Khowar (ISO 639-3: khw) is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by 200,000–300,000 (Decker 1992: 31–32; Bashir 2003: 843) people in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province (formerly North-West Frontier Province). The majority of the speakers are found in Chitral (a district and erstwhile princely state bordering Afghanistan, see Figure 1), where the language is used as a lingua franca, but there are also important pockets of speaker groups in adjacent areas of Gilgit-Baltistan and Swat District as well as a considerable number of recent migrants to larger cities such as Peshawar and Rawalpindi (Decker 1992: 25–26). Its closest linguistic relative is Kalasha, a much smaller language spoken in a few villages in southern Chitral (Morgenstierne 1961: 138; Strand 1973: 302, 2001: 252). While Khowar has preserved a number of features (phonological, morphological as well as lexical) now lost in other Indo-Aryan languages of the surrounding Hindukush-Karakoram mountain region, it has, over time, incorporated a massive amount of lexical material from neighbouring or influential Iranian languages (Morgenstierne 1936) – and with it, new phonological distinctions. Certain features might also be attributable to formerly dominant languages (e.g. Turkic), or to linguistic substrates, either in the form of, or related to, the language isolate Burushaski, or other, now extinct, languages previously spoken in the area (Morgenstierne 1932: 48, 1947: 6; Bashir 2007: 208–214). There is relatively little dialectal variation among the speakers in Chitral itself, probably attributable to the relative recency of the present expansion of the language (Morgenstierne 1932: 50).