Shina language

Native to Pakistan, India
Region Gilgit-Baltistan, Chitral, parts of Kashmir
Native speakers
(500,000 cited 1981–1998)[1]
Arabic script
Language codes
ISO 639-3 Either:
scl  Shina
plk  Kohistani Shina
Glottolog shin1264  (Shina)[2]
kohi1248  (Kohistani Shina)[3]

Shina (Urdu: شینا Šīnā) is a language from the Dardic sub-group of the Indo-Aryan languages family spoken by the Shina people, a plurality of the people in Gilgit-Baltistan, Pakistan, formerly known as the Northern Areas of Pakistan.[4] The separate nature of the Dardic languages is still clear, however, from their close relationship with other Indo-Aryan languages, especially Punjabi.[5]

Dialects are Gilgiti (the prestige dialect), Astori, Chilasi Kohistani, Drasi, Gurezi, Jalkoti, Kolai, and Palasi. Related languages spoken by ethnic Shina are Brokskat (the Shina of Baltistan and Ladakh), Domaa, Kohistani Shina, Palula, Savi, and Ushojo. Shina is the language of 40% people of Gilgit Baltistan.The valleys in which it is spoken include Southern Hunza Astore, Chilas, Darel, Tangir, Gilgit, Ghizer, Gurez, Drass, Juglot Valley, Drotte Palas, Kolai, and Kohistan.


Shina is usually written with a variation of the Urdu alphabet. The additional letters to write Shina are:

The language is also written in Devanagari script as well, using the nuqta dot for additional Shina sounds.



The Shina principal vowel sounds:[6]

Front Mid Back
unrounded rounded
High i u
Lower high e o
Higher low ɛ ə ʌ ɔ
Low a

All vowels but /ɔ/ can be either long or nasalized, though no minimal pairs with the contrast are found.[6]


In Shina there are the following diphthongs:[7]


Labial Coronal Retroflex Palatal Velar Glottal
Stop Plain p t ʈ k
Aspirated ʈʰ
Voiced b d ɖ ɡ
Affricate Plain ts
Aspirated tsʰ tʂʰ tʃʰ
Voiced dz[lower-alpha 1] [lower-alpha 1]
Fricative Plain (f) s ʂ ʃ x[lower-alpha 1] h
Voiced z ʐ ʒ[lower-alpha 1] ɣ[lower-alpha 1] ɦ[lower-alpha 1]
Nasal m n s ŋ
Lateral l
Rhotic r ɽ[lower-alpha 2]
Semivowel ʋ~w j
  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 According to Rajapurohit (2012, p. 33–34)
  2. Degener (2008, p. 14) lists it as a phoneme


Shina has three contrasting tones: level, rising, and falling tones.

Example: 1.the............2.thée.........3.theé 1. The first example "the" has a level tone and is translated by the imperative "Do". 2. When the stress falls on the first mora of a long vowel, the tone is falling. Thus the second example means "Will you do?". 3. When the stress falls on the second mora of a long vowel, the tone is rising. Thus the third example means "After having done". There are many minimal pairs in Shina to prove that it contains three tones.

See also


  1. Shina at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Kohistani Shina at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Shina". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Kohistani Shina". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  4. "Mosaic Of Jammu and Kashmir".
  6. 1 2 Rajapurohit 2012, p. 28–31.
  7. Rajapurohit 2012, p. 32–33.


Shina language test of Wikipedia at Wikimedia Incubator
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