic Publications
Farrell, Timothy. 1989. A study of ergativity in Balochi.
Farrell, Timothy. 1995. “Fading ergativity? A study of ergativity in Balochi.”
Hallberg, Daniel G. 1992. Pashto, Waneci, Ormuri.
Sabir, A. Razzak. 2003. “Language contact in Balochistan (with special
reference to Balochi and Brahui).”
Vernacular Publications

Buni kitaab. 1987.
 
Gordon, Raymond G., Jr. (ed.), 2005. Ethnologue: Languages of the World,
URL: http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=bgn
 
http://balochilinguist.wordpress.com/2011/02/27/ethnologue-report-for-balochi-language/
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Offline Shoaib Shadab

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Balohi Language Profile
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2011, 11:57:29 PM »
Number of Speakers: Seven million

Key Dialects: The Baluchi language divides into two main dialects:

Eastern Baluchi and Western Baluchi. Within the Western dialect are
three further key sub-dialects, Rakhshani and Sarawani (spoken in
northern areas) and Makrani (spoken in the south). The Western
dialect is the primary dialect and is used in literary Baluchi. Some
scholars differentiate a third dialect, Southern Baluchi. However,
most linguists agree that Southern Baluchi does not constitute a
third dialectal division and is, on the other hand, subsumed under
the Western dialect.

Geographical Center: Balochistan,
 
GENERAL INTRODUCTION
Baluchi (also spelled Balochi) is the principle language of
Balochistan, a province of Pakistan. It is not, however, a national
language nor does it have official status. It is spoken in a number
of other regions including Iran, Afghanistan, India, the United Arab
Emirates, Oman, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, and East Africa. Baluchi
is classified as an Iranian language of the Indo-European language
family. It is closely related to Kurdish and Persian (Farsi). Other
related languages include Pashto, Dari, Tajik, and Ossetian.

LINGUISTIC AFFILIATION
Baluchi is an Indo-European language classified as a member of the
Northwestern branch of the Western Iranian group of the Indo-Iranian
language family.

LANGUAGE VARIATION

The Eastern and Western dialects of Baluchi are sufficiently
distinct, yet for the most part mutually intelligible. The Western
dialect is strongly influenced by Persian, although the two
languages are not intelligible. The dialect has both considerably
borrowed from and influenced a number of neighboring languages
including Persian, Arabic, Pashto, and Turkmen. Western Baluchi is
much less linguistically homogeneous than Eastern Baluchi, as there
are three distinct sub-dialects within the Western dialect
(Rakhshani, Sarawani, and Makrani) and no further notable
subdivisions concerning the Eastern variant. Eastern Baluchi has
also borrowed from and influenced nearby languages such as Sindhi
and Pashto, although to a lesser degree than the Western dialects.

 
ORTHOGRAPHY
Prior to the 19th century, Baluchi was an unwritten language. The
British introduced Baluchi in written form during the 19th century
with a Roman script. In the late 19th century, a substantial sect of
scholars adopted the Naskh or Arabic script, thus dividing the
language community. Today, there is no standard orthography. In
Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan, Baluchi is written using the
Arabic/Urdu orthography. The Roman script is widely employed by
Baluchi speakers outside these countries.

LINGUISTIC SKETCH

The phonology of Baluchi is characterized by a phoneme inventory
consisting of eight vowels, three diphthongs, and twenty-five
consonants. Among the vowels, a long/short distinction exists and is
contrastive in the language. The use of retroflex articulations
(gestures involving the tongue tip raised or curled towards the back
of the mouth) is a characteristic property of the Baluchi sound
system and is likely to have been influenced by the languages of
India, especially Urdu and Sindhi.

The word order of Baluchi, like many other Indo-Iranian languages,
is SOV. The verbal system of the language is comprised of two voices
(active and passive), four moods (indicative, interrogative,
imperative, and subjunctive), two tenses (past and present/future –
nb. morphologically, there is no formal distinction between present
and future forms in all verb forms with the singular exception of
the copula ‘to be’), and two aspects (perfect,
imperfect/continuative). Verbs agree with their subjects in person
and number. Complex or so-called “light” verb constructions are
productive in the language. In this construction, a nominal,
adjectival, or verbal element is followed by an auxiliary verb such
as ‘come’, ‘become’, ‘do’, etc. In this way, the number of
independent/monomorphemic verb forms in the language is reduced
somewhat.

Five cases are attested: nominative, accusative, dative, oblique,
and vocative. Linguists, however, disagree on the status of the
Baluchi case-marking system. Although in most circumstances, the
assignment of case mirrors that of a Nominative-Accusative language
(subjects of both transitive and intransitive verbs surface in the
nominative case), in the past tense, case marking is more akin to
that of an Ergative language. In this way, Baluchi patterns with
other Iranian languages that show a tense-related
Nominative-Ergative split in their case-marking system (e.g. Pamir
(Payne 1980) and Kurdish (Bynon 1980)). More specifically, the
nominative case may mark the subject of any intransitive verb in any
tense. Likewise, subjects of transitive verbs in the present/future
tense show up in the nominative form. However, in the past tense,
the subject of a transitive verb must be marked with the oblique
case and not the nominative. In other words, an Ergative-like
case-marking pattern is found exclusively in the past tense.
Furthermore, transitive verbs in the past tense agree only with
objects and not with their subjects, as is typically the case. Most
dialects of Baluchi, however, are on the way towards abolishing the
ergative construction. The varieties of Baluchi spoken in
Afghanistan and Turkmenistan, for instance, have neutralized this
distinction already.

Gender and definiteness are not grammatically encoded in the
morphology. Prepositions, postpositions, and circumpositions
(adpositional-like morphemes that appear both pre-nominally and
post-nominally) are all attested, another distinguishing grammatical
property of the language. Dialects influenced by Persian tend to
favor the use of prepositions over postpositions, while those
dialects in direct contact with Indian languages prefer
postpositions. At present, the use of postpositions is more
prevalent than the use of prepositions.

 
ROLE IN SOCIETY
Among the countries in which Baluchi is spoken (Pakistan, Iran,
Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, and the Arab Gulf states), it is neither
considered an official language nor (for the most part) taught in
the country’s educational system. In 1989, Prime Minister Benazir
Bhutto gave permission for the use of Baluchi (among other
languages) in primary education in Balochistan. Despite this move,
Baluchi language education has encountered numerous difficulties.
There is a severe lack of teachers; many parents object to Baluchi
instruction, demanding their children learn more practical languages
like English, Urdu, and Persian; and there is pressure from outside
language groups seeking to have their languages taught instead. In
this way, education in Baluchi is effectively education in a second
language. The language is thus principally one of the home and the
local community. At present, courses in Baluchi language and
literature are offered at the Balochistan University in Quetta, the
provincial capital. There are also several Baluchi language
publications in Pakistan, the two most prominent being Balochi
(published in Quetta) and Labzank (published in Karachi), in
addition to several newspapers. Additionally, there is a Baluchi
Academy that publishes literary works in Baluchi and supports the
work of literary organizations. The Academy, however, receives
limited government funding. As a consequence, the creation,
maintenance, and enforcement of a single standardized language for
all Baluchi people has proven problematic. Literacy rates are quite
low across the board (roughly 1-5% of Baluchi are literate in the
written language (Western Baluchi)). The media, however, plays a
significant role in the standardization of the language and the
intelligibility of Baluchi among speakers of different dialects.
Radio Zahedan broadcasts a daily Baluchi language program from the
capital of the Sistan-va-Balochistan province, Zahedan.

HISTORY

The Baluchi language is said to have its origins in a lost language
related to those of the Parthian and Median civilizations, sometime
between 200 B.C. and 700 A.D. Baluchi historical scholars have
concluded that Baluchi’s ancestor was neither Parthian nor middle
Persian, but rather a lost language that shared a number of
properties with both. In this regard, Baluchi has no real affinity
with the languages of the Indian subcontinent and is quite distinct
from other Iranian languages of the Indo-European language family.

Baluchi was used solely as an oral language up until the 19th
century. Prior to this time, it was generally regarded as a dialect
of Persian and there was no tradition of using it in writing. Prior
to 1947, Persian and English were used as official languages in
Balochistan. In 1947, the independent Khanate of Balochistan
announced Baluchi as an official and national language. However, in
1948 with the incorporation of Balochistan into the newly created
Pakistan, Baluchi was replaced by Urdu as the national language.
Today, Baluchi is spoken in several different countries, but neither
enjoys official status nor is used in the education systems of the
countries in which it is spoken.

 
REFERENCES
  Barker, Mohammed Abd-al-Rahman and Aqil Khan Mengal. 1969. A Course
in Baluchi. Montreal: McGill University.
Bynon, T. 1980. From Passive to Ergative in Kurdish Via the Ergative
Construction. In E.C. Tsugott, R. Labrum, and S. Shephard (eds.),
Papers from the 4th International Conference on Historical
Linguistics, 151-161. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Collett, Major N.A. 1983. A Grammar, Phrase Book, and Vocabulary of
Baluchi. Great Britain: Burgess and Son (Abingdon) Ltd.
Farrell, T. 1995. Fading Ergativity? A Study of Ergativity in
Balochi. In D.C. Bennet (ed.), Subject, Voice, and Ergativity:
Selected Essays, 218-243. London: School of Oriental and African
Studies.
Gilbertson, Major George Waters. 1923. The Balochi Language. A
Grammar and Manual. Hertford: Stephen Austin and Sons Ltd.
Gordon, Raymond G., Jr. (Editor). 2005. Ethnologue: Languages of the
World, Fifteenth Edition. Dallas: SIL International.
Jahani, Carina. 2000. Language in Society – Eight Sociolinguistic
Essays on Balochi. Universitatis Upsaliensis (Uppsala University).
Khan, Naseer. 1984. The Grammar of Balochi Language. Balochi Acadamy
Quetta.
Payne, J.R. 1980. The Decay of Ergativity in Pamir Languages. Lingua
51: 147-186.

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Offline Shoaib Shadab

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A Case Study of Balochi Language
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2011, 12:13:23 AM »
By: Azim Shahbakhsh
University of London


 
Introduction:

Among the many languages spoken in the world, one is Balochi meaning “Language of Baloch”. It is spoken by the Baloch people in Balochistan. For historical reasons the language has become marginalised and even for native speakers, it has become pragmatically a second language. While Balochi is probably not on the danger list of languages facing extinction, it is essential to note that the number of languages in the world is declining at an alarming rate; for instance, Crystal (1997. 286) observes that, in 1962, Trumai, spoken in a single village on the lower Culuene River in Venezuela, was reduced by an influenza epidemic to a population of fewer than 10 speakers. In the 19th century, it was thought that there were over 1,000 Indian languages in Brazil; today, there are only 200. A quarter of the world’s languages have fewer than 1,000 speakers; half have fewer 10,000. It is likely that most of these languages will die out in the next 50 years. Although Balochi is spoken over a vast area of the world, it seems to be in danger because it is decreasingly used by its speakers in official and educational situations. This paper is concerned with the Balochi language in Iran presenting the issues from two perspectives: The first is a descriptive history of this language, its relation to its family languages, its dialects, its development as for its orthography and standardization, and demographical and geographical factors. The second is concerned with the situation of Balochi today, in terms of linguistic domains, the situation of this language in Iran as for its legalization , and a comparison with other languages . A summary of Balochi phonemes and grammar is included in an appendix as well.

Part 1:

1.1: History


is an Iranian language. Iranian languages form a branch of the vast Indo-European family. Linguists believe the ancestral language, proto-Indo-European (PIE), was spoken around 6000 years ago, probably somewhere in western Asia or eastern Europe (Abolghassemi, 1994,5). Over time, PIE split up into several regional varieties. One of these languages, which are called Proto-Indo-Iranian, was spoken about 5000 years ago, and the best guess is that this was spoken in the east and northeast of the Caspian Sea. Then this language itself split up. One large group of people migrated toward India, where their speech eventually gave rise to the Indo-Aryan languages of India, such as the ancient Vedic and Sanskrit and the New Hindi-Urdu and Bengali. Another group migrated southward into the Iranian plateau. These people appear in history for the first time about 1000 BC, when they are mentioned in Assyrian sources (ibid. p.17).
The Old Iranian language is divided into three periods, first one them started from 1000 BC to 732Ad / 331 BC. This period is called Old Iranian; the important languages of this period are as follows: Old Persian, Medic, Avesta, and Old Saka. The second period started from 331 BC. This period is called Middle Iranian such as Pahlavi, Sogdian, middle Saka, Balkhi. The last period started from 31 HG and continues until today. Among the important languages of this period are New Persian, Pashto, Kurdish, and Balochi. These are relevant to as new Iranian languages.
There is no document of old and middle Balochi. We can only speak about New Balochi because there is much evidence of it available. Some scientists believe that New Balochi rooted from old and Middle Balochi, but no traces of those periods remain. The Balochi language is a northwestern Iranian language, in the same category as Kurdish, Taleshi, Gilaki, Iranian central dialects, Parachi, and Ormuri languages.
Linguists believe that Balochi has a wide variety of dialects. According to Elfenbein (1968,10) Balochi consists of two main groups of dialects: Eastern dialects and Western. These two main dialects are devisable into six smaller dialects as Eastern Hill, Coastal, Rakhshani, Lashari, and Kechi. The socioeconomic division of Iranian Balochistan into a northern versus central and southern part corresponds to the main Bloch dialect divisions within Iran, namely that between the northern (Rakhshani) versus the southern (Makkorani) dialects. There are, however, as noted both by Elfenbein, (1968 pp.19-20, 23) and Spooner, (1967) some dialects, which have their own very distinct features and do not readily fit into one of the two groups mentioned above. One such dialect is that of Sarawani. No Balochi dialect has been standardized, because, it is not used in education and because of racial biases which exist among different Baloch tribes. However, in Germany, Italy, and Sweden, academics are trying to standardize one of the dialects of that language which seems to be an important language in the Middle East.
The script, which is generally used in Balochi, is derived from Arabic script. The Arabic script spread with Islam, and has generally remained fairly uniform, even when has in been used for languages belonging to totally different families, for example, Semitic, Turkish and Indo-European languages, such as Farsi, Pashto, Urdu, Kurdish, and Balochi. Balochi has a very short tradition of writing. Most works written in the 19th and early 20th centuries are by Englishmen in Roman scripts. The orthography used nowadays by the Baloch people is based on the Arabic script with Persian-Urdu conventions. There is no standard written language, and no fixed alphabets. Depending on which dialect you wish to write, the Persian and the Urdu version of the Arabic script is used. The Arabic loan words in Balochi are generally spelled in accordance with their spelling in Arabic. This leads to over representation of consonant phonemes. Vowel phonemes are, on the contrary, not fully represented because there are no symbols to show short vowels. Nowadays some linguist are trying to standardize Balochi orthography, they suggest that it is better to use Roman script in Balochi, because the Roman script is able to show all phonemes correctly whereas the Arabic script is not able to show short vowels; Roman script is able to show short vowels. However, since Baloch are Moslem, it is hard for them to apply the Roman script. In other words, Baloch prefer to use Arabic script, because it is the script of the Quran. In addition, since Baloch have no authority, they cannot legalize there own preferred script.


1.2: Geography and Demography

The Baloch are a people divided between several different countries. Nowadays Balochi is spoken in the southeastern part of Iranian linguistic area. Today Balochi is spoken in southwestern Pakistan, southeastern Iran, southern Afghanistan, the Gulf States and Turkmenistan. There are also communities of Baloch people in East Africa and India, as well as several countries in the West; e.g. Great Britain and the USA. It is hard to estimate the total number of speakers of Balochi, especially since central governments such as Iranian government and Pakestanian regime do not generally stress ethnic identity in census reports. According to Jahani statistics available estimate that at least five to eight million Baloch speak the language (2000, 11). The majority live in Pakistan and Iran. It is impossible to obtain exact statistics of Baloch living in Iran. In 1998 Britannica Book of the Year the figure for Balochi speakers in Iran is given at 1 420 000. (Britannica Book of the Year 1998,772) In view of the difficulties of gathering exact statistics in a remote region like Balochistan, where rural life still predominates, and of the general tendency for a central government not to overestimate the size of minority groups, a figure of slightly more than 1.5 million Baloch in Iran probably comes close to the truth. There are also a certain number of persons who identify as Baloch, but without being able to speak Balochi.
Geographically, Iranian Balochistan is divided into the northern Sarhadd area, the central/southern parts comprising the Iranshahr-Bampur region, the Sarawan district, the Makkoran Mountains down almost to the coast, and a southern strip along the coast of the Sea of Oman.
Economically this region is also divided into mainly pastoralism in the Sarhadd, where agricultural production specializes in dates and fruit, as well as pastoralism in the central/southern areas, and fishing combined with some agriculture on the coast. In the north where nomadism is the traditional basis of economy the social organization is tribal.
Some of the major tribes in this area are the Regi, Mirbalochzahi, Somalzahi (shahbakhsh), yarmohammadzhi (shahnawazi), and Naruyi. In the central and southern parts of Iranian Balochistan, the social structure is also to a certain degree tribal, though some of the agricultural population belong to low status tribes or are non-tribal gulam “slaves”. With the introduction of education and a certain degree of urbanization in Iranian Balochistan, it is but natural that age-old socioeconomic structures are likely to undergo considerable change, a process already underway to a certain extent.


Part 2:
2.1: Language domains

One of the ways that we can see how healthy or strong a language is, is to look at where in society the language is used. So if a language is used at home, at work, in education, in business, in administration, in religion, in entertainment and in the mass media, then that language has a usage in many social domains that shows that it will continue to thrive as a language. Conversely, if we find, for instance, that elderly members of family only use a language at home, and for all other purposes a second language is used, then we can conclude that the language is weak and may even die out within a generation.
The Balochi language, which is spoken over such a vast territory, has different levels of use. In central Balochistan, it is used in almost all domains, whereas in the cities a second language-Persian- is used in a lot of areas, educational and media domains, and Balochi exists mainly as the language of home and local community. At present, it is partly lack of education that is ensuring the strength of Balochi because there are a large number of Baloch who are uneducated and have little to do with business, offices or literary activities, and thus have few domains where second language would be used. But it is good neither for the Baloch people nor the long-term health of their language. In situations of contact with major trades and official languages, people will tend towards bilingualism. In the religious domain, Balochi is used for devotional exposition in many communities, but the language of sacred text and worship is Arabic.
Woodard (1989.pp.359-360) observes that studies of minority languages have shown that for bilingual speakers where topic/domain determines which language they talk, the minority language is showing signs of weakness and decline, but where the language to speak on a particular occasion is chosen according to the participants in the exchange the minority language is not showing signs of shift to the other language. So, for example, if a Baloch feels compelled to write letters in Persian to other Bloch’s, this is a sign of retrenchment of Balochi. But if a Baloch writes letters in Persian to non-Baloch, but in Balochi to Balochs, this is a type of bilingual performance that is not a sign of language weakening.
This presents a challenge to the Baloch community, since trade, television, newspapers, and education will increasingly be a factor in the lives of more and more Baloch, bringing ever more domains in which they function in languages other than Balochi. The way to meet this challenge is clearly to extend the use of Balochi to as many of these domains as possible, and perhaps the single most powerful instrument in achieving this is mother tongue education, since mother tongue education would be a means of extending Balochi usage to many academic domains. Even if mother tongue education did not extend through the entire school curriculum, the effect of literacy and use of mother tongue in formal situations would increase greatly its domain of use.
Mother tongue education has traditionally been seen as the great hope for reversing language shift, so much so that Fishman has warned against seeing it “as a way of reviving a language unless active home use of the language is also established”(1996.p.368). So, for example, in Ireland Gaelic is taught at school and used in many government contexts, but it is still not widely used in the home or community. As a result mother tongue education cannot be expected to revive the language on its own. But Balochi is very widely spoken in the home and society. What is needed for Balochi is not so much increased use in the home, but increased use out of the home, especially in formal situations. Thus, it is hoped that with mother tongue education and literacy. Baloch will increasingly write letters, post signs, notices and bulletins, read newspapers and magazines in Balochi, as well as doing business and government administration in it.


2.2: Balochi problems with development in Iran

Minority languages often suffer from certain political restrictions, which limit their development. A suitable example to illustrate this issue is the situation of the Kurdish language in Iran, Iraq, and certain other countries. The constitution of Persia (Iran) enacted in 1906, which was powerful during the reign of the Pahlavi monarchy, had no mention about language whatsoever. (Iran, pp.51-76) . The language policy prevalent between 1925 and 1979 was, however, that of strict uniformity. There was to be one nation with one language, namely Persian. Other Iranian languages spoken within the borders of Iran were regarded as local dialects of Persian. Under such circumstances there was, of course, no provision made by the government for mother tongue education or even cultural activities or publication in the minority language.
According to the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, chapter 1, article 15, in addition to the official language Persian, “the use of the local and ethnic languages in the press and mass media is allowed. The teaching of the ethnic literature in the schools, together with Persian language instruction is also permitted”. (Constitution of Islamic Republic of Iran, 1979, pp.8-10). This means that it is in principle permitted to publish books and newspapers in Balochi, but at present there is no such publication-taking place in Iran. When it comes to teaching Balochi literature in the school, there is of course no provision being made for such a subject due to the almost total lack of Balochi literature. As for radio programmers, the situation is different, and Radio Zahedan has daily broadcasts in Balochi. In fact, these broadcasts date back at least to the 1960s, thus to the time of the Pahlavi monarchy. Although the government propagandizes that it tries to help the improvement of the Balochi language and other minority languages, it has not gone further than propagation. The fact is that it has remained as a written act and not an executed article.
All the limitations that were made by Iranian governments show that the government and Iranian nationalists are worried about the fact that the Balochi language can become a symbol of the Baloch people’s national identity. A very clear example of this is seen in the history of the Basque (euskera), and the attitude towards it by the Spanish government under Franco, from 1937 until the mid 1950s. The teaching of the language in schools was forbidden, as was its use in the media, church ceremonies, and all public places. Books in the language were publicly burnt. Basque names were no longer allowed in baptism, and all names in the language on official documents were translated into Spanish. Inscriptions on public buildings and tombstones were removed. By the early 1960s, official policy changed. Nowadays Basque is permitted in all linguistic, cultural, and political activities (Crystal, 1997.34). But the Iranian authorities appear to have learned lessons from the situation in Spain, particularly that the success of the Basque language was seen to be linked with the nationalist aspirations of the Basque people, a situation they were keen to avoid in Iran. Consequently, they are going to so pressurize the Balochs that this minority cannot ask for separation. However, this reaction is not beneficial for the Iranian government because if a culture and its people are suppressed, it will change into a dangerous nationalism, and this is why some Baloch literate are acting secretly to develop their language and culture.
In the history of the world, languages have always come and gone, but in the present time there are some factors which have never existed previously, and which threaten many of the world’s languages in a way they have never been threatened before. The first is that, with the growing world population and with ever increasing mobility, there are getting to be very few people who have had no contact with speakers of other languages, and the vast majority of people have regular contact with speakers of other languages. The second is that the spread and use of electronic media and communications are growing exponentially. At times it appears that Balochi, spoken largely by semi-nomadic shepherds or rural farmers and fishermen in the huge open expanses of Balochistan, would be unaffected by the developments in urban business and leisure communications. But it is necessary to note that among the Baloch in Iran within a single generation storytelling has been replaced by radio, then by television, then video, then satellite as a means of family entertainment. In other words, a language will not develop, according to Crystal (1998. 82) unless it is used by mass media, and also he adds that, “When we investigate why so many nations have in recent years made English an official language or chosen it as their chief foreign language in school, one of the most important reasons is that, always educational- in the broadest sense”(ibid.101). As a result, the application of a language in education is also very important in the development of that language.

Conclusion:

As I have tried to show in the previous section, the Balochi language is one of the new Iranian languages used in Iran and has different dialects. However, due to current restricting laws, which have not allowed the Balochi language to be used in education and official contexts, this language has not developed, and the Baloch people have to use Persian, which is their second language as the official language. Practically, the Balochi language is going to be their second language. To develop this language, the laws should be changed so that it can be used in education, and mass media. Meanwhile, to standardize this language, one of its dialects should be given prior and prominent salience.
Although a great many restrictions have been imposed on this language. It has been the center of a lot of research in countries other than Iran. For instance, in Pakistan, Italy, Sweden, and Germany, academics work on it and there are even some departments giving degrees on research about the Balochi language. Hence, while in Iran this language is ignored, elsewhere there exits great interest in it. This is an unsettling situation which must change. The fear is that, Blochi will otherwise join that growing list of languages, which have died and now exist only as museum pieces.
 

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Re: Introduction to Balochi Language
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2011, 03:17:44 PM »
 [durdanagen-gohaar]
baaz jowanien patto powli e. o|||

 washshiyaani jambar tai sara s

 wati raaj e heyr loutouk Daniel

Offline Shoaib Shadab

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Baloch and Balochi
« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2011, 02:13:11 AM »
What is the adjective of “Baloch” in English? Our country is called Balochistan, that point is clear. We live in Balochistan. We speak Balochi, we have severalBalochi dialects, we weave Balochi carpets, we ride Balochi camels, we (hopefully!) give Balochi names to our children. We read Balochi poetry which ispublished at the Balochi Academy.
However, I have also noticed that often “Baloch” is used as the adjective:
 
  • Baloch cultural tradition
  • Baloch Students’ Organisation
  • Baloch authors
  • Baloch ethnicity
  • Baloch nationalism
  • Baloch National Movement
  • Baloch men
  • Baloch ethnic group
  • Baloch people
And what about the noun? Am I a Baloch or Balochi? Are my parents Baloch, Balochs, Balochis or Baloches?
Baloch: Baloch is generally known as a noun. The native people who live in Balochistan are called Baloch. Generally Baloch people speak Balochi, but even if native people can’t speak Balochi, they are still called Baloch. They can migrate and live in other parts of the world. They can still refer to themselves as Baloch. So, I believe that it is now accepted that “Baloch” is noun in this context.
Mistakenly, some non-Baloch scholars use the word “Balochi”, instead of “Baloch” when referring to people of Balochistan. For instance, they may say: “Baaraan is Balochi”. It is wrong. “Baaraan is a Baloch” is the right expression. One my say that “Baaraan is a Balochi name”, which is a correct phrase to say.
So, I am a Baloch, not Balochi (likewise, Hazhaar is a Kurd. Hazhaar is a Kurdish name. But saying “Hazhaar is a Kurdish” is a rather an inaccurate expression).
On many occasion, it is rather use a “the” before Baloch, when we refer to people of Balochistan (in national adjective usage). For instance, national adjectives ending in “ch” or “sh” e.g. the Dutch, the Spanish, the Welsh (see The Oxford Library of English Usage, Chapter I, 1990. Similarly we can say “the Baloch” etc.
Other parallel examples:
Javier is a Spaniard. He speaks Spanish. He eats Spanish food. He is a Spanish person. (But although one may say that “He is a Spanish”, the more accurate way is to say it is “Javier is a Spaniard”, instead of “Javier is a Spanish. The same applies for Scot (native Scottish person from Scotland) etc.
Please remember that there is not a universal rule about this issue. e.g. ” Shah Latif was a Sindi (Sindhi). He spoke Sindi (Sindhi) and he was from Sind (Sindh). As you see in this case the word “Sindi” is used both as the noun for naming people from Sind and the language.
As for Plural version of the word “Baloch”, there is no universal accepted form. Some people use “Balochs”, other use “Baloches”. Increasing number of people use “Baloch” as both singular and plural. In my view, using “Baloch” as both singular and plural is somehow a better way to use it. A parallel in English language is the word “Dutch” (people and language of Holland). When referring to people from Holland, they are called ”Dutch”, whether one or many people. I have never seen expressions such as “Dutchs” or “Dutches”. I think it looks nicer in a sentence to use “Baloch” as both singular and plural form. One can understand from the sentence, whether we talk about one person or many. It is a personal preference, but words “Balochs” or “Baloches” do not appeal to me. I rather use “Baloch” only. (Some people may write it as “Baluch”, “Balouch” etc. Again “Baluchs/Baluches” or “Balouchs/Balouches” do not sound “attractive”.
Balochi: Anything related to the Baloch (people from Balochistan) can be described as Balochi. It can have genitive form or simply used as an adjective.
Languge of the Baloch is called Balochi. Not only, we the Baloch, call it “Balochi”, but every other non-Baloch person also called it “Balochi”. At least, there is unanimous acceptance about this issue. There are still variations in spelling “Balochi” such as “Baluchi” and “Balouchi”. But it is not a big deal.
“Balochi” is mainly used as an adjective e.g. “Balochi dress”, “Balochi book”, “Balochi dance”, etc. “Baloch” cannot be used in the same context. It is, however, to be noticed when one refers directly to people, i.e. the Baloch, it is rather use “Baloch” not “Balochi” in any compound nouns. e.g.
Baloch Students’ Federation (not Balochi Students’ Federation) as it refers to Baloch people (in this case, students). Also “Baloch women” but NOT Balochi women (again Baloch refers to people, women) etc.
In the meantime, there is a need for a flexible approach towards this issue, as there is no standard/universal rule especially with regards to “Baloch”, “Balochi” etc. The same applies to Balochi orthography (both in Persian/Urdu and Latin/English alphabets). At this stage, there is no excuse for exclusion of any approach, style and preferences. As for various dialects of Balochi language, there is an even greater need for flexibility.
 
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Baluchi Language and Literature
« Reply #12 on: April 07, 2011, 12:17:37 AM »
See also BRAHUI.
Bibliography : Older (pre-1889) works. The only works still worth consulting are C. E. Gladstone, Biluchi Handbook, Lahore, 1874; E. W. Marston, Grammar and Vocabulary of the Mekranee Belonchee Dialect, Bombay, 1877; Major E. Mockler, A Grammer of the Baloochee Language, as it is Spoken in Makrān, in the Persi-Arabic Character, London, 1877; E. Pierce, “A Description of the Mekranee-Beloochee Dialect,” JRAS Bombay 11, pp. 1-98 (fairly accurate descriptions, mainly of the Coastal dialect but phonologically very hard to follow and differing dialect forms are mixed without discrimination); A. Lewis, The Gospel According to St. Matthew, Allahabad, 1884; idem, Balochi Stories, as Spoken by the Nomad Tribes of the Sulaiman Hills, Allahabad, 1855 (accurate and quite reliable; Eastern Hill Baluchi).
Early work (1889-1920). The first scientific and comparative studies of the phonology, history, and etymology of Baluchi by an authority on the subject are the following works by W. Geiger: “Dialektspaltung in Balūčī,” Sb. Bayr. Akad. d. Wiss. 1, Munich, 1889, pp. 65-92; “Balūčische Texte mit Übersetzung I, II,” ZDMG 43, 1889, pp. 579-89, 47, 1893, pp. 440-49; “Etymologie des Balūčī,” Abh. Bayr. Akad. d. Wiss. 19, 1890, pp. 107-53; “Lautlehre des Balūčī,” ibid., pp. 399-443 (most of this is still useful but it must be remembered that Geiger had little other Middle Iranian material than the older Pahlavi studies at his disposal), culminating in his classical account of the language from the standpoint of Iranian philology: “Die Sprache der Balutschen,” in Grundriss I, pp. 231-48 and 417-23. By M. L. Dames we have the following important works: A Textbook of the Balochi Language, Lahore, 1891; Balochi Tales, London, I-II, 1892, III-IV, 1893, V, 1897; The Baloch Race, London, 1904; Popular Poetry of the Baloches, London, 1907 (the most ambitious and comprehensive collection of Baluchi ballads ever published, containing Baluchi texts with English translation; unfortunately marred by many inaccuracies in the Baluchi text and far too free English translations); “Balōčistan, Language and Literature,” in EI1, 1913, pp. 633-34 (useful particularly for the historical and ethnographic survey). Usable but inaccurate, with many misprints, are the two works by J. L. Mayer (Eastern Hill Baluchi): Biluch Classics, Fort Munro-Agra, 1901; English-Biluchi Dictionary, Lahore, 1909 (the earliest and in many ways most interesting of such dictionaries).
Modern works (1920-). H. W. Bailey, “Maka,” JRAS, 1982, pp. 10-13. M. Barker and A. Kh. Mengal, A Course in Baluchi, 2 vols., Montreal, 1969 (modern language course in Rašāni Baluchi, laden with “drills” and exercises; the most thorough description to date of any Baluchi dialect; texts and glossaries; painstaking and accurate). A. Bausani, “La letteratura Beluci,” in O. Botto, Storia delle letterature orientali, Milan, 1969, II, pp. 643-48 (poorish summaries of a few tales taken from Dames, Popular Poetry; Jām Dorrak is also mentioned). G. Buddruss, “Buttern in Baluchistan,” in Wort und Wirklichkeit. Studien zur Afrikanistik und Orientalistik Eugen Ludwig Rapp zum 70. Geburtstag, ed. B. Benzing, O. Böcher, and G. Mayer, II, Meisenheim am Glan, 1978, pp. 1-16 (an interesting specimen of Afghani Baluchi, with notes and tr.). N. A. Collett, A Grammar, Phrase Book and Vocabulary of Baluchi (As Spoken in the Sultanate of Oman), 1983, 2nd ed., 1986, Abingdon, Kent (Kēči dialect used by Balōč recruits from Pakistan in the Omani forces; the vocabulary includes occasional Rašāni and Coastal forms, and some words unrecorded in Baluchi so far). W. Eilers, “Das Volk der Maka vor und nach den Achaemeniden,” in H. Koch and D. N. MacKenzie, eds., Kunst, Kultur, und Geschichte der Achaemenidenzeit und ihr Fortleben, AMI, Ergänzungsband 10, Berlin, 1983, pp. 101-19. J. Elfenbein, “Baluchistan, Language,” in EI2, 1960, pp. 1006-07 (in the historical part read “northwestern” for “eastern” and “southwestern” for “western”; the dialect geography is completely revised in the text above). Idem, “Baluchi Mss. in the British Museum,” in Trudy XXV Mezhdunarodnogo Kongressa Vostokovedov II, Moscow, 1960, pp. 364-66 (preliminary discussion of the three mss.). Idem, “A Balūčī Text, with Translation and Notes,” BSOAS 24, 1961, pp. 86-103 (ed., tr. of one story with notes from the most interesting of the three mss). Idem, A Vocabulary of Marw Baluchi, Naples, 1963 (etymological vocabulary of all Marv Baluchi texts). Idem, The Baluchi Language, a Dialectology with Texts, London, 1966 (a first attempt at a comprehensive first-hand account of all Baluchi dialects, with some texts and a small, poor word list; mainly descriptive, with a few historical notes on the development of dialects; for the most part still valid). Idem, “Report on a Linguistic Mission to Helmand and Nīmrūz,” Journal of Afghan Studies 2, 1979, pp. 39-44 (dialectology of Afghani Baluchi). Idem, A Baluchi Miscellanea of Erotica and Poetry: Codex Oriental Additional 24048 of the British Library, AION 43/2, Supp. 35, Naples, 1983 (the oldest of the three mss. in the British Library, perhaps written ca. 1820 at the request of H. H. Wilson, 1786-1860, professor of Sanskrit at Oxford University, whose wife donated the ms. to the British Library in 1861; the dialect is an unusual variety of Coastal Baluchi, probably from Kalmat in present-day Pakistani Makrān). Idem, “Notes on the Balochī-Brāhūī Linguistic Commensality,” TPS, 1982, pp. 77-98 (description of some important phonological and morphological borrowings by Brahui from Baluchi). Idem, “Balochi from Khotan,” Studia Iranica 14, 1985, pp. 223-38 (176 Baluchi words noted in H. W. Bailey, Dictionary of Khotan Saka, with corrections and comments). Idem, “Mythologie der Balutschen,” in Klett and Cotta, Wörterbuch der Mythologie, 2nd ed., H. W. Haussig, Stuttgart, 1983-, pp. 491-507. V. A. Frolova, Beludzhskiĭ yazyk, Moscow, 1960 (no history or dialectology). R. N. Frye, “Remarks an Baluchi History,” Central Asiatic Journal 6, 1961, pp. 44-50 (Baluchi history in Islamic sources). E. G. Gafferberg, Beludzhi Turkmenskoĭ SSR, Moscow, 1969. G. W. Gilbertson, English-Balochi Colloquial Dictionary I-II, Hertford, 1925. Sir G. A. Grierson, “Balōchī,” in Linguistic Survey of India X: Eranian Family, Calcutta, 1921, pp. 327-421 (useful summary of phonology and grammar, with many texts and list of words). J. Hansman, “A Periplus of Magan and Meluhha,” BSOAS 36, 1973, pp. 554-84, with an annex by H. W. Bailey, pp. 584-87. V. A. Livshits, “Beludzhskiĭ yazyk,” in Narody Sredneĭ Azii i Kazakhstana, Moscow, 1962, pp. 157-58. D. N. MacKenzie, “Origins of Kurdish,” TPS, 1961, pp. 68-86 (on the dialectology of western Iranian languages). G. Morgenstierne, Report on a Linguistic Mission to North-Western India, Oslo, 1932, pp. 4-25. Idem, “Notes on Balochi Etymology,” NTS 5, 1932, pp. 37-53 (with important new material). Idem, “Balochi Miscellanea,” Acta Orientalia 20, 1948, pp. 253-92 (remarks on phonology; historical and etymological notes). Idem, “Neu-Iranische Sprachen,” in HO I, IV/1, Leiden and Cologne, 1958, pp. 169-70. I. M. Oranskiĭ, “Beludzhskiĭ yazyk,” in Iranskie yazyki, Moscow, 1963, pp. 141-45, 170-71, tr. J. Blau, Paris, 1977, pp. 146-50, 196 (fairly complete survey of published material). M. G. Pikulin, Beludzhi, Moscow, 1959 (summary of material published abroad). V. S. Rastorgueva, “Beludzhskiĭ yazyk,” in Yazyki narodov SSSR I, Moscow, 1966, pp. 323-41. G. Redard, “Balōčī,” in Current Trends in Linguistics VI, The Hague, 1970, pp. 107-08 (state of the art and bibliography). S. N. Sokolov, Grammaticheskiĭ ocherk yazyka beludzheĭ Sovetskogo Soyuza, Trudy Instituta Yazykoznaniya 6, Moscow, 1956, pp. 57-91 (detailed grammatical description of the Zarubin texts). V. S. Sokolova, Beludzhskiĭ yazyk, Novye svedeniya o fonetiki iranskikh yazykov II/6, Moscow and Leningrad, 1950 (first Russian sketch). Idem, Beludzhskiĭ yazyk, Ocherki po fonetike iranskikh yazykov I, Moscow and Leningrad, 1953 (detailed phonological analysis; some word lists and texts). Idem, “Beludzhskiĭ yazyk,” in Sovremennyĭ Iran, Moscow, 1957, pp. 83-93 (brief sketch). B. Spooner, “Notes on Baluchī spoken in Persian Baluchistan,” Iran 5, 1967, pp. 51-71 (short description and word list; Saraddi and “Makrāni” Baluchi by an anthropologist; inaccurate phonology; unselective bibliography). I. I. Zarubin, “K izucheniyu beludzhskogo yazyka i fol’klora,” Zapiski Kollegii Vostokovedov 5, Leningrad, 1932, pp. 653-79 (the first Baluchi text with good Russian translation; useful). Idem, Beludzhskie skazki, Leningrad, I, 1932, II, 1949 (a huge collection of prose stories in the Marv dialect with Russian translation; accurate and reliable).
Modern literary Baluchi texts: Bašīr Amad Balōč, ed., Durčīn, Quetta, 1963 (some of the work of Jām Dorrak). A. J. Jamāldīnī, ed., Mistāg, Karachi, 1959 (an early and fairly representative collection of new Baluchi poetry). Miha Khan Marī, Ram-ʿAlī Marī, Quetta, 1978 (poetry of an important poet). Šēr-Moammad Marī, ed., Balōčī kōhnēn šāirī, Quetta, 1970 (the first collection of classical Baluchi ballads since Dames, 1907; Eastern Hill Baluchi in Sindhi script; introd. and notes in Baluchi; many printing errors). Gol Khan Naīr, Gulbāng, Quetta, 1952 (one of the first indigenous publications). Idem, Šap girōk, Quetta, 1973: Grand, Quetta, 1975; Dōstēn o Šīrēn, Quetta, 1977 (collections of poetry; the last a lengthy recast of a classical Baluchi story of two lovers).
 
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Baluchi Language and Literature
« Reply #13 on: April 07, 2011, 12:25:05 AM »
II. Baluchi literature.

The literature of Baluchi—until quite recently entirely oral and still largely so—consists of a large amount of history and occasional balladry (epic poetry), stories and legends, romantic ballads, and religious and didactic poetry, of which there is an extensive corpus; in addition there is a large variety of domestic verse: work songs, lullabies, and riddles. Possibly the first modest attempt to collect some of this extensive literature is represented by the manuscript BM Cod. Add. 24048 (Elfenbein, 1982). In any case it is quite certain that no systematic attempts were made to collect and reduce to written form any sizeable part of this literature prior to the European (mainly British) interest in it in the 19th century. Of these collections, the earliest of note was made by A. Lewis in 1855; the next important one was by T. J. L. Mayer in 1900. By far the most important and systematic, however, are those by M. Longworth Dames, in 1891, 1907, and 1909. Unfortunately all of these works deal with material which came only from one small area, and in Eastern Hill Baluchi only, thus giving a misleadingly restricted picture of the real extent and variety of this literature, and an inflated estimate of the importance of the dialect in which it was collected. The language of classical Baluchi poetry is traditionally in three dialects (in order of their status and importance): Coastal, Eastern Hill Baluchi, and Kechi.
Historical ballads. The oldest historical ballads (called daptar šāʾirī “ballads of origins”) deal with the first emigrations of the Baluch from Aleppo, their traditional (and legendary) home. There are many of these ballads, only a few of which have been collected (a poor example of one in Linguistic Survey of India; see Grierson, 1927). Some of these ballads may go back to the 16th century. They all agree that the Baluch are the sons of Mīr Ḥamza, and rose up in Aleppo, where they sided with Ḥosayn in his struggle with Caliph Yazīd, fighting at Karbalā. (The “history” up to this point is of course quite imaginary.) There are two main tribes, the Rind and the Lāšārī, with one chief of chiefs, Šayhakk, as well as many subtribes and several inferior slave tribes. They depart after the battle, and the next centuries are passed over in silence. We next hear that they have reached Sīstān, settling in the region of Rūdbār, “where they live for a time in relative peace, until a change in ruler from “Šams-al-Dīn” (perhaps Šams-al-Dīn Moḥammad Kort, ruler of Herat 1246-77, see āl-e kart), who is friendly to them, to “Badr-al-Dīn,” who is not, causes them to separate. Some go southeastward to Makrān, while most go southwestward toward Lār, Pahrā (now Īrānšahr), and Bampūr, where they wander for three years looking for a place to settle. Thereafter, under the leadership of Mīr Jalāl Khan, the main body enters Makrān, passing Mand, Kech, as far as Kolwa, wandering one further year. At Āšal in Kolwa, Mīr Čākur, son of Šayhakk, is born, perhaps in the middle of the 15th century.
Most accounts describe this part of Makrān as very uncongenial to the Baluch, barren and waterless as it is, and it is not until they reach the more eastern portions near Kalat that they begin to settle, perhaps meeting there earlier settlers from a previous wave.
Heroic ballads. It is at this point that the principal cycles of classical Baluchi heroic balladry begin. The first and most important of them can be conveniently called the Čākur cycle, which comprises the numerous ballads concerning Mīr Čākur, the leading hero of Baluchi legend altogether. Most of these ballads are concerned with a long and destructive thirty years’ war between the Rind and the Lāšārī, and comprise some very fine epic poetry. While it is true that the events described in these ballads are not to be found in other sources for the history of the region, poor as they are, still it is possible from internal evidence to estimate the dates to lie between the years 1475-1525 with some degree of likelihood.
Relations between the Rind and the Lāšārī were never easy, and after the descent through the Bolān pass into the Indus valley and the settlement of the Sibi and Kacchi region, the overall chief Šayhakk died, and the two tribes could no longer contain their differences. Mīr Čākur, son of Šayhakk, became the leader of the Rind, while his rival Mīr Gwaharām, the son of Nōdbandag (another venerated chief) became the leader of the Lāšārī. Dealings between the two tribes were plagued by jealousy and distrust, and to add to their difficulties both leaders conceived a passion for the same lady, the Lāšārī Gōhar, who for her part preferred the Rind chief Mīr Čākur. Several small events, each the subject of ballads, set the stage for an explosion which, when it came, resulted in a long and pitilessly destructive struggle, which tradition states to have lasted thirty years. The various events are celebrated in many poems, some said to be written by Bībarg, a lieutenant of Mīr Čākur. Although defeated in the first battles, the Rind were finally victorious. An alliance with “the Turk” (perhaps Ḏu’l-Nūn Beg Arḡūn of Qandahār, ca. 1480) by the Rind so strengthened their final attack on the Lāšārī that the latter were virtually wiped out and ceased to play much part in subsequent Baluchi history. Gwaharām is said to have escaped south into Sind with a few followers. The Rind settled at first mainly around Sibi and then spread northward and southward. Some traveled as far south as the coast, thence spreading out westward toward Persia, eventually settling the whole Makrān coast as far as Bīābān. These coastal Baluch, together with those settled in the Upper Sind Frontier in the “Tribal Areas” constitute the oldest settlements today, and speak the most archaic dialects, often called “Rindī.”
There are ballads describing their participation in various adventures as freebooters in battles with the “Turks,” i.e., the Mughals, in India in particular in the campaign of Emperor Homāyūn in 1555 against Delhi. Mīr Čākur is said to have had a palace at Sibi, and to have engaged in campaigns in Multan and Punjab; he is buried at Saṭgarh in the Multan district, in what was an impressive tomb.
The Dōdā-Bālāč cycle. Perhaps the most important cycle after the Čākur cycle is what can be called the Dōdā-Bālāč cycle. The lady Sammī and her husband, both Bulēdī, take refuge with Dōdā the chief of the Gorgēj Rind. Upon the death of Sammī’s husband there is a dispute about the inheritance, in which Sammī withholds from the heirs of her dead husband a small part of the herd of cattle which is her own private property (allowed by tribal law). In some versions, Bībarg, the Bulēdī chief, organizes a raid in which the disputed cattle are carried off by force, while Dōdā is asleep in the sun. The raid thus takes place, exceptionally, in full daylight, and is thus all the greater insult to the Gorgēj and to Dōdā who has given Sammī refuge. Dōdā is rudely awakened by two women, variously described as his mother-in-law, sister-in-law, neighbors, or other relations, who tell him what has happened. Dōdā is at first reluctant to pursue and punish the raiders, but after taunts and jibes by the women, who accuse him of cowardice and lawbreaking, he gathers together a few companions and sallies forth to meet the Bulēdī at the Garmāp pass (near Sangsilā in Bugṭī country) and is killed.
For his attempt Dōdā is highly regarded in Baluchi legend, and by some is considered a hero comparable even to Čākur or Nōdbandag. The parallel to the war of the Rind and Lāšārī is explicit in many versions of the subsequent events. The Bulēdī, emboldened by their initial successes, continue to raid, and the Gorgēj to defend themselves even though numerically and otherwise weaker, until they are nearly exterminated; in some versions only Bālāč, the son (in some versions the brother) of Dōdā, and his half brother Nakīb are left alive among the Gorgēj.
Nakīb, whose mother was a slave girl, is the more mettlesome of the two. Though described as “black” and a slave (slaves in Baluchi legend are always “black,” often in fact Negroid), he is very courageous, while Bālāč is dilatory like his father. For three years Nakīb exhorts the “lazy, cowardly, unworthy” Bālāč to act, but it is not until the latter has a dream in which he attacks the Bulēdī alone and wins revenge for his father that he at last decides to take action. He and Nakīb proceed alone to harass the Bulēdī over the whole of their territory, slaying threescore-and-one Bulēdī in one famous encounter. Bībarg is also slain, and the Bulēdī retreat to settle in the southern plains of Sind.
Bībarg’s taunts of cowardice and indecision, Bālāč’s agony of shame, fury, and doubt, Nakīb’s urgings to action are the subject of a large ballad literature, some of it of as fine an epic quality as is to be found, in which the conditions of life in all their stark bleakness are described for a Baluch who dedicates himself to do his duty. Some of it has been collected and published.
The Mazārī cycle. The wars of the Mazārī also form a cycle. In the early years of the 19th century, when Bahrām Khan was chief, a band of Mazārī raided the cattle of Gol Moḥammad Brāhōī, of the Jamālī Brāhōī, and subsequently, after negotiations, refused to return more than twenty-four female camels. The original causes of the raid lay, as so often, in disputed ownership of grazing grounds, and Gol Moḥammad decided to attack the Mazārī in force. He was at first driven off, but in a second engagement he succeeded in capturing a whole camel herd. Threescore Mazārīs pursued; all dismounted at Jarōpošt and fought hand to hand. Gol Moḥammad and fourscore of his men were killed.
Other literature. Mīr Hammal Jīhand “Sultan of Kalmat” is the subject of several ballads. A ruler of Makrān in the 16th century, he was often engaged with the Portuguese, who frequently raided the coast during this time, burning Gwādar and Pasnī in 1581. Mīr Hammal boasted that he could easily drive them away, but in a naval battle he was decisively beaten, captured alive by the Portuguese, and taken to south India (in some versions to Portugal), where he was imprisoned. Efforts to ransom him failed, whereupon the Portuguese tried to persuade him to settle and take as wife one of them. Mīr Hammal refused to marry a “kafīr” woman, and eventually died in prison. He is reputed to have written a history of his years in captivity and to have sent it to Kalmat, but no trace of it has been found. The ballads about him also describe the local custom women since adopted of mourning for him by binding their hair on Saturdays.
There is beside this particular literature of Baluch concerns, an extensive literature regarding many of the famous Islamic stories common to all Muslim peoples: stories of parīs, of ʿĪsā and Bārī, Laylā and Majnūn, Farhād and Šīrēn. More especially Baluch is the ballad of Dōstēn and Šīrēn, and those about Šēh (Shaikh) Morīd. Modern poets, foremost among them Gol Khan Naṣīr, have written new versions of these legends.
The time has not yet arrived for a comprehensive survey of Baluchi literature, for which the material at hand is as yet far too incomplete.
Many of the actors in events are themselves held to be bards (Bībarg, Bālāč, Qabīl Jaṭ, Gwaharām), many individual ballads being attributed to them. Some of these “attributed” classical poems were collected by Dames in 1909 and by Šēr Moḥammad Marī in 1970, but neither their age nor authenticity can be verified.
The earliest important poet for whom definite information is available is Jām Durrak, court poet at the court of Naṣīr Khan I of Kalat (1749-95), whose love poetry is still remembered and recited. Some of it has been collected and published (see the bibliography).
The 19th century saw a large literary flowering, and nearly every event of public or private importance (battles, celebrations, political events) saw the composition of a ballad to commemorate it, often by poets whose names and localities are known. In the western Kech valley, the town of Mand was of special importance, the home of Mollā Fażl and Mollā Qasīm, both in the first part of the century. Also important are ʿEzzat Lalla from Panjgur, Bālāč from Sibi, Nūr Moḥammad Bampoštī from Bampošt in Persian Baluchistan, Mollā Balnāma Ḥassān from Bāhō Kalāt in the same area.
In the latter half of the 19th century and the first part of the 20th century there have also been major poets: Faqīr Šēr Jān of Nushki, Mollā Esmāʿīl of Tump (Kech), Ostā Ḥassān Zargar also of Kech, Mollā Ḡolām Nabī Ḵārānī of Kolwa, among others, all writers of narrative ballads as well as romantic ones on important themes of the day.
The British Afghan wars were productive of, among other things, some important historical narrative ballads: one describes the expedition of General Willshire against Kalat in 1839, and there are many descriptions of the prevailing state of tribal unrest in Kalat State and in British Baluchistan, a state which continued until Sir Robert Sandeman in 1867 established a measure of control over the anarchic tribes by negotiating treaties, the first such ever concluded with them; as a result Baluch tribes kept the peace during the Second Afghan War in 1878, itself the subject of balladry. Sandeman himself became a legend, and there are many poems about Sanman Sāhb.
Modern literature. After the turn of the century, and particularly at the end of the first World War (for which Marī Baluch had refused to recruit soldiers for the Indian Army), a new national consciousness among Baluch generally produced a generation of writers who by the 1930s created an entirely new Baluchi cultural scene—one in which the printed word began to play a role for the first time. While it was nominally mainly literary in character, politics played an important role from the start, and one of the purposes of many writers was the awakening of a national consciousness, in which the mother tongue of course played a major part.
The first of this new generation of writers to become widely known was Moḥammad Ḥosayn “Anqā” (b. 1909, d. 1977) whose weekly newspaper in Baluchi, Bōlān, was the first of its kind; it survived, remarkably, for several years at Mach near Quetta until the end of the 1930s. Groups of enthusiasts were not lacking, however, to continue such efforts, and a bewildering variety of newspapers and “little magazines” have been born and died in the past 50 years, the first after Bōlān of the 1930s being Ōmān, ed. by Maulvī (Mawlawī) Ḵayr Moḥammad Nadvī in Karachi in the early 1950s. These literary activities have usually had a marked political content, so that relationships with central governments have never been easy. Other early writers include ʿAbd-al-ʿAzīz Kūrd (d. ca. 1970), Sayyed Hašīmī (d. 1980), Raḥm-ʿAlī Marī (d. ca. 1940). Probably the most important single events were the foundation of Baluchi academies for the publication of all types of written material: in Karachi ca. 1956 by Sayyed Hašīmī, and in Quetta in 1959, the latter being preceded there by the Balūčī Zubānē Diwān in 1950 (ʿAbd-Allāhān Jamāldīnī, b. 1922, Gol Khan Naṣīr, 1914-84, and Ḡolām Moḥammad Šāhwānī, d. ca. 1957). While the academy in Karachi lasted only a few years, it did important work; the academy in Quetta, on the other hand, is still flourishing, with some 60 titles td its credit, many of which are still in print. Gol Khan Našīr’s Gulbāng (Balūčī Zubānē Diwān, Quetta, 1952), a collection of poems, was one of the first publications. Gol Khan was the leading poet of the years after 1950, with many works published by the Baluchi Academy in Quetta, including four large volumes of poetry, written for the most part in traditional Baluchi styles. By contrast, ʿAṭā Šād (b. ca. 1940) is a leading poet in new, nontraditional styles, including free verse. Other leading poets in the classical and modern style are Mīr ʿĪsā Qomī (b. ca. 1915) of Torbat, and ʿAbd-al-Waḥīd Āzāt Jamāldīnī (1915-81 ) of Nūški. Āzāt founded the monthly Balōčī (Karachi, 1956-69; Quetta, 1969-) and was its editor until his death.
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Offline Shoaib Shadab

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Baluchi Language and Literature
« Reply #14 on: April 07, 2011, 12:38:11 AM »
Linguistic description. 1. Phonology. Baluchi has a particularly simple phonemic structure: Vowels, a, i, u, ā, ī, ū, ē, ō; diphthongs ay, aw. Consonants: stops p, t, k, b, d, g, , ; affricates č, j; sibilants s, z, š, `; continuants w, y, l, m, n, r, , ; the spirants f, x, γ are common in loanwords in all dialects, but tend rapidly to p, k, g respectively as the words become naturalized. Eastern Hill Baluchi, uniquely, keeps them, and in addition has also developed θ and from postvocalic t and d; and intervocalic b tends to become v.
2. Morphology. The following grammatical outline is based on the Coastal dialect, with Rašāni forms given in parentheses.
Noun declension. There is no nominal gender, all nouns being declined alike in a three-case system, singular and plural (Chart 7). A suffixed, unstressed -ē functions as indefinite article, cf. Persian -ī.
Pronouns are treated differently depending on whether or not the dialect construes the past transitive verbs passively. Pronominal declension is perhaps the most economically described by means of a four-case system (Chart 8), except in Rašāni, which, lacking the passive (ergative) construction, has a three-case system.
The Rašāni form mnīyā is only used in northern Rašāni, after prepositions. Note the difference between the nominative and oblique forms of the Rašāni 3rd person pronoun in the singular.
By far the most commonly used suffixed pronouns are the 3rd sing. -ī/e@, 3rd plur. - (often interchanged, the plural being used for the singular, and vice versa); suffixed to nouns they mean “his, their; for him, for them”; suffixed to the endings of verbs, “him, them; for him, for them”; as agent for the past transitives, often suffixed to the preceding word, “he/by him, they/by them.” The pronominal suffixes for the other persons and numbers are less used in most dialects (except in poetry) but are still common is spoken Kechi, Sarāvāni, and Lāšāri.
The demonstrative pronouns (Chart 9) are also used adjectivally. The forms of “that” are often mixed with those of the 3rd person pronoun by many speakers.
The interrogative pronouns are kay “who?”, gen. kay, kayī, obl. kayā; and čē “what?”, gen. čē, obl. čēā (čēwā). Conjugation. The suffixed substantive verb (copula) and the present/future endings are shown in Chart 10.
Past tense transitives have no ending in the singular and -ant in the plural, where the agreement (only in number) is with the “grammatical subject” (“ergative” construction). Some Rašāni dialects, however, have adopted the New Persian construction. Past intransitives take the full set of endings in all dialects. There is, however, much “mixed construction,” especially in Sarāvāni, and in most Rašāni.
There is a durative-continuative prefix a- (cf. Pers. -) which has, however, lost its semantic function in many dialects, and k- is prefixed to the present/future stems of some verbs with an initial vowel (often to the past as well). This prefix also has a durative meaning (see below on semantics). All verbs are inflected alike, but this simple system is complicated by an involved set of periphrastic constructions, and the large number of irregular verbs, whose past stems are not formed with -ita suffixed to the present stem.
A verbal noun (infinitive) is formed by the suffix -ag joined to the present verbal stem (except in Rašāni, which usually prefers -tin joined to the past stem). Examples of periphrastic constructions are shown in Chart 11.
The suffix -ōk is freely productive, joined to present verbal stems it means “one who does …,” joined to nouns “one who is …”: nindōk “a sitter,” kanōk “a doer,” barōk “a carryer,” ārōk “a bringer,” kušōk “a killer”; it can also be attached to nouns, e.g., sarōk “president,” watanōk “patriot.”
Semantics. There is a continuative verbal form man gušagā-hān (man gušagā-un) “I am speaking,” formed on Urdu models, and common in all dialects spoken in Pakistan, and not unknown elsewhere. The simple verbal form with prefixed a-, e.g., man a-gušān (man a-gušīn) has the same meaning, cf. Raš. man a-gušīn trā “I’m telling you”, vs. man gušīn ki “I say that …,” kēčī man a gušt “I was saying,” vs. man gušt “I said” (note the passive construction). Also man edā kōštīn “I’m standing here,” man edā kōštun “I was standing here,” vs. man eda ōštātun “I stood here.” The a- prefix is present in nearly all dialects regularly, but seems to have lost its significance except in Rašāni, where its use is semantically significant. It is hardly ever indicated in native writing now; older writers suffixed alef to a preceding word.
The irrealis construction is formed by prefixing bi- to the past stem of the verb, to which is then suffixed -ēn and the copula in Raš.: aga man drōg bibastēnun, tō ā manī sarā patt na kurt “If I had lied, then he would not have trusted me”; age ā manī haddā biyātkēn, tō man ayrā hamē gappā guštun “If he had come to my place, then I would have told him this matter.” In dialects with the “ergative” construction we get: aga man drōg bibastēn, tō āyā manī sarā patt nakut; aga āy manī haddā biyātkēn, tō man āyrā hame gapp gwašt. Examples containing 1st and 2nd plural pronouns: āyā mā (šumā) jatant, āy mārā (šumārā) jatant, or mā jatant-ī (the last in only one dialect) “he struck us (you)”; one also hears āyā mā jat or mā jat-ī.
There is also an important causative formation, for the most part by means of the suifix -ēn added to the present stems of verbs, which are then conjugated like verbs in -ēnag: man trā rasēnīn-ī “I’ll send it to you”; but there are many irregular formations.
Syntax. The main difference from Persian syntax are the following:
(a) The eżāfa construction is absent; Pers. sar-e man “my head” is expressed by manī sar; Pers. asb-e dūst-e šomā “your friend’s horse” by šumē dōstē asp.
(b) The past tenses of transitive verbs are construed passively in all dialects except in some Rašāni dialects, where the Persian active construction is more common. Examples: Coastal man gūnī zurtant o šutān “I took the sacks and went”; zī manī brātān gwašt-iš ki, ēdā bnind, mā kayēn “yesterday my brothers said, wait here, we shall come”; active construction: Raš. tay piss manī sundukān pāč kurt “thy father opened my boxes”; ta watī lingān prōštay “thou hast broken thy legs”; but also, in the same dialect, ta watī lingān prōšt; rēwar lārīā āwurt “the driver brought the lorry”, cf. rēwarā lārī āwurt “the lorry brought the driver”: both these sentences are ambiguous, and each could mean the other. To be certain, one has to say rēwarārā lārī āwurt “the lorry brought the driver,” or ā rēwar-int, ki lārī āyā (āwā) āwurt “that is the driver whom the lorry brought.”
(c) Prepositions are uncommon and usually occur in conjunction with postpositions, as in Pashto. Postpositions require the genitive of the governed noun: kitāb mēzē sarā-int “the book is on the table,” dračk gisay dēmā-int “the tree is in front of the house,” biyā gōn man pajā “come along with me,” man šutun pa Ahmadē randā “I went after Ahmad,” ča ēšī guā, man hiččī na dīt (dīst, dīstun) “after this, I saw nothing.”
(d) The use of nominal case endings in conjunction with the absence of the eżāfa construction make syntactical constructions and word order much freer in Baluchi than they are in Persian, as the following examples of prose narrative illustrate.
An account, in ordinary Rašāni colloquial style: Aga kassē aš watī badīgānī dastā bitačīt, ō yakk Balōčēay bāhō bibīt, tō balōčī riwājā āyī nigādārī parz-int. Balōč watī bāhōā hičč bar badīgānī dastā na dayant, ō ayī nang-ō-mālā a-sambant. Bāz barān Balōč pa bāhōā jang ham kanant, ō āyī nangā pān-ant. Walē gēštir hamē ki bāhōā watī haddā dārant, tānki ā wat diga jāgāē marot. [From Barker and Mangal I, pp. 425-26.] “If anyone flees from the hands of his enemies and becomes the refugee of a Baluch, then by Baluchi tribal law his protector-duty is (i.e., it is the duty of a Baluch to act as his protector). The Baluch never deliver their refugees into the hands of their enemies, and protect their honor and property. Many times the Baluch will also fight for a refugee, and are guardians of his honor. But most often (those who keep a refugee) will keep a refugee in their place (only), until he himself goes to another place.”
Literary and formal style:
Ča drustēn jawān ō dēmātirēn adabē zāntkārānī ōlīyē xayālē padā, adabārā bāyd-int ki zindagīyē ādēnk bibīt, zindagīyē drustēn rang-ō-dāng, kad-ō-bālād hamē ādēnkē tahā yakk-pa-yakkā sāf-zāhir bibant; aga zindagī bēawl ō badrang-int, adabārā bāyd-int ki āyārā hamā rangā pēš bidārīt, āyī habarē pardāhā ma-kant, ki čārōkānā zindagī badrang gindagā kāyt, har paym ki zindagīyē rang-ō-drōšum-int, ča āyā mūdē kisāsā ham pad-kinzag ma-bīt. Aga zindagī hōn-ō-rēm-ō-gandagīyē mazanēn kumbē, ō adīb wašš-zēmulēn šiʾrānī pirr-bandag, ō širkinēn labzānī tarrēnag-ō-tāb dayagā, yakk ūhēn durōgē bandīt o gušīt ki “na! ā yakk sarsabz ō prāh-dāmānēn malguzārē,” guā ē yakk hačēn radē, ki zindagī wat āyā hičč bar na bakšīt. Hamē rangēn adīb zūt yā dēr juhlēn kōr-čātēyā kapīt, o hačō gār-ō-gumsār bīt ki diga barē kasse āyī sōjā ham na-dant.” [From the Preface to Mistāg, by ʿAbd-Allāhjān Jamāldīnī, Karachi, 1959, one of the earliest literary publications. Arabic words are written in their Arabic spelling in the original publication, the usual practice. The above extract indicates actual pronunciation.] “According to the thought of all sections of the better and forward-looking scholars of literature, literature has to be a mirror of life; all of life’s sorts and sizes must each individually, clean and clear, be seen in the mirror; if life is confused and wicked, literature must show it so; it must not draw a veil over the fact that to some observers of it, life comes wicked to the sight; whatever the features of life may appear to be, there is to be no flinching from it, not even by a hair’s breadth. If life is really a great pool of blood, pus, and filth, and the writer is a composer of pleasing melodic verses, a giver of sweet twists and turns to words, he tells a huge lie, and says, "No! It is a greensward and a broad mountain pasture"—then he is so mistaken that life itself will never forgive him. This sort of writer will sooner or later fall into a deep blind well, and will be so lost and forgotten that nobody will ever give news of him again.”
Loanwords. The main source of loanwords is Persian, through which most of the Arabic loanwords also come.
This Persian source has been until quite recently the eastern, Afghani, variety, and many words such as zūt “quickly” which seem Baluchi because of the final voiceless stop, can just as well be loanwords from Afghani Persian, which devoices final stops. Many Baluchi words are old Persian loanwords now lost to the original language, e.g., ēr “under, down” (Mid. Pers. ēr, cf. NPers. z-īr “under”), gudar “crossing” (Pers. goar).
Another rich source for borrowings has been Indian languages and to a lesser extent the language of the Brahui, with whom the Baluch have been for centuries in close contact. The Indian languages concerned are in the main Sindhi and Lahndā, and now latterly Urdu.
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