Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Acronyms, Wikipedia.




(–to͞o), or


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).
..... Click the link for more information.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(also Pashtu, Pushtu, Pushto, Afghan), the language of the Afghans and one of the two official languages of Afghanistan. Pashto is also spoken in northwestern and western Pakistan. Of the approximately 20 million speakers of Pashto, about half live in Pakistan. Pashto belongs to the Iranian group (East Iranian branch) of the Indo-European language family. There are two groups of dialects: the southwestern, or Kandahar, group, and the northeastern, or Peshawar, group.

The distinctive phonetic features of Pashto are its wealth of consonants—including retroflex and ovular consonants and the pharyngeal h —and its paucity of vowels, which may be long or short. Stress is mobile and retains archaic features. The noun has direct and oblique case forms, masculine and feminine genders, and two numbers. The verb has the categories of person, number, tense (the future tense is expressed analytically), gender (expressed only in the third person of the past tense), aspect, mood, transitivity-intransitivity, and voice. The syntax of Pashto is marked by the ergative construction and numerous analytical formations. The vocabulary has many Iranian elements as well as borrowings from Arabic, Indian, Turkic, Mongolian, and the Western European languages. Although the first examples of the written language date to the 13th century, many texts, such as the poetry of Kror, evidently originated earlier. Pashto uses the Arab-Persian alphabet.


Dvoriankov, N. A. Iazyk pushtu. Moscow, 1960. (With bibliography.)
Kalinina, Z. M. Ocherki po leksikologii sovremennogo literaturnogo pushtu. Moscow, 1972.
Aslanov, M. G. Afgansko-russkii slovar’. Moscow, 1966.
Lorimer, D. L. R. Pashtu: Syntax of Colloquial Pashtu, part 1. Oxford, 1915.
Penzl, H. A Grammar of Pashto. Washington, D.C., 1955.
Morgenstierne, G. An Etymological Vocabulary of Pashto. Oslo, 1927.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Speaking as chief guest, Prof Abaseen Yousafzai said that Ghandal Khan Ghandal was a mason by profession and had not received any formal education, but was able to bring out three poetry volumes in Pashto. He said that Mr Ghandal was an extempore poet with lofty thoughts though he could not write a single word himself.
According to Mr Yousafzai, the spiritual guide had published three Pashto poetry volumes but later he added that Baba's followers and fans had brought out his complete poetic works in two volumes titled ' Diwan-i- Syed Muhammad Ismail Baba' way back in 2015 .
Badar Munir had great services for Pashto language and Pashto culture due to which he is still remembered in the hearts of Pakhtuns.
Conclusion: Pashto version of HADS can be used in both community as well as clinical settings because of its reliability and validity in measuring anxiety and depression.
Morphologically, Pashto monotransitives show nominative- accusative case forms in the present and future tenses, and ergative-absolutive case pattern in the past tense: This paper tries to explain structural Case assignment in such constructions.
We can also see that people are increasingly using our TV offer, including our new daily TV programming in Pashto."
He said that it was great that mainstream actors were now expressing an interest to act in Pashto films.
The current article describes the characteristics of English and Pashto phonology.
This paper discusses the challenges of the 21st century and the situation of Pashto in this age of globalization and free market media.
It has helped us improve our Pashto and its pronunciation," he said.
Differences have been hot over what should be used for university and faculty with most of Pashtun MPs insisting to keep the traditional Pashto terms for it and non-Pashtuns pushing for the Persian alternatives.
PESHAWAR: Afghanistan's tumultuous history of the last three decades is behind the incredible popularity of poetry in Pashto, the language of the majority Pakhtoons in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province (NWFP).