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Wakhi Ensyclopaedia, Britannica AM00000060000005931 7, 2008

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  • modern Iranian dialect ( in Iranian languages: Dialects )Speakers of Wakhī number 10,000 or so in the region of the upper Pyandzh (Panj) River. Vākhān (Wākhān), the Persian name for the region in which Wakhī is spoken, is based on the local name Wux̌, a Wakhī development of *Waxšu, the old name of the Oxus River (modern Amu Darya). (An asterisk denotes a hypothetical, unattested, reconstructed…
  • More detail at source: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/634297/Wakhi-language

    Wakhi language:

    Classification and Distribution

    Wakhi is one of several languages that belong to the Pamir language group. A reflection of this is the fact that the Wakhi people are occasional called Pamiris. The origin of this language is Wakhan, an area divided between in the extreme northeast of Afghanistan and Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Province in Tajikistan. A very rough estimate of the population of Wakhi Tajiks is 50,000 worldwide. The Wakhi live in four different countries. In the northern areas of Pakistan the Wakhi people mainly live in Gojal, Ishkoman, Darkut, and Broghol. They also live in many parts of Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and China. The religion of the Wakhi is Shia Ismaili Islam; they are followers of Aga Khan IV.

    In Tajikistan

    There is some controversy surrounding the ethnic and linguistic designation of the Wakhi. In Tajikistan the Wakhi and other communities that speak one of the Pamir languages refer to themselves as Pamiri or Badakhshani and there has been a movement to separate their identity from that of the majority Tajiks. Conversely, in Pakistan the Wakhi refer to themselves as Tajiks. Whether Wakhi is a separate language from Tajik or a dialect of Tajik has been equally controversial. Linguists universally refer to Wakhi as an Iranian language independent of Tajik, but many Tajik nationalists insist that Wakhi and other Pamir languages are actually dialects of Tajik.[1]

    In Pakistan

    In Pakistan, the central organization of the Wakhi is the Wakhi Tajik Cultural Association Pakistan (WTCA), an organization that is registered with the Government of Pakistan and which works with the collaboration of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and Lok Virsa Pakistan. The Association is working for the preservation of the Wakhi Tajiki language and culture, as well as documenting their poetry and music. The literacy rate among Wakhi Tajiks in the northern areas of Pakistan is about 60%.

    Radio Pakistan Gilgit relays the Wakhi radio programme “Sadoyah Boomy Dunyo”, the voice of the roof of the world. The Wakhi Tajik Cultural Association has arranged more than twenty programmes since 1984, which includes cultural shows, musical nights, and large-scale musical festivals with the collaboration of Lok Virsa Pakistan, the Aga Khan Cultural Service Pakistan (AKCSP), and Pakistan television. In 2000, the WTCA won a “Best Programme” organizer award in the Silk Road Festival from the President of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf. A computerized codification of the Wakhi script has been released, which will help to promote the language development programme and documentation of Wakhi poetry, literature, and history. [2] 

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    In China

    Tajiks in China (Chinese: 塔吉克族, Pinyin: Tǎjíkèzú) are one of the 56 nationalities officially recognized by the People’s Republic of China.
    This group, with a population of 41,028 (2000), is located mainly in China‘s western Xinjiang region with 60% living in Tashkurgan Tajik Autonomous County; some researchers view them as a collection of over a dozen small East Iranian ethnic groups that are related to, but distinct from, the Tajiks of Tajikistan.[citation needed] The Ethnologue claims that they are actually Shugni and Wakhi.[2] Aurel Stein and other writers from his time referred to them simply as Sarikoli.[3][4] Some have referred to them simply as “Mountain Tajiks.”[5] Robert Shaw considered them Sarikolis and Wakhis, referring to them collectively as Ghalchah.
    In China, the languages of the Tajiks have no official written form. The great majority of Chinese Tajik speakers speak the Sarikoli language and use Uyghur, Kyrgyz or Chinese to communicate with people of other nationalities in the area. A small proportion of Chinese Tajik speakers speak Wakhi.
    More detail at source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wakhi_language
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