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Burushaski language

Burushaski is a language isolate spoken by some 40-50,000 people in the Hunza and Yasin valleys in northern Pakistan. While it contains many loanwords from the surrounding languages (particularly Urdu, Khowar, and Shina), enough original vocablulary remains to set it apart from these neighbors. Attempts have been made to establish a relationship between Burushaski and Sumerian, Basque, and the Caucasian and Dravidian language families-- none of these attempts have been accepted by professional linguists. The language of the Indus valley civilization may have been related to Sumerian, Dravidian, Burushaski, Munda or Kalto, though until a decipherment of the Indus valley script, there can only be speculation.

Phonology The information below was adapted from the online PDF article Burushaski: An Extraordinary Language in the Karakoram Mountains.

  Bilabial Dental Alveo-
Retroflex Velar Uvular Glottal
Stops Voiceless p t   t. k q  
Aspirated ph th   t.h kh    
Voiced b d   d. g    
Affricates   ts tS ts.      
Fricatives Voiceless   s S s. x   h
Voiced   z Z z. G    
Nasals m n     N    
Liquids* w l j        
Rhotic   r          
* Liquids are glides and laterals.

  Front Central Back
High i   u
Mid e   o
Low   a