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Picture of Secret Languages of Afghanistan and Their Speakers

Secret Languages of Afghanistan and Their Speakers

Author(s): Jadwiga Pstrusińska

Book Description

This is a study of an almost inaccessible area of the intricate linguistic fabric of Afghanistan – namely, its secret codes of communication. The text draws on a profound knowledge of Afghanistan and neighbouring regions, as well as the cultural and sociolinguistic processes at work across Eurasia. The author situates these sociolinguistic matters within the appropriate diachronic and comparative background, and traces the numerous threads which connect them to areas both close to and distant from Afghanistan.

The book will be of great interest to scholars from a wide range of disciplines, including, but extending beyond, the realms of linguistics, cultural history, and sociology. It will also be of practical value in many areas, notably with regards to military and political issues, as well as humanitarian aid.


ISBN-13: 978-1-4438-4970-8
ISBN-10: 1-4438-4970-7
Date of Publication: 01/09/2013
Pages / Size: 179 / A5
Price: £39.99


Jadwiga Pstrusińska is a graduate of the Institute of Oriental Philology, Jagiellonian University, Kraków, and pursued individually tailored studies at Kabul University from 1973 to 1976. Her academic interests centre on the languages and cultures of Afghanistan and the wider surrounding region, while encompassing comparative studies of Eurasiatic cultures, including the Celtic. She has travelled widely and conducted extensive research in Asia and Europe, and has held Visiting Fellowships at Oxford University and the University of Wales, Aberystwyth. She previously worked for several years at the Institute of Oriental Philology at the Jagiellonian University, where, among other things, she was Head of the Iranian Studies Department. Later, she founded and headed the Department of Interdisciplinary Eurasiatic Research (2002–2011). At present, she is Full Professor at the Faculty of Oriental Studies, Warsaw University, and works as an independent expert on Afghanistan at the “Lingua” unit within the Swiss Ministry of Justice and Police. She is also a member of the Committee of Oriental Studies of the Polish Academy of Sciences. Her books include Paṣ̌to and Dari – Selection for Studying the Official Languages of Afghanistan and their Literature (1985), Afghanistan 1989 in Sociolinguistic Perspective (1990), Tajne języki Afghanistanu i ich użytkownicy (2004), and Old Celtic Culture from the Hindukush Perspective (1994). She is a recipient of the Airey Neave Memorial Scholarship Award (1986), and the Award of the Standing Conference of Rectors of European Universities (1991).