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(kăshmē`rē), language belonging to the Dardic 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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the language of the Kashmiris, one of the 14 official languages of India. It belongs to the Dard group of Indo-Iranian languages and is spoken by the inhabitants of the Vale of Kashmir. It has the dialects of Kashmiri proper, Kishtwari, Pogul, Siraji, and Rambani (the last three are transitional between Kashmiri and the Pahari and Punjabi dialects).

Kashmiri is spoken by approximately 2.5 million persons (1970, estimate). It has a distinction between long and short vowels. The complex consonant system contains aspirated, retroflex, palatalized, and labialized series. The morphology is characterized by a four-case system, masculine and feminine gender, and a definite-indefinite noun category. Aspectual and temporal oppositions occur in the verb system. Pronominal enclitics are used to indicate the person of the subject and object with verb forms. The syntax is characterized by an ergative construction. The modern writing system is based on Arabic script.


Edel’man, D. I. Dardskie iazyki. Moscow, 1965.
Zakhar’in, B. A., and D. I. Edel’man. Iazyk kashmiri. Moscow, 1971.
Grierson, G. A. A Manual of the Kāshmīrī Language, vols. 1–2. Oxford, 1911.
Grierson, G. A. A Dictionary of the Kashmiri Language, vols. 1–4. Calcutta, 1915–32.
Grierson, G. A. Linguistic Survey of India, vol. 8, part 2. Calcutta, 1919.
Kachru, B. B. A Reference Grammar of Kashmiri. Urbana, 111., 1968.