Author Topic: Introduction to Balochi Language  (Read 34686 times)

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Offline Shoaib Shadab

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Baluchi Language and Literature
« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2011, 12:46:12 AM »
 
                                                                               
 
Dialects. Six major dialects can be distinguished, differing from each other in phonology, morphology, syntax, and lexicon. Of these, Rašāni is by far the most widely spoken, and can itself be subdivided into three regional varieties. The other five dialects are fairly uniform. The first comprehensive survey of all Baluchi dialects was Elfenbein’s The Baluchi Language (1966), and the dialect description given there is now in need of correction in the light of fuller knowledge; the dialect name Lāšāri is to be preferred to Loūni.
It is important to realize that Baluchi is a very conservative language, and its dialects, in spite of the vastness of the area in which they are spoken, are quite remarkably similar; with the exception of Eastern Hill Baluchi (see below), speakers from all areas readily understand one another. Proceeding roughly from north to south the dialects are:
(1) Rašāni, extending from Marv in Soviet Turkmenistan southward in Persia and Afghanistan through Sīstān to ca. 28° north latitude, southward of āš (Bal. Hwāš), and as far to the west of these areas as Baluchi is spoken. There are three subdialects: (a) Kalati, in Pakistan from Las Bela northward throughout Jahlawan and Sarawan (where the main language is Brahui), up to just south of Quetta where it meets Pashto; (b) Panjguri, in Pakistani Makrān, including most of ārān from Kolwa in the east to Kech in the west; its southern boundary is just north of the Kech valley, whence it spreads approximately to the Rašān river in the north; (c) Saraddi, over by far the largest area, including Pakistani Chagai from Nushki in the east, westward along the Persian frontier as far as Baluchi is spoken, about 59° east longitude; southward approximately to 28° north latitude where, in Pakistan, it meets Panjguri in ārān, and in Persia, Sarāvāni north of Īrānšahr; northward it includes all the parts of Afghanistan where Baluchi is spoken, along the Helmand river from ca. 64° east longitude westward to Čaānsūr and across the Persian frontier with all parts of Sīstān where Baluchi is spoken, and thence northward in both Afghanistan and Persia to Marv in Soviet Turkmenistan. Its north-south extension is thus nearly 10° of latitude, and its east-west extension nearly 6° of longitude. Saraddi is the principal dialect used for radio broadcasts in both Quetta and Kabul.
(2) Sarāvāni, a dialect enjoying considerable prestige in Persia, is centered on the village of Sarāvān (ca. 62° east longitude, 27° north latitude) roughly 150 km southeast of āš. The main dialect of Baluchi radio broadcasts from Zāhedān, it extends from Gašt (Bal. Gōšt) some 60 km north of āš to Kūhak (Bal. Kūwag) on the Persia-Pakistan frontier. It crosses the frontier into Pakistan, but its principal territory lies in Persia. Southward it extends nearly as far as Rāsk, and thence northward it includes most villages up to ca. 30 km north of Īrānšahr. Both the towns Bampūr and Īrānšahr are in the Sarāvāni area, although Saraddi is as often heard in Īrānšahr as is Sarāvāni, as is to be expected, since Īrānšahr is the largest town in the province south of Zāhedān.
(3) Lāšāri, centered on the village of Lāšār, ca. 120 km south of Īrānšahr by road. It is a very conservative dialect, whose boundaries are Espaka in the north, southward through Pīp nearly to Nīkšahr and Qar-e Qand in the east, and Fanūč (Bal. Pannūč) in the west, where Baluchi meets Persian and Baškardi.
(4) Kechi, spoken principally in the Kech valley of Pakistani Makrān, south of the central Makrān range; it extends from Hirōk westward to Tump, excluding the village of Mand, but including the villages to the north of the Giš river.
(5) Coastal dialects, spoken from Bīābān in Persia eastward along the coast to Čāhbahār, and extending northward to include Nīkšahr, Qar-e Qand, and Hūdar; in Pakistan Mand, Dašt, and the coastal strip from the Persian frontier eastward to include Gwādar, Pasnī, and Ormāa; in Karachi there live more than 700,000 Baluchi speakers, with no one dialect predominant.
(6) Eastern Hill Baluchi, spoken almost entirely in the hilly tribal area east of Quetta mainly by members of the Marī and Bugi tribes, extending from somewhat north of Jacobabad in the Upper Sind Frontier northward to Dera Ghazi Khan, and from Sibi in the west nearly to the Indus river in the east. The area is almost entirely Baluchi-speaking, although other languages coexist with it. Fingers of Baluchi are probing northward, mainly at the expense of Pashto, and at present the area between Dera Ghazi Khan and Dera Ismail Khan is dominated by Baluchi. This dialect has played a dominant role in early published descriptions of the language, due to its location in former British India (Pakistani Makrān was in Kalat State), a role disproportionate to its real importance.
Writing. The oldest written Baluchi is represented by a manuscript in the British Museum (see Elfenbein, 1961, 1983), dating from early in the 19th century. There was little literary cultivation in the language during the rest of the century; it was not until the 1930s that a few individuals, led by Moammad osayn “ʿAnqā,” began to write for a public in Baluchi, producing a short-lived weekly paper Bōlān. The impetus to write for publication in the language continued, however, and after the creation of Pakistan in 1947, Baluchi academies were established in Karachi in 1956 and Quetta in 1959 for the purpose of encouraging publication of Baluchi literature. The academy in Karachi ceased to exist in the late 1950s, but the Baluchi Academy in Quetta is still (1987) flourishing. The efforts of these enthusiasts have, however, met with little response outside Pakistan, and only in 1978 were the first stirrings of effort to publish in Baluchi elsewhere to be felt: These took the form of a magazine Sōb (Victory) from Kabul and a short-lived newspaper from Persia. The Baluch cultural center remains at Quetta. (For details see Literature below.)
The script commonly used (except in Kabul, where Pashto script is employed) to write Baluchi is a modified Urdu script, with the retroflex consonants , , , marked by a superscript ā and nasalized final vowels indicated by nūn without the diacritic point following the vowel, when the writer wishes to do so. There is less agreement in writing the morphemes of the language, where more divergence from Urdu writing customs is necessary: Endings are sometimes written in a “phonetic” style, using hamza to separate them from the nominal or verbal stem; sometimes the endings are joined to the stems without hamza; often both systems are used together. Some conventions from Arabic used to be employed, such as tanwīn, which was used in very early writing to indicate the ending -ēn. Tašdīd is used very occasionally, but vowels and diphthongs are very haphazardly indicated: short a, i, u usually not at all, but long ā, ī, ū usually in Perso-Urdu style, with no distinction made between internal ē and ī, or between ō and ū, all four of which are separate phonemes in Baluchi. Final -ē and -ī are distinguished as in Urdu. Sokūn is seldom used, and the diphthongs ay and aw are indicated, or not, according to the whim of the writer, so that a printed text is very difficult to read accurately.
All Pakistani dialects are represented in writing (a northern Rašāni in Kabul), no standard written language having as yet evolved, and most writers mix dialects freely, using theoretical forms from other dialects, so that very often a wholly artificial written language results. Saraddi speakers especially tend to use Coastal forms, real and imagined, at whim. The Coastal dialect retains a particular prestige as that in which much of the extensive traditional literature is preserved, and its forms easily penetrate other dialects.
 
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Offline Shoaib Shadab

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Baluchi Language and Literature
« Reply #16 on: April 07, 2011, 12:53:07 AM »
Linguistic position. Baluchi is in all essentials a “northwestern” Iranian language, closely related to the Middle Iranian Parthian language and modern Kurdish, Tati, āleši, and other dialects (see MacKenzie on the dialectology of “southwestern” and “northwestern” Iranian). The following survey provides a picture of the ancestry of Baluchi.
1. Phonology. Baluchi ranges itself with Parthian against Middle Persian in the following cases: it has s and z from IE. *k and *g(h), e.g., asin “iron,” kasān “small,” zāmāt “bridegroom,” zān- “know,” zir “sea,” corresponding to Parth. ʾʾswn, ks, zʾmʾd, zān-, zyrh, Mid. Pers. ʾʾhwn, kyh, dʾmʾd, dʾn-, dryʾb; it has preserved OIr. intervocalic d and g, e.g., ōdā “there,” pād “foot,” nigōš- “listen,” Parth. ʾwwd, pʾd, ngwš-, Mid. Pers. ʾwy, pʾy, nywš-; OIr. initial j, e.g., jan- “strike,” Parth. jn-, Mid. Pers. zn-; OIr. rd, e.g., zird “heart,” Parth. zyrd, Mid. Pers. dyl. Note also p(i)tī “other,” from *bīdī, Parth. bdyg, Mid. Pers. dwdyg, NPers. dī(gar).
Baluchi agrees with (Middle) Persian against Parthian in the following cases: It has j from OIr. initial y, e.g., jitā, Pers., jodā, Parth. ywd; s from OIr. θr, e.g., se “three,” pusag “son,” Mid. Pers. sh (Pers. se), pws, Parth. hry, pwhr; note also ās “fire” (in all dialects except Rašāni, which has āč from NPers. ātaš).
Baluchi differs from most other modern West Iranian languages in the following cases: It has preserved OIr. intervocalic stops p, t, k, and č and j, e.g., āp “water,” būta “was,” hūk “swine,” brāt “brother,” rōč “day,” drāj “long” and has changed OIr. fricatives f, θ, x, into stops, p, t, k, e.g., kopag “shoulder,” cf. Av. kaofa-, OPers. kaufa; gūt “excrement,” Av. gūθa-; kar “ass,” Av. xara-; kānī “well, spring,” Parth., Pers. xān; note also (with metathesis) patka “cooked” < *paxta-, ātka “came” < *āxta < *āgata-. Baluchi has gwa- (or g-) from OIr. w-; w- or h- from OIr. xw-; mm and nn from OIr. šm and šn; and ša- < OIr. fra; e.g., gwāt “wind,” Av. vāta-, gīst “twenty,” Av. vīsati; war- “eat,” Parth. wxr-, Mid. Pers. xwr-; wasp- “to sleep,” Pahl. xwafs-; wašš “pleasant,” Parth. wxš, Mid. Pers. xwš; but hēd “sweat,” Av. xᵛaē’a-; čamm “eye,” Av. čašman-; tunnag “thirsty,” Mid. Pers. tyšng; šawašk- “sell,” Mid. Pers. prwxš-, Pers. forūš-. Some of these sound changes are found in other dialects as well. Thus w > g(w) in the Central dialect of ūr (in the Dašt-e Kavīr) and in the “Southeast Iranian” languages Parāčī and Ōrmuī (see afghanistan, v. languages and vii. parāčī); a relative chronology for this sound change is provided by the loanwords gwahr “cold” from Khetrāni vahor, and gwač “calf” from Sindhi vachi which show that Baluchi still had w- on its first contact with these Indian languages. The change of xw > w is also found in Gōrāni (war- “eat”) and šm > hm in Ōrmuī (čim “eye”) and Baškardi (čehm “eye”). Baluchi šiš “louse” agrees with Baškardi šöš against forms from *spiša- in most other Iranian languages (Pers. šepeš).
2. Morphology. Baluchi, like most West Iranian languages (not Kurdish, Zāzā, Tāti, Sangesari) has lost the Old Iranian gender distinctions.
The commonest Baluchi ending for the oblique plural of nouns is -ān, characteristic of Western Iranian languages. Similarly, the originally collective suffix -gal, now used as a plural suffix (most frequently in Eastern Hill Baluchi), is found in Kurdish, Fārs dialects, and some Central dialects.
In the first person pronouns the old stem distinction between direct and oblique cases (Av. azəm, gen. mana, etc.) has been lost in Baluchi as in Persian and most other Western Iranian languages, except, e.g., Kurdish and Zāzā.
The present endings of the Baluchi verb, like those , e.g., of Parthian go back to Old Iranian forms in -aya-, cf. 1 sing. -īn (some dialects -ān, from the old subjunctive), 3 sing. -īt, e.g., gušīn, gušīt “I say,” “he says.” Some n-stems have short forms, e.g., kant “he does,” zānt “he knows,” but wānīt “he reads” (on the short forms see Gershevitch, in M. Boyce and I. Gershevitch, eds., W. B. Henning Memorial Volume, London, 1970, pp. 161-74). Persian, on the contrary, has a mixture of forms from Old Iranian -a- and -aya- (see W. B. Henning, “Das Verbum des Mittelpersischen der Turfanfragmente,” ZII 9, 1933, p. 232 [ = Acta Iranica 14, p. 139], Ghilain, Essai sur la langue parthe, Louvain, 1939, p. 112). The infinitive ends in -ag < MIr. -ak as in some East Iranian languages, including Parāčī and Ōrmuī. The Rašānī dialect, however, has -tin, possibly borrowed from Persian. The present tense durative prefix is a- in all dialects (also in Baškardi and Lārestāni), but this prefix is often without value. The prefix de- is heard sporadically in Rašāni (dede).
3. Syntax. The eżāfa construction characteristic of Persian and other (south)western Iranian languages, including Kurdish, is not used in Baluchi, except occasionally (as in most modern Iranian languages) in some types of formal poetry and in stereotyped phrases borrowed from Persian. Characteristic of most Baluchi dialects except Rašāni is the common Iranian passive (also called ergative) construction of past transitive verbs. Rašāni is the only dialect to have adopted the active construction, probably from Persian. North Rašāni is the only dialect to use exclusively the active construction; Central and Southern Rašāni (and all other dialects) use “ergative” constructions, either partly or entirely.
4. Lexicon. The Iranian lexicon of Baluchi contains a number of East Iranian “substrate” words, of which the following is a selection:
Baluchi nagan “bread,” Sogd. γn, Pashto naγan, Par. naγȫn (but Mid. Pers. nʾn, Pers. nān); saγan “dung,” Par. saγȫn, Wakhi səgīn, Orm. skan (Khot. satana-) (but Pahl. sargēn, Pers. sargīn); gwan “short,” Khot. vanda- “small,” Par. γanȫkȫ; gud “cloth, clothes,” cf. Par. āγun “to dress,” Pashto āγund- (but Man. Mid. Pers. pymwč-, Man. Parth. pdmwč-, Pers. pōš-); gar “cliff,” Wakhi, Pashto γar, Orm. grī “mountain”; zāhg “son,” Par. zāγa, Sogd. zʾʾk; but Parth., Mid. Pers. zhg (cf. Mid. Pers. pws, pwsr, Pers. pesar); šarr “good,” Sogd. šyr, Pashto ə, Orm. širr, Khot. śśära- (but Mid. Pers., Pers. xūb).
In other respects the vocabulary of Baluchi is typically “southwestern,” e.g., mūd “hair,” bard “spade,” sōčaq “burn,” rōč “day,” šōdag “wash.”
On the whole, however, the linguistic position of Baluchi is obscured by its numerous borrowings, principally lexical (though there are some syntactic ones as well; see below on Syntax); there are also certainly substrate influences from languages spoken in areas in which Baluch have dwelt for long periods during their migrations, or with whom they have had close contact. All Baluchi dialects possess numerous loanwords from several different Indo-Aryan languages, which may be the result of independent Baluch migrations at different times.
 
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Offline Shoaib Shadab

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Baluchi Language and Literature
« Reply #17 on: April 07, 2011, 12:56:14 AM »
By: J. Elfenbein


Baluchi Language and Literature
 
Baluchi (Balōčī), the language of the Baluch (Balōč), is a member of the Western Iranian group of languages, bearing affinities to both main representatives of Western Middle Iranian: Middle Persian and Parthian. Baluchi has, however, a marked individuality of its own, and differs from both of these languages in important respects (see below).
 
I. The Baluchi language.
 
The name. Concerning the name Balōč, despite the great deal that has been written, there is still no general agreement on either its linguistic connections or its meaning (see Dames, in EI1; Pikulin, 1959). If the word is Iranian, H. W. Bailey’s suggestion (apud Hansman, 1973) that it might represent Old Iranian *adraatī “Gedrosia, the land of underground water channels” could explain why the people are unknown prior to their arrival in the southeast Iranian area more than a thousand years ago from the central Caspian region: in their original homeland they would have had another name, and their identification with any of the tribes living there in Sasanian times or earlier, mentioned by classical writers, is necessarily very difficult. The name is first recorded in Arabic as blw and in Persian as blwj, in the odūd al-ʿālam (comp. 982), both spellings representing blwč. Their earliest reliable geographical location occurs in Masʿūdī (fl. 943; see Bailey, art. cit., p. 586), who couples the Balōč with the Kōfīč, locating the former in the deserts, and the latter in the mountains of eastern Persia. Moqaddasī (fl. 985; Bailey, ibid.) states that both western and eastern Makrān (present-day southeast Persian Baluchistan and Pakistani Baluchistan) were united and inhabited by the blwy, with a capital town at “bnnjbwr” (Bannajbūr), perhaps the Panjgur oasis in present day Pakistani Makrān.
abarī, enumerating the enemies of the Sasanian king osrow I Anōšīravān (531-79), does not mention the Baluch, and hence the reference to them in the same connection in the Šāh-nāma (comp. ca. 1020; “Kōč and Balōč”) cannot be historical, since Ferdowsī’s historical sources are known to be the same as those used by abarī. It seems likely that Ferdowsī has replaced another name, perhaps blnjr (balangar?) with what was by his time a stereotyped phrase denoting bandits or marauding freebooters.
Thus the Baluch tradition of a migration to their present habitat from the west in the 7th-8th centuries a.d. has an echo of history in it, strengthened by the linguistic connections of Baluchi, and one is led to the assignment of the original home of the Baluch to somewhere just east or southeast of the central Caspian region, the meeting point of Middle Persian and Parthian, and which then probably extended northward into present-day Soviet Turkmenistan.
It seems entirely likely that the first migrations eastward started much earlier, in late Sasanian times, initiated perhaps by the generally prevailing unsettled conditions in the Caspian area. These migrations most probably took place in several independent waves and over several centuries, some considerably antedating the Saljuq arrival in Kermān ca. 1060. Indeed, many areas of Kermān and Sīstān may have been at least partially occupied by Baluch migrants by the 8th century, for at the time of the Arab conquest of Kermān in 644, it is stated by later geographers that they came into contact with large numbers of Qwf and Blw, “Kōč and Balōč,” in the mountains of eastern Persia (see C. E. Bosworth, “The Kūfichīs or Quf in Persian History,” Iran 14, 1976, p. 10, who quotes Tomaschek and Markwart; see also Le Strange, Lands, pp. 322f.).
Records of the Baluch are much more plentiful from the time of Mamūd of azna, as well as more circumstantial, and it is very likely that they were settled in their present-day habitat well before the 15th century (see Dames in EI1 I, pp. 625-40; Frye in EI2 I, pp. 1005-06).
Geographical distribution. Baluchi is the principal language of an area extending from the Marv (Mary) oasis in Soviet Turkmenistan southward to the Persian Gulf, from Persian Sīstān eastward along the Helmand valley in Afghanistan, throughout Pakistani Makrān eastward nearly to the Indus river, including in the south the city of Karachi, with a large and growing salient in the hills east and northeast of Quetta. There are also large populations of Baluchi speakers in the United Arab Emirates and in Kuwait.
Between the Marv region and about 100 km south of Bīrjand in Persia, colonies of Baluchi speakers are scattered and few. Baluchi becomes the principal local language at about 32° north latitude, extending westward to about 59° east longitude, and southward over the province of Sīstān o Balūčestān to the Persian Gulf.
In Afghanistan, Baluchi is the principal language of the Nīmrūz province. There are also colonies of Baluchi speakers scattered throughout the western part of the country, as far north as the Soviet frontier; but Baluchi is the principal local language only from Čaānsūr southward. It extends past Zaranj, the provincial capital, along the Helmand valley eastward to about 64° east longitude, and southward of the river to the Pakistan frontier in Chagai. (It is to be noted that in the middle Helmand region, Brahui enjoys equal status with Baluchi, most speakers being bilingual.) Baluchi is the main language of the whole of Pakistani Makrān as far east as a north-south line through Nushki (ca. 66° east longitude), where it meets Brahui. The latter extends northwest and south of Nushki in Pakistan over much of Sarawan and Jahlawan as far south as Las Bela, thus separating a large group of Baluchi speakers in the hills east and northeast of Quetta (the Marī-Būgī territory), concerning which see below Dialects. This territory extends north as far as Dera Ismail Khan (ca. 36° north latitude).
Most Baluchi speakers are Baluch tribesmen, the only substantial non-Baluch group to speak it being Brahui tribesmen; the status of Baluchi is higher, if only marginally so. Until recently Baluchi has had no official status in the four countries in which it is spoken, and as a consequence many Baluchi speakers are bi- or tri-lingual. In 1978, however, it was given the status of “national language” in Afghanistan. As a written language it has a short history: three manuscripts in the British Museum (see Elfenbein, 1960 and 1983) were written in the first half of the 19th century and represent the oldest datable monuments in the language known at present. (There have been reports of 19th-century manuscripts from Kalat in Pakistan, perhaps written at the court.)
Written literary cultivation began in earnest only about 1950 in Pakistan (see below), and at the present time Baluchi is printed only there, although a small amount has been printed in some other Middle Eastern countries and in India. In 1979 a modest start in Baluchi printing was made in Iran and in Kabul (see below).
It is not easy to give reliable estimates for the number of speakers of Baluchi, due to the lack of appropriate census material. The following figures are probably all rather conservative: In the Marv Oasis in Soviet Turkmenistan (mainly emigrants from Afghanistan from the late 19th century; Pikulin, 1959, p. 35 [quoting Ya. R. Vinnikov, Beludzhi Turkmenskoĭ SSR, n.d.], gives 40,000; but Gafferberg, 1969, gives 10,000; Vinnikov is more likely to be closer to the facts): 40,000.
In Afghanistan (from Čaānsūr in the west, eastward along the Helmand river to Lanī Moammad Āmīn ān, ca. 64° east longitude: L. Dupree, Afghanistan, Princeton, New Jersey, 1973, p. 63, gives 100,000 Baluch and ca. 200,000 Brahuis: the figures seem to have been reversed); 200,000.
In Iran (mainly in the province Sīstān o Balūčestān, westward to a line ca. 59° east longitude, and from approximately Zābol in the north to the Gulf of Oman in the south, with colonies elsewhere as far north as the Soviet frontier; estimates vary from 500,000 [Spooner, 1971] to 750,000 [W. E. Griffith, “Iran’s Foreign Policy in the Pahlavi Era,” in G. Lenczowski, Iran under the Pahlavis, Palo Alto, 1978, p. 383, quoted in R. G. Wirsing, The Baluchis and Pathans, Minority Rights Groups Report no. 48, London, 1981, p. 17, n. 14]; both of these figures are probably underestimated): 750,000.
In the Arabian Peninsula (mainly in Oman, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait; mainly emigrants from India [Pakistan] since Mughal times, as laborers and in the local armed forces; various estimates from local sources since 1979): 500,000.
In Pakistan (mainly in the provinces Baluchistan and Sind, excluding the Brahui strip between ca. 65°-67° east longitude; from the Pakistan censuses of 1961 and 1981): 750,000 in Sind, mainly in Karachi; and 1,500,000 in Baluchistan: total, 2,500,000; grand total ca. 3,600,000. It is very likely in fact somewhat more. (These figures are probably more reliable than those given by Elfenbein, 1983, p. 491.)
Three non-Baluchi languages are spoken within the mainly Baluchi-speaking area, namely Brahui (q.v.) and two Indo-Aryan languages: Jagālī, spoken by the Jaṭṭ, immigrants from Sind, who inhabit Daštīārī, the extreme southeast corner of Persian Makrān, and Khetrani, spoken by Baluch in the extreme east of the Baluchi-speaking area, east of Dera Ghazi Khan.
                                                                                                             
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Offline Shoaib Shadab

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Baluchi Poetry
« Reply #18 on: April 07, 2011, 01:23:02 AM »
This poem, by Moḥammad ʿOnqā (ʿUnqā, Elfenbein, 1990, p.132, no. 19(1)) is to be scanned as shown in Table 1; long syllables are often taken as short.
Example 6. In “Bahār Gāh” (“Springtime”; Elfenbein, 1990, p.138, no. 21) a famous long lyric poem by Āzāt ǰamāldīnī, we have a five-syllable line which is to be scanned iambically; its refrain runs:
O dil ma-kan yāt
ranǰān ma-kan zyāt
ā māh o sālān
ā gapp o gālān!
O heart, do not remember
Do not grieve me so much
Those months and years
Those chats!
The main poem consists mainly of eight lines preceding each occurrence of the refrain, which itself rhymes in bands of two.
Example 7. Another example of the three-syllable foot is to be seen in Moḥammad Ašāq Šāmīm’s “Balōčī Zubān” (“The Balochi Language;” Elfenbein, 1990, p.150, no. 24), which uses a four-foot, ten- or eleven-syllable line with irregular caesuras:
Sarōkī nēst, nē rāhē nišān-int
guḍā ham kārawān sarsar ǰanān-int
agar manzil manā ča badgumān-int
hamē āwāz ča kōhān rasān-int
Balōčī mē watī sahdēn zubān-int
No leader, no road-marker is there
Even so the caravan makes its way ahead
If a stage is depressing for me
The same cry arrives from the mountains
Baluchi is our own honeyed tongue.
Note how watī in the refrain must be scanned wat-i and not wa-ti; each verse consists of four lines, each of one rhyme, followed by the refrain line which may or may not rhyme with what precedes it.
Example 8. In “Balōčistān, Balōčistān!” (Elfenbein, 1990, pp.162-65, no. 28) Gol Khan has written what has become almost a national anthem. Written in an iambic, eight-syllable line, the first syllable of each foot must be scanned short even if it is long. The first verse runs:
may nām o nang o burzēn šān
may haḍḍ o gōšt o hōn o sāh
dar āhtag ač tay hākā
taw ē may māt o sērēn lāp
bibē sarsabz o ham šādāp
taw ammē sāh o ammē ǰān
Balōčistān, Balōčistān!
Our name and honor and high fame
Our flesh and blood and bone and soul
Emerged from thy dust
Thou art our mother and full belly
Be thou evergreen and a greensward
Thou art our soul and our life
Baluchistan, Baluchistan!
Line 3 is deliberately irregular with only seven syllables (Table 1.8b), all of them long; a sudden caesura in its third foot adds to the tension.
Example 9. In “Tīr Gāl Kant” (“The Bullet Speaks;” Elfenbein, 1990, p.170, no. 30), Gul Khan exhibits a certain technical virtuosity, rhyming all lines in one rhyme, -ārīā:
byāit o bēlān may kačāhrīā
buškunit gālān pa dil-karārīā
kissagē kārān pa dawr-o-bārīā
Come O friends to our meeting
Hear verses with a contented heart
A story I bring for the times
The poem is mainly in eleven-syllable lines (cf. ten in Table 1.9a) with constant rhythm; note the displaced stress in line 3 (Table 1.9c).
Example 10. As an example of a modern treatment of a classical theme, Gul Khan in his modern epic Dōštēn o Šīrēn (Elfenbein, 1990, pp.203 ff.) has chosen an iambic, eight-syllable meter of four feet, in rhyming bands of two, three, or four bands; it begins:
byāit manī bēl o yalān
kōhnēn hikāyatē kanān
čō gwašta pēšī mardumān
Come, my friends and comrades
I shall sing an old tale
As people of yore told it.
Example 11. Finally, as an example of a modern epic of an entirely different type, I cite the opening of Raḥm-ʿAlī Marī’s Gumbaδa ǰanga Šā’ir “The Battle of Gumbad,” composed in the early 20th century (Elfenbein, 1990, pp.308 ff.). The dialect is Eastern Hill Baluchi:
ilāhī yāt-ēn o sattār
karīm o kādar o ḍātār
samad o sādīk o sačyār
khayā diθā thaī diδar
makā~ o dāīmī darbār.
I recall God the Veiler
The generous and powerful creator
The most high, honest, lover of truth;
Who has seen thy sight
Thy dwelling, thy eternal court?
The line is an eight-syllable, mostly three-beat foot. The fourth line is to be scanned in seven syllables (Table 1.11c).
Bibliography:
Muhammad Abd-al-Rahman Barker and Aqil Khan Mengal, A Course in Baluchi, 2 vols., Montreal, 1969 (especially II, units 29 and 30, “Introduction to Baluchi poetry”).
Mansell Longworth Dames, ed. and tr., Popular Poetry of the Baloches, 2 vols. in one, London, 1907.
Idem, A Textbook of the Balochi Language, 2nd ed., Lahore, 1909 (see especially Pt. II, “Legendary History of the Baloches” and Pt. III, “Poems”).
Josef Elfenbein, A Baluchi Miscellany of Erotica and Poetry. Codex Or. Add. 24,048 of the British Library, Naples, 1983.
Idem, An Anthology of Classical and Modern Balochi Literature, 2 vols., Wiesbaden, 1990.
Idem, “Balochi Literature,” in P. G. Kreyenbroek and U. Marzolph, eds., History of Persian Literature II, chap. 8, forthcoming.
G. A. Grierson, ed., Linguistic Survey of India X. Specimens of Languages of the Eranian Family, Calcutta, 1921; repr., Delhi,1968.
Mohammad Sardar Khan Baluch, A Literary History of the Baluchis, Baluchi Academy, Quetta, 1977.
Sher Muhammed Marri, Balōčī Kahnēn Šāhirī, Baluchi Academy, Quetta, 1970.
I. I. Zarubin, “K izucheniyu beludzhskogo yazyka i folʾklora” (On the study of the Baluchi language and folklore), in Zapiski Kollegii Vostokovedov 5, Leningrad, 1930, pp. 664-68.
Periodicals.
Quetta:
Māhtāk Balōčī, 1956-58; 1978-81; 1986-.
Nōkēn Daur, 1961-71.
Ulus, 1961-.
Karachi:
Zamāna Balōčī, 1968-75.
Sawgāt, 1978-.
Bahārgān, 1989-.

Originally Published: July 28, 2008
Last Updated: July 28, 2008

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Offline Shoaib Shadab

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Baluchi Poetry
« Reply #19 on: April 07, 2011, 01:27:54 AM »
BALUCHI POETRY
  By: Joseph Elfenbein
 
The clearest way to describe Baluchi poetry is by dividing it into 4 periods: (1) classical, from ca. 1550-1700; (2) post-classical, from 1700-1800; (3) 19th century to early 20th century; (4) modern, after ca. 1930.
Historical development and genres. Up to the modern period, all Baluchi literature was oral and mostly poetical, saved only in the memories of professional reciters (ōmbs, īs, or lāngaws), but from the 1850s on, it was sometimes preserved in writing by collectors (mainly British) in India. By far the most important of these was Mansell Longworth Dames (1850-1922), an Indian Civil Servant, whose work in the 1890s superseded that of all his predecessors. Others followed, including in the 20th century some Baluchi collectors. Serious literary production in prose was not attempted before the 20th century. (The main written sources are given in the Bibliography.)
The preserved poetry of the classical period appears to consist entirely of ballads, whilst from the post-classical times onward some lyrical poems, mainly ghazals (lyric poems; see AZAL) or similar types, make their appearance. The oldest classical ballads, called daptar šā’irī “register ballads” due to their lists of personal, tribal, and place names, may date back to the 16th century. The few that have been preserved are often badly corrupted. Their content does not vary a great deal: the first migrations of the Baluch tribes from their supposed original home in Aleppo, Syria, after the Battle of Karbalāʾ (680 CE) eastwards towards Persia, thence through present-day Iranian Baluchistan (q.v.) to Kech (Kēč, in the Makrān division of Baluchistan province, Pakistan). The Kech valley was a central meeting-point for the tribes, who then branched out on their further migrations. Only these parts of the ballads, providing details (place-names, etc.) after the Baluch arrival in Iranian Baluchistan, can have any historical value. Their origins in Aleppo are quite mythical; some of these daptars have been published.
The body of Baluchi classical poetry is more extensive than previously thought, and only a part of it has been collected and published. The main body may be conveniently classified in various cycles of heroic balladry, and the constant theme is that of tribal conflict. The structure of Baluch society in the 16th-18th centuries is clearly mirrored in them. It is a picture of a semi-nomadic tribal society, strongly hierarchical and male-dominated, in which concepts of duty and honor play the chief roles, superseding all individual inclinations, so that the outcomes of conflicts are almost always tragic. The chief code of conduct was riwāǰ“tribal law,” infringement of which usually meant death or banishment.
The most important, as well as extensive, cycle is the Čākur Cycle of ballads, a number of which have been collected and published. Its main subject is the events of the long, thirty years’ war between the Rind and Lāšārī tribes, leading to the virtual extermination of the latter. The events described probably belong to the period 1475-1525. It is difficult to vouch for the contemporary nature of many of the extant ballads, for they have been elaborated and reworked over the centuries by reciters; but certainly the core of them must be authentic. Little can be deduced from their language, for the extreme conservatism of Baluchi has kept it from important linguistic change: the Baluchi of a thousand years ago cannot have been very different from the Baluchi of today.
Another important classical cycle is the Dōdā-Bālāč Cycle (dateable perhaps to the 18th century), which begins with the description of a raid by the Buledi tribal chief Mīr Bībarg on Dōdā’s cattle, leading to a long and bloody series of retaliations on both sides until most of the principal actors are killed. Only Bālāč, Dōdā’s brother, and his friend, the slave Nakīb, survive; he and a few followers proceed to wreak their revenge on their foes.
Also noteworthy are the many ballads in the Hammal ǰīhand Cycle, describing the struggles of the Baluch of the Makrān coast with the Portuguese in the 16th century. At base certainly historical, the details have not as yet been studied or compared with possible material in Portuguese archives (for a more detailed description of these cycles, see BALUCHISTAN III. BALUCHI LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE ii. Baluchi Literature).
Besides these historical ballads, there exist a number of long compositions which could date from the 18th century, mainly based on well-known Persian romances, such as Leyli o Majnun and Љirin o Farhād; their authors are unknown. Of greater interest is the purely Baluchi epic Dōstēn o Šīrēn, of which several versions are known, including a first-rate modern version (1964) by the poet Gol Khān Nair.
In the post-classical period of the 18th century, we come to the poetry of named poets, of whom the earliest as well as the most important is ǰām Durrak, the chief poet at the court of Nair Khan I of Kalāt (1749-95). Whilst there are no extant manuscripts from his own time, much of what has come down to us seems genuine. His best work is characterized by a most individual style, of short lyric verses with irregular rhyme and a clipped meter; it has been much imitated. Several other poets of the 18th century are known by name, and brief examples of their work have been collected and published.
From the 19th century onwards, a much larger corpus of poetry is extant, and at least a half-dozen poets are well known, including two from Iranian Baluchistan and two from the eastern regions of Pakistani Baluchistan, and all of their poetry has been preserved in its original dialect form.
In the modern period after ca. 1930, several magazines were started in Karachi and Quetta for the purpose of publishing Baluchi writing in general, and these always included examples of poetry in each issue; the script used was a modified Urdu type. Poetry competitions were held. After the partition of India in 1947, several “Baluchi Academies” were founded in Pakistan, the main purpose of which was literary publication. The earliest of these was the Balōčī Zubānē Dīwān (“Baluchi language group”) in Quetta in 1951, but it lasted only two years. Its most important publication was probably Gulbāng, a collection of poetry by the poet Gol Khān Naīr of Nushki (1914-84), the leading poet of his time.
The centers of Baluchi publication have always been Quetta and Karachi, and to a lesser degree, after 1978, also Kabul. Unfortunately, what promised to be an impressive program of literary publication in Kabul came to an end after the end of communist rule in 1992; and at the time of writing (2008) there is little prospect of a revival. But in Quetta and Karachi periodicals of note have been published (see Bibliography; Elfenbein, forthcoming). In Quetta, the most important literary magazine formerly was Māhtāk Balōčī, which appeared from 1956 at irregular intervals for over 30 years. Much material from the first collections of classical balladry first saw publication there. Nothing of note has been published in Iran, despite the large numbers of Baluchis living there.
Verse construction and metrics. Classical Baluchi balladry employs meters and rhyme schemes which have little or nothing in common with the traditions of Persian or Arabic poetry, and whilst some poets since the 19th century have written,for instance, ghazals in the Persian manner, most leading modern poets tend to avoid them, particularly since the literary revival of the 1930s.
Baluchi poetry depends above all on syllable count and stress; long and short syllables form its basis in various stress patterns. Stress is in principle restricted to long syllables, with one stress per foot, though exceptions are not infrequent. A long syllable is of the type VC or CVC; all other syllables are short. A short syllable may not follow a short syllable; various devices are used to scan a sequence of short syllables, one of the most common being to scan CV CV as CVC V. Sequences of vowels, such as the causative infix -āēn-, may be scanned as two syllables, or as a monosyllable, as required.
Rhyme is used as a punctuation device or for dramatic effect. Ultramodern poetry, influenced as it is by European models—principally English—is often composed in free verse, or in any other form which suits the poet’s fancy. When rhyme is employed, lines may rhyme in bands of 2, 3, or 4 lines, seldom more. But the poet Gol Khan, in a parade of poetical virtuosity, has composed poems consisting entirely of one rhyme (see example 9, below). A change of rhyme marks the end of a thought sequence; particularly dramatic is a single unrhymed line (sometimes with a caesura or a change of rhythm) standing in the midst of several rhymed lines.
As a standardized written Baluchi has not yet developed, each poet tends to write in his own dialect. But classical balladry has always been recited in the Coastal dialect, and more or less accurately imitated by speakers of other dialects. Eastern Hill Baluchi is also used for classical ballads. (Two examples below, nos. 2 and 11, have been quoted in this dialect.) Most non-Coastal-speaking poets have composed their work in a mixture of dialects in what is quite an artificial language; in particular the poet Gol Khān Nair has often used real (and imagined) Coastal dialect forms in his native Raxšānī. The poems below are cited in the form written or recited. The translations have been kept as literal as possible to facilitate understanding; no attempt has been made to do justice to the originals. Examples 2-11 are taken from Elfenbein, 1990. For the scansion pattern of each example, see TABLE 1.
Example 1. The following exhibits the meter and rhyme scheme of one of the earliest ballads, a daptar šā’ir dating from perhaps the 16th century. Accidents of its (oral) transmission have produced many corrupt versions (e.g., Grierson, 1921, pp. 370-75). Below are the first 4 lines of what could be its original form (see Elfenbein, forthcoming).
Rājā ač alab zahr bītant
Ā rōč ki Yazīd sar zītant
Sulān Šāh usayn kušta
ǰān purr hasad bad burta
The tribes from Aleppo became angry
On the day that their heads were attacked by Yazid
Sultan Shah osayn was killed
The tribes, full of jealousy, bore it badly.
The lines are of 8 syllables, in a triple rhythm of three feet with a truncated last foot. In line 3 one can scan osayn as three syllables: otherwise the line lacks a syllable. It will be noticed that many long syllables are scanned short, as needed. The lines rhyme in bands of two. This pattern is still in use today for some ballads.
Example 2. The following specimen from the Čākur Cycle is in the Eastern Hill Dialect, and probably dates from the late 17th century (Elfenbein, 1990, p.332, no. 55 [1]).
Sēwī ghōawī gadān bāθ
Durrēn Gōharē margān bāθ
Gwahrām ža dō-ǰāh bē-ǰāh bāθ
May the Sihi troop of horse be as dust
May it be the death of pearly Gohar
May Gwahram be without either of his two places.
It is to be scanned in eight syllables, stressed as marked in Table 1. Line 3 has, irregularly, a short syllable on the first beat of the second foot.
Example 3. The following is from the Dōda-Bālāč Cycle, but perhaps dates from the post-classical period (Elfenbein, 1990, p.342, no. 57):
Dōdā manī kunī kaptā
Ērmānag o dast-ī mušta
Mun manā parmōš na-bīt
Dard-ant mān Bālāčē dilā
Dōdā is fallen at my knees
Depressed, and he wrung his hands
Never shall I forget
There are sorrows in Balač’s heart.
This poem also shows an eight-syllable line, in triple rhythm with a truncated last foot. There are many interchanges of long and short vowels for scansion; rhyme is irregular: there are bands of two or more rhymed lines, with an unrhymed line preceding the refrain, which itself does not rhyme.
Example 4. The following extract is from a typical lyric poem of ǰām Durrak, a court poet at Kalāt in the 18th century (Elfenbein, 1990, p.308, no. 53):
Gōšit kungurān
Bēl o kēnagān
Šāhī hambalān
Listen, O braves
Friends and enemies
Royal companions.
Durrak’s lyric poetry is characterized by short lines, usually with random rhyming schemes. This poem has a five-syllable line, with some longs scanned short.
The following examples, all of them modern, have been chosen to show a typical range of structures. I have restricted quotations to the first few lines; for further details the reader is referred to Elfenbein, 1990. Much used is a ten-syllable line of three feet in triple rhythm, with fixed stress on the first syllable of each foot. The last syllable of the line is also stressed.
Example 5.
Raptagē taw hamā ča payrīyā
Čamm manī kōr-ant ač zahīrīyā
Thou art only gone since yesterday
My eyes are blinded with yearning.       
 
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Offline Shoaib Shadab

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Baloch
« Reply #20 on: April 07, 2011, 01:33:27 AM »
Baloch is the name of an ethnic group, most of whom inhabit the province of Balochistan in modern Pakistan. Other Baloch live in Afghanistan and Iran, and a small number are found in Turkmenistan, Oman, UAE, India, and the coast of East Africa. Their total population numbers around 7.5 to 11 million people.
The Baloch claim to be descendants of Amir Hamza, the uncle of the Prophet Muhammad, and as a result, most Baloch follow the Sunni sect of Islam. Some, however, are members of the Zikri sect, followers of a fifteenth-century mahdi (an Islamic messiah) called Nur Pak (“Pure Light”). Zikris are estimated to number more than 750,000; they live mostly in southern Pakistan.
The Balochi language belongs to the Indo-Iranian family and is thought to be derived from the ancient Median or Parthian language. The Baloch believe that they originated in the Aleppo region in Syria and then migrated east during the fifth, sixth, and seventh centuries CE until they reached their present homeland, Balochistan, in the mountainous coastal regions of the Caspian Sea.
For several centuries thereafter, the Baloch governed themselves through their clan system, except for occasional attempts by Persians, Arabs, and Hindus to conquer them. Not until the twelfth century, under the leadership of Mir Jalal Khan, was there an attempt to unite several Baloch tribes into a political unit, called the First Baloch Confederacy. This confederacy did not last due to political rivalries, but it laid the ground for future attempts at political integration and cohesion among the Baloch. The sixteenth century witnessed the existence of three political Baloch groups in Balochistan: the Dodai Confederacy, the Kalat Confederacy, and the Makran State. In the eighteenth century, Mir Adbullah Khan of Kalat managed to unite almost all the Baloch into one confederacy.
In 1841, British expansion in the region interfered in Baloch affairs, and the British exerted control over Baloch territory in an effort to check Russian influence in the area. The British achieved complete administrative control in some areas in 1876 while holding others by military force.
When Pakistan achieved independence in 1947, the Baloch reacted fiercely against being integrated into this new political entity, and violence between the Baloch and the Pakistani government erupted. Currently the Baloch view themselves as an overlooked minority in Pakistan.
The Baloch are organized into tribes led by a sardar (head chief). The tribes are structured through kinship in clans, clan sections, and subsections. Society is patriarchal; a boy’s birth is heralded with much fanfare, and ceremonies mark important rites of passage for male children. Seminomadic pastoralism and dry-crop cereal farming are the mainstays of the Baloch economy, although fishing plays a role in the coastal regions.
 
Further Reading
 
Adamec, Ludwig W. (1996) Dictionary of Afghan Wars, Revolution, and Insurgencies. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow.
Cleveland, William L. (1994) A History of the Modern Middle East. Boulder, CO: Westview.
Gall, Timothy L., ed. (1998) Worldmark Encyclopedia of Cultures and Daily Life. Vol. 3: Asia and Oceania. Cleveland, OH: Eastword.
Norton, Augustus Richard, ed. (1996) Civil Society in the Middle East. Leiden, Netherlands, and New York: Brill.
 
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Offline BaluchiZB

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Re: Introduction to Balochi Language
« Reply #21 on: February 20, 2014, 04:58:19 PM »
Thank you Shoaib Shadab for sharing this wonderful research on the language of Balochs.

Its much more spread out in southern & central asia, than its generally believed to be. Most people assume it to be language of Balochistan & Sistan, in current Pakistan & Iran.