Gilaki language

Gilaki
گیلکی Giləki
Native to Iran, province of Gilan and parts of the province of Mazandaran and Qazvin
Region Southwest coast of the Caspian Sea
Native speakers
2.4 million (2016)[1]
Dialects
  • Western Gilaki
  • Eastern Gilaki
  • Galeshi
Language codes
ISO 639-3 glk
Glottolog gila1241[2]
Linguasphere 58-AAC-eb
Areas where Gilaki is spoken as the mother tongue

The Gilaki language (گیلکی Giləki) is a Caspian language, and a member of the northwestern Iranian language branch, spoken in Iran's Gīlān Province.[3][4] Gilaki is closely related to Mazandarani and the two languages have similar vocabularies. The Gilaki and Mazandarani languages (but not other Iranian languages) share certain typological features with Caucasian languages (specifically South Caucasian languages),[5][6][7] reflecting the history, ethnic identity, and close relatedness to the Caucasus region and Caucasian peoples of the Gilaki people and Mazandarani people.

Classification

The Gilaki language is closely related to Mazanderani, and the two languages have similar vocabularies. The language is divided into three dialects: Western Gilaki, Eastern Gilaki, and Galeshi (in the mountains of Gilan). The western and eastern dialects are separated by the Sefid River.[8] According to Ethnologue, there were more than 3 million native speakers of Gilaki in 1993.[9] By 2006 there were 4 million native speakers of Gilaki.

There are three main dialects but larger cities in Gilan have slight variations to the way they speak. These "sub-dialects" are Rashti, Rudbari, Some’e Sarai, Lahijani, Langerudi, Rudsari, Bandar Anzali and Fumani.[10]

Easteen Gilaki is also spoken in the city of Ramsar, Mazandaran and surrounding areas. It has been influenced by the Mazandarani language and is sometimes referred to as Gil-Mazani although most refer to it as Ramsari, it is still considering to be a sub-dialect of Gilaki.

Grammar

Gilaki, similar to Mazandarani, is an inflected and genderless language.[11] It is considered SOV. However, some tenses may be SVO.[12]

Phonology

Gilaki has the same consonants as Persian, but different vowels. Here is a table of correspondences for the Western Gilaki of Rasht, which will be the variety used in the remainder of the article:

GilakiPersianExample (Gilaki)
ieki.tab
e(ː), /eiseb
əæ, emən
azai
ɒ (perhaps allophonic)lɒ.nə
o, /ɔd͡ʒoɾ
uo/ɡul

The consonants are:

Gilaki Consonants
  labial alveolar post-alveolar velar glottal
 voiceless stops p t t͡ʃ k ʔ
 voiced stops b d d͡ʒ ɡ  
 voiceless fricatives f s ʃ x h
 voiced fricatives v z ʒ ɣ  
 nasals m n      
 liquids   l, ɾ      
 glides     j    

Typology

The Gilaki and Mazandarani languages (but not other Iranian languages) share certain typological features with Caucasian languages (specifically South Caucasian languages),[5][6][7] reflecting the history, ethnic identity, and close relatedness to the Caucasus region and Peoples of the Caucasus of the Gilaki people.

Verb system

The verb system of Gilaki is very similar to that of Persian. All infinitives end in -tən/-dən, or in -V:n, where V: is a long vowel (from contraction of an original *-Vdən). The present stem is usually related to the infinitive, and the past stem is just the infinitive without -ən or -n (in the case of vowel stems).

Present tenses

From the infinitive dín, "to see", we get present stem din-.

Present indicative

The present indicative is formed by adding the personal endings to this stem:

SingularPlural
dinəmdiním(i)
dinídiníd(i)
dinédiníd(i)

Present subjunctive

The present subjunctive is formed with the prefix bí-, bú-, or bə- (depending on the vowel in the stem) added to the indicative forms. Final /e/ neutralizes to /ə/ in the 3rd singular and the plural invariably lacks final /i/.

SingularPlural
bídinəmbídinim
bídinibídinid
bídinəbídinid

The negative of both the indicative and the subjunctive is formed in the same way, with n- instead of the b- of the subjunctive.

Past tenses

Preterite

From xurdən, "to eat", we get the perfect stem xurd. To this are added unaccented personal endings and the unaccented b- prefix (or accented n- for the negative):

SingularPlural
buxúrdəmbuxúrdim(i)
buxúrdibuxúrdid(i)
buxúrdəbuxúrdid(i)

Imperfect

The imperfect is formed with what was originally a suffix -i:

xúrdimxúrdim(i)
xúrdixúrdid(i)
xúrdixúrdid(i)

Pluperfect

The pluperfect is paraphrastically formed with the verb bon, "to be", and the past participle, which is in turn formed with the perfect stem+ə (which can assimilate to become i or u). The accent can fall on the last syllable of the participle or on the stem itself:

SingularPlural
buxurdə bumbuxurdə bim
buxurdə bibuxurdə bid
buxurdə bubuxurdə bid

Past subjunctive

A curious innovation of Western Gilaki is the past subjunctive, which is formed with the (artificial) imperfect of bon+past participle:

SingularPlural
bidé bimbidé bim
bidé bibidé bid
bidé be/bibidé bid

This form is often found in the protasis and apodosis of unreal conditions, e.g., mən agə Əkbəra bidé bim, xušhal bubosti bim, "If I were to see/saw/had seen Akbar, I would be happy".

Progressive

There are two very common paraphrastic constructions for the present and past progressives. From the infinitive šon, "to go", we get:

Present progressive

SingularPlural
šón darəmšón darim
šón darišón darid
šón darəšón darid

Past progressive

SingularPlural
šón də/du bumšón də/di bim
šón də/di bišón də/di bid
šón də/du bušón də/di bid

Compound verbs

There are many compound verbs in Gilaki, whose forms differ slightly from simple verbs. Most notably, bV- is never prefixed onto the stem, and the negative prefix nV- can act like an infix -n-, coming between the prefix and the stem. So from fagiftən, "to get", we get present indicative fagirəm, but present subjunctive fágirəm, and the negative of both, faángirəm or fanígirəm. The same applies to the negative of the past tenses: fángiftəm or fanígiftəm.

Nouns, cases and postpositions

Gilaki employs a combination of quasi-case endings and postpositions to do the work of many particles and prepositions in English and Persian.

Cases

There are essentially three "cases" in Gilaki, the nominative (or, better, unmarked, as it can serve other grammatical functions), the genitive, and the (definite) accusative. The accusative form is often used to express the simple indirect object in addition to the direct object. A noun in the genitive comes before the word it modifies. These "cases" are in origin actually just particles, similar to Persian ra.

Nouns

For the word "per", father, we have:

SingularPlural
Nomperperán
Accperaperána
Genperəperánə

The genitive can change to -i, especially before some postpositions.

Pronouns

The 1st and 2nd person pronouns have special forms:

SingularPlural
Nommənamán
Accməraamána
Genmiamí
SingularPlural
Nomtušumán
Acctərašumána
Gentišimí

The 3rd person (demonstrative) pronouns are regular: /un/, /u.ˈʃan/, /i.ˈʃan/

Postpositions

With the genitive can be combined many postpositions. Examples:

GilakiEnglish
refor
həmra/əmrawith
ĵafrom, than (in comparisons)
mianin
ĵorabove
ĵirunder
ruon top of

The personal pronouns have special forms with "-re": mere, tere, etc.

Adjectives

Gilaki adjectives come before the noun they modify, and may have the genitive "case ending" -ə/-i. They do not agree with the nouns they modify.

  • Example for adjectival modification: Western Gilaki: pilla-yi zakan (big children), Surx gul (red flower). Eastern Gilaki: Sərd aw (cold water) (ɑb-e særd in Persian), kul čaqu (dull knife) (čaqu-ye kond in Persian).

Possessive Constructions

  • Examples for possessive constructions of nouns in Western Gilaki: məhin zakan (Mæhin's children) (Bæče-ha-ye Mæhin in Persian), Baγi gulan (garden flowers) (Gol-ha-ye Baγ in Persian). In Eastern Gilaki: Xirsi Kuti (bear cub) (Bæč-e Xers in Persian).

Vocabulary

GilakiZazaki KurmanjiEnglishPersianPersian transcriptionBaluchi
dimruy/rı dêmfaceروی/چهرهruy/čehrehdim/deym
zäypıte/doman dergûş / zarokbaby/kidکودک/بچهkudak/bačehzag
pile perKalîke Kalgrandfatherپدربزرگpedar bozorgpirok
zəmatpeyam PeyamMassageماساژmāsāzh
mərdə perPîye zama/viştewru xezûrfather of the husbandپدرشوهرpedar šohar
kerk/murghkerg mrîşkhenمرغ خانگیmorgh xānegimorg
gow gawcowگاوgāvgowk
buĵor / cuercor jorupبالاbālāborz
roĵä/kiĵi/setarəastare star / stêrkstarستارهsetārehestar
kor/kiĵä/kilka/läkukêna/çêna keçgirlدخترdoxtarjinek/ dohtar/ jinen zag
rey/rikä/riLaj/biko lawboyپسرpesarbachek/ marden zag
putärmorcele morîantمورچهmurčehmorink
siftäl=garzakzerqet mozbeeزنبورzanburgowder
pičapsing psikcat/pussy catگربه/پیشیgorbeh/pišipeshik
nesäsiya reşshadowسایهsāyehsāyag
vargadånVardan êxistinto hangآویزان کردن/آویختنāvixtan/āvizān kardan
pilə=pilapîl/giran mezin/girgreatبزرگbozorgtuh/ mazan
zak/zaydoman,qîj,leyr zarokchildبچهbačehzag
perpîye,baw bavfatherپدرpedarpet/ pes
kåråš=kereškeresdan kşîn/kşandinto draw on the groundکشیدن به دنبالkešidan
fuduštånlevnayış mejîyanto suckمکیدنmakidan
vastånwaşten vîstin/vîyanappetite or desireاشتها و میلeštehā o meyl
šondånşodan/şıdan rijandin / pêda berdanpouring of liquidsریختن مایعاتrixtan-e māyeāt
liskreser-lic sîsk / runiklubriciousليز / سورliz/sor
kərčkırç brittleترد و شکنندهtord o šekanandeh
därdâr dartreeدار و درختdār / deraxtdāar/ drachk/ mach(date tree)
malĵå, čičinimiliçik tîvil / qilîçsparrowگنجشکgonješkjenjeshk
bušubuşu biçe / heregoبروborobera/ shoten
fegirfekir bigretalk it in your handبگیرbegirger
fegir or fengirmegir megre / negredon't take in your handنگیرnagirmager
purdpırd pirdbridgeپلpol
sikoy o kerra çiya u kevirmountain and stoneکوه و سنگkuh o sang
kenestemas temastouchتماسtamās
morghanəhâk hêkeggتخم مرغtoxm-e morghāmorg/ hek
lantimar marsnakeمارmārmār
pichapsing psikcatگربهgorbeh
kəlachqela qelacrowکلاغkalāgh
gərmalətisot, ferfer isotpepperفلفلfelfelpelpel
pamadorfirang firingtomatoگوجه فرنگیgojeh-ye farangi
vatərkəssənterqnaiden teqînexplodeترکیدنterkidan
šime šinseba/semed şıma sewa we / jibo wefor youبرای شماbarāye šomāpar shoma/ par ta/ shome ent/ ti ent
mi šinseba/semede mı sewa min / jibo minfor meبرای منbarāye manpar man/ mani ent
kiškazaykerge chickenجوجهjujeh
vərza gaw / ganêrmale cowگاو نرgāv-e nar
lešemungâ mangebullگاو مادهgāv-e māddeh
jir / bijirceir/cér jêrdownپائینpā'injahl/ cher
luchançemard roll of the eyesچشم غرهčešm ghoreh
bəjarberzer zeviya rizêrice farmمزرعه برنجmazra'e-ye berenj
vachukastanvecyayen helkiştinclimbبالا رفتنbālā raftanborz buten

Comparison of Gilaki, Kurmanci, Zazaki and Balochi

GilakiEnglishKurmanciZazakiBalochi
zay/zakbaby/kidzarokdoman,qîjZag
ĵorupjor/jûrcorBorz
kiĵa/kilkagirlkeçkêna/çênajinek/janek
daartreedardardāar
bošugobiçeso/şoboro
purdbridgepirpird
zamagroomzavazamasalonk/ zamās
kaftfellketkewtkapt

Notes

  1. Gilaki at Ethnologue (19th ed., 2016)
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Gilaki". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. Coon, "Iran:Demography and Ethnography" in Encyclopedia of Islam, Volume IV, E.J. Brill, pp. 10,8. Excerpt: "The Lurs speak an aberrant form of Archaic Persian" See maps also on page 10 for distribution of Persian languages and dialect
  4. Kathryn M. Coughlin, "Muslim cultures today: a reference guide," Greenwood Publishing Group, 2006. p. 89: "...Iranians speak Persian or a Persian dialect such as Gilaki or Mazandarani"
  5. 1 2 Nasidze, I; Quinque, D; Rahmani, M; Alemohamad, SA; Stoneking, M (April 2006). "Concomitant Replacement of Language and mtDNA in South Caspian Populations of Iran". Curr. Biol. 16: 668–73. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2006.02.021. PMID 16581511. Retrieved 4 April 2014.
  6. 1 2 Academic American Encyclopedia By Grolier Incorporated, page 294
  7. 1 2 The Tati language group in the sociolinguistic context of Northwestern Iran and Transcaucasia By D.Stilo, pages 137-185
  8. Stilo, Don "A Description of the Northwest Iranian Project at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology"
  9. "Gilaki: A language of Iran" Ethnologue
  10. https://www.ethnologue.com/language/glk
  11. http://www.ethnologue.com/show_language.asp?code=mzn
  12. https://books.google.com/books?id=YB1UWaDMCKcC&lpg=PA310&ots=7-7op1REHA&dq=mazanderani&pg=PA310#v=onepage&q&f=false

Further reading

  • Christensen, Arthur Emanuel. 1930. Dialect Guiläki de Recht [The Gilaki dialect of Rasht]. In Contributions à la dialectologie iranienne. Series: Kgl. danske videnskabernes selskab. Historisk-filologiske meddelelser; 17, 2. (translated into Persian 1995)
  • Purriyahi, Masud. 1971. Barresi-ye dastur-e guyesh-e Gilaki-ye Rasht [A Grammatical Study of the Gilaki dialect of Rasht]. Dissertation, Tehran University.
  • Sartippur, Jahangir. 1990/1369 A.P. Vižegihā-ye Dasturi va Farhang-e vāžehā-ye Gilaki [Grammatical Characteristics and Glossary of Gilaki]. Rasht: Nashr-e Gilakan. Dictionary.
  • Shokri, Giti. 1998. Māzi-ye Naqli dar Guyeshhā-ye Gilaki va Mazandarāni [Present perfect in Gilani and Mazandarāni Dialects]. Nāme-ye Farhangestān 4(4(16)):59–69. (quarterly journal of Iranian Academy of Persian Language and Literature) Article abstract in English.
  • Rastorgueva, V., Kerimova, A., Mamedzade, A., Pireiko, L., Edel’man, D. & Lockwood, R. M. 2012. The Gilaki Language. Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis.
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