Mother Tongue Literacy

How to Preserve and Promote the Endangered Sariqoli (Sarikoli) Tajik Language of China on Anglicized Orthography?

January 24, 2019

By Fazal Amin Beg
This little contribution I present here is with regard to Sariqoli Pamiri (or Sariqoli Tajik) language of Xinjiang (China). A key purpose of this write-up is to study the language from a practical context to see if Sariqoli could be preserved effectively within the framework of Anglicized or Latinate script without involvement of any kind of special software or font so to preserve, transmit and promote this old-aged language to the upcoming generations with friendly efforts and that the students or learners should not be overburdened with any other unfriendly writing system.
It’s impressive to note that the targeted language, as part of mother tongue literacy, proved to be so compatible and friendly on Anglicized orthography (which is also used for Wakhi or other languages of small population in Gilgit-Baltistan Region).
Before dealing with and introducing the Anglicized Sariqoli writing system, I begin with a socio-political perspective with regard to the Chinese approaches of dealing with the languages of small population in Xinjiang, particularly at the border regions. The approaches seem push the minority languages further toward minoritization and extreme dominance of the majority language like Mandarin Chinese, which is though the official language of China.
In the next sections, I deal with the Sariqoli language from a practical context to offer that how easy the language is to be written on English-based orthography.

Chinese Tajik Languages and People: A Socio-Political Context and Perspective
In Chinese official record and parlance, both Sariqoli and Wakhi speakers are designated as Tajik. The term Tajik can thus be both as a language or ethnicity. Sariqoli and Wakhi thus fall within Tajik category of national entity of China.
Until recently, Sariqol remained a wonderful Sariqoli State in historical context, which was ruled by the Sariqoli Beks (or also known as Begon-e Sariqol). It maintained its deep state to state relationship with its neighboring and small kingdoms of Hunza , Wakhan, Shughnan and the like in the last centuries. It’s also important to note that the rulers of Sariqol as well as other people kept their intimate kinship bondages and affinities beyond its political and geographical boundaries. This thus led towards profound kingship, kinship and political relationships among the respective principalities or kingdoms.
Bordering immediately at international scale with four Central Asian States on the one hand, and with an important South Asian State through Hunza valley of Gilgit-Baltistan Region on the other, the former Sariqol State and today’s Tashkurghan Tajik Autonomous County within Xinjiang Region is playing its highly dominant role as a central crossroads and a corridor route among Kirghisistan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Although, strategically so important, this centrality of the Tashkurghan County has made the area and the indigenous communities so insecure and vulnerable, at least in terms of indigenous rights in line with their old aged languages, ethnic identities, religious practices, rites and rituals even death rites, losing of their indigenous lands and protection of environment and the like. Such phenomena appeared in result of influx and settlement of the Chinese Hans and Mandarin language (particularly within the last two decades) that is going to replace the voiceless communities of the bordering region.
Because of the extraordinary unnecessary, pessimistic and speculative skepticism and fear of the Chinese Central Government, Mandarin Chinese has been reportedly imposed on the indigeonous communities to talk together within their socio-cultural environment in Tashkrughan County and other parts of Xinjiang. The indigenous languages practice thus seems to hav become so challenging for the native communities in favor of growing global Chinese economic power at the extreme cost of all fundamental indigenous rights of the weak communities guaranteed by the charters and conventions of the United Nations of which Chinese Government forgets rather ignores its critical responsibilities that China itself is an important signatory to ensure to maintain and facilitate indigenous and human rights at all levels not only within China but also across the globe.
Conversely, against the UN’s related charters and/or conventions, the Chinese Governments, in different phases, have opted for Mandarinization (conversion and transformation of the native communities into Mandarine Chinese language against their own indigenous languages) and Hanification (conversion and transformation of the Han cultural values onto the native ethnic communities) of the indigenous communities through various approaches in the name of its internal security (political and other) that has significantly led towards serious insecurity and loss of the native communities essential indigenous rights at various levels. But the local communities, with the fear, are seen to have embraced such initiatives externally and internally they never accept such forceful interventions.
However, what one could observe, when in the Xinjiang Region,that the Chinese Government has a slight emphasis on the tangible aspecgt of cultural development. The native communities could be seen in their traditional costumes, artists are encouraged towards music and singing along with some other aspects of fine arts and museums construction so to attract tourists in the respective areas for the sake of economic growth and development. But the political and bureaucratic government frequently neglects the intangible aspect of cultural development to a greater extent and tries to impose the Han Chinese value systems on the ground. Though, it sounds a good dream but could never be achieved as can be witnessed in the case of the former Soviet Union even after 70 years, the internalities of the indigenous communities in Central Asia and Eastern Europe within Soviet Union were decisive finally for their future and offspring and not the imposed socialist values on the surface. To illustrate further, it’s the intangible aspect of culture that possesses the deep value systems within itself and contributes significantly towards sustainable development and balance of social life.
A language as a communication means or vehicle and identity is a seriously strong aspect of humanity within intangible cultural domain. Religious value system of humanity plays its focal roles as a vital source for human ethics and accomplishements in a productive and positive manner. If both of these aspects are banned or constricted within the social lives of the indigenous communities, the other sides of societal progress (including economic) will be like a skeleton-based development approach and will stand superficial like activities carried out on the ice . when the ice will melt and break, the reality will appear again on the ground with bitterness. This is what it’s evidenced within the Xinjiang in general and Tashkrughan County in particular by the Chinese rather Han rulers.
Sariqoli Language
Sariqoli (distortedly written as Sarikoli) is one of the impressive and old Pamiri languages within the Indo-Iranian groups of Indo-European languages family, which is spoken mainly in the Chinese Turkistan Area (currently known as Xinjiang Region of Peoples Republic of China). The population of the Sariqoli speakers can be estimated at present to be in an average of forty thousand
As a member of the Pamiri branch of Eastern Iranian languages, Sariqoli has its intimate similarities with its sister languages, more paarticuarly Shughni (or Shughnoni). Sariqoli has also its deep connection with Wakhi (Wuk̃hikwor), Bartangi and other related languages at least in line with the unique palatal sounds like g̃h and k̃h as well as the vowel ũ and interdental sounds such as dh and th. These sounds make the Pamiri languages (also including Sariqoli) more enriched and takes them back them behind to a distant history.
Although, Sariqoli is an unwritten language , linguists at international scales have been venturing to study this old language (dating back for thousands of years) in different contexts. At present (2019), a couple of linguists from China itself and Korea are reportedly proactive in the field. However, there seems little interest or involvement of the indigenous scholars or researchers on the language itself, though in other fields/disciplines of knowledge such as history and culture, few important names were found that include Mada Ali Khon and Abul Hassan of Tashkurghan. More explration needs to be made regarding the indigenous contributors on Sariqoli as my limited knowledge does not allow me to venture and write further on them specifically. With the course of time, I’ll improve and update this piece of writing on the concerned linguistic community.
The written tradition of the study of exotic researchers for Sariqoli are obviously based either on IPA, Pinyin or Latino-Greek. But they are not catchy and friendly for mass literacy,. On the other, no adequate step has been taken or effective measures in line with Sariqoli orthography has been chosen for quickly and friendly mass literacy of the indigenous Sariqoli community and also taking into accounts upcoming generations in hundreds of years ahead in addition to importance of English language realized across the globe, even in China, as a most effective language of science and technologies (apart from English’s significance as one of the six languages of the United Nations). Students are thus within the loop of English every where behind its learning with a pride and honor as opposed to the most complicated Mandarin illustration (as pictorial signs). It should be taken into account that the Pinyin tradition of Chinese can also not replace the Anglicized tradition as it pushes learners towards complexities again (as I’ve personally studied the sound systems of over 20 languages at various scales and that also includes Mandarin Chinese).
In this connection, as part of my advocacy tradition in an academic realm, I’m proposing and offering here the Anglicized Sariqoli writing system that I’ve prepared with the help of my resourcepersons and native respondents. Anglicized Sariqoli Orthography is so easy that all phonology of Sariqoli befits smartly within the frames of English script (for sharing the same Aryan roots) and it involves, of course, no special software or any kind of special fonts as can be evidenced necessary or prerequisite for Arabicized or Latino-Greek writing system besides genuine challenges of comprehension of their symbolic illustration.
Sariqoli Vowels and Consonants
There are altogether 25 letters in Sariqoli based on Anglicized or Latinate letters to symbolize or represent the 36 phonemes comprised of six vowels and 30 consonants.
In addition, it should also be noted that there is no involvement of letter “x” at all to avoid confusions to the native and other speakers wishing to learn such old languages of small population. “X” has thus no function, although in Pinyin, it is used for “sh” (as in Xinjiang, actually Shinjiang in English), while in Russian, “x” is used either for “kh” or “k̃h” coming from Greek in to Russian. The “x” was therefore replaced logically with “kh” as in Khan.
The compound Anglicized letters used for the related sounds are ch, dh, gh, kh, sh, th and zh. Unlike Wakhi, Sariqoli has no retroflex or hard sounds against ch, d, j, sh, t or zh. It thus keeps Sariqoli even easier than Wakhi in reading and writing as Wakhi has over 42 phonemes as a whole (exluding the ẽ). . Furthermore, the palatal sounds in Sariqoli, like Wakhi, are g̃h and k̃h. The u-umlaut is illustrated with ũ.
How to Get the Tilde Sign ( ̃) through Shortcut?
Within the Anglicized (or latinate) system of writing Sariqoli, one has to go to the Menu Bar of MS Word, then clicking in the Insert leading to the Symbol and then clicking on More Symbol. After the Symobl Box opens, you are supposed to go to the fonts and selecting either Times New Roman or Area, or others, then to the Subset on the right side of the box where you should slect either Greek and Coptic from the dropdown menu or others related and keep it clicked. Now look at the madah or Tilde sign (̃) ,as the tilde sign can be seen also on the KeyBoard of your laptop or Desktop down to Escape Button at the extreme left top corner. Select the tilde sign ( ̃) from the Symoble Box and click on the Shortcut button down to the symbols in the box. Now, hold on by pushing the Control+Shift Button of your left hand on the Keyboard and then push the button of semi-colon (;). Click on Ok and close the Symbol Box and now see if the tilde sign ( ̃) gets its shortcut on the top of the letters . In this regard, type c and then push and hold Control and Shift Button of your left hand then push semi-colon (;). If the tilde sign appeared exactly on top of the c, it means then that’s correct shortcut you’ve got out. If the tilde sign appeared on the side, that’s not appropriate and you can go again to the Symbol Box thorugh Inspert in the Menu Bar and practice. Once you are used to with taking out the shortcut key of tilde or other symbols, it would never involve time in seconds then a minute. Enjoy then writing of your mother tongue through tilde sign only for the difficult sounds(whether vowels or consonants).

Sariqoli Vowels
1. A: It’s always pronounced like English “a” in arm, art, absent, car, bar or far. But it should be noted that “a” in Sariqoli must not be pronounced like English “a” in care, bare or fare. Examples in Sariqoli: arzun (plenty), amat (luck), ano (mother), ato (father)
2. E: It should always be pronounced in Sariqoli like “e” ” of English in eg, exit, emit, energy and excel. But it should be noted that “e” in Sariqoli must not be pronounced like “e” in the word in English or “e” in mere, fear or tear. Examples in Sariqoli: ether (ash), mer (affection), ter (pastureland), sher (donkey), zew (agriculture) zemz̃ (field)
3. I: It should always be pronounced in Sariqoli like “I” of English in ink, it, in, input, index and irritate. Other words in examples from “I” in English are fin, pin, rit and shin. However, it should be noted that “I” in Sariqoli must not be pronounced like English “I” in idol, identity, itinerary , idle, fine, pine, shine or rite. Examples in Sariqoli: ingak̃ht (finger), iw (one), ilanj (jealously), indiz (get up)
4. O: It’s pronounced in Sariqoli always like English o” in old, orange, old, or, ore, order and omit . But it should be seriously noted that “o” in Sariqoli must not be pronounced like American English pronunciation of words like “o” in odd, octopus, other and words. Examples in Sariqoli: osmun (sky), oshiq (lover), olam (world), oqil (wise), osh (soup)
5. U: It’s always pronounced in Sariqoli like “u” in English in the words like pull, push and put but “u” must not be pronounced in Sariqoli like English “u” in but , cup, umbrella, urgent or utter. Examples in Sariqoli: ulugh (pious; neaty gritty), uy (think, amun (peace), jun (soul)
6. Ũ: It’s not the regular “u” as described above. Ũ rather is the same sound as in Wakhi for ũs̃htũr (camel) and Shughni word in Khũlũvd. It also resemble with German u-umlaut as in Bũcher or French “u” in Bureau. Examples in Sariqoli: ũlũm (death), ũzũm (grapes), mũr (to me), tũr (to your), shũm (worst)

Sariqoli Consonants
7. B: It’s the same regular sound of English for boy, bat, bow or better. Examples in Sariqoli: bob (grandfather), bahik̃ht (heaven), bũlbũl (nightingale), botũr (brave bugh (garden)
8. C: This sound of Sariqoli does not exist in English, Persian, Urdu, Uyghur, or Arabic. Within the Pamiri languages, “c” [ts] exists and is similar with Wakhi. For instance, cereng (how) in Wakhi; cerang (how) in Bartangi and Shughni; cat̃ (stop) in S̃hina and Burushaski; celbu (cage) in Balti, Coq (to search out) in D̃umaki; and “ceq” (“small”) in Khowar. Besides, within international languages, “c” is also found in Cehn (ten in German), co (go) in Chinese), mac (mother) in Russian. Examples in Sariqoli: cem (eye), cavur (four), carang (how), cek̃h (bitter),
9. Ch: it’s the same regular or soft sound in Sariqoli as in English it’s pronounced in chair, cheese, chore, charm and so on. But it should be seriously noted that “ch” in Sariqoli will never represent any other sounds as in English it can also be “k” as in archive, archaeology, or in chemistry. It should also be taken into account that “ch” never has the sounds of “ch” in German (as in Ich or buch) or “ch” of French in chercher (to search). Examples in Sariqoli: charzh (fine; good), chalandaq (naked), chat (cattle), chur (husband), ched (home)
10. D: It should never be pronounced like English but rather “d” is lighter than English “d.” D has the same sound as pronounced in French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Mandarin, Persian, Arabic and Turkic languages (also including Uyghur). Within Gilgit-Baltistan and Pakistan, this sound exists in all languages in addition with Farsi and Arabic. Examples in Sariqoli: dandun (teeth), dũd (uncle), deyqon (peasant), dilbar (beloved; sweetheart) , daru (river)
11. Dh: It’s an inter-dental sound as exists in English like “th” in this, these, that and those. Besides, “dh” sound can also be found in Greek as in “dhen” (don’t); and also in Arabic such as “dhalika” (that). Within Gilgit-Baltistan, this sound exists only in Wakhi language and not among other native languages. “Dh” sound is also found among the Pamiri languages including Bartangi and Shughni. Examples in Sariqoli: dhidh (smoke), dhes (ten), dhar ( far), dhest (hand), dhaw(two), dhew (mad)
12. F: It’s the same regular letter sound as in English for fox, fan, fin, fine and feather. Examples in Sariqoli: fanchi (liear), fam (understand/comprehend), falak (a song of distress).
13. G: It’s always pronounced in Sariqoli like “g” in English as it’s in goose, gallop, gall, govern and glow. But it should be strictly noted that it can never be pronounced like “g” in geo, geology, geography, or gel. Within the native languages of Gilgit-Baltistan, this sound exists among all indigenous languages. Besides, “g” sound is also found among all Pamiri languages, Persian, Turkic and Mandarin. Examples in Sariqoli: gap (talk; case; story) gũl (flower), gũlistun (flower garden),
14. Gh: This sound is not present in English but does exist in standard French and standard German (excluding Bavarian pronunciation of “r” like English) as reise (travel) and reich (rich). In addition to Arabic, Persian and Turkic languages, “gh” also exists almost in all languages of Pakistan and Gilgit-Baltistan in addition to Pamiri languages. Examples in Sariqoli: ghewl (ear), gham (misery/disappointment) ghoc (girl), ghadho (boy), ghalch (shock) , gando )very)
15. G̃h: It’s a unique palatal sound (voiced) that does not exist among all languages of the world but rather it has its place within some selective languages such as Pamiri languages including Wakhi, Shughni, Rushoni, Bartangi, Rini, Sariqoli and the like. Besides, “g̃h” can also be found in Greek, Russian and some aboriginal languages of the world, although within Burushaski it can be traced implicitly as in ag̃ha (father), kag̃h (river bank) or bepag̃h (yak). In Greek, the “g̃h” sound can be found in eg̃ho (I), lig̃ho (a little) or sig̃hnomi (excuse me). Examples in Sariqoli: g̃hin (wife), g̃hinik (woman/girl), g̃herv (baby goat), g̃heyb (hunting),
16. H: It’s the same sound in Sariqoli as in English for hen, house, hall, or hawk. In German, “h” sound is in haben (to have), Haus (house). But it should be noted that like Wakhi, “h” has to be always pronounced in Sariqoli and there is no exception of keeping it silent in some cases. Examples in Sariqoli: hũvd (seven), halul (lawful), harum (unlawful), halokat (trouble), hojat (need)
17. J: It’s the same regular letter sound as in English as j for June, July, jet or just. It should be noted that “j” can never be pronounced like “y” as in German for jetz (now); or “j” should never be pronounced like “zh” in French as it has in je (I). Examples in Sariqoli: jat (quick), jon (soul; dear), jun ( ), janaw (as or like; similar to),
18. K: It’s the same regular sound of Sariqoli as in English for kit, kite, kitten, kettle, or king. Examples in Sariqoli: kũd (dog), keng (wide), kũt (short), kabit (pigeon)
19. Kh: This sound is no more present in modern English (though it existed in the middle and old English). It’s however found in Scotish as in loch and in German such as in buch (book as well as in Turkic languages as “kh” in Khan). Like Arabic and Persian, “kh” is also found in the languages of Pakistan and Gilgit-Baltistan in addition to Mandarin Chinese such as kho (well, or okay). Examples in Sariqoli: kher (sun), khũ (self), khũshruy (beautiful), khũshkhabar (good news) khek̃h (mother-in-law), khasur (father-in-law),
20. K̃h: It’s another unique palatal sound (voiceless) in Sariqoli and does not seem to exist in all languages of the world rather it has its place particularly within some Pamiri languages including Bartangi, Wakhi, Shughni, Rushoni, Rini and Sariqoli. In addition, k̃h sound can also be found in the same or slightly different forms in Greek, Russian, German, Ugric and some aboriginal languages of the world. Instances in Greek include the k̃h sounds in K̃hiyerete (hello), ok̃hi (no) or nik̃hta (night); and in Russian, the k̃h sound can be found in K̃haras̃ho (thanks). Examples in Sariqoli: k̃hor (city), k̃hiturj (star), k̃hac (water), k̃hani (bridegroom), k̃hob (night)
21. L: It’s the same regular or normal sound of Sariqoli as in English for light, lion or lamb. Examples in Sariqoli: lang (leg), leq (clothe),lev )say)
22. M: It’s the same regular or normal sound as “m” in English for mother, moon, mild, master or monkey. Examples in Sariqoli: madhũr (noon), most (moon), mardũm (people; community/nation), mash (I), majoz (health), mom (grandmother)
23. N: It’s the same normal or regular sound as “n” in English for noon, nine, no or net. Examples in Sariqoli: noz (nose), nawanz̃ (bride), nabus (grandchild),
24. P: It’s the same regular sound of Sariqoli as “p” in English such as people, pupil, public or patridge. Examples in Sariqoli: pis (leopard), pedh (foot), pec (face), pũc (son), pari (fairy),
25. Q: It’s not the same sound in Sariqoli as pronounced in English or French like “k” as appears in queen, quality or quantity. Q is rather a pharyngeal sound pronounced like the Arabic words such as qalam (pen), Qur’an (the Scripture) and qadam (step). “Q” is also found in the Turkic and Balti languages in high frequency in addition to Sariqoli and Wakhi language. Examples in Sariqoli: qech (belly), qand (sweet), qishloq (pasture), qati (with; along with) qir (mountain)
26. R: It’s always pronounced in Wakhi in the same way as in English for rabbit, run, rat or rose. However, it should be noted that “r” can never be pronounced like German or French “r” as “gh; or cannot be pronounced either with rolling like Italian, Spanish or Greek.” In addition, it’s also be noted that like Wakhi, “r” cannot be pronounced like British English at the end where “r” seems to have been omitted when it’s followed by “e” as in master, teacher or driver. However, like the American English, “r” should be pronounced in Sariqoli and Wakhi plus other Anglicized languages that I’ve framed for them. Examples in Sariqoli: raz̃in (daughter), rũsht (red), ruy (face), rang (color),
27. S: It should always be pronounced in Sariqoli like the normal English “s” in sun, sparrow, summer, and send. But “s” can never be pronounced like “z” in English as we do follow in the cases of please, organize, Chinese or in the plural forms. In the same manner, “s” should never be pronounced in Wakhi like “z” in German as it’s a convention to read senden as zenden (i.e., to send), sommer as zommer (i.e., summer), selb as zelb (i.e., self). Examples in Sariqoli: soq (well), sũrat (image/picture) stewr (yak), sovz (green) ,
28. Sh: It’s the same normal sound pronounced completely in the same way in Sariqoli as in English “sh” is for sheep, shore, ship and shame. Examples in Sariqoli: shir (lion), shunqar (hawk), shakar (sugar, delicious), shuv (gentle), sher (donkey)
29. T: It should never be pronounced like English “t” but rather it is the softer form as is found with regularity in French, Italian, Spanish, and Russian as well as in Arabic, Pamiri, Farsi, Turkic and Indo-Pakistani languages. Examples in Sariqoli: ta (your), ter (pasture, tong (narrow), tũr (thirsty), tamash (you in plural), toz (bald)
30. Th: It’s an inter-dental sound in Wakhi as is exactly the same in English, too. The “th”. In English stands for thick, thin, thank, think, theology, thirsty, throne or thumb. This inter-dental sound cannot be found in the languages of Pakistan (except for Wakhi) and it does exist in Arabic, Greek and Spanish as well as Pamiri languages. Examples in Sariqoli: thim (hot), thũwj (burnt ),thewd (to burn)
31. V: It is pronounced in Sariqoli in the same manner as “v” in English for van, volunteer, and voyage. Except for few languages like Wakhi and Kh̃owar, this sound does not exist commonly in all languages of Gilgit-Baltistan and Pakistan. Within International context, the v-sound exists in different languages including Pamiri and as could also be evidenced as vada (water) in Russian. Examples in Sariqoli: vic (aunty), vũrj (horse, viyũyn (to ride), varm (cloud), vaz (goat), vũrũd (brother) ,
32. W: It’s pronounced in Sariqoli as a regular sound like English “w” which exists in the words like way, wave, was and were. It does exist in all languages of Gilgit-Baltistan and Pakistan as well as Turkic and Mandarin Chinese. Examples in Sariqoli: wok̃ht (eight), wodh (they), wadich (sparrow), wishk (calf), wakht (time),
33. Y: It’s pronounced as a regular sound in Sariqoli in the same manner as in English for yesterday, yes, yell and yoke. This sound does exist in all languages of Gilgit-Baltistan and Pakistan in addition with Mandarin Chinese, Turkic and Pamiri languages. Examples in Sariqoli: yuc (fire), yakh (sister), yost (is/are, yodh (come), yishim (trousers),
34. Z: It’s pronounced as a regular sound as “z” in English for zoo, zebra, zip and zoom. It does exist in the native languages of Gilgit-Baltistan and Pakistan as well as in the Pamiri and Turkic languages. Examples in Sariqoli: Z: zif (tongue), zibo (pretty),zindagi (life), zamin (land), zird (yellow)
35. Z̃: This sound of Sariqoli is not regular in English and is somehow like a combination of “dz” as in adze. Z̃ thus is uncommon or may not be found within all languages of Pakistan. However, within Chinese context, z̃ is found in Mandarin Chinese. Examples in Sariqoli: z̃il (small), z̃ilik (a bit), z̃ilew (smallest), z̃ogh (breaking wind),
36. Zh: This sound of Sariqoli and Wakhi is regular found frequently in English (but the same letters (zh) are not used for the purpose., It should be noted that this sound in English doesn’t appear in the beginning of a word rather appears in the middle or last syllable of the word such as in -sion in decision [deci-sion],” vision [vi-sion], -sure” in treasure and measure. Unknowingly, most of Pakistanis mispronounce this sound as “y.” the aforesaid words measure or treasure” are thus pronounced as “mayor” or “treyor” instead of pronouncing them as “mezher” or “trezher” despite the fact this same sound (zh) exists in Farsi and Urdu as in “muzhda” (good news) and “zhalabari.” It exists in some native languages of Gilgit-Baltistan but is regular in the Pamiri languages like Wakhi, sariqoli, Bartangi and Shughni. Examples in Sariqoli: zhew (cow), zhũrm (warm), zhedh (thief), zher (stone), zhit (bad)

I’m so indebted to all my respected respondents within China who very generously shared the words with me during my field visits in Xinjiang since 1991. I’m particularly grateful to my friend Niyatullah and other Pakistani friends for all their facilitation and help with regard to this important write-up on Sariqoli language.

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