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This paper presents the results of sociolinguistic research conducted in August 2003 and August 2004 among the Ishkashimi people living in the southwestern part of Badakhshan in Tajikistan. The primary goals of the research were to document and suggest reasons for the observed ethnolinguistic vitality of the language in spite of the fact that the number of speakers is small. Of particular interest is the status of the language as “a father’s language,” and the responsibility fathers take in ensuring it is passed on to wives and children. Data were gathered through a set of questionnaires dealing with social networks and language use, language functions and attitudes, and ethnic identity.