Baluchi

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Baluchi

(bəlo͞o`chē), language belonging to the Iranian group of the Indo-Iranian subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages. See Indo-IranianIndo-Iranian,
subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages, spoken by more than a billion people, chiefly in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Iran, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka (see The Indo-European Family of Languages, table).
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 languages.

Baluchi

 

(self-designation, Baluch or Baloch), a people inhabiting part of Pakistan (Baluchistan, the west of Sind Province, and the southwest of Punjab Province); they also live in India, Iran, Afghanistan, and the USSR (Turkmen and Tadzhik SSR). Their combined population exceeds 2 million (1967 estimate), with 7,800 in the USSR (1959 census). Their language is Baluchi. Their religion is Sunnite Islam. Their chief occupations are nomadic herding and agriculture.

The Baluchi were first mentioned by Arabian geographers of the ninth and tenth centuries. At that time, the Baluchi lived in Kerman and east of that in Sistan. As a result of the invasions of Ephtalites (fifth century B.C.), Seljuks (early 11th century), Mongols (13th century), and the conquests of Tamerlane (14th century), the Baluchi gradually migrated south and then east and occupied a vast territory, which acquired the name Baluchistan. The Baluchi (migrants from Afghani and Iranian Sistan) appeared on the territory of Turkmen SSR in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

REFERENCES

Narody Srednei Azii i Kazakhstana, vol. 2. Moscow, 1963. (Bibliography.)
Narody luzhnoi Azii. Moscow, 1963.
Dames, M. L. The Baloch Race. London, 1904.

E. G. GAFFERBERG


Baluchi

 

the language of the Baluchi who live in Pakistan (c. 1 million people), Afghanistan (c. 600,000), Iran (c. 600,000), India (c. 50,000), the countries of the Arabian Peninsula (10,000), and the USSR (7,800, 1959 census). Baluchi belongs to the northwestern group of Iranian languages. It is divided into two large groups of dialects, eastern and western. In the past, Baluchi had no written literature. The Baluchi people used Persian as their written language in Iran and Pakistan. In the 1950’s, Urdu began to replace Persian in Pakistan. In the early 1940’s the first examples of Baluchi writing based on the Arabic alphabet began to appear.

The phonetic system of Baluchi, compared to that of the other Iranian languages, is characterized by its archaism. The vowel system is based on the opposition of long and short vowels. The consonantal system is characterized by the presence of certain elements of fricative articulation for obstruent consonants, the doubling of consonants between short vowels, and the preservation of resonance of sonants and voiced consonants in all phonetic positions.

The morphology of Baluchi is characterized by clearly expressed features in its analytical system. The breakdown of inflection that occurred in the majority of modern Iranian languages also takes place in Baluchi; grammatical gender is absent, and the parts of speech fall into two groups—nouns and verbs. However, the verb in Baluchi, as in ancient Iranian, possesses synthetic features. The ergative construction of Baluchi, although generally retained, is absent in a few dialects.

The vocabulary of Baluchi is basically autochthonous, with borrowings primarily from Persian and the Indian languages. There is a rich folklore in Baluchi, including heroic epics and tales.

REFERENCES

Zarubin, I. I. “K izucheniiu beludzhskogo iazyka i fol’klora.” In Zapiski Kollegii vostokovedov pri Aziatskom muzee AN SSSR, vol. 5. Leningrad, 1930.
Frolova, V. A. Beludzhskii iazyk. Moscow, 1960.
Gilbertson, G. W. The Balochi Language: A Grammar and Manual. Hertford, 1923.
English-Balochi Colloquial Dictionary, vols. 1–2. Hertford, 1925.