Khetrani language

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Native toPakistan
Native speakers
over 100,000 (2017)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3xhe

Khetrānī, or Khetranki,[3] is an Indo-Aryan language of north-eastern Balochistan. It is spoken by the majority of the Khetrans,[4] a Baloch tribe that occupies a hilly tract in the Sulaiman Mountains comprising the whole of Barkhan District as well as small parts of neighbouring Kohlu District to the south-west, and Musakhel District to the north. The ethnic Khetran population found to the east in the Dera Ghazi Khan District of Punjab instead speak Saraiki.[5]

Khetrani has grammatical features in common with both Saraiki and with Sindhi,[6] but is not mutually intelligible with either.[7] Khetrani has a relatively small number of Balochi loanwords in its vocabulary.[8]

It is likely to have been formerly spoken over a wider area, which has been reduced with the expansion of Pashto from the north and Balochi from the south-east.[9] The earlier suggestion that Khetrani might be a remnant of a Dardic language[10] has been found "difficult to substantiate" by more detailed recent research.[11]



  1. ^ Birmani & Ahmed (2017, pp. 4–5) estimate that it is spoken by at least 100,000 people out of an ethnic population of about 150,000. Two decades previously, Elfenbein (1994, p. 72) had estimated the number of speakers between 40,000 and 45,000.
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Khetrani". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Grierson 1919, p. 372.
  4. ^ Birmani & Ahmed 2017, pp. 4–5.
  5. ^ Birmani & Ahmed 2017, p. 3, 5.
  6. ^ Birmani & Ahmed 2017.
  7. ^ Elfenbein 1994, pp. 71–72.
  8. ^ Elfenbein 1994, p. 73.
  9. ^ Birmani & Ahmed 2017, p. 5.
  10. ^ Masica 1991, p. 443.
  11. ^ Birmani & Ahmed 2017, p. 21.
  12. ^ E.J. Brill's first encyclopaedia of Islam 1913-1936 By M. Th. Houtsma, A. J. Wensinck page 631


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