Askunu language

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Native to Afghanistan
Region Nuristan Province
Native speakers
40,000 (2011)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 ask
Glottolog ashk1246[2]
Linguasphere 58-ACA-a

Âṣkuňu is a language of Afghanistan spoken by the Ashkun people – also known as the Âṣku, Ashku, Askina, Saňu, Sainu, Yeshkun, Wamas, or Grâmsaňâ – from the region of the central Pech Valley around Wâmâ and in some eastern tributary valleys of the upper Alingar River in Afghanistan's Nuristan province.

It is classified as member of the Nuristani sub-family of the Indo-Iranian languages.


Askun is spoken in several dialects in southwestern Nuristan. The main body of the Askunu tribe inhabits the Askugal (Kolata, Majegal) Valley, which drains southwestward into the Alingar River. These people speak a dialect which differs from that of their neighbors in the Titin Valley to the south (cf. Morgenstierne 1929). The inhabitants of the Bajaygol Valley further up the Alingar are reported to speak a third dialect. Across a mountain ridge to the east of the Askunu two tribal groups, each with its own dialect, center on the villages of (Wama) and Gramsaragram (Acanu) off the Pec River.[3]

Location Description

Part of Nuristan and adjacent areas along the Kabul river and its tributaries in the mountain region that encompasses northeastern Afghanistan, northern Pakistan, and northwestern India


  1. Askuňu at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Ashkun". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Strand, R. F. (1973). Notes on the Nūristāni and Dardic Languages. Journal of the American Oriental Society, (3). 297.

External links