Monthly Archives: August 2011

The Story of Sassi Punnu

Sassi Punnu

Sassi Punnu is one of the seven popular tragic romances of the Sindh and four of the most popular in Punjab. The other six are Umar Marvi, Momal Rano and Sohni Mahiwal, Laila Chanesar, Sorath Rai Diyach, Noori Jam Tamachi commonly known as Seven Queens of Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai.Sassui Punnu was written by the Sindhi and Sufi poet, Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai in (1689-1752).


Sassi was the daughter of the King of Bhamboor (it is in Sindh whose ruins can be seen today). Upon Sassi’s birth, astrologers predicted that she was a curse for the royal family’s prestige. The Queen ordered that the child be put in a wooden box and thrown in the river Indus. A washerman of the Bhambour village found the wooden box and the child in the box. The washerman believed the child was a blessing from God and took her home. As he had no child of his own, he decided to adopt her.


Punnun Khan, the son of King Mir Hoth Khan (Hoth, a famous Baloch tribe in Makran (Balochistan). King Hoth was son of Mir Jalal Khan main Baloch leader and elder of Talpur, Rind, Lashari, Hoth, Khosa and Marri people of today) of Kicham (Kech).

Sassi and Punnu meet

When Sassi became a young girl, she was as beautiful as the fairies of heaven. Stories of her beauty reached Punnu and he became desperate to meet Sassi. The handsome young Prince of Makran therefore travelled to Bhambour. He sent his clothes to Sassi’s father (a washerman) so that he could catch a glimpse of Sassi. When he visited the washerman’s house, they fell in love at first sight. Sassi’s father was dispirited, hoping that Sassi would marry a washerman and no one else. Sassi’s father asked Punnu to prove that he was worthy of Sassi by passing the test as a washerman. Punnu agreed to prove his love. While washing, he tore all the clothes as, being a prince, he had never washed any clothes. he thus failed the agreement. But before he returned those clothes, he hid gold coins in the pockets of all the clothes, hoping this would keep the villagers quiet. The trick worked, and Sassi’s father agreed to the marriage.

Punnu’s brothers

Punnu’s father and brothers were against the his marriage to Sassi (Punnu being a prince and she being a washerman’s daughter), and so, for their father’s sake, Punnu’s brothers traveled to Bhambhoor. First they threatened Punnu but when he didn’t relent, they tried more devious methods.Punnu was surprised to see his brothers supporting his marriage and on the first night, they pretended to enjoy and participate in the marriage celebrations and forced Punnu to drink different types of wines. When he was intoxicated they carried him on a camel’s back and returned to their hometown of Kech Makran.

The lovers meet their end

The next morning, when Sassi realized that she was cheated, she became mad with the grief of separation from her lover and ran barefoot towards the town of Kich Makran. To reach it, she had to cross miles of desert. Alone, she continued her journey until her feet were blistered and her lips were parched from crying “Punnu, Punnu!” The journey was full of dangerous hazards, which lead to her demise. Punnu’s name was on Sassi’s lips throughout the journey. She was thirsty, there she saw a shepherd coming out of a hut. He gave her some water to drink. Seeing her incredible beauty, dirty lustful thoughts came into his mind, and he tried to force himself on Sassi. Sassi ran away and prayed to God to hide her and when God listened to her prayers, land shook and split and Sassi found herself buried in the valley of mountains. When Punnu woke he was himself in Makran he could not stop himself from running back to Bhambhoor. On the way he called out “Sassi, Sassi!” to which the shepherd replied. The shepherd told Punnu the whole story. Then Punnu also lamented the same prayer, the land shook and split again and he was also buried in the same mountain valley as Sassi. The legendary grave still exists in this valley. Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai sings this historic tale in his sufi poetry as an example of eternal love and union with Divine.


VoA to ponder launching Balochi language service

By: Ahmar Musti Khan

The chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, the agency that operates the Voice of America, has said the VoA will put the adding of a Balochi language service on its agenda.
Walter Isaacson, celebrated editor, book author and intellectual, who heads the VoA, was a guest speaker at a National Press Club luncheon Friday hosted for world-renowned blogger and his old friend Arianna Huffington, president and editor-in-chief of Huffington Post Media Group, and Tim Armstrong, chairman and CEO of AOL.
After the event, to a question from this correspondent, Isaacson said he will take up the matter of adding Balochi language service in real earnest.
He repeated his promise he will take up the issue of adding Balochi language as he left the NPC building.
In recent years, since the launch of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan U.S. interest has in Balochi language has grown by leaps and bounds.

At present, VoA broadcasts in 44 languages including Urdu, Persian and Dari but Balochi is missing though Balochistan is one of the sexiest geo-strategic territory.
Isaacson is the president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, a nonpartisan educational and policy studies institute based in Washington, DC. He has been the chairman and CEO of CNN and the editor of TIME magazine.
Isaacson is the author of Einstein: His Life and Universe (2007), Benjamin Franklin: An American Life (2003), and Kissinger: A Biography (1992), and coauthor of The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made (1986).
Meanwhile, the pro-independence American Friends of Balochistan has welcomed Mr. Isaacson’s statement and hoped that Balochi will be added to the VoA broadcasts in the interests of freedom and peace in the Greater Middle East region. The A.F.B. said Balochi was a critical language in the context of the Afpak conflict.
However, Isaacson’s interest in promoting VoA services is looked upon with grave suspicions by key players in the so-called Great Game that is evolving in the region, namely Russia.


50 years of the Balochi Academy, Quetta

By: Aseer Abdul Qadir Shahwani

Translated by: Hamid Ali Baloch

The first valuable attempt for the establishment of the Balochi academy and the promotion and popularization of the Balochi language was made in 1957, at Kalat in the name of “Balochi Diwan” and Haji Abdul Qayyum was nominated as the first convener of the Balochi Academy.
On august, 1958, a huge concourse of tribal chiefs, literary men, political leaders and poets was held at Mustung, and the objective of this gathering was to collect financial, ethical, literary and political support for the Balochi academy.
In 1961, it was established as a regular institution. In the early years of its establishment the chairmen and their sincere colleagues left no stone unturned to institutionalize the academy but became vain.
In 1995, Mr. Jan Muhammad Dashti, an expert and well-acquainted man was elected as the Chairman of the Balochi Academy, and he led a u-turn in the destiny of the Balochi Academy.
Fifty years before, when the scion of knowledge and Literature for the promotion and development of the Baloch, Balochi and Balochistan had planted in the shape of Balochi academy, this absolutely formed it a fruitful plant.
During the periods of its development, the Balochi academy made the Balochi language, literature and culture conspicuous by its writings, debates and Conferences.
In 1958, a Constitutional draft had been prepared and in the light of the draft it was given a legalized shape later. A new article for the honorary members (the Baloch intellectuals and literary men who are living in Pakistan or abroad) had been added in the constitution of the Balochi Academy. The date for the annual meeting has been fixed for the members on the first Saturday of the year as usual, and the committees are organized for the election in the same Saturday.
For the welfare and progress of the Balochi Academy, eight committees such as, Finance committee, constitution committee, Orthographic committee; Dictionary committee, encyclopedia committee, Seminar committee, publishing committee and marketing committee have been organized to tackle down the maters of the Balochi academy.
The provincial government used to specify a grant of approximately Rs.50, 000 annually and after all this amount was enhanced to Rs.95, 000. But it is sorry state that the amount was not enhanced till thirty years, and in 1997 when the then chief minister of Balochistan Sardar Akhtar Mengal (an eminent learned man) came into power, he increased the grants of the Balochi academy to Rs.100, 0000. In 2010, the amount rose to Rs. 200,0000and in 2011, the provincial government increased the grant to Rs.500, 0000.
The Balochi academy has published at least three hundred books on different topics such as literature, linguistics, religion, culture, autobiographies, personalities and politics, science, ethics, economics, travelogue and folk literature.
The name of Conference Hall and the rooms of the Balochi Academy have been kept on the historical names of different places such as, Sarlatt, Rabāt, Miyānī, Gokprosh, Bampoor, Talār, Trātānī and Kōhang.
The Balochi Academy has been published approximately 280 books from its birth till now, which are mainly consisted of the folk literature, culture, poetry, grammar and biographies. Many of the published books of the Balochi academy have not been only concluded as texts books in Schools and colleges but as texts books for Federal and Provincial competitive examinations.
The official website of the Balochi Academy is:

In 2001 the Balochi academy started compiling a Balochi-Balochi Dictionary. For the compilation of this dictionary a team of literary men and experts was made in the supervision of Jan Mahamd Dashti. The editorial board was consisted of the following editors:
Jan Muhammad Dashti (Editor in Chief) and editors are: Ulfat Naseem(Panjgoor), Gulzar Khan Murree(Kohlu), Ghaus Bahar(Ormara), Ghani Pahwal(Karachi), Dr. Abdul Saboor Baloch(Turbat), Prof. Muhammad Yousuf Baloch((Noshki), Dr. Aini Baloch(Kharan), Prof. Wahid Buzdar(Koh e Sulaiman), Sajid Buzdar(Dera Ghazi Khan), Molvi Abdul Haq Baloch(Turbat), Yousuf Gichki( Turbat) and Ashraf Sarbazi(Iran).
The dictionary is in its last stage of completion.
On 27thMay 1998, the Balochi academy conducted a Literary Seminar on the occasion of its Silver Jubilee. The Balochi academy is providing its publications approximately 70 libraries from different parts of the province.
Beside, the Balochi academy used to carry out functions and ceremonies time by time in the past and invited eminent personalities in different occasions. Sardar Akhatar Mengal was among the prominent figure, who was invited as chief guest in the inauguration function of the Balochi Academy Complex on 5th June, 1999.
The Balochi Academy has conducted Seminars on the topics such as, Balochistan: Literature and Culture, Natiq Makkorani, Balochi Orthographic System, Pashto Literary Seminar (21st April, 2004), the role of Literature in the changing world and rehabilitation of peasants. Apart from this, the Balochi Academy conducted book exhibitions on knowledge festival at Islamabad and Askari Park Quetta. The Balochi academy has also the honor to carryout book display ceremonies of other institutions in its Conference Hall. Condolence congregations have been managed on the death of poets and literary men in the Balochi academy and lectures have been delivered on the literary contributions of the deceased literary men.
After 50 years of its establishment, the Balochi Academy celebrated its Golden Jubilee on 31st July- 1st august 2011. In this regard, the 2nd International Conference on the Balochi Language, Literature, Culture and History is going to be held and the national and international Scholars will deliver their research papers in the said Conference.
It’s very interesting to note that after the construction of the Balochi Academy premises, the intellectuals came to visit the Academy from different parts of Sindh, Punjab, Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa, Iran, the USA and the United Arab Emirates and noted their views in the visitors’ book of the Balochi Academy.
The future planning and the vision of the Balochi academy are clear. Our mission is to leave no stone unturned for the promotion and popularization of the Balochi language, literature, culture and history and to bring the Balochi language on the line of advanced languages.
In this regard, we are en-route to carry out some productive plans such as:
► To make an acceptable and standardized Orthography for the Balochi language.
►to hold national and international conferences concerning to the Balochi language, Literature, Culture and History.
►to establish a spacious library on the basis of modern science and technology and to preserve manuscript and hand written books, publications, and inaccessible research books, films, audios, videos and cassettes.
►to establish a more effective and functional research cell, which fulfill the needs of modern research.
►to extend the needs of Balochi dictionary and translate the Balochi-Balochi dictionary into Balochi-Urdu, Balochi-Persian, Balochi-Arabic, Balochi- Brahvi, Balochi- Sindhi and Balochi- Pashto.
►to write down the three thousand years ancient history of the Baloch nation on the basis of research and compile a book on it.
The eminent personalities to whom the chairmanship has been honored are; Muhammad Sardar Khan Gishkori, Haji Abdul Qayyum, Malik Muhammad Ramazan, Bashir Ahmad Baloch, Abdullah jan jamaldini, Jan Muhammad Dashti, Abdul wahid Bandeeg and Siddiq Baloch respectively.

♣♣♣♣ ♣♣♣♣ ♣♣♣♣


Restrictive Relative Clauses in Balochi and the Marking of the Antecedent, Linguistic Influence from Persian?

Prof Dr Carina Jahani

Prof Dr. Carina Jahani


An interesting morphosyntactic feature that has been observed in e.g. New Persian1 (JAHANI 2000) and Balochi (BARANZEHI 2003:102, AXENOV 2006:250-251) is that thesame suffix2 that marks indefinite restrictive selection out of a generic unit or a
plurality (the so-called yPa-ye va .hdat) is also attached to head nouns3 of restrictive relative clauses.

A restrictive relative clause is one that “determines and restricts the extension of the head”, as opposed to a non-restrictive (or descriptive) relative clause, which “merely gives some additional explanation of it” (GREN-EKLUND 1978:53), e.g. “the families that have a car could offer other families a ride to the outing” as opposed to “my father, who has a car, offered another family a ride to the outing”.4 A restrictive relative clause thus restricts, or selects, one or several objects from among a generic unit or a plurality at hand by first specifying a larger set, the domain of relativisation (“families” in the example above), and then restricting that domain “to some subset of which a certain proposition is true” (i.e. “having a car”) (FABB 1994:3520).

Head nouns of restrictive relative clauses can either be generic or definite. In the first case the restriction is open (indefinite, non-specific). The subset for which the relative clause is true is thus an open class, which means that it can also be empty. In the sentence “a book that makes you understand yourself better is definitely worth reading” the domain of relativisation is “a book”, i.e. a generic head noun, and the restriction is open, which means that the subset of which the proposition “makes you understand yourself better” holds true is not delimitated. It could hold true of many books, or even of no book at all, in which case the subset would be an empty class.

In the second case the restriction is closed (specific) which means that the subset selected from the domain of relativisation is a closed class and delimitated by means of the restrictive relative clause, e.g “the book that you bought yesterday is really worth reading”. In this case the domain of relativisation, i.e. the head noun “the book”, is definite and the subset of which the proposition “you bought yesterday” holds true is a closed class, here containing only one object. If the noun is in the plural, “the books that you bought yesterday are really worth reading”, the subset will contain more than one object (see also LEHMANN 1984:261). The distinction between open and closed restriction (discussed in brief by GREN-EKLUND 1978:52), is particularly relevant to the marking of the antecedent in Iranian languages.

A previous study of relative clauses in Classical and Modern Persian (JAHANI 2000) shows that the grammaticalisation of the yPa-ye va .hdat, which in Modern Persian is pronounced -P., as a marker of antecedents of restrictive relative clauses had already started when early Persian prose was written (from the end of the 9th century A.D.), but it was not completed until the Modern Persian language emerged in the 20th century.

This process has thus taken about 1000 years or more. Persian is the New Iranian language that has the longest literary tradition and it therefore leaves a particularly goodwritten material for diachronic studies of grammaticalisation processes like the onedescribed above.

Quite on the contrary, Balochi has a very short written literary tradition but a long oral literary tradition. We can assume that the language of epic poetry and tales transmitted orally from generation to generation is somewhat normalised and conventionalised for mnemonic purposes, just like the language of written literature (see UTAS 2005:65 and 2006:209-210). Even so, a certain amount of structural change can be expected over time in oral literature. Oral texts have in the case of Balochi been recorded in written form only from around 1900 onwards (e.g. in DAMES 1891) but it is reasonable to assume that they reflect different layers of language structure including that of the time when they were recorded. Thus, unless these different layers can be discerned in the texts, they provide material that allows us to make diachronic studies reaching back over a period of only slightly more than 100 years.5 When it comes to non-literary, spoken Balochi, and the spoken variant of most other Iranian languages (possibly excluding Persian, where observations about the spoken language were made rather early by European travellers, see PERRY 1996), it is even harder to make diachronic studies due to the fact that very few descriptions of spoken language and hardly any recordings are available to us from a date earlier than the mid-20th century.

In Balochi we find the same suffix as in Persian marking indefinite restrictive selection out of a generic unit or a plurality. However, due to the retention of the mid-open socalled ma.ihPul vowels /Pe/ and /Po/ in the Balochi phonemic system, the pronunciation of this suffix is -Pe in Balochi, which was also the pronunciation in Classical Persian.6

The purpose of the present article is to investigate whether an extension of the use of the suffix denoting indefinite selection to mark antecedents of restrictive relative clauses similar to the one observed in Persian has also taken place in Balochi. If there is such a marking, in what variants of Balochi does it occur? In these cases, should it be seen as an internal development in Balochi parallel to that of Persian or can it be attributed to linguistic influence from Persian?

To answer these questions a number of texts and recordings of written and spoken Balochi from different parts of Balochistan will be investigated. Different dialects of the three main groups . Eastern, Southern and Western Balochi . will be represented. Most written texts belong to the oral literature genre, but some are fiction and factual prose. Since writing fiction and factual prose in Balochi dates mainly from the 1950s onwards, it is assumed that texts belonging to these genres represent more or less the same grammatical structures as the spoken language. The oral literature may represent considerably older grammatical structures (see above). However, the Balochi language data at hand do not allow any diachronic conclusions, nor do they permit a study of diverging sociolects, genderlects or generatiolects (see JAHANI 2003:130). Variants of Balochi will therefore be analysed with a focus on geolects (geographical variation). Dialects of Balochi that stand in a continuous close contact with Persian will be compared with dialects spoken in areas where Persian is not a dominant language (see below).

It may also be possible to find traces of historical contacts between Balochi and Persian by comparing the marking of the antecedent in dialects that today are spoken far from Persian-speaking areas, and thus not now under direct Persian influence, with the way the antecedent was marked in older stages of Persian.

As for glossing, the singular case ending -Pa is glossed OBJ or OBL depending on its function. The ending -aPn or -aP is glossed PL.OBL for all dialects except those spoken in Iran, where it is glossed PL, since it has spread also to the direct case in these dialects.7 There is also a plural ending -PanPa (PL.OBJ) that is used for direct and indirect objects in most dialects of Western Balochi. In Iranian Balochi a merger of the direct and oblique cases is underway (JAHANI 2003:121-125). Therefore forms glossed as OBL may occur as the subject (in the non-ergative domain) in Iranian Balochi. Verb stems are marked as either present8 (PRS) or past (PST). Only grammatical morphemic analysis is carried out and word formation (of compound words, causative verbs etc.) is ignored.

2.Marking of the head noun in Persian

In Classical Persian we find head nouns of restrictive relative clauses both with and 7 For case systems in different Balochi dialects, see JAHANI (2003) and Korn in this volume. 8 Or rather non-past, since present also includes future. See e.g. AXENOV 2006:175.
without the suffix -P.. As mentioned, antecedents with this suffix are already found in the earliest Classical Persian texts, but antecedents without -P. are equally common. However, antecedents without -P. are normally qualified by a demonstrative or indefinite pronoun (used as attributive adjectives), e.g. Pan “that”, P.n “this” or har “every”. My investigation of Persian (JAHANI 2000) clearly shows that the suffix -P. in early Classical Persian was more common on head nouns of an open restriction than on head nouns of a closed restriction. Since there are certain constraints as to what pronouns in Persian can take the suffix -P., only the statistics dealing with nouns as heads are presented here.

In 62 percent of all cases, a head noun of an open restriction is marked with the suffix -P., whereas in the case of a closed restriction only 32 percent of the head nouns take this suffix. This could indicate that the -P. “was initially used on indefinite antecedents in accordance with its use on any noun to mark indefiniteness” (JAHANI 2000:52), and that from there it spread also to marking head nouns of a closed restriction. If only nouns are counted we get the percentages shown in Table 1 for antecedents with or without -P. in Classical and Modern Persian.9

Table 1: Marking of head nouns in restrictive relative clauses in Persian

Pattern10 \ period (A.D.) 10th-12th cent. 13th-15th cent. 16th-19th cent. 20th cent.
A. Noun phrase + ke 54% 43% 30% 12%
B. Noun phrase + -P. + ke 46% 57% 70% 88%

In Modern Persian it is thus the marking with the suffix -P. that is totally predominant. It is very rare to find a demonstrative pronoun co-occurring with this suffix in the literary style, but in dialogue parts of texts, as well as in spoken Modern Persian, a double marking on the antecedent, i.e. both a demonstrative pronoun and the suffix -P., has been noted (JAHANI 2000:49-51). The most likely explanation is that this is a retention of the pattern with a demonstrative pronoun from early Classical Persian with the addition of the -P.. This makes the spoken language more explicit than the written language in this grammatical structure, signalling the head noun both with the demonstrative pronoun and the -P..

3. Linguistic contact between different dialects of Balochi and Persian

Balochi has probably been in contact with and influenced by spoken Persian (Old, Middle and New Persian) from early historical times, possibly as long as 2000 years or more. This can be seen by the fact that Balochi, a north-western Iranian language, shares phonological innovations with both the old stage (from about the 6th century B.C. onwards) and the middle stage (from about the 3rd century B.C. onwards) of the south-western Iranian language Persian (KORN 2003:58-59). There are also several layers of loanwords from Old, Middle and New Persian found in all dialects of Balochi (KORN 2005:49, 330).

At the court in Kalat, where the administrative language was Persian,11 Balochi was also in contact with written Classical Persian, and in traditional religious education Persian literature was taught in addition to Arabic. We therefore assume that in historical times Balochi, at least to some degree, was in touch with and under influence of literary Persian. Even so, Balochi is likely to have been primarily in contact with the spoken form of the Persian language. However, Southern and Eastern Balochi, are spoken far from Persian speaking areas, so contact with Persian seems to have been less intense in these dialects than in Western Balochi. There is both phonological and morphosyntactic evidence of deeper influence from Persian in different dialects of Western Balochi than in Eastern and Southern Balochi. For example, we find more frequent use of prepositions and a more profound breakdown of the ergative construction in Western than in Southern and Eastern Balochi.12

Nowadays there is heavy influence both from spoken and written Persian on those dialects of Balochi (both Western and Southern) that are spoken in Iran (see also MAHMOODZAHI 2003:147-152 and JAHANI 2005:158-160). This influence is, of course, but a natural result of modernisation, which involves more and more intense contacts with the state language through such dynamics as education, mass media, government employment and increased travelling.

Though to a lesser degree, the same is true of the dialect (Western Balochi) spoken in Afghanistan where modernisation has been slower than in Balochi speaking areas of Restrictive Iran. Here it is the Afghani (Dari) variant of Persian that is predominant, but in recent years also the Iranian variant (Farsi) reaches Balochi speaking areas in south western Afghanistan through radio and TV broadcasts from Iran.

Groups of Baloch started to migrate mainly from Afghanistan northwards into Turkmenistan in search of better pastures and more political freedom from about 1900 until 1934, when the Soviet border was closed (MOSHKALO 2000:97-99). Those Baloch who settled in Turkmenistan speak Western Balochi, but there contact with Persian hasbeen replaced by contact with and influence from Russian and Turkmen.

3.Marking of the head noun in different Balochi dialects13

The head noun of a restrictive relative clause in the Balochi texts analysed in this study either takes the suffix -Pe (which in dialects heavily influenced by Persian is sometimes even pronounced -P.) or is preceded by a demonstrative or an indefinite modifier (a pronoun or an adjective), or takes a double marking, i.e. both a preceding demonstrative / indefinite modifier and the suffix. The emphatic particle (h)am is frequently added to a demonstrative pronoun preceding the head noun. The five patterns found are demonstrated in Table 2.

Table 2: Patterns for marking the head noun in Balochi
Without the suffix -¯e
i. Demonstrative pronoun (DEM) + Head Noun + ∅
ii. Indefinite modifier (IND.MOD) + Head Noun + ∅
B. With the suffix -¯e
i. Demonstrative pronoun (DEM) + Head Noun + -¯e
ii. ∅+ Head Noun + -¯e
iii. Indefinite modifier (IND.MOD) + Head Noun + -¯e

In all these patterns both open and closed restriction is possible, although the presence of an indefinite pronoun almost invariably denotes an open restriction and a demonstrative pronoun very often implies a closed restriction.

The suffix -¯e can co-occur with the case endings -r¯a and -¯a, in which case the -¯e precedes these endings. In Iranian Balochi a head noun with the plural suffix (cf. p. 4) can take the suffix -¯e, which is added after -¯an.

Conjunctional use of head nouns is not described in this study, e.g. wahd-¯e ki “when, lit.: at the time that”, har zam¯an-¯e ki “whenever, lit.: every time that”, pa x¯atir-¯e ki “because”, am¯a rang ki “just like, lit.: in the same way that”. Likewise, examples whose head noun has an adverbial function in the main clause are omitted from the study.14

4.1 Balochi from Afghanistan15

Balochi of Afghanistan is here represented by an autobiographical account in oral form written down and published by BUDDRUSS (1988) as well as by 34 transcribed pages of tales and a conversational text (an interview) collected by Behrooz Barjasteh Delforooz between 2000 and 2006.16

Without the suffix -¯e

i. DEM + head noun (altogether 15 examples):
1 ¯e ˇc¯a-n¯a wa ¯e n¯ašt¯ay¯ı ki ¯a ¯awurt-at
DEM tea-PL.OBJ and DEM breakfast SUB DEM bring.PST-COP.PST.3SG
man wa ¯a w¯art-an
PERS.1SG and DEM eat.PST-1PL
“She and I drank the tea and ate the breakfast that she had brought.” (BUDDRUSS 1988:32)
2 ¯e ˇiin¯ınz¯ag am-¯a ˇc¯adir-¯a ki man wat-r¯a bir
d¯at-ag-un am-¯eš-¯ı-r¯a kaš-a kan-t

“This woman is pulling this cover with which I have covered myself.” (BUDDRUSS 1988:30, 32)

ii. IND.MOD + head noun (altogether 2 examples):

3 ar ˇcinka s¯al ki ta g¯o man gw¯az¯ent-ay
every how many year SUB PERS.2SG with PERS.1SG pass.PST-2SG
ša s¯al-ay d¯em¯a t¯ı tanx¯a da-y-¯ın
from year-GEN in front of PERS.2SG wages give.PRS-GL-1SG
“I will give your wages on a yearly basis for as many years as you (will) have passed with me
(when you leave).” (BUDDRUSS 1988:26)

from year-GEN in front of PERS.2SG wages give.PRS-GL-1SG
“I will give your wages on a yearly basis for as many years as you (will) have passed with me (when you leave).” (BUDDRUSS 1988:26)

With the suffix -¯e

DEM + head noun + -¯e (altogether 16 examples):

4 ¯a malang-¯e ki ta gušt-ay amm¯a kušt-an-¯e
We killed that dervish whom you talked about.” (Barjasteh Delforooz) ENCL.3SG

iii. Head noun + -¯e (altogether 9 examples)

5 amm¯a bi zub¯an-¯a bal¯oˇc¯ı-y-ay-¯a (y)¯asi¯aw¯an ¯ıš-¯e-r¯a
PERS.1PL.EXCL to language-OBL Balochi-GL-GEN-OBL miller DEM-OBL-OBJ
guš-an ki b¯ıst-u-ˇc¯ar sahat bi y¯asi¯ab-ay sar¯a ništ-a17 wa kas-¯e
say.PRS-1PL SUB twenty-four hour to mill-GEN on sit.PST-PP and person-IND
ki ša watan-ay t¯a galla k¯ar-¯ıt pa ¯art-¯a
SUB from homeland-GEN in wheat bring.PRS-3SG for flour-OBL
¯a-w-¯an¯ı muz-¯a z¯ur-¯ıt wa ¯a-w-¯an¯a ¯art-a kan-t
DEM-GL-PL.GEN wages-OBJ take.PRS-3SG and DEM-GL-PL.OBJ flour-V.EL do.PRS-
“In the Balochi language we call that one a miller who sits at the mill 24 hours per day and who takes payment from anyone who brings wheat to grind from his native land and grinds it into flour.” (BUDDRUSS 1988:24)

6 ˙ gab¯ul kurt-ag-ant ki ˇc¯ız-¯e-r¯a ki d¯ın guš-¯ıt
accepting do.PST-PP-COP.PRS.3PL SUB thing-IND-OBJ SUB religion say.PRS-3SG
w¯a ˙ gi¯ıyat d¯ar-¯ıt
truth have.PRS-3SG

“They have accepted that what religion says holds true.” (Barjasteh Delforooz)

iv. IND.MOD + head noun + -¯e (altogether 6 examples):

7 t¯ı n¯an wa t¯ı puˇc wa digar masrap-¯e ki
PERS.2SG.GEN bread and PERS.2SG.GEN clothing and other consumption-IND SUB
d¯ar-ay muˇc-¯a man-a da-(y)-¯ın
have.PRS-2SG all-OBJ PERS.1SG-V.EL give.PRS-(GL)-1SG
“I will give [you] everything, your food and your clothes and the other needs of consumption that
you have.” (BUDDRUSS 1988:26)


There are 31 cases of a head noun marked with -¯e and 17 cases without the suffix. It is interesting that the predominant constructions are the ones with a demonstrative pronoun before the head noun (with or without the suffix -¯e), a construction also common in spoken Persian. In this dialect, the suffix -¯e can combine with the case marking suffix -r¯a (ex. 6, where the head noun is the direct object of the relative clause), but it is more common for the case marking of the head noun to be omitted when it is marked with -¯e (ex. 4, where the head noun is the direct object of the main clause).

4.2 Balochi from Turkmenistan18

Balochi of Turkmenistan is here represented by 35 pages from Zarubinfs tales (ZARUBIN 1932:1-35) as well as by 35 pages of oral texts (folktales and ethnographic texts) recorded and transcribed by Serge Axenov between 1989 and 2000.19

A. Without the suffix -¯e
i. DEM + head noun (altogether 6 examples):

8 ta p-¯e k¯ar-¯an ki man-a kan-¯ın baxt
PERS.2SG for-DEM work-PL.OBL SUB PERS.1SG-V.EL do.PRS-1SG luck
“You don’t have any success in the things that I am doing.” (Axenov)

9 am-¯e mardum ki asan-¯ı gis-¯a šut-at pa p¯adiš¯a
EMPH-DEM person SUB NP-GEN house-OBJ20 go.PST-COP.PST.3SG for king
b¯az u b¯az t¯ar¯ıp-¯ı kurt asan-¯ı ˇian¯en-¯a
much and much laudation-ENCL.3SG do.PST.3SG NP-GEN wife-OBJ
“The person who had gone to Asan’s house praised Asan’s wife highly before the king.”
(ZARUBIN 1932:15)

ii. IND.MOD + head noun (altogether 5 examples):

10 ša mušm¯a ar kass ki t¯ar¯ı p¯adiš¯a-¯a d¯em¯a d¯ıst
from PERS.1PL.INCL every person SUB morning king-OBJ first see.PST.3SG
b-guš-¯ıt ay mihrab¯an-¯en p¯adiš¯a …
SBJ-say.PRS-3SG oh merciful-ATTR king
“The one of us who meets the king first in the morning should say: Oh merciful king…” (Axenov)

B. With the suffix -¯e
i. DEM + head noun + -¯e (altogether 16 examples):

11 am-¯e ˇc¯ız-¯e ki man tr¯a guš-¯ın ta
am-¯a mn¯ı abar-¯a b-z¯ur-ay
“You should accept my word, that thing which I tell you.” (ZARUBIN 1932:18)

ii. Head noun + -¯e (altogether 4 examples):
12 ˇiin¯enz¯ag kit¯ab-¯e ki bi ¯a-¯ı t¯a zin¯ak¯ar¯ı u gandak¯ar¯ı-ay
woman book-IND SUB to DEM-OBL in adultery and evildoing(=adultery)-GEN
gun¯a u ˇiiz¯a nimist-a k¯ar-¯ıt u dant
sin and retribution write.PST-PP bring.PRS-3SG and give.PRS.3SG
bi p¯adiš¯a-ay dast-¯a
to king-GEN hand-OBL
The woman brings the book in which it is written about the sin of adultery and its punishment and gives it to (lit.: in the hand of) the king.” (Axenov)

iii. IND.MOD + head noun + -¯e (altogether 7 examples):

13 ar ˇc¯ız-¯e-r¯a ki mn¯ı dil b-kašš-¯ıt wad¯ı-a kan-¯ın
every thing-IND-OBJ SUB PERS.1SG.GEN heart SBJ-pull.PRS-3SG found-V.EL do.PRS
“I find whatever my heart longs for.” (Axenov) -1SG
14 uštur ar s¯un-¯e ki d¯emay-a kap-¯ıt raw-t
camel every direction-IND SUB in front of.ENCL.3SG-V.EL fall.PRS-3SG go.PRS-3SG
“The camel goes in whatever direction it pleases (lit.: whatever direction shows up before the camel it keeps going).” (Axenov)


There are 27 cases of a head noun marked with -¯e and there are 11 without the suffix. The predominant construction is the one with a demonstrative pronoun before the head noun, which takes the suffix -¯e. It is not unexpected that this dialect shows profound similarities with the Balochi of Afghanistan, from which it branched off about 100 years ago. In this dialect, the suffix -¯e can combine with the case suffix -r¯a (ex. 13, where the head noun is the direct object both of the relative clause and the main clause) but more often the case marking of the head noun is omitted when it is marked with -¯e (ex. 11, where the head noun is the direct object both of the relative clause and the main clause, and ex. 12, where the head noun is the direct object of the main clause)

.4.3 Western Balochi from Pakistan . dialect of Noshke (Nushki)

The town of Noshke in Western Pakistan is the birthplace of two famous contemporary Baloch poets, Gul Khan Nasir and Azat Jamaldini (see JAHANI 1996). Other persons who have supported and developed the Balochi language and its literature also originate from Noshke, notably Abdullah Jan Jamaldini (Azat’s brother) and Aqil Khan Mengal. The Noshke dialect is the basis of the most comprehensive course book in Balochi produced to date, A Course in Baluchi (1969) by Muhammad Abd-al-Rahman BARKER and the above mentioned Aqil Khan MENGAL. The dialect is represented here by ABDULLAH JAN JAMALDINI’s text (1957:8-12) about Balochi embroidery that appeared in the magazine M¯aht¯ak Bal¯oˇc¯ı21 and a biographic text (about his brother) by the same author published in Azat Jamaldini’s collection of poems Ružn (AZAT JAMALDINI 1985:6-42), as well as by Gul Khan Nasir’s preface to Grand, one of his collections of poems (GUL KHAN NASIR 1971:10-27). In addition to these texts, four folktales collected in Noshke by AQIL KHAN MENGAL (1973:10-14, 35- 43, 81-93, 102-112), conversational texts (BARKER/MENGAL 1969/I:425-456, 499-526), ethnographic texts (BARKER/MENGAL 1969/II:95-99, 115-119) and the story “W¯aˇja panˇc-kuš” (BARKER/MENGAL 1969/II:172-181) have been included.22

A. Without the suffix -¯e
i. DEM + head noun (altogether 15 examples):23
15 malang ¯a-¯ı hamr¯ah b¯ut am-¯a malang ki
dervish DEM-OBL company become.PST.3SG EMPH-DEM dervish SUB
“The dervish joined him on the road, the very dervish who had been at the graveyard.” (AQIL
KHAN MENGAL 1973:91)
16 arab¯ı-ay ham-a¯ harf-㯠ki a¯-w-a¯n¯ı tawa¯r-a¯
m¯a ˇca wat-¯ı gu ˙t ˙t-¯a dar kurt na-kan- ¯ ˜u …
PRON.1PL24 from REFL-GEN throat-OBL out do.PST NEG-do.PRS-1PL
ˇca bal¯oˇc¯ı abˇiad-ay pa ˙t ˙t¯ı-¯a dar kan-ag bi-bant
from Balochi alphabet-GEN embroidered headband-OBL out do-INF SBJ-be.PRS.3PL “Those letters from Arabic whose sound we cannot produce (lit.: get out from our throat) should be removed from the Balochi alphabet (lit.: embroidered headband of the Balochi alphabet).”
(GUL KHAN NASIR 1971:23)
ii. IND.MOD + head noun (altogether 2 examples):

17 har kass-a¯ ki … mašhu¯r-e˜¯ ru¯s¯ı raka¯sa tama¯ra¯ xa¯nu¯m-a¯
every person-OBL SUB famous-ATTR Russian female dancer NP lady-OBJ
d¯ıst-ag-at ¯ay-r¯a macl¯um-int ki

t¯aˇiik u uzbak ˇiin¯en-¯an¯ı pašk u d¯oˇc ˇcinkas ˇca bal¯oˇc¯ı-¯a
NP and NP woman-PL.GEN dress and embroidery how much from Balochi-OBL
“Whoever has seen the famous Russian dancer Mrs. Tamara knows (lit.: it is evident to him/her) how similar the Tajik and Uzbek women’s dress and embroidery is to the Balochi (one).”
18 ¯az¯at-¯a har ˇc¯ı zarr ki ša wat-¯ı r¯ozg¯ar-¯a
NP-OB every thing money SUB from REFL-GEN work-OBL
ˇca man-¯ı pag¯ar-¯a u ˇca d¯ost-¯an kumak u w¯am
from PERS.1SG-GEN salary-OBL and from friend-PL.OBL help and loan
rast ¯a-¯ı pa “bal¯oˇc¯ı” m¯aht¯ak-¯a xarˇc kurt-ant
arrive.PST.3SG DEM-OBL for NP monthly magazine-OBL expense do.PST-3PL “All the money that Azat got (lit.: that reached Azat) from his own work, from my salary and
from friends as support or loan he spent on Monthly Balochi.” (AZAT JAMALDINI 1985:19-20)

B. With the suffix -¯e
i. DEM + head noun + -¯e
There are no examples of this construction in the texts investigated for this dialect.

ii. Head noun + -¯e (altogether 1 example):
19 mard-¯e ki ˇca panˇc maz¯ar-ay kuš-ag-¯a baˇiˇi na-w¯art
man-IND SUB from five tiger-GEN kill.PRS-INF-OBL bend NEG-eat.PRS.3SG
e¯ yakk-e˜¯ maza¯r-ay kuš-ag pa a¯-¯ı hicˇcˇ cˇ¯ı-h-e¯
DEM one-ATTR tiger-GEN kill.PRS-INF for DEM-OBL no thing-GL-IND
b¯ut na-kant
“A man who is not afraid of (lit.: does not bend from) killing five tigers, to kill this one tiger
cannot be any problem (lit.: thing) for him.” (BARKER/MENGAL 1969/II:174-175)

iii. IND.MOD + head noun + -¯e (altogether 4 examples):
20 yakk diga ˇc¯ı-¯e ki grand-ay niwištag-¯an mã šumay d¯em¯a
one other thing-IND SUB NP-GEN writing-PL.OBL in PERS.2PL.GEN in front of
kayt ¯a “hamza” u “he”-ay k¯armarz kan-ag-int
come.PRS.3SG DEM hamza and he-GEN use do.PRS-INF-COP.PRS.3SG
“Another thing that appears to you in the writings of (the book) Grand is the use of (the letters)
hamza and he.” (GUL KHAN NASIR 1971:24)

First, it is interesting to note that there are notably few restrictive relative clauses to be found in the texts selected for this dialect (see also Table 3 below). It will require further studies to determine whether this is representative of the dialect. When this dialect is compared with the dialects described above (in 4.1 and 4.2) we note that a different construction predominates, namely the one without the suffix -¯e. There are 17examples of this pattern, and only five of the pattern with the suffix -¯e, four of which are in combination with an indefinite pronoun. There are no co-occurrences of the demonstrative pronoun and the -¯e, neither are there any examples where -¯e occurs together with a case ending. It is thus interesting to note that in this dialect, which is not deeply influenced by Persian today, the structure of relative clauses is more similar to early Classical Persian than to spoken or written Modern Persian.

4.4 Southern Balochi from Pakistan25

Since the mid-20th century a significant number of Baloch in Karachi and other urban centres in the south of Pakistani Balochistan such as Turbat, Mand and Habb have engaged in literary and cultural activities. Most of the new generation of writers, in fact, use the southern dialect. It is here represented by seven articles on the Balochi language from SABA DASHTYARIfs two-volume work BalPo.cP. zubPanPe26 Pakubat (BZA). These selections are by Saba Dashtyari himself (BZA II:13-28), Sayad Hashmi (BZA I:309- 333), Muhammad Beg Begal (BZA II:105-128), Badal Khan Baloch (BZA II:129-146), Siddiq Azat (BZA II:182-187), G. R. Mulla (BZA II: 597-603) and Karim Dashti (BZA II:604-611). Also included are two short stories written by Ghaws Bahar (GHAWS BAHAR 2003:5-22) and a part of a novel by Ghani Parwaz (GHANI PARWAZ 2000:5-25).

A. Without the suffix -¯e

i. DEM + head noun (altogether 25 examples):

21 likwa ˙r say bundar¯ı rahband- ¯ ã bahr kan-ag bant
writing system three fundamental system-PL.OBL division do.PRS-INF be.PRS.3PL
bz㯠awl¯ı ham-a¯ zuba¯n ki cˇa cˇapp-e¯n pahna¯t-a¯
namely first EMPH-DEM language SUB from left-ATTR side-OBL
r¯ast-¯en n¯emag-¯a nib¯ıs-ag bant
right-ATTR side-OBL write.PRS-INF be.PRS.3PL
“Writing systems can be divided into three main groups: the first (one is) those languages that are written from left to right.” (Muhammad Beg Begal in BZA II:117)
22 har kas-¯a ki turk¯ı zub¯an-¯e t¯ar¯ıx want-ag ta ¯a every person-OBL SUB Turkish language-GEN history read.PST-PP SUB DEM
ˇiw¯an¯ı-¯a sarpad-int ki ˇca kam¯al ataturk-¯a s¯ar¯ı ham goodness-OBL knowing-COP.PRS.3SG SUB from NP-OBL before also
arab¯ı alifb¯a-h-¯an¯ı b¯abat¯a bahs u tr¯an b¯u-ag-¯a-at Arabic alphabet-GL-PL.GEN about discussion and talk be.PRS-INF-OBL-COP.PST.3SG
“Everybody who has read (about) the history of the Turkish language is well aware of (the fact that) even before Kemal Atatürk there had been an ongoing discussion about Arabic alphabets (i.e. alphabets employing the Arabic script).” (Badal Khan Baloch in BZA II:136)

ii. IND.MOD + head noun (altogether 2 examples):

23 ¯e guš-ag muškil b¯ıt ki ¯e dur¯ah-¯en zub¯an
DEM say.PRS-INF difficult be.PRS.3SG SUB DEM all-ATTR language
sarˇiam u k¯amil- ¯ ˜e zub¯an-ant y¯a gu ˙ra¯ lahte˜¯
total and complete-ATTR language-COP.PRS.3PL or then some.ATTR
ancˇe˜¯ zuba¯n-ant ki e¯waka¯ e¯ diga zuba¯n-a¯n¯ı
such.ATTR language-COP.PRS.3PL SUB only DEM other language-PL.GEN
g¯alw¯ar u lahˇia-ant
speech and dialect-COP.PRS.3PL
“It is difficult to say whether all these languages are languages in their own right (lit.: total and complete languages) or if there are some “languages” of such a kind that they are only dialects of these other languages.” (Saba Dashtyari in BZA II:21)

B. With the suffix -¯e
i. DEM + head noun + -¯e
There are no examples of this construction in the texts investigated for this dialect.
ii. Head noun + -¯e:
There are no examples of this construction in the texts investigated for this dialect.

iii. IND.MOD + head noun + -¯e (altogether 5 examples):

24 har kas-¯e ki ˇca angr¯ez¯ı zub¯an-¯a z¯antk¯ar-int
every person-IND SUB from English language-OBL knowledgeable-COP.PRS.3SG
¯a ˇca angr¯ez¯ı zub¯an-¯e b¯erahband¯ı-¯an ham ˇiw¯an z¯antk¯ar-int
DEM from English language-GEN irregularity-PL.OBL also good knowledgeable-
“Anyone who knows English is also well aware of the irregularities of the English language.”
(Sayad Hashmi in BZA I:327)


Very few restrictive relative clauses are present in the fiction texts (the text by Ghani Parwaz contains none), though there are more in the factual prose texts. As the data show, also in this dialect the construction without the suffix -¯e predominates. There are 27 examples of this pattern, and only 5 of the pattern with the suffix -¯e, all in combination with an indefinite pronoun in open restriction and with a head noun in the singular.
The -¯e does not combine with the case ending -¯a (OBL and OBJ SG) in the data examined for this dialect.27 When the construction without -¯e occurs with an indefinite pronoun in open restriction the head noun has a plural reference. There are no co-occurrences of the demonstrative pronoun and the suffix -¯e in the texts investigated here.

4.5 Eastern Balochi28

Eastern Balochi is the dialect that has been used the least as a literary medium among the Baloch themselves. On the other hand, it has been better described (by British officials) than the other Balochi dialects (see e.g. KORN 2005:33-34). Eastern Balochi is here represented by texts from DAMES’ A Text Book of the Balochi Language, Part I “Miscellaneous stories” (1891:1-30), as well as by two articles from Bal¯oˇc¯ı zub¯an¯e ¯akubat written by speakers of Eastern Balochi; Aziz Muhammad Bugti (BZA I:389-395) and Surat Khan Marri (BZA II:223-230). These two persons, however, live in Quetta and their written language is characterised by a considerable amount of dialect mixture, possibly intentionally so to make it easier for non-Eastern speakers to read their texts (see also JAHANI 1989:108). Since the patterns found in these texts conform to those found in Dames’ texts, we can assume that they can serve as examples of Eastern Balochi patterns for relative clauses.

A. Without the suffix -¯e

i. DEM + head noun (altogether 25 examples):

25 mã haw-㯠mard gir-㯠ki mã wa\ khuš khan-ã¯
“I will marry a man whom I myself select.” (DAMES 1891:Part I:5)
26 ma th ¯arum¯e ˙ g- ¯ ˜e šaf-¯a haw- ¯ ã mardum-¯a ki gind- ¯ ã r¯oš-¯a gu ˙d¯a
in dark-ATTR night-OBL EMPH-DEM person-OBJ SUB see.PRS-1SG day-OBL then
sad mar nyã¯w㯠b¯ı\-¯ı phaˇiya¯ kha¯r-a¯n-¯ı
a hundred man among be.PRS.3SG-ENCL.3SG recognition bring.PRS-1SG-ENCL.3SG
“Whoever I see in the darkness of the night (lit.: in the dark night), I will recognise in daylight,
even if he be among a hundred men.” (DAMES 1891:Part I:17)

ii. IND.MOD + head noun (altogether 2 examples):

27 ba¯z kam cˇus-e˜¯ mardum bant ki a¯ bunge¯ˇi¯ı zuwa¯n u
very few such-ATTR person be.PRS.3PL SUB DEM basic language and
ham-¯a zuw¯an ki tarr¯en-a ˙ g-¯en-¯ı
EMPH-DEM language SUB translate.PRS-INF-COP.PRS.3SG-ENCL.3SG
yak ˙dawl-¯a b-z¯an-t
one manner-OBL SBJ-know.PRS-3SG
“There are very few such people who know the source language and the language into which they
translate equally well.” (Surat Khan Marri in BZA II:224)29

B. With the suffix -¯e
i. DEM + head noun + -¯e
There are no examples of this construction in the texts investigated for this dialect.
ii. Head noun + -¯e (altogether 1 example):
28 khas-¯e-¯a ki ya r¯upi¯a-¯e saud¯a khu\-¯a ˇcy¯ar r¯upi¯a
person-IND-OBL SUB one rupee-IND business do.PST-PP four rupee
saud¯agar-¯a d¯a\-a-iš
businessman-OBJ give.PST-PP-ENCL.3SG30
“A person who did business worth one rupee, to him the businessman gave four rupees.” (DAMES
1891:Part I:12)

iii. IND.MOD + head noun + -¯e (altogether 2 examples):
29 cˇo¯š-e˜¯ mard-e¯ b¯ı ki guna¯h cˇ¯ı na-khu\-a
such-ATTR man-IND be.PRS.3SG SUB sin any NEG-do.PST-PP
“It should be such a man who has not committed any sin.” (DAMES 1891:Part I:5)

In the Eastern dialect also the construction without the suffix -¯e predominates. Again, there are 27 examples of this pattern. Only three fit the pattern with the suffix -¯e, all of them in open restriction and with a head noun in the singular. Note, however, that although all occurrences with -¯e are in an open restriction, not all open restrictions have this suffix (see ex. 27). When the construction without the suffix -¯e occurs with an indefinite modifier in open restriction the head noun has a plural reference. In the data for Eastern Balochi the suffix -¯e is found in combination with the case marker -¯a (ex. 28, where the head noun is the agent in an ergative construction in the relative clause). As in all the other variants of Balochi spoken in Pakistan, there are no co-occurrences of the demonstrative pronoun and the suffix -¯e in Eastern Balochi.

4.6 Balochi from Iran31

The only data available in writing for Iranian Balochi are a few stories published in ELFENBEIN (1966) and some articles written by Iranian Baloch and published in books and journals edited in Pakistan. The language of the latter is to a certain degree influenced by Pakistani dialects, where the writers lived when they wrote these articles, and also by the “semi-standard” literary language used in Pakistan. Therefore only oral data have been analysed here, namely 4.5 hours of recordings in the Western and Southern Balochi dialects as well as in the Central Sarawani dialect. The recordings consist of tales, anecdotes, monologues and conversations on various topics and also of a certain amount of elicited data. About 40 Baloch from 15 to 80 years old acted as language consultants, and they all agreed to have their speech recorded. Most of them are educated, but about one hour consists of recordings of illiterate elderly Baloch. Both genders are well represented.32

On the whole, it is notable that the number of relative clauses in these data is very low and particularly so in the recordings from non-educated speakers. Only a limited number of the speakers use more than the odd one relative clause in their speech, and then mostly when they talk about a more formal subject, such as literature, history or contemporary society. For Central Sarawani only one relative clause was found in more than one hour of recordings of 16 different persons talking about various subjects. There are no observable differences in my data between patterns of restrictive relative clauses in the two main dialect groups represented in Iran, Western and Southern Balochi. Therefore all the Iranian dialects will be dealt with as one unit for this particular grammatical construction. Further investigations may reveal dialect differences when it comes to marking the antecedent between different variants of Iranian Balochi, possibly geolectal (based on geographical distribution) or, maybe more likely, sociolectal (based on education, occupation and other social factors).

A. Without the suffix -¯e/-¯ı

i. DEM + head noun (altogether 5 examples, 2 in elicited data)

30 ¯a mard¯enzahg ke ¯ed¯a yaht mahm¯ud-¯ı pes-at
DEM man SUB here come.PST.3SG NP-GEN father-COP.PST.3SG
“The man who came here was Mahmud’s father.” (Elicited) (W.Bal.)
31 ¯a ket¯ab ke ta man-a neš¯an d¯a
DEM book SUB PERS.2SG PERS.2SG-OBJ sign give.PST.3SG
xeyl¯ı x¯ub-¯en-¯e-at
very good-ATTR-IND-COP.PST.3SG
“That book which you showed me was a very good one.” (Elicited) (W.Bal.)33

32 ham-a¯ mardom ke m㯠deha¯t-a¯n ˇia¯mnend-㯠a¯y-a¯n
EMPH-DEM people SUB in village-PL living-COP.PRS.3PL DEM.OBL-PL
waš-¯en o ˙dawld¯ar-¯en bal¯oˇc¯ı kan-ant
good-ATTR and beautiful-ATTR Balochi do.PRS-3PL
“Those people who live in villages, they speak good and beautiful Balochi.” (S.Bal.)

ii. IND.MOD + head noun:

There are no examples of this construction in the texts investigated for this dialect.

B. With the suffix -¯e/-¯ı

i. DEM + head noun + -¯e/-¯ı (altogether 8 examples):

33 ham-¯a kas-¯e ke n¯an-¯ar¯a wat-¯ı-¯a dar y¯ar-¯ı
EMPH-DEM person-IND SUB bread-OBJ REFL-GEN-OBJ out bring.PRS-3SG
mard¯enzahg mar¯oˇc¯ı [sard¯ar] ham-¯a-¯ı en
man today chief EMPH-DEM-OBL COP.PRS.3SG
“Anyone, (any) man, who earns his own bread, it is he who is a chief nowadays.” (W.Bal.)
34 ¯a ˇc¯ız-¯an-¯e ke … l¯azem-o b-z¯ur-¯en-eš
DEM thing-PL-IND SUB necessary-COP.PRS.3SG SBJ-take.PRS-1PL-ENCL.3PL
“Let’s take (with us) the things that we will need (lit.: are necessary).” (Ce.Sar.)
ii. Head noun + -¯e/-¯ı (altogether 10 examples, 1 in elicited data):
35 l¯o ˙t-¯ın darb¯are-ye m¯em¯an wa ezzat-¯e ke m¯em¯an d¯ar-¯ı
want.PRS-1SG about-I ˙ Z guest and honour-IND SUB guest hold.PRS-3SG
kessa-¯e bo-goš-¯ın
tale-IND SBJ-say.PRS-1SG
“I want to tell a story about guests and the honour which a guest should be paid.” (W.Bal.)
36 ket¯ab-¯ı ke ta-r¯a neš¯an d¯at-on b¯az ˇiw¯an-¯en-¯e
book-IND SUB PERS.2SG-OBJ sign give.PST-1SG very good-ATTR-IND
“The book that I showed you is a very good one.” (Elicited) (W.Bal.)34
37 bal¯oˇcest¯an-¯e t¯ok¯a kas-¯e n¯e ke ¯a-¯ı n¯am-¯a
Balochistan-GEN in person-IND NEG.COP.PRS.3SG SUB DEM-GEN name-OBL
gõ¯ a¯šna¯ ma-b¯ı
with acquainted PROH-be.PRS.3SG
“In Balochistan there is nobody who is not acquainted with his name.” (S.Bal.)
38 gapp-a¯-¯ı ke man kan-㯠do sad sa¯l gwast-ag-e˜¯
talk-PL35-IND SUB PERS.1SG do.PRS-1SG two hundred year pass.PST-PP-ATTR
balo¯cˇ-a¯n¯ı gapp-ã¯
Baloch-PL.GEN talk-COP.PRS.3PL
“The things I say are about the Baloch of 200 years ago.” (S.Bal.)

ii. IND.MOD + head noun + -¯e/-¯ı (altogether 3 examples)

39 agar yak kas-¯e hat-at ke poˇcˇc-¯an-¯ı
if one person-IND be.PST-COP.PST.3SG SUB clothes-PL-ENCL.3SG
dert-at-ant o ˇc¯o gan¯ok-¯a gaˇiˇi-¯ı kort-at …
tear.PST-COP.PST-3PL and like crazy-OBL foam-ENCL.3SG do.PST-COP.PST.3SG
go ˙d¯a ta ham-¯ay-r¯a b-y-¯ar pa man
“If there is such a person (in the group) whose clothes are torn and who has foam around his
mouth like a lunatic, then bring this very one to me.” (W.Bal.)
40 har ens¯an-¯ı ke beˇi¯a-ye yak zab¯an ˇc¯ar-t¯a balad
every human-IND SUB instead of-I ˙ Z one language four-CLASS acquainted
b¯ı beˇi¯a-ye ˇc¯ar nafar-˜e
be.PRS.3SG instead of-I ˙ Z four person-COP.PRS.3SG
“Any person who instead of one language knows four is like four persons.” (S.Bal.)

In Iranian Balochi the construction with -¯e/-¯ı is predominant. There are 21 examples of this pattern, but only five of the pattern without the -¯e/-¯ı. Perhaps the construction without -¯e/-¯ı is regarded as “more correct”, since one informant used it in elicited data (exs. 30, 31), in spite of the fact that the sentence to be translated into Balochi was given in Persian, i.e. with the head noun marked with the suffix -¯ı. Iranian Balochi dialects are the only ones that add the suffix -¯e/-¯ı after the plural suffix (exs. 34, 38).
There are no co-occurrences in the data of an indefinite modifier and a head noun without the suffix -¯e/-¯ı. Furthermore, in these data no case endings (-¯a or -r¯a) are found on any antecedents, neither those marked with -¯e/-¯ı, nor those without this suffix.36


This investigation shows that the Balochi dialects are neatly divided into three groups when it comes to the marking of the head noun of restrictive relative clauses with or without the suffix -¯e/-¯ı (see Tables 3 and 4). The three dialects where the pattern without the -¯e is totally predominant, and where this marker is found only if the restriction is open (indefinite, non-specific) and the noun occurs in the singular are those spoken in Pakistan. These dialects have had only limited influence from Persian, and the influence has been mainly from Classical Persian. It is interesting to note that all these dialects show a lower percentage of the suffix -¯e than even early Classical Persian does. The fact that -¯e only occurs in open restriction further strengthens the argument that this ending is historically the same as the marker of indefinite singularity (see section 1.).

Table 3: Marking of the head noun in different Balochi dialects (occurrrences in the

Dialect A. Without the suffix -¯e/-¯ı B. With the suffix -¯e/-¯ı Total
i. DEM +
+ head
i. DEM +
head + -¯e/-¯ı
ii. head +
iii. IND.MOD
+ head + -¯e/-¯ı
E.Bal. 25 2 – 1 2 30
S.Bal.Pak. 25 2 – – 5 32
W.Bal.Pak. 15 2 – 1 4 22
BA 15 2 16 9 6 48
BT 6 5 16 4 7 38
BI 5 – 8 10 3 26
Total 91 13 40 25 27 196

Table 4: Marking of the head noun with or without the suffix -¯e/-¯ı in different Balochi

dialects in comparison with Classical and Modern Persian (in percentages)
Language variant A. Without the suffix -¯e/-¯ı B. With the suffix -¯e/-¯ı
E.Bal. 90% 10%
S.Bal.Pak. 84% 16%
W.Bal.Pak. 77% 23%
BA 35% 65%
BT 29% 71%
BI 19% 81%
10th-12th cent. texts (early Classical) 54% 46%
13th-15th cent. texts (late Classical) 43% 57%
16th-19th cent. texts (Transitional) 30% 70%
20th cent. texts (Modern) 12% 88%
contemporary spoken37 8% 92%38

The second group are those dialects that have historically been in closer contact with Persian and have been strongly influenced by it (mainly in the Afghani variant Dari).
These are the dialects spoken in Afghanistan and Turkmenistan, which show a picture similar to that of Persian from the 16th to 19th centuries. In this context it would also be interesting to investigate spoken Persian of Iran and Afghanistan more closely, but that investigation is outside the scope of this article. It seems, though, that spoken Persian has been the main source of influence on these dialects, since the double
marking of the head noun (both with the demonstrative pronoun and the suffix -¯e) that is common here is also more common in spoken than in written Persian.
The remaining Balochi dialects, i.e. those spoken in Iran, are nowadays under particularly heavy influence from Persian, both in its written and spoken form. Virtually the whole province of Sistan and Balochistan has electricity and TV is common even in remote areas. Furthermore, most Baloch children nowadays attend at least primary school. The two predominant structures are those with the same structure as the most common construction in spoken Modern Persian (DEM + head noun + -¯e/-¯ı) and in written Modern Persian (head noun + -¯e/-¯ı). The percentage of occurrences with the suffix -¯e/-¯ı is almost as high in Balochi dialects of Iran as in Modern Persian. Subordinate constructions are rather rare in Balochi in general, relative clauses occur more frequently in written than in spoken styles, and written styles are a comparatively new phenomenon in Balochi. Therefore, one might wonder whether the whole structure of relative clauses has been copied from Persian. If so, it probably took place very early, i.e. before the 10th century, since the demonstrative pronoun and the suffix -¯e do not co-occur in those dialects of Balochi that have not been under continuous strong influence from Persian, whereas they do already in early Classical Persian.
In this context it is also interesting to note that relative clauses seem to be more common in formal language than in spoken language or tales in oral literary style. This study has not attempted to quantify how frequently relative clauses occur in different types of Balochi texts, nor has it made any comparison with Persian regarding the frequency of relative clauses. The main reason for this is that the material for the different dialects is somewhat divergent, e.g. orally recorded data for one dialect and written texts for another, or mainly folktales for one dialect and factual prose for another. A comparison of different types of text in Balochi and/or Persian texts will make an interesting study and may reveal considerable intralinguistic stylistic variation as well as differences between the two languages when it comes to using restrictive relative clauses.


1, 2, 3 1st, 2nd, 3rd person I ˙ z i ˙z¯afa
ATTR attributive NEG negation particle
BA Balochi from Afghanistan NP proper noun (nomen proprium)
BI Balochi from Iran OBJ object (direct and indirect objects)
BT Balochi from Turkmenistan OBL oblique (agent, locative and prepositional)
BZA I, II SABA DASHTYARI 1995, 1998 Pak. Pakistan
Ce.Sar. Central Sarawani PL plural
CLASS classifier PP past participle
COP copula PROH prohibitive particle (negation of
DEM demonstrative pronoun imperatives and subjunctives)
E.Bal. Eastern Balochi PRON personal pronoun
EMPH emphatic PRS present stem
ENCL enclitic pronoun PST past stem
ex., exs. example(s) REFL reflexive pronoun
EXCL exclusive S.Bal. Southern Balochi
GEN genitive SBJ subjunctive
GL glide SG singular
INCL inclusive SUB subordinator (clause linker)
IND indefinite V.El. verbal element
IND.MOD indefinite modifier WBal. Western Balochi
INF infinitive


1. The term “New Persian” is used here to denote the Persian language after the conquest of Islam, or rather after A.D. 850, written mainly in Arabic script. Below only “Persian” will be used in this sense. “Classical Persian” denotes the language down to the end of the 15th century, and “Modern Persian” the language in the 20th century. The time between 1500 and 1900 is described as the “transitional period” between the Classical and the Modern stages of the Persian language.

2. This is the opinion of Rubinˇcik (see WINDFUHR 1979:35-36), HINCHA (1961:173) and LAZARD (1966:263). My own investigation of New Persian (JAHANI 2000) indicates that this is indeed the case, since the suffix -¯ı marking the antecedent of restrictive relative clauses is attached mainly to singular nouns denoting an open (indefinite) restriction in early Classical Persian, a natural place to find a y¯a-ye va ˙hdat also on nouns that are not antecedents of restrictive relative clauses. This suffix has then been grammaticalised as a marker of both singular and plural antecedents with either open or closed restriction in Modern Persian. The findings in Balochi presented in this article strengthen the argument that marking the antecedent with the suffix is an extended use of the y¯a-ye va ˙hdat. A purely synchronic description of, e.g., Modern Persian may, however, label them as two different suffixes, because in this variant of Persian they are used in two very different ways: as a marker of
indefinite selection and as a marker of antecedents of restrictive relative clauses.

3 .The term “antecedent” is also used in this article to denote the head noun of relative clauses.

4. COMRIE (1989:143) regards restrictive relative clauses “more central to the notion of relative clause” than non-restrictive relative clauses, and FABB (1994:3520), following this argument, argues that nonrestrictive relative clauses are a structural imitation of restrictive relative clauses.

5. The earliest written texts in Balochi that we know of are three manuscripts in the British Library, dating from the 19th century (ELFENBEIN 1983:1-2).

6. 6 Some modifications of transcription have been carried out in the example sentences. Stress marking has been removed if the original source has it. The vowels are consistently represented by the symbols a, i, u (short vowels) and ¯a, ¯ı, ¯u, ¯e, ¯o (long vowels) for other dialects than those spoken in Iran, and with the same symbols for the long vowels but a, e, o for the short vowels in Iranian Balochi. Also some other modifications have been carried out, such as the replacement of c and j with ˇc and ˇi, respectively (both used in the sources for the postalveolar affricates), as well as insertion of a glide even if a hamza is used in the text. There is no marking of different letters in the
Arabic script representing the same phoneme in Balochi. Dames’ transcription has also been modified to a certain extent; vowel length is marked as described above and digraphs are replaced by a single sign, e.g. š for sh and ˇc for ch. The superscript h denotes aspiration in Eastern Balochi.

7 case systems in different Balochi dialects, see JAHANI (2003) and Korn in this volume.

8. Or rather non-past, since present also includes future. See e.g. AXENOV 2006:175.

9. See also JAHANI (2000:49), where the figures include both noun and pronoun heads.

10. The noun phrase may also contain a demonstrative pronoun P.n/Pan. This is very common in pattern A, but rare in pattern B in written Persian (see JAHANI 2000:47-48).

11. In later times the administrative language was changed to English, see JAHANI (2005:153).

12. The fricatives /f/, /x/ and / . g/ are found in Eastern and Western, but not normally in Southern Balochi. They are part of the Eastern Balochi sound system whereas in Western Balochi they occur only in loanwords (see DAMES 1891: Balochi Grammar: 2, 4, and JAHANI 1989:82-84).

13. For the area where the different dialects are spoken, see map xy.

14. An example of this type is ˙ gullu ˙ gd¯ar yak r¯oˇc¯e ki sawd¯agir bi diga ˇi¯a¯e šutat, wat¯ı xizmatk¯ar¯er¯a d¯em d¯at ki sawd¯agiray ˇiin¯en¯a ¯a¯ı¯a by¯ar¯ıt “one day when the merchant had gone to another place, the employee sent a servant of his to bring the merchant’s wife home to himself” (BT).

15. For descriptions of this dialect, see NAWATA (1981) and BUDDRUSS (1988).

16. Sincere thanks to Behrooz Barjasteh Delforooz for putting this material at my disposal.

17. In the TAM-form perfect, the third person singular appears without the copula. The form ni.t-a is thus a finite verb form, namely perfect, 3SG.

18. This dialect has been described by, among others, SOKOLOVA (1953), SOKOLOV (1956) and AXENOV (2006). ZARUBIN (1932 and 1949) has published two volumes of folktales in this dialect with Russian translations and ELFENBEIN (1963) is a glossary for these.

19. Sincere thanks to Serge Axenov for putting this material at my disposal. Restrictive Relative Clauses in Balochi and the Marking of the Antecedent

20. I here follow Axenov’s analysis of the case system in Balochi of Turkmenistan (AXENOV 2006:69- 83). The oblique case ending in -¯a (SG) and -¯an (PL) is used only after a preposition in this dialect and the object case ending in -¯a (SG) and -¯an¯a (PL) is used not only for direct and indirect objects, but also for place and time adverbials, e.g. ˙ gad¯ım¯a bal¯oˇc g¯okay šangulakk¯an¯a li ˙ d˙duk-a muštant “in the old days the Baloch used to rub dung onto the cow’s hoofs”.

21. This text was published with English translation in ELFENBEIN 1990/I:410-419.

22. The genitive ending of nouns for this dialect is transcribed -ay (see BARKER/MENGAL 1969/I:15)
regardless of orthographic conventions used in particular texts.

23. Also counted here is one example with an ordinal (d¯om¯ı “the second”) instead of a demonstrative

24. In Balochi dialects (Western, Southern and Eastern) spoken in Pakistan, there is no distinction
between the first person plural inclusive and exclusive pronoun.

25. Southern Balochi dialects in Pakistan have been described by e.g. PIERCE (1874), MARSTON (1877), GRIERSON (1921) and FARRELL (1990).

26. The genitive ending is for Southern Balochi here invariably transcribed -¯e.

27. In the data from this dialect there are no examples of head nouns marked with -¯e functioning as
agents in ergative constructions or as direct objects, cf. ex. 28.

28. This dialect has been described by, among others, DAMES (1891), GRIERSON (1921) and GILBERTSON (1923). See also Bashir in this volume.

29. Note the change from plural (bant) to singular (tarr¯en-a ˙ g-¯en, bz¯ant) in the sentence.

30. There is no clear distinction upheld between the 3SG and 3PL enclitic pronouns in Eastern Balochi
(cf. ex. 26 and DAMES 1891:Balochi Grammar:17).

31. Descriptions of Balochi dialects spoken in Iran include BARANZEHI (2003), who describes Central Sarawani, and YUSEFIAN (2004), who describes Lashari. See also JAHANI (2003) for a description of the nominal system in Iranian dialects of Balochi.

32. I am grateful to Adam Nader Baranzehi, who has put all his recordings and transcriptions of Central Sarawani language data at my disposal. Many thanks also to Erik Olafsen, Gol Mohammad Arbabi, and the late Abdolhossein Yadegari for making recordings among people of different educational backgrounds and occupations in several places of Iranian Balochistan.

33. Cf. the parallel ex. 36.

34. Cf. ex. 31.

35. The plural suffix -¯a is a borrowing from colloquial Persian.

36. There are no examples in the data where the head noun is the direct object both in the relative clause and in the main clause. However, in the following sentences, found in a translation of stories from the Old Testament from English into Iranian Balochi, a definite head noun which is the direct object both of the main clause and the relative clause is in one instance found without case marking and in another instance with the case marker -¯a:

41. la ˙t ˙t-o-d¯ar-¯e ke pa wat-¯ı korb¯an¯ı-¯a tay¯ar-¯ı
stick-and-wood-IND SUB for REFL-GEN sacrifice-OBL ready-ENCL.3SG
kot-ag-at ish¯ak-¯ı sar¯a ¯er kot
do.PST-PP-COP.PST.3SG NP-GEN on down do.PST.3SG
“He put the wood that he had prepared for his sacrifice on Isac(’s shoulders).” (Genesis 22:6)

42. pahk¯en ˇiarr-o-d¯ar-¯e-¯a ke trongol na-košt-ag-at
all shrub-and-wood-IND-OBJ SUB hail NEG-kill.PST-PP-COP.PST.3SG
madag w¯art-ant
grasshopper eat.PST.3PL
“The grasshoppers ate all the vegetation that the hailstorm had not killed.” (Exodus 10:15)

37. This is a limited investigation based on interviews and two hours of recorded language data. See
JAHANI 2000:49-51.
38. Here the two patterns found are DEM + head noun + -¯ı (67%) and head noun + -¯ı (33%). The predominant pattern found in spoken Modern Persian is thus DEM + head noun + -¯ı. This result agrees with my own participant observation during more than 20 years of friendship with Persian speakers.


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International conference on Balochi Language in Quetta

(Quetta) International conference on Balochi Language organized by Balochi Academy Quetta was held today in Serena Hotel today (01/08/2011). The conference was presided over by Abdul Wahed Bandiag Chairman Balochi Academy Quetta and Prof.Dr A.Razzaq served as organizer of the conference.
Foreign researchers on Balochi Language from Italy, Armenia and Jordon participated in it and many from various countries declined to take part because of security reasons due to deteriorating situations of Balochistan and sent their research Articles on Balochi Language. Meanwhile a large number of scholars on national level presented their Research articles.
A huge number of audience participated in it. Preparation for the event was commenced last month.

Details of the conference including picture are coming soon.

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