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(–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).
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(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.


References in periodicals archive ?
This Eid Al Fitr seven Pushto films are being released while three big budget Urdu films are being released.
We have had everything from fiveyear-olds in Victoria Square learning Pushto to pensioners at a nursing home learning Greek, to Estelle Morris joining in the fun.
Urdu, Punjabi, Sindhi, Pushto, Balochi or Brohi and Siraiki speaking women.
He was a proud Pukhtoon and he loved Pushto culture and tradition and never compromised on principles and values.
While addressing a press conference in Peshawar, Latta, Urdu and Pushto singer, termed the allegations as 'baseless' and 'ridiculous'.
They completed two-year special advanced diploma courses in Urdu, Punjabi, Bengali, Balochi and Pushto languages.
PESHAWAR (PAN): A renowned folk Pushto singer Ismail Feroz was expired in Peshawar last night at the Lady Reading Hospital (LRH) after a long ailment, doctors and his friends said Sunday.
It's another pushto do with segregation, just as the protest at the Northern Ireland Office this week has been," he said.
He welcomed the decision of the Pushto Academy in Quetta to hold international Pushto
PESHAWAR -- Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Pervez Khattak has directed for constitution of an autonomous board for Pushto Academy besides devising an effective financial mechanism for the academy enabling it to play an efficient role in the promotion of Pushto literature.
The Constitution (Amendment) Bill 2011- a nomenclature that could be changed by the Standing Committee on Law and Justice during its scrutiny- seeks to replace Article 251 of the Constitution, which specifies only Urdu as the national language, with a new one that says: "The national languages of Pakistan are Balochi, Punjabi, Pushto, Shina/Balti, Sindhi, Saraiki and Urdu.
KABUL (PAN): Renowned Pushto and Urdu film actor Badar Munir died on Saturday at the age of 67after a protracted illness in a hospital in Lahore, capital of Pakistan's Punjab province.