Category Archives: Balochi Language Profile

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.


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.


Rough Guide to Balochi Languages Spoken by Country

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Compiled by: Marsha Sanders/ Shoaib Shadab

1. Afghanistan:
Pashto, Dari (Afghan Farsi/Uzbek, Turkmen), Farsi, Balochi,Pashai,

2. Bahrain:
Arabic, English, Farsi, Urdu, Balochi,

3. Iran:

4. India:
English, Hindi, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujerati, Malayalam,
Kannada,Oriya,Punjabi, Assamese, Kashmiri, Sindhi, Sanskrit, Hindustani, Bihari, Khatahi,
Khasi, Konkani, Tulu, Korku, Parji, Telugu, Turi, Kachchhi,

5. Kenya:
English, Swahili, Kiswahili, Dhopadhola, Luo,Rendille, Somali, Bukusu, Gikuyu, Kamba,
Kimeni, Logoli, Kahe, Kambe, Kikuyu, Masaba, Balochi,

6. Kuwait:
Arabic, Urdu, Hindi, Balochi,

7. Oman:
Arabic, English, Balochi, Urdu, Hindi,

8. Pakistan:
Punjabi, Urdu, Sindhi, Balochi, Pashto, Hindi, Siraiki, , Hindko,
Brahui, English,Burushaski, Kashmiri, Balti, Khawar,Potohari,Hazargi,

9. Qatar:
Arabic, English,Urdu,Hindi, Balochi ,

10. Sri Lanka:
Sinhala, Tamil, English , Hindi, (Balochi 800 Speakers),

11. Turkmenistan:
Turkmen, Russian, Uzbek, Balochi,

12. United Arab Emirates:
Arabic, Persian, English, Hindi, Urdu ,Balochi, Bangali,

13. Yemen:
Arabic , English, Urdu, Hindi, Balochi


A Minimalist Analysis of DP Syntactic Structure and Its Internal Movements in Sarhadi Dialect of Balochi Language

By: Nahid Yarahmadzehi
Tehran University

This paper firstly studies the internal structure of DP in Balochi aiming to investigate the current hypothesis that the clause and noun phrase share structural as well as transformational properties.
Following Abney (1987),Ritter (1991) and others, I suggest that Balochi DP is divided in to three domains which I refer to as Determiner domain (D domain), Modifier domain (Mod domain), and Thematic domain (Ө domain) respectively .D domain consists of two functional projections : Determiner phrase (Det P) and Demonstrative phrase ( Dem P) heads of which host different elements like definite and indefinite quantifiers , articles and demonstratives. These functional heads eventually check and delete un interpretable features “U definite and U specific” on the noun head in an Agree relation giving it different values for definiteness and specificity .In Mod domain several modifying functional projections are merged in a fixed hierarchical order. Possessive DPs, prepositional phrases and various adjectival phrases are merged in the specifier position of these Mod phrases . number and classifier are also merged as a single complex head of one of these Mod phrases. Following Cinque (1994) and Kahnemuyipour (2000), I assume that the heads of the phrases inside Mod domain host a mod feature which should be checked against a mod feature on noun head. Finally, I consider nP shell as the Ө domain which like vP shell and following UTAH Principle is a place for assigning thematic roles to the arguments. Tree diagram (1) displays the assumed structure for Balochi DP.
There is great amount of variety in the word order in Balochi DP. The second part of this paper, thus, is devoted to the investigation of the possible motivations of the movements responsible for this variety. I assume these motivations have a feature checking nature and are of three major types.
1_ In a leftward movement, the agentive DP exits Ө domain (nP) and occupies the spec position of modifier possessive phrase (Mod P (poss)) in order to be assigned a genitive case.
2_ Due to some Mod functional heads with a strong mod* feature which needs to be locally checked ,the noun head is moved and adjoined to these heads and/or a whole modifier phrase moves and occupies their spec position.
3_ There is some kind of optional strong EPP* of a [-V] nature on Det , Dem , and Poss heads which triggers the movement of the existing prepositional phrase ,possessive, agentive or patient DPs out of their merge domains and in to the D domain of Balochi DP.
This study shows that Balochi is a left branching language and its DP internal movements are done for feature checking purposes.
Det P
Dem P
Mod P(poss)
Mod P(pp)
Mod P(num)
Mod P(adj)1


1 _ There can be more than one Mod adjectival phrases in the DP of Balochi language


Conference on Baloch language and cultural in the United Kingdom – report

London: Baloch Cultural Society – UK has held a conference on Balochi language and Culture in London United Kingdom. Distinguished speakers shed light on the importance of Balochi language and culture. Veteran Balochi language poet waja Akbar Barakzai chaired the first half of the conference while the second half was chaired by Hoshang Naruee. A fair number of Baloch, and speakers of other languages attended the conference.

Waja Akbar Barakzai in his comments wished that the Baloch cultural Society had invited someone (A doctor) to speak about the anti Balochi language policies of states (Iran and Pakistan). He thanked the participants for taking interest and joining the conference and appreciated the speakers for their valuable time and contributions.

Dr.Agnes Korn: spoke about Balochi dialectology, history of research and present state. She explained about the different dialects of Balochi language spoken in different part of Balochistan. According to her presentation and sources that she presented, Balochi is an Iranian language.

Dr.Badalkhan Baloch: Mr Baloch’s topic and presentation attracked several Baloch youth presented in the conference as he spoke about the the legendary Baloch figure Mir Chakar Khan Rind.

Dr Hoshang Noraiee: Cultural Homogeneity or Diversity in Baluchistan. He also spoke about ideological aspects of culture. In his presentation he showed some picture which he thought were changing aspects of Baloch culture. According to his point of view Baloch culture was shaping in different ways due pressure of globilisation and modernity. He also presented a case study of religious ideology of Jundollah which he thinks is being infiltrated in Baloch culture.

Professor Carina Jahani’s topic of speech was Balochi oral literature (traditional tales and their themes). She said that it is useful and important to continue to arrange such gatherings to promote Balochi language and Baloch culture. According to Carina Jahani’s presentation Balochi is an Indo European language – most Baloch schalors hold the same view as Carina.

She also stressed and urged the Baloch youth to read more and more balochi books/write ups, articles etc to improve their Balochi. During question and answer session she also said that Baloch must make collective efforts to to promote their language and must come up with a common script to standerdise their language.

Dr Shahsawar K: Mr Shahsawar’s speech was mostly about the economic aspects of the language.

Waja Hyrbyair Marri in his ending speech thanked the guest for their contributions and praised the Baloch cultural society for organising such an important event. He said it was important to continue to hold such informative events to introduce Baloch language and culture to International community.

Before I finish, I once again thank the honourable guests for their contributions and I congratulate the organisers of this conference for this successful event. I do hope that Baloch Cultural Society will continue to organise meetings, conferences and study circles to promote Baloch culture, language and traditions”.


Ethnologue report for Balochi language

Balochi, Western
A language of Balochistan Pakistan
ISO 639-3: bgn
Population1,116,000 in Pakistan (1998). Population total all countries:
Region Northwestern Balochistan Province. Also spoken in Afghanistan, Iran,
Tajikistan, Turkmenistan.
Alternate names Baluchi, Baloci, Baluci
Dialects Rakhshani (Raxshani), Sarawani. Strongly influenced by Fars, but not intelligible with Farsi.
ClassificationIndo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern,
Language development Literacy rate in first language: 1% to 5%. Literacy rate in second language: 5% to 15%. Urdu script; Arabic script in
Afghanistan. Newspapers. Radio programs. Bible portions: 1984.
Comments Balochi is the official spelling in Pakistan. It has a small body
of literature. Muslim (Sunni).

Also spoken in:
Language name Balochi, Western
Population200,000 in Afghanistan (1979).
Region Along Helmand River and Zaranj area, in the southwest desert region.
Alternate names Baluchi, Baluci, Baloci
Dialects Rakhshani (Raxshani).
Language development Literacy rate in first language: 5% to 10%. Literacy
rate in second language: 15% to 25%.
Comments Largely nomadic. Muslim (Sunni).

Language name Balochi, Western
Population451,000 in Iran (1986).
Region Northern Sistan va Baluchistan Province. Half are settled in cities and villages, half are nomadic.
Alternate names Baluchi, Baluci, Baloci
Dialects Rakhshani (Raxshani), Sarawani.
Language use Few speak Farsi.
Comments Distinct from Eastern and Southern Balochi. Ethnic group:
Yarahmadza. Muslim (Sunni and Shi’a).

Language name Balochi, Western
Population28,000 in Turkmenistan (1993).
Alternate names Baloci, Baluchi, Baluci
Language useTurkmen is used as the literary language in Turkmenistan.
Comments Distinct from Eastern and Southern Balochi. Muslim.

Entries from the SIL Bibliography about this language:
Academic Publications
Farrell, Timothy. 1989. A study of ergativity in Balochi.
Farrell, Timothy. 1995. “Fading ergativity? A study of ergativity in Balochi.”

Hallberg, Daniel G. 1992. Pashto, Waneci, Ormuri.
Sabir, A. Razzak. 2003. “Language contact in Balochistan (with special reference to Balochi and Brahui).”
Vernacular Publications
Buni kitaab. 1987.

Gordon, Raymond G., Jr. (ed.), 2005. Ethnologue: Languages of the World,


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Posted by on February 27, 2011 in Balochi Language Profile


The first radio broadcasts in Baluchi


Broadcasts in Baluchi were introduced on 25th December, 1949 by Radio Pakistan with a 45 minute daily programme on a 10 kilowatt short wave transmitter from its Karachi station, which was also established soon after Pakistan gained its independence in 1947.

The programme consisted mainly of a news bulletin, talks, features and folk music. It served as a great boon to the Baluchi language and the development of its literature and music. The Baluchi broadcasts helped generate great interest and enthusiasm amongst the poorly educated but spirited Baluch population of Karachi. They started up new literary societies and held regular meetings and sessions. The broadcasts also prompted the publication of the first regular monthly Baluchi magazine Oman, edited by Maulana Khair Mohammad Nadvi. It was first published in Karachi in 1951. 

The programme proved a great challenge and a novel experience for the broadcasters responsible for the translation of the news bulletins from English. They were obliged to come up with a workable script that could be easily read by them at broadcast time. A group of students from the Karachi colleges formed the pioneer talent recruited to translate and read the news and plan the other programme contents.

Another problem was finding musicians and folk singers. Fortunately, these were available among the Baluchi speaking population of Karachi, mainly immigrants from Iranian Baluchistan, the coastal areas and other parts of the former Kalat state. The quest for musicians, both vocalists and instrumentalists, led to a large number of hitherto unknown artists being discovered and launched. These people, who had never seen a radio station before and had no knowledge of what was expected of them, were auditioned by a committee and booked to perform “live” in the days that followed. These were artists who could sing classical lyrics, verses from folk tales, war ballads and other epic poetry, which had been learnt from the classics and handed down from generation to generation. A large number of singers of ghazals and compositions of modern day poets were also included in the programmes.

Both the broadcast material and the recording facilities were inadequate in those days. Since tape recording had not been introduced, Radio Pakistan had its own disc-cutting machines set up in the studios, where recordings were made for the purpose of building up a library.

As time passed, it also became possible to introduce variety into the programme contents. A vast treasure of folklore in the form of romantic ballads were broadcast as musical items, features and plays. In the field of the spoken word a variety of new formats such as musical features, full length radio plays, short stories and stories for children were regularly broadcast, in addition to talks on cultural and literary topics, tales from Islamic history, skits on topics of interest to women, eg child care and miscellaneous pastimes, were regular items.

The broadcasts in Baluchi from Radio Pakistan in Karachi were suspended when another radio station began broadcasting from Quetta on 17th October 1956.


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Posted by on February 13, 2011 in Balochi Language Profile

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