Gilaki language


The Gilaki language (گیلکی Giləki) is an Iranian language of the Northwestern branch, spoken in Iran's Gilan Province. Gilaki is closely related to Mazandarani and the two languages have similar vocabularies.[2] Though the Persian language has influenced Gilaki to a great extent, Gilaki remains an independent language with a northwestern Iranian origin.[3][4][5][6] The Gilaki and Mazandarani languages (but not other Iranian languages)[7] share certain typological features with Caucasian languages (specifically South Caucasian languages),[7][8][9] reflecting the history, ethnic identity, and close relatedness to the Caucasus region and Caucasian peoples of the Gilak people and Mazandarani people.

Gilaki
Gilak
گیلکی Giləki
Native toIran, province of Gilan and parts of the province of Mazandaran and Qazvin
RegionSouthwest coast of the Caspian Sea
Native speakers
2.4 million (2016)[1]
Dialects
  • Western Gilaki
  • Eastern Gilaki
  • Galeshi
Language codes
ISO 639-3glk
Glottologgila1241
Linguasphere58-AAC-eb
Areas where Gilaki is spoken as the mother tongue
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Classification


The language is divided into three dialects: Western Gilaki, Eastern Gilaki, and Galeshi (in the heights and mountains of Gilan, Mazandaran, Qazvin and Alborz provinces[10][11][12][13]). The western and eastern dialects are separated by the Sefid River.[14]

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, Rudesari, Bandar Anzali and Fumani، Alamouti, Taleghani and .....[5]

Eastern Gilaki is also spoken in the city of Ramsar and Tonekabon . Although it is slightly mixed with Mazandaran in these areas, it is still considered a Gilaki dialect.[15][16]

Grammar


Gilaki, is an inflected and genderless language. It is considered SVO, although in sentences employing certain tenses the order may be SOV.[17] Nonetheless, the language has many grammatical similarities to English.

Dispersion


Map of common languages in the northern half of Iran

Gilaki is the language of the majority of people in Gilan province and also a native and well-known language in Mazandaran, Qazvin and Alborz provinces. Gilaki is spoken in different regions with different dialects and accents.[18][19][20][21][22][12][13][11][23] The number of Gilaki speakers is estimated at 3 to 4 million.[24][25][26]

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
ɛ(œ)eiɛrɛ
əæ, emən
alag
äæzäy
ɒ (perhaps allophonic)lɒ.nə
o, /ɔd͡ʒoɾ
uo/ɡul
üutüm

There are nine vowel phonemes in the Gilaki language:

Front Central Back
Close i iː u uː
Mid e ə o
Open a ɒ

The consonants are:

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

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 ow (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: məhine 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 transcriptionTatBaluchi
dimruy/rı dêmfaceروی/چهرهruy/čehrehrudim/deym
zäypıte/doman dergûş / zarokbaby/kidکودک/بچهkudak/bačehəyəlzag
pile pɛrKalîke kalgrandfatherپدربزرگpedar bozorgkələpiyərpirok
zəmatpeyam peyammessageپیامpayām
mərdə perPîye zama/viştewru xezûrfather of the husbandپدرشوهرpedar šoharxüsürmərd
kerk/murgh/keratkerg mirîşkhenمرغ خانگیmorgh xānegikərgmorg
gow/gāb gaw/gabcowگاوgāvmərəgougowk
buĵor/cuercor jorupبالاbālāzəvərborz
roĵā/kiĵi/sitarəastare stêrkstarستارهsetārehastaraestar
kor/kiĵā/kilkā/lākukêna/çêna keçgirlدخترdoxtarduxtər/ kiləjinek/ dohtar/ jinen zag
rey/rikā/riLaj/biko lawboyپسرpesargədəbachek/ marden zag
putālmorcele morîantمورچهmurčehmujnəmorink
siftāl/garzakzerqet mozbeeزنبورzanburənggowder
pičapsing pisîkcat/pussy catگربه/پیشیgorbeh/pišipişikpeshik
nesäsiya reşshadowسایهsāyehsayəsāyag
vargadån/urgadånVardan êxistinto hangآویزان کردن/آویختنāvixtan/āvizān kardanvəzərən
pillə=pillapîl/giran girgreatبزرگbozorgkələtuh/ mazan
zäk/zäydoman,qîj,leyr zarokchildبچهbačehəyəlzag
pɛrpîye,baw bavfatherپدرpedarpiyərpet/ pes
kåråš=kereš/fakeshenkeresdan kişandinto draw on the groundکشیدن به دنبالkešidankəşirən
fuduštån/uduštånlevnayış mijînto suckمکیدنmakidançumustən
vastånwaşten vînappetite or desireاشتها و میلeštehā o meyl
šondån/fukudånşodan/şıdan rijandin / pê de berdanpouring of liquidsریختن مایعاتrixtan-e māyeāt
liskreser-lic sîsk / runiklubriciousليز / سورliz/sor
kərčkırç brittleترد و شکنندهtord o šekanandeh
därdâr dartreeدار و درختdār / deraxtdardāar/ drachk/ mach(date tree)
malĵå/čičinimiliçik tîvil / qilîçsparrowگنجشکgonješkmərgiçəjenjeshk
bušubuşu biçe / heregoبروborobura/barabera/ shoten
fegir/fagirfekir bigretake it in your handبگیرbegirgirger
fangir/fanigirmegir megire / negiredon't take in your handنگیرnagirməgirmager
purdpırd pirbridgeپلpolkürpi
sikoy u kerra çiya û kevirmountain and stoneکوه و سنگkuh o sang
kenestemas temastouchتماسtamās
morghanəhâk hêkeggتخم مرغtoxm-e morghxakərgāmorg/ hek
lantimar marsnakeمارmārmarmār
kəlachqela qelacrowکلاغkalāghqəlağ
gərmalətisot, ferfer îsotpepperفلفلfelfelistoutpelpel
pamadurfirang firingtomatoگوجه فرنگیgojeh-ye farangipamadur
vatərkəssən/vatərkəstənterqnaiden teqîn / peqînexplodeترکیدنterkidan
šimi šinseba/semed şıma ji bo tefor youبرای شماbarāye šomābey işmu/ bəri işmupar shoma/ par ta/ shome ent/ ti ent
mi šinseba/semede mı ji bo minfor meبرای منbarāye manbey mən/ bəri mənpar man/ mani ent
kiškazaykerge mirişk chickenجوجهjujehcücə
vərza gaw / ganêrmale cowگاو نرgāv-e narnərəgou
lešemungâ mangebullگاو مادهgāv-e māddehgou
jir/bijirceir/cér jêrdownپائینpā'inzirjahl/ cher
luchançemard roll of the eyesچشم غرهčešm ghoreh
bəjar/bijarberzer zeviya rizêrice farmمزرعه برنجmazra'e-ye berenj
vachukastanvecyayen helkiştinclimbبالا رفتنbālā raftandürmarənborz buten

Comparison of Gilaki, Kurmanci, Zazaki and Balochi


GilakiEnglishKurmanciZazakiBalochi
zay/zakbaby/kidzarokdoman/qîjZag
ĵorupjor/jûrcorBorz
kor/kilkagirlkeçkêna/çênajinek/janek
daartreedardardāar
bušugobiçeso/şoboro
purdbridgepirpird
zamagroomzavazamasalonk/ zamās
kaftfellketkewtkapt

Notes


  1. Gilaki at Ethnologue (19th ed., 2016)
  2. Dalb, Andrew (1998). Dictionary of Languages: The Definitive Reference to More Than 400 Languages. Columbia University Press. p. 226. ISBN 0-231-11568-7.
  3. https://uu.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:560728/FULLTEXT02.pdf
  4. "GILAN x. LANGUAGES – Encyclopaedia Iranica".
  5. "Gilaki".
  6. "OLAC resources in and about the Gilaki language".
  7. 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 (7): 668–73. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2006.02.021. PMID 16581511. S2CID 7883334.
  8. Academic American Encyclopedia By Grolier Incorporated, page 294
  9. The Tati language group in the sociolinguistic context of Northwestern Iran and Transcaucasia By D.Stilo, pages 137-185
  10. تاریخ بدخشان / تالیف میرزاسنگ محمدبدخشی ؛ باتصحیح و تحشیه منوچهر ستوده. Afghanistan Centre at Kabul University. 1988. doi:10.29171/azu_acku_ds375_bay43_meem38_1367.
  11. "ALAMŪT – Encyclopaedia Iranica". iranicaonline.org. Retrieved 2021-03-28.
  12. iranicaonline.org https://iranicaonline.org/articles/alborz-geography. Retrieved 2021-03-28. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  13. ریاحی /, وحید. "دانشنامه جهان اسلام بنیاد دائرة المعارف اسلامی". دانشنامه جهان اسلام بنیاد دائرة المعارف اسلامی (in Persian). Retrieved 2021-03-28.
  14. Stilo, Don "A Description of the Northwest Iranian Project at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology"
  15. خائفی، عباس (۱۳۹۵). "بررسي ماضي نقلي در گويش هاي حاشيه درياي خزر". گردهمايي انجمن ترويج زبان و ادب فارسي ايران. ۱۱: ۲۰.
  16. ویکی, پارسی. "معنی گیلکی". پارسی ویکی (in Persian). Retrieved 2021-03-28.
  17. Johanson, Lars; Bulut, Christiane (2006). Turkic-Iranian Contact Areas: Historical and Linguistic Aspects. ISBN 9783447052764.
  18. "The Stateless Nations and the European Union", Stateless Nations, Palgrave Macmillan, 2012, doi:10.1057/9781137008206.0011, ISBN 978-1-137-00820-6, retrieved 2021-03-27
  19. Huyse, Philip (2002-05-15). "Die iranischen Sprachen in Geschichte und Gegenwart. Wiesbaden, Reichert Verlag, 2000, IX + 106 p., 1 carte". Abstracta Iranica. 23. doi:10.4000/abstractairanica.35151. ISSN 0240-8910.
  20. "IRAN vi. IRANIAN LANGUAGES AND SCRIPTS – Encyclopaedia Iranica". iranicaonline.org. Retrieved 2021-03-27.
  21. شماره کتابشناسی ملی:۲۸۷۹۶۷۷/طرح بررسی و سنجش شاخص‌های فرهنگ عمومی کشور (شاخص‌های غیرثبتی){گزارش}:استان گیلان/به سفارش شورای فرهنگ عمومی کشور؛ مدیر طرح و مسئول سیاست گذاری:منصور واعظی؛ اجرا:شرکت پژوهشگران خبره پارس -شابک:۱-۶۰-۶۶۲۷-۶۰۰-۹۷۸ *وضعیت نشر:تهران-موسسه انتشارات کتاب نشر ۱۳۹۱ *وضعیت ظاهری:۲۸۵ ص:جدول (بخش رنگی)، نمودار (بخش رنگی).
  22. طرح بررسی و سنجش شاخص‌های فرهنگ عمومی کشور (شاخص‌های غیرثبتی){گزارش}:استان قزوین/به سفارش شورای فرهنگ عمومی کشور؛ مدیر طرح و مسئول سیاست گذاری:منصور واعظی؛ اجرا:شرکت پژوهشگران خبره پارس -شابک:۳-۵۳-۶۶۲۷-۶۰۰-۹۷۸ *وضعیت نشر:تهران-موسسه انتشارات کتاب نشر ۱۳۹۱ *وضعیت ظاهری:۲۶۸ ص:جدول (بخش رنگی)، نمودار (بخش رنگی).
  23. "شهرداری چالوس". www.chalouscity.ir. Retrieved 2021-03-28.
  24. "Gilaki". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2021-03-28.
  25. "Iran Provinces". www.statoids.com. Retrieved 2021-03-28.
  26. Held, Colbert C.; Cummings, John Thomas; Cotter, John V. (2018-05-04). Middle East Patterns. doi:10.4324/9780429493454. ISBN 9780429493454.

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.