A language vitality survey for Burushaki speech community of Taus, Yasin valley in Ghizer district of Gilgit Baltistan was conducted from June 12 to 17, 2019 under Sustainable Use Model (SUM) workshops. The aim was to see how much the language was sustainable in areas of Orality, Identity and Literature in the above said speech community. The Burushaski, considered as an i[i]solate language by the linguists, spoken by more than [ii]70,000 people in the Hunza and Ghizer areas of GB is one of the literary languages of this country as good amount of religious literature for Ismaili sect of Islam has been developed by some local preachers. According to www.ethnolongue.com the total speakers of this language are estimated to be more than 110,000 people. However, the language faces some issues regarding the standardization of orthography in GB. Different groups use different writing systems to document their heritage language which hinders the promotional work within the community. In addition, the Burushaski language has been surrounded by the Khowar language and Burushaski speaking children are found to be simultaneous [iii]bilingual which pose great threat of language shift.
The workshop was attended by five
participants who later on conducted the survey in the community. This was first
ever intervention of FLI for Burushaski language. The GB government has started
initiatives to make the local languages including Burushaski as part of the
primary school curriculum and FLI is optimistic to support this initiative. The
need of holding a Writers’ Workshop was felt during the workshop which was also
demanded by the participants. FLI will proceed with this demand once the GB government
resolves the issues relating to this language’s writing system.
[ii] Participants of the workshop
[iii] Participants’ community survey