An Indo-European languages and a member of the Indo-Iranian language group, spoken in Tajikistan, Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Afghanistan (with Pushto) and Uzbekistan by about 4.4 million people. The closest linguistic affiliation is with Dari Persian spoken in Afghanistan.
Important to note the coexistence of vastly different variants of the language: literary and colloquial forms; and different dialects - locally and regionally. The numerous Tajiki dialects fall into two broad groups:
- Northern group: the Sughd district (formerly Leninabad) and Tajik areas of Uzbekistan (the Ferghana Valley, Samarkand, and Bukhara)
- Central-southern group: the remaining parts of Tajikistan.
Before 1928, Tajik was written with a version of the Perso-Arabic script, then the Latin alphabet from 1928 to 1940, then with a modified version of the Cyrillic alphabet thereafter. In 1994, the Tajik government attempted to reintroduce the Latin alphabet.
Tajik has 35 letters; it is an "analytical" language (uses no gender and no case; instead grammatical relationships are indicated through prepositions and postpositions).
CLASSIFICATION = Indo-European family, SCRIPT = Cyrillic