Waigali language

Not to be confused with Kalasha-mun.
Native to Afghanistan
Region Nuristan Province
Native speakers
12,000 (2011)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 wbk
Glottolog waig1243[2]
Linguasphere 58-ACC-a

Waigali is a language spoken by about 10,000 Kalasha people of the Waigal Valley in Afghanistan's Nuristan Province. The native name is Kalaṣa-alâ 'Kalasha-language'. "Waigali" refers to the dialect of the Väy people of the upper part of the Waigal Valley, centered on the town of Waigal, which is distinct from the dialect of the Čima-Nišei people who inhabit the lower valley. The word 'Kalasha' is the native ethnonym for all the speakers of the southern Nuristani languages.

Kalaṣa-alâ belongs to the Indo-European language family, and is in the southern Nuristani group of the Indo-Iranian branch. It is closely related to the Tregami language, with a lexical similarity of approximately 76% to 80%.[1] It shares its name with Kalaṣa-mun, spoken in Pakistan's southern Chitral District, but the two languages belong to different branches of Indo-Iranian. According to linguist Richard Strand the Kalasha of Chitral apparently adopted the name of the Nuristani Kalasha, who at some unknown time had extended their influence into the region of southern Chitral.


  1. 1 2 Waigali at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Waigali". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
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