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Shughni-Rushani

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The Oxford Dictionary of Islam What is This? Covers the religious, political, and social spheres of global Islam in the modern world

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    Shughni-Rushani

    Language group within the family of Pamir languages, which belong to the Modern Eastern Iranian languages. Languages of the Shughni-Rushani group are spoken in the Central Asian republic of Tajikistan, particularly in the autonomous region of Badakhshan; in the Afghan province of Badakhshan; and in Xinjiang in China. The Shughni-Rushani language group consists of five languages: Shughni, with the Bajuv and Shahdara dialects; Rushani, with the Xuf dialect; Bartangi; Roshorvi; and Sariqoli, which is spoken in China. Shughni is the most important language in the Shughni-Rushani group, being the language of the capital of Tajik Badakshan, Khorog, and a lingua franca within Badakhshan. None of the languages of the Shughni-Rushani group has achieved the status of a written language, although recently attempts have been made to design a suitable script for Shughni; Tajik or Persian is generally used for writing. The majority of the speakers of Shughni-Rushani are Ismailis, for whom Persian is also important as a language of religion. There are no recent reliable data regarding the number of speakers of Shughni-Rushani: a very rough estimate is around three hundred thousand people. Descriptions of these languages and most of the dialects are available in Russian.

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