Nameless language spoken by limited populace of upper reaches of KPK gets world recognition as `Mankiyali’


PESHAWAR, April 28 (TNS): A nameless language spoken by a very limited population in a remote hilly terrain of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) gets international recognition after its enlistment in `Ethnologue Languages of the World’ in the name of `Mankiyali’.

`Mankiyali’ is spoken by around 500 people in Badi Shungli union council of village Dana at a remote mountainous area in Manshera district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, reports BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) on its Urdu website.

With induction in the list of Ethnologue Languages of the Word, the number of registered languages increased from existing 7096 to 7097. According to BBC, the Mankiyali did not have any name and people used to recognize it with different titles like Tarawari, Tarawara and Apanpari (own language).

However, the language has been registered in the name of Mankiyali by Ethnologue and local people also agree with this name. According to Linguistic expert from Air University Islamabad, Dr Uzma Anjum for registration of a language in Ethnologue, there are some requirements which also include academic research also included in international journals.

On the basis of research, request has been made to Ethnolouge for induction of the language in list of international languages. For registration of Mankiyali, Dr Sadaf of American University of Taxes played an important role who also helped in documentation of Mankiyali, Dr Uzma apprised.

This language, she said, is spoken in Dana village located in snow covered Kohistan region at the confluence of both Torghar and Manshera districts. The village was cut to other parts in the area due to lack of road access, however, recently road has been constructed, establishing its link with adjacent areas.

Dr Uzma opined isolation of the village due to lack of road access might be reason for existence of this language otherwise in adjacent areas Hindko and Pushto are mostly spoken languages. Due to geographic location of Dana village which is like an island near Indus river, Mankiyali remained preserved from coming into the influence of dominant spoken languages, she observed.

Dr Uzma Anjum, who has done research on Mankiyali, said this language has links with Kashmiri and Kohistani languages, but it does not has resemblance more than 80 percent with any other language.

So therefore, a claim has been made that Mankiyali is a separate language, not part of any existing one, Dr Uzma added. According to Ethnologue, Mankiyali’s future is in dangers because it is spoken by a very limited number of people.

Being a little language, there does not exist any grammatical or written evidence of it. Meanwhile, Muhammad Pervaiz, who speaks Mankiyali, expressed the fear that the language will disappear with the passage of two generations.

Most of the people in Dana village have married their children in other parts of the country and majority of the people speak Hindko and Pashto languages. The new generation also speaks their mother tongues, so the number of Mankiyali users is decreasing rapidly, Pervaiz added.

However, Dr Uzma expressed the hope that the language will remain preserved as locals are concerned about its disappearance and with registration as international language, international organizations will also do effort for its conservation.