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10. Balochi: Towards a Biography of the Language

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Chapter Summary

The Baloch, speaking a language classified by linguists as Northwest Iranian, are generally thought to have arrived from the northwest in what is now southeastern Iran and western Pakistan in waves between 1000 and 1500 AD. Balochi is known in the literature of area studies and linguistics as a series of dialects, for the most part mutually intelligible, differing mainly in vocabulary and the degree of influence from neighboring languages, mainly Persian. The history of the Baloch and their language over the past four centuries makes Balochi an interesting case for modern language policy studies. This chapter reviews the history of the Baloch: how they arrived in their current locations and the significance of the configuration of their modern communities. Along the way it points to consequences for the evolving status of Balochi. The chapter concludes with a summary of what can be said of current policy regarding Balochi.

Keywords:Balochi; Iranian; Persian



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