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Zazaki language

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Zazaki
Zazaki, Dimili, Kirmanjki, Dimli, Dimilki, So-Bê, Zonê Ma
Spoken in Turkey, Germany, Georgia, Kazakhstan
Region Eastern Turkey (Bingöl, Elazığ, Tunceli, Diyarbakır, Erzincan, Erzurum, Muş, Sivas, Gümüşhane, Şanlıurfa, and Adıyaman), diasporic in Mutki, Sarız, Aksaray, and Taraz
Total speakers About 1.5 - 2.5 million [1] [2] in Turkey, unknown numbers elsewhere
Language family Indo-European
Language codes
ISO 639-1 None
ISO 639-2 zza
ISO 639-3 variously:
zza – Zazaki (generic)
diq – Dimli (Southern Zazaki)
kiu – Kirmanjki (Northern Zazaki)
The regions where Zazaki is spoken in Turkey. (With three main dialect areas)
Wikipedia
Zazaki language edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Zazaki (or Dimli) is a language spoken by Zazas in eastern Anatolia (Turkey). According to Ethnologue, the Zazaki language is a part of the northwestern group of the Iranian section of the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European family.[1] Zazaki shares many features, structures, and vocabulary with Gilaki, Talysh, Semnani, and Caspian languages, spoken in northern Iran, along the southern Caspian coast. According to Ethnologue (which cites [Paul 1998][2]), the number of Zazaki speakers is between 1.5 and 2.5 million (including all dialects).

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[edit] Zazaki dialects and regional variants

There are three main Zazaki dialects:

Its sub-dialects are:

  • West-Dersim
  • East-Dersim
  • Varto
  • Border dialects like Sarız, Koçgiri (Giniyan-idiom)
  • Central Zazaki: It is spoken in Elazığ, Bingöl, Solhan, Girvas and Diyarbakır provinces.

Its sub-dialects are:

  • Bingol
  • Palu
  • Border dialects like Hani, Kulp, Lice, Ergani, Piran

Its sub-dialects are:

  • Siverek
  • Cermik, Gerger
  • Border dialects like Mutki and Aksaray

[edit] Zazaki literature and broadcast programs

The first written statements in the Zazaki language were compiled by the linguist Peter Lerch in 1850. Two other important documents are the religious writings (Mewlıd) of Ehmedê Xasi of 1899, and of Usman Efendiyo Babıc (published in Damascus in 1933); both of these works were written in the Arabic alphabet.

The use of the Latin alphabet to write Zazaki became popular only in the diaspora in Sweden, France and Germany at the beginning of the 1980s. This was followed by the publication of magazines and books in Turkey, particularly in Istanbul. The efforts of Zaza intellectuals to advance the comprehensibility of their native language by alphabetizing were not fruitless; the number of publications in Zaza has multiplied. This rediscovery of the native culture by Zaza intellectuals not only caused a renaissance of Zaza language and culture, it also triggered feelings among younger generations of Zazas (who, however, rarely speak Zazaki as a mother tongue) in favor of this modern Western use of Zazaki, rekindling their interest in their ancestral language.

The diaspora has also generated a limited amount of Zaza-language broadcasting. Moreover, after restrictions were removed on local languages in Turkey during their move toward accession to the European Union, Turkish state-owned TRT television launched a Zazaki TV program and a radio program on Fridays.

[edit] Phonological Correspondences of Zazaki and other Iranian Languages

[edit] Initial /v/

Proto-Iranian initial *w (from Proto-Indo-European *w) changes to /b/ or /g/ in Persian and Kurdish by the 10th century. Zazaki, like many Northwestern Iranian languages, has /v/.

 
Indo-European Avestan Zazaki Persian Kurdish (Kurmanci)   English
*w v v b / g b / g   -
*weh1-nt- vātā- vā bād bā   wind
*awer- vār- vārān bārān bārān   rain
*wekʷ- vāč vāc āvāz bēj   sing, say
*weg'h vazaiti vāz- bez- bez-   run
*wek- vāč vang bang bang, dang   voice
*wadh- vad veyv bayo buk   front
*weren- - varek barre barx   sheep
*w̯ep vefr- vawr, vor barf barf   snow
*wen- veēn- vēn, vīn bīn- bīn-   see
*wīk'm̥tī vīsaitī vīst bist bist   twenty
*widhewo vīthava vīyā bīve bī   widow
*wei- vaeiti viyāl bid bi   willow
*wes- vāstra vāš giyāh giyā   grass
*wrdho- vard- vil gul gul   rose
*wl̥kʷo- vēhrke- varg gorg gurg   wolf

avaz: The word "avaz" in Persian is a borrowing from a Northwestern Iranian language, probably the Parthian language. Otherwise, it should have been preserved as "b".

[edit] /z/ and /s/

Proto-Iranian *z and *s (from Proto-Indo-European *kʲ and *gʲ) turn to /d/ and /h/ Persian. However, Zazaki and Kurdish keep /z/ and /s/.

 
Indo-European Avestan Zazaki Kurdish (Kurmanci) Persian   English
*k/*g z/s z/s z/s d/h   -
*k'erd- zerdeye- zerri dil (loan) dil   heart
*g'hol- zaranya- zerd zêr zar   gold
*g'no- zan- zan- zan- dān-   know
*g'eme zamat- zama zava dāmād   groom
*eg'om ezēm ez ez (min) ed- (man)   I
*bhrg'h berezant berz bilind boland   borough, high
*dek' dasa des deh (loan) dah   ten

zer: The Old Persian word for "gold" was "daraniya-". It changes back to a "z" sound. It is a borrowing most likely from the Parthian Language
ed-: The Modern Persian word for "I" is "man", which replaces Old Persian word "edēm"
ez: In southern Kurdish dialect of Sorani, the word for "I" is "men", like in Persian. It replaced the word "ez".
dıl, deh, bilind: These Kurdish words should be Persian borrowings.

[edit] /ĵ/

Proto-Iranian *j and *ĵ (from Proto-Indo-European *gʷ and *kʷ) are /ĵ/ (written as "c" in Zazaki-Latin alphabet) in Zazaki. In Kurdish they change to /ž/ and in Persian to /z/.

 
Indo-European Avestan Zazaki Persian Kurdish (Kurmanci)   English
*gw / *kw j / č ĵ z ž   -
*gwen- jainiš ĵeni zan žın   woman
*gwhen- jan ĵin- zan- žen-   playing music, to beat
*gwiwo- jiv ĵiwiyayıš zīstan žıyan   live
*gwiwo- jiv ĵinde zende zındi (loan)   alive
*sekw-uper hača-upairi ĵor zabar žor   up
*sekw-ndhero- hača-athara ĵêr zīr žêr   down
*sekw- hača- ĵi az/ze ži   from
*leuk- reočah - roĵ z rož   day
*wekw- vač- vaĵ āvāz ž   say, sing
*pekw- pač- pewĵ- paz- ž   cook

Kurdish words zindi and erzan should be borrowings from Persian.
Note: In some southern Zazaki dialects, /-ĵ/ endings like roc, vac, vic, and pewc become /z/ or /ž/. This probably comes from other Iranian languages.

[edit] Initial /b/

Proto-Iranian *dw turns to /b/ in Zazaki. Persian and Kurdish have /d/.

 
Indo-European Avestan Zazaki Persian Kurdish (Kurmanci)   English
d d b d d   -
*dhwer- dvara ber dar deri   door

[edit] Initial /hr/

Proto-Iranian *θr (from Proto-Indo-European *tr) changes to /hr/ in Zazaki and to /s/ in Persian (†ç in Old Persian) and Kurdish.

 
Indo-European Avestan Zazaki Persian Kurdish (Kurmanci)   English
tr θr hr s s   -
*trejes θri hri se se (loan)[5]   three
*trikomt θrisaiti hris si si (loan)[5]   thirty

[edit] /rz/ and /rr/

Proto-Iranian *rd and *rz are /rr/ and /rd/ in Zazaki. They change to /l/ in Persian and in Kurdish.

 
Indo-European Avestan Zazaki Persian Kurdish (Kurmanci)   English
*rg,*lg / *rd rz / rd rz / rr l l   -
*bhrg'h berezant berz boland bilind   borough, high
- herez- erz hil- hel   sprinkle, throw
- - wurz liz alez   dash off, stand up, fly
*spleg'h- spērēzan serpez seporz sıpıl   spleen
- sered-, yare serre l sal   year
*k'erd- zerd- zerre dil dil   heart
*wrdho- verd- l gul gul   rose

seporz: In Persian, seporz is probably a borrowing from a Northwestern Iranian language.
l: In Zazaki, the "l" ending in the word "vıl" should have been "rr". This word should be a borrowing from a Northwestern Iranian languages given that it has an initial "v".

[edit] Initial /w/

Proto-Indo-European *sw turns to *hw in Proto-Iranian. Zazaki drops *h in some words, and *w in others. In Persian and Kurdish *h turns to /x/, however, Persian drops *w while Kurdish keeps it. Proto-Iranian *hw turns to /xv/ in Avestan.

 
Indo-European Avestan Zazaki Persian Kurdish (Kurmanci)   English
*sw xv w x(u) x(w)   -
*swep- xvefne- witiš xwāb xew   sleep
- xveš- w x xw   sweet
*swenh- xven- wend- xānd- xwend-   read
*swesor xveher wa xāhar xweh   sister
- xver- werd- xord- xward-   swallow, eat
  • Zazaki words xo and gun should be borrowings from other Iranian Languages.

[edit] /m/

Zazaki and Persian keep Proto-Indo-European *m while Kurdish turns it to /v/.

 
Indo-European Avestan Zazaki Persian Kurdish (Kurmanci)   English
*m m m m v   -
*h1nom nama name m nav   name
*sem- hama- āmnān (hāmīn) vīn   summer
*samos- hama- embaz hambaz heval   same
  • The Persian form hāmīn is from Middle Persian.

[edit] /wt/

The Proto-Indo-European cluster *pt turns to *ft in Proto-Iranian. In Zazaki this turns to /wt/. The outcome in Kurdish is most commonly /t/, /wt/, and /ft/ in some dialects. Persian also retains the original Proto-Iranian /ft/.

 
Zazaki Persian Kurdish (Kurmanci)   English
wt ft t/wt/ft   -
hewt haft ḥewt/heft   seven
kewt oftād ket/kewt/keft   get in

Note: In Bingol dialect of Zazaki, /ew/ further turns to /o/ sound, like hewt to hot, kewt to kot, grewt to grot, kew to ko, and vewr to wor.

[edit] Grammar

[edit] Grammatical Gender

The Zazaki language distinguishes between masculine and feminine grammatical gender. Each noun belongs to one of those two genders. In order to correctly decline any noun and any modifier or other type of word affecting that noun, one must identify whether the noun is feminine or masculine. This distinguishes Zazaki from many other Western Iranian languages that have lost this feature over time.

For example, the masculine preterite participle of the verb kerdene ("to make" or "to do") is kerde; the feminine preterite-participle is kerdiye. Both have the sense of the English "made" or "done". The grammatical gender of the preterite-participle would be determined by the grammatical gender of the noun representing the thing that was made or done.

The linguistic notion of grammatical gender is distinguished from the biological and social notion of gender, although they interact closely in many languages. Both grammatical and natural gender can have linguistic effects in a given language.

[edit] Vocabulary

Words in Zazaki can be divided into five groups in respect to their origins. Mosts words in Zazaki are from Proto-Indo-European, Proto-Indo-Iranian and Proto-Iranian origin. The forth group is consist of words that are developed when Zazaki speakers divided from the Proto-Iranian language. The fifth group consist of loan words. Loan words in Zazaki are chiefly from Arabic and Persian.

[edit] Classification

Zazaki is an Iranic language in the Indo-European family. From the point of view of the spoken language, its closest relatives are Mazandarani, Hewrami, Gilaki and other Caspian languages. However, the classification of Zazaki has been an issue of political discussion. Kurdish nationalist advocate that Zazaki is a Kurdish (another Iranic Language) dialect while Turkish nationalist advocate that Zazaki is Turkish (an Altaic language) dialect.[citation needed]

Ethnologue favors the following hierarchy:[1]

The US State Department "Background Note" lists the Zazaki language as one of the major languages of Turkey, along with Turkish (official), Kurdish, Armenian, Greek, and Arabic.[6] Despite the Ethnologue's classification, Kurdish Academy, which describes itself an "electronic non-governmental organization (e-NGO), lists Zazaki as a dialect of the Kurdish language.[7] The Encyclopedia Britannica notes Zazaki to be a dialect of Kurdish.[8] However, this classification is not supported by linguistics and regarded as political rather than scientific.[9]

Linguists connect the word Dimli with the Daylamites in the Alborz Mountains near the shores of Caspian Sea in Iran and believe that the Zaza have immigrated from Deylaman towards the west. Zazaki shows many connections to the Iranian dialects of the Caspian region, especially the Gilaki language.

The Zazaki language shows similarities with (Hewrami or Gorani), Shabaki and Bajelani. Gorani, Bajelani, and Shabaki languages are spoken around Iran-Iraq border; however, it is believed that they are also immigrated from Northern Iran to their present homelands. These languages are sometimes put together in the Zaza-Gorani language group.

[edit] Literature

[edit] Notes

[edit] References

  • Bozdağ, Cem and Üngör, Uğur. Zazas and Zazaki. (Zazaki Literature.)
  • Blau, Gurani et Zaza in R. Schmitt, ed., Compendium Linguarum Iranicarum, Wiesbaden, 1989, ISBN 3-88226-413-6, pp. 336–40 (About Daylamite origin of Zaza-Guranis)

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

Wikipedia
Zazaki language edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

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