Gilaki
Gilak
گیلٚکی زٚوان (ɡilɵki zɵvān)
Gilaki in Nastaliq style (گیلکی)
Native toIran, province of Gilan and parts of the province of Mazandaran and Qazvin also Alborz
RegionSouthwest coast of the Caspian Sea
Ethnicity4.6 million Gilaki (2021)[1]
Native speakers
2.55 million (2021)[1]
Dialects
Language codes
ISO 639-3glk
Glottologgila1241
Linguasphere58-AAC-eb
Areas where Gilaki is spoken as the mother tongue
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

Gilaki (گیلٚکي زٚوؤن romanized: ɡilɵki zɵvön) is an Iranian language of the Northwestern branch, spoken in south of Caspian Sea by Gilak people. Gilaki is closely related to Mazandarani.[2] The two languages of Gilaki and Mazandarani have similar vocabularies.[3][4][5][6] The Gilaki and Mazandarani languages (but not other Iranian languages)[7] share certain typological features with Caucasian languages (specifically Kartvelian language),[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.

Classification

The language is divided into three dialects: Western Gilaki, Eastern Gilaki[10][11][12][13] and Galeshi/Deylami.[14][15] The western and eastern dialects are separated by the Sefid River,[16] while Galeshi is spoken in the mountains of eastern Gilan and western Mazandaran.[15]

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, Fumani, Alamouti and Taleghani.[5]

Gilaki, which has two main dialect types, eastern and western, with the Safidrūd River as the general border, is a member of the Caspian subgroup. [17] There are many subdialects of Gilaki, and, progressing to the east, it gradually blends into Mazandarani. The intermediate dialects of the area between Tonokābon and Kalārdašt serve as a transition between Gilaki and Mazandarani. The differences in forms and vocabulary lead to a low mutual intelligibility with either Gilaki or Mazandarani, and so these dialects should probably be considered a third separate language group of the Caspian area.[18] In Mazandaran, Gilaki is spoken in the city of Ramsar and Tonekabon. Although the dialect is influenced by Mazandarani, it is still considered a Gilaki dialect.[19][20]

Furthermore, the eastern Gilaki dialect is spoken throughout the valley of the Chalus river.[21]

Apart from four Turkish-speaking villages higher up, the inhabitants of Alamut speak Gilaki and those of Rudbar Tati.[22] In Qazvin province, Gilaki is spoken in northern parts of the province, in Alamut.[23][24]

Grammar

Gilaki, is an inflected and genderless language. It is considered SVO, although in sentences employing certain tenses the order may be SOV.[25] Nonetheless, the language has many grammatical similarities to English.

Dispersion

Map depicting areas where the various dialects of Gilaki are spoken

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.[26][27][28][29][30][12][13][11][31] The number of Gilaki speakers is estimated at 3 to 4 million.[32][33][34] Ethnologue reports that the use of Gilaki is decreasing as the speaker population is decreasing.[35]

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:

Gilaki Persian Example (Gilaki)
i e ki.tab
e(ː) , /ei seb
ɛ(œ) e iɛrɛ
ə æ, e mən
a lag
ä æ zäy
ɒ (perhaps allophonic) lɒ.nə
o , /ɔ d͡ʒoɾ
u o/ ɡul
ü u tüm

There are nine vowel phonemes in the Gilaki language:

Front Central Back
Close i u
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:

Singular Plural
dinəm diním(i)
diní diníd(i)
diné diníd(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/.

Singular Plural
bídinəm bídinim
bídini bídinid
bídinə bídinid

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):

Singular Plural
buxúrdəm buxúrdim(i)
buxúrdi buxúrdid(i)
buxúrdə buxúrdid(i)

Imperfect

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

xúrdim xúrdim(i)
xúrdi xúrdid(i)
xúrdi xúrdid(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:

Singular Plural
buxurdə bum buxurdə bim
buxurdə bi buxurdə bid
buxurdə bu buxurdə bid

Past subjunctive

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

Singular Plural
bidé bim bidé bim
bidé bi bidé bid
bidé be/bi bidé 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

Singular Plural
šón darəm šón darim
šón dari šón darid
šón darə šón darid

Past progressive

Singular Plural
šón də/du bum šón də/di bim
šón də/di bi šón də/di bid
šón də/du bu šón 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:

Singular Plural
Nom per perán
Acc pera perána
Gen perə peránə

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

Pronouns

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

Singular Plural
Nom mən amán
Acc məra amána
Gen mi amí
Singular Plural
Nom tu šumán
Acc təra šumána
Gen ti šimí

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

Postpositions

With the genitive can be combined many postpositions. Examples:

Gilaki English
re for
həmra/əmra with
ĵa from, than (in comparisons)
mian in
ĵor above
ĵir under
ru on 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.

Possessive constructions

Vocabulary

Gilaki Mazandarani Zazaki Kurmanji English Persian Persian transcription Tat Baluchi
dim dim/ru ruy/rı dêm face روی/چهره ruy/čehreh ru dim/deym
zäy vače pıte/doman dergûş / zarok baby/kid کودک/بچه kudak/bačeh əyəl zag
pile pɛr gate piyer Kalîke kal grandfather پدربزرگ pedar bozorg kələpiyər pirok
zəmat peyom peyam peyam message پیام payām
mərdə per ši piyer Pîye zama/viştewru xezûr father of the husband پدرشوهر pedar šohar xüsürmərd
kerk/murgh/kerat kerg/kerk kerg mirîşk hen مرغ خانگی morgh xānegi kərg morg
gow/gāb guw gaw/gab cow گاو gāv mərəgou gowk
buĵor/cuer jur/jār cor jor up بالا bālā zəvər borz
kiĵi/sitarə rojā/esāre astare stêrk star ستاره setāreh astara estar
kor/kilkā/lāku kijā/deter kêna/çêna keç girl دختر doxtar duxtər/ kilə jinek/ dohtar/ jinen zag
rey/ri rikā/peser Laj/biko law boy پسر pesar gədə bachek/ marden zag
putāl melije morcele morî ant مورچه murčeh mujnə morink
siftāl/garzak kangeli zerqet moz bee زنبور zanbur əng gowder
piča bāmeši psing pisîk cat/pussy cat گربه/پیشی gorbeh/piši pişik peshik
nesä nesum/sāyne siya reş shadow سایه sāyeh sayə sāyag
vargadån/urgadån āvizun hākerden Vardan êxistin to hang آویزان کردن/آویختن āvixtan/āvizān kardan vəzərən
pillə=pilla gat pîl/giran gir great بزرگ bozorg kələ tuh/ mazan
zäk/zäy vače doman,qîj,leyr zarok child بچه bačeh əyəl zag
pɛr piyer pîye,baw bav father پدر pedar piyər pet/ pes
kåråš=kereš/fakeshen bakešiyen keresdan kişandin to draw on the ground کشیدن به دنبال kešidan kəşirən
fuduštån/uduštån bučefessen levnayış mijîn to suck مکیدن makidan çumustən
vastån vene/meyl waşten vîn appetite or desire اشتها و میل eštehā o meyl
šondån/fukudån bašendiyen şodan/şıdan rijandin / pê de berdan pouring of liquids ریختن مایعات rixtan-e māyeāt
lisk lis/sor reser-lic sîsk / runik lubricious ليز / سور liz/sor
kərč tarne kırç brittle ترد و شکننده tord o šekanandeh
där dār dâr dar tree دار/درخت dār/deraxt dar dāar/ drachk/ mach(date tree)
malĵå/čičini mičkā miliçik tîvil / qilîç sparrow گنجشک gonješk mərgiçə jenjeshk
bušu bur/bašo buşu biçe / here go برو boro bura/bara bera/ shoten
fegir/fagir bair/bayr fekir bigre take it in your hand بگیر begir gir ger
fangir/fanigir nair/nayr megir megire / negire don't take in your hand نگیر nagir məgir mager
purd perd/pel pırd pir bridge پل pol kürpi
si gar/si/se koy u kerra çiya û kevir mountain and stone کوه و سنگ kuh o sang
kenes barxerd temas temas touch تماس tamās
morghanə merqāne hâk hêk egg تخم مرغ toxm-e morgh xakərg āmorg/ hek
lanti mar mar mar snake مار mār mar mār
kəlach kelaj qela qela crow کلاغ kalāgh qəlağ
gərmalət golmetare isot, ferfer îsot pepper فلفل felfel istout pelpel
pamadur goje firang firing tomato گوجه فرنگی gojeh-ye farangi pamadur
vatərkəssən/vatərkəstən baterkessen terqnaiden teqîn / peqîn explode ترکیدن terkidan
šimi šin šeme vesse seba/semed şıma ji bo te for you برای شما barāye šomā bey işmu/ bəri işmu par shoma/ par ta/ shome ent/ ti ent
mi šin me vesse seba/semede mı ji bo min for me برای من barāye man bey mən/ bəri mən par man/ mani ent
kiškazay čindekā kerge mirişk chicken جوجه jujeh cücə
vərza junekā gaw / ganêr male cow گاو نر gāv-e nar nərəgou
leše telem/telemkā mungâ mange bull گاو ماده gāv-e māddeh gou
jir/bijir jir/jer ceir/cér jêr down پائین pā'in zir jahl/ cher
luchan qorpe/češ degārdiyen çemard roll of the eyes چشم غره češm ghoreh
bəjar/bijar binjār/bijār/šālizār berzer zeviya rizê rice farm مزرعه برنج mazra'e-ye berenj
vachukastan jurburden vecyayen helkiştin climb بالا رفتن bālā raftan dürmarən borz buten

Comparison of Gilaki, Mazandarani, Kurmanci, Zazaki and Balochi

English Gilaki Mazandarani Kurmanci Zazaki Balochi
baby/kid zay/zak vače/kote zarok doman/qîj Zag
up ĵor jur/jār jor/jûr cor Borz
girl kor/kilka kijā/deter keç kêna/çêna jinek/janek
tree daar dār dar dar dāar
go bušu bur/bašo biçe so/şo boro
bridge purd perd/pel pir pird puhl
groom zama zomā zava zama salonk
fell kaft daket ket kewt kapt

Notes

  1. ^ a b Gilaki at Ethnologue (26th ed., 2023) Closed access icon
  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[bare URL PDF]
  4. ^ "GILAN x. LANGUAGES – Encyclopaedia Iranica".
  5. ^ a b "Gilaki".
  6. ^ "OLAC resources in and about the Gilaki language".
  7. ^ a b 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. ^ a b "ALAMŪT – Encyclopaedia Iranica". iranicaonline.org. Retrieved 2021-03-28.
  12. ^ a b "Welcome to Encyclopaedia Iranica". iranicaonline.org. Retrieved 2021-03-28.
  13. ^ a b ریاحی /, وحید. "دانشنامه جهان اسلام بنیاد دائرة المعارف اسلامی". دانشنامه جهان اسلام بنیاد دائرة المعارف اسلامی (in Persian). Archived from the original on 2019-11-12. Retrieved 2021-03-28.
  14. ^ محمود رنجبر، رقیه رادمرد (۱۳۸۲)، بررسی و توصیف گویش گالشی
  15. ^ a b «محمود رنجبر» و «رقیه رادمرد»؛ «بررسی وتوصیف گویش گالشی»؛ نشر گیلکان
  16. ^ Stilo, Don "A Description of the Northwest Iranian Project at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology"
  17. ^ "Welcome to Encyclopaedia Iranica".
  18. ^ "Welcome to Encyclopaedia Iranica".
  19. ^ خائفی، عباس (۱۳۹۵). "بررسي ماضي نقلي در گويش هاي حاشيه درياي خزر". گردهمايي انجمن ترويج زبان و ادب فارسي ايران. ۱۱: ۲۰.
  20. ^ ویکی, پارسی. "معنی گیلکی". پارسی ویکی (in Persian). Retrieved 2021-03-28.
  21. ^ "ČĀLŪS". Encyclopaedia Iranica.alamut-valley-alborz-northeast-of-qazvin-
  22. ^ "Welcome to Encyclopaedia Iranica".
  23. ^ "روزنامه ولایت قزوین - استان قزوین؛ گنجینه زبان‌های ایرانی".
  24. ^ "Welcome to Encyclopaedia Iranica".
  25. ^ Johanson, Lars; Bulut, Christiane (2006). Turkic-Iranian Contact Areas: Historical and Linguistic Aspects. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. ISBN 9783447052764.
  26. ^ "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
  27. ^ 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.
  28. ^ "IRAN vi. IRANIAN LANGUAGES AND SCRIPTS – Encyclopaedia Iranica". iranicaonline.org. Retrieved 2021-03-27.
  29. ^ 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).
  30. ^ 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).
  31. ^ "شهرداری چالوس". www.chalouscity.ir. Retrieved 2021-03-28.
  32. ^ "Gilaki". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2021-03-28.
  33. ^ "Iran Provinces". www.statoids.com. Retrieved 2021-03-28.
  34. ^ Held, Colbert C.; Cummings, John Thomas; Cotter, John V. (2018-05-04). Middle East Patterns. doi:10.4324/9780429493454. ISBN 9780429493454.
  35. ^ "Gilaki". Ethnologue. Retrieved November 26, 2023.

Further reading