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The Eastern Modern Iranian Languages

This category includes the following languages:

i) Asi, which is spoken in the central regions of Caucuses and consists of two sub-dialects of Iruni (or the eastern dialect), and Diguri (or the western Dialect);

ii) Pashto, which is spoken in Afghanistan and Pakistan with four different sub-dialects of north-eastern dialect (or Peshāwari), north-western (or Kabuli), south-eastern (or Vaziri), and south-western (or Qandahari);

iii) Ormuri and Parachi: spoken in east Afghanistan and in Pakistan;

iv) Monjani and Yedqa: spoken in the Monjan valley in north-east of Afghanistan as well as in Yedqa, east of the Monjan valley;

v) Yaghnobi (spoken in the Yaghnāb valley in Tajikistan);

vi) The Pamiri Languages: These languages are spoken on both sides of the River Āb Panjah on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border and include the following:

- Ashkāshmi, Zabāki, and Sangalichi;

- Vakhi;

- Vanji (now out of use);

- Yazgholāmi;

- Bartangi, Roshrovi, Rushāni, Shoghni, and Sarikoli (this language is the easternmost modern Iranian language and is in use around the Chinese borders).

Very few of the above-mentioned language have their own scripts and written literature. The Arabic script, with some alterations, has been employed for writing in the Pashto and Kurdish languages for centuries now and, of late, it is also being used for the Baluchi language.

Towards the end of 12th century AH (18th century AD) the Asi script was a derivative of the Slavic religious alphabet. However, later on its alphabet was changed to Cyrillic and, finally, to Latin. The Cyrillic script came to be used in the autonomous Republic of North Asi since the year 1938 and, since 1939 the Georgian script came to be used in the autonomous state of South Asi (in Georgia). However, at present all the Asi-speaking peoples use the Cyrillic script.

Very few works have survived in the Hebrew script from the Tāt-speaking Jews who lived in Dagestan. The Tāt-speaking people of Dāgestan used the Latin script since 1928 but have changed to the Cyrillic script since 1938. 

For centuries now, the Kurdish-speaking people have been using the Arabic script, but since 1931 a Latin-based script has come to be used by the Kurdish people of Syria. Moreover, the Kurds who live in such republics as Azerbaijan, Armenia, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, and Georgia have been using the Cyrillic script since 1945.

* source: Rezaie Baghbidi , Hasan " Iran Entry " The Great Islamic Encyclopedia . Ed. Kazem Musavi Bojnourdi.Tehran: The Center of Great Islamic Encyclopaedia , 1989-, V.10 , pp.549 - 550

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