Mazandarani language

Mazandarani language

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Encyclopedia
Mazandarani or Tabari (تبری) (Also known as: Mazaniki) is an Iranian language
Iranian languages
The Iranian languages form a subfamily of the Indo-Iranian languages which in turn is a subgroup of Indo-European language family. They have been and are spoken by Iranian peoples....

 of the Northwestern branch, spoken mainly in Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

's Mazandaran, Gilan and Golestan
Golestan Province
Golestan Province is one of the 31 provinces of Iran, located in the north-east of the country, south of the Caspian Sea. Its capital is Gorgan....

 provinces. As a member of the Northwestern branch (the northern branch of Western Iranian), genetically speaking it is rather closely related to Gilaki
Gilaki language
The Gilaki language is a Caspian language, and a member of the northwestern Iranian language branch, spoken in Iran's Gīlān Province.The language is divided into three dialects: Western Gilaki, Eastern Gilaki, and Galeshi . Furthermore, the Gilaki language is closely related to Mazanderani, and the...

, and more distantly related to Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

, which belongs to the Southwestern branch.

Etymology


The name Mazandarani (and variants of it) derives from the name of the historical region of Mazandaran (Mazerun in Mazandarani), which was part of former Kingdom of Tapuria
Kingdom of Tapuria
Tapuria was the name of the former historic region in the Southern coasts of Caspian sea roughly in the location of northern and southern slopes of Elburz range in Iran...

. People traditionally call their language Gileki, the same as Gilekis do. Gileki consist of two morphemes : Gil + postfix ki. The name Tapuri (or Tabari) which was the name of an ancient language of somewhere in former Tapuria, Nowadays becomes prevalent into youth groups instead of Gileki.
However, Gilan and Mazanderan were part of the same state known as Tapuria which its national language was known as Gileki.

History


Among the living Iranian languages
Iranian languages
The Iranian languages form a subfamily of the Indo-Iranian languages which in turn is a subgroup of Indo-European language family. They have been and are spoken by Iranian peoples....

, Mazandarani has one of the longest written traditions, from the tenth to the fifteenth century. This status was achieved during the long reign of the independent and semi-independent rulers of Mazandaran in the centuries after the Arab invasion.

The rich literature of this language includes books such as Marzban Nameh (later translated into Persian) and the poetry of Amir Pazevari. The use of Mazandarani, however, has been in decline. Its literary and administrative rank was lost to Persian perhaps long before the ultimate integration of Mazandaran into the national administration in the early seventeenth century.

The Mazandarani language is closely related to Gilaki and the two languages have similar vocabularies. In 1993, according to Ethnologue
Ethnologue
Ethnologue: Languages of the World is a web and print publication of SIL International , a Christian linguistic service organization, which studies lesser-known languages, to provide the speakers with Bibles in their native language and support their efforts in language development.The Ethnologue...

, there were more than three million native speakers of Mazandarani, speaking different dialects such as Gorgani
Gorgani
Gorgani is a dialect of the Tabarian language-Etymology:The dilect is named after Gorgan historical district derived from Old Persian Varkana -Continuing use:...

, Ghadikolahi and Palani.

Grammar


Mazanderani is an inflected and gender-free language
Gender-neutrality in genderless languages
Gender neutrality in genderless languages is typically achieved by using gender-inclusive words instead of gender-specific ones when one speaks of people whose gender is unknown, ambiguous, or unimportant...

. It is considered SVO.

Function Cases






































Case Position Meaning

Sere-a

Nominative

The Home

Sere re

Accusative

To the Home

Sereo

Vocative

Home!

Sere şe

Genitive

Home’s

Sere re

Dative

To the Home

Sere ye jä

Ablative

By the Home




Adjectives



























Adjective Position Meaning

And-e Sere

Applicative

 

Gat e Sere

Comparative

Big Home

untä Sere

Determinative

That Home
Səre

Superlative

Xär Sere





Suffixes


The list below is a sample list obtained from the Online Mazandarani-Persian dictionary.






Locatives






































Suffix

Example

Meaning

Kash

Kharkash

Good Place

Kel

Tutkel

Mulberry Limit

Ij

Yoshij

Yoshian

Bun

Chenarbon

At the Plantain

Ja

Səre Ja

Of Home

Sar

Bənesar

At the Below


Subjectives






































Suffix

Example

Meaning

Chaf

Au Chaf

Water Sucker

Rush

Halikrush

Drupelet Seller

Su

Vərgsu

Wolf Hunter

Kaf

Ukaf

Who acts in water

Vej

Galvej

Mouse Finder

Yel

vəngyel

Bandmaster


Vocabulary


Spoken in a territory sheltered by the high Alborz mountains, Mazandarani preserves many Indo-European old words which are no longer in common use in many other Iranian languages
Iranian languages
The Iranian languages form a subfamily of the Indo-Iranian languages which in turn is a subgroup of Indo-European language family. They have been and are spoken by Iranian peoples....

 such as Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

. Below, a few common Mazanderani words & their Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

 cognates are listed for sample.
English Mazandarani Persian Proto-Indo-European Example of
New Neo No Adjective
Great Gat Bozorg, Gonde Adjective
Better Better Behtar Adverb
Been Bine Budeh Auxiliary Verb
Being Bien Budan Infinitive of Verb
Moon Moong/Mong Mâh Noun
Daughter Deter Dokhtar Noun
Cow Go/Gu/Guw Gâv Mâda Noun
My Me/Mi (before the noun) am (after the noun), om Verb
Gab Gap Goftogu, Gap Verb
Right Rast Râst


Virtually all speakers of Mazandarani are also fluent in standard Persian. Some dialectologists have concluded that the language is converging with Persian.

Modern-day of Iran


In Iran, there are some popular companies and products, like Rika (son) or Kija (daughter), which take their name from Mazandarani words.

Specimen


áme kεrkā šúnnε nεfār-sar. nεfār-sar xεsέnnε. badími nεfār-sar-e čεl-o-ču hamε bapíssεnε. bāútεmε, “vačε jān! injε, kεlum-e pali, mé-vesse έttā kεrk-kεli dεrεs hā́kεn!” vε εm nεmāšun ke pe dar-biārdε, hamun šō badímε bεmúnε sεre piεr o vačε. ande-tumi piεr o vačε bεmúnε sεre, nεmāz kέrdεnε, qεzā xέrdεnε; ba:d εz nεmāz šínε ún-var, sāāt-e čār harkεt kέrdεnε.

Our chickens go onto the nefār and sleep on it. [Once] we noted that the wood of the nefār was all rotten. I told [my son], “Dear child! Here, next to the stable, make me a chicken coop.” In the evening that [my son] was setting the foundation, the father [-in-law] and [his] son came home. As soon as the father and son came home, they would say their prayers, eat something, and then, after the prayers, they would go over there (to the next room); then at four o’clock they would set off.

(from Maryam Borjian and Habib Borjian, “Ethno-Linguistic Materials from Rural Mazandaran [: Mysterious Memories of a Woman],” Iran and the Caucasus 11/2, 2007, pp. 226–254.)


































mosalmunun! mέrε šabgir varέnnε

āx, mέrε bā kamεr-e haftir varέnnε

mέrε bavέrdεnε Tεrkεmun-e dam

Tεrkεmun kāfεr o gεlilε be-ra:m

Moslems! They are carrying me at the crack of dawn.

O, they are taking me away with a pistol on the[ir] waist.

They took me to the vicinity of the Turkmen [tribes].

Turkmen [are] unbelievers and the bullet [is] ruthless.

gεtε,

ašun xō badimā mεn še Ali-rε

sio dasmāl davέsso še gali-rε

age xā́nnε bā́urεn ámi badi-rε

bázεne xεrusεk šέme gali-rε

volvol sar-e dār gέnε εy zāri-zāri

me gol dāš báio sarbāz-e Sāri

He would say,

Last night I dreamed my Ali.

He [had] wrapped a black kerchief [round] his throat.

If it is their intention is malignant about us,

May croup-cough attack your throat!

The nightingale on the tree constantly bemoans (?)

My dear brother drafted in Sāri.

Quatrains sang by Sabura Azizi, transcribed and translated by Habib Borjian; Ref. Habib Borjian and Maryam Borjian, “Mysterious Memories of a Woman: Ethno-Linguistic Materials from Rural Mazandaran,” Iran and the Caucasus 11/2, 2007.




ozεrε-vâ énε dámbe sεvâí

iấnnε búye dεlbárrε dεvấi

qam o qossέye dεl vónε kεnârí

me jấne gεl dénε búye xεdâí

At break of dawn blows the cool breeze.

It brings over the healing odor of the beloved.

The sorrow of the heart will go away.

My dear flower smells like God.


basutέ sinέye miónnε hấreš!

tévεsse – nấzεnin! – baímε nâxεš

tε armúne dέl i, εy nâzεnin yâr!

tévεsse mέsle bεlbεl zámbε nâlεš


Look at the middle of the burnt chest!

For you – O loveable! – I am unwell.

You are the heart’s aspiration, O beloved!

For you I moan like a nightingale.


 


Dεl-e armun “Heart’s Aspiration”
Rezaqoli Mohammadi Kordekheyli
Transcribed and translated by: Habib Borjian


See also

  • Comparison Table of Iranian languages
  • Mazandarani people
    Mazandarani people
    The Mazandarani people are Iranian people of Caucasus origin living primarily in south of the Caspian Sea coast. The Elburz mountains mark the southern limit of Mazandarani peoples .- People:...

  • Mohammad Davoudi
    Mohammad Davoudi
    Mohammad Davoudi is a scholar of Iranian literature, linguistics, and Persian history. He is famous for edition and Persian translation of Divan-e Amir Pazevari, a 17th century Sufi Tabari poet of Mazandaran...


Further reading

  • Borjian, Habib. 2006. The Oldest Known Texts in New Tabari: The Collection of Aleksander Chodzko. Archiv Orientálni 74(2):153–171.
  • ______________. 2006. A Mazandarani account of the Babi Incident at Shaikh Tabarsi. Iranian Studies 39(3):381–400.
  • ______________. 2006. Textual sources for the study of Tabari language. I. Olddocuments. Guyesh-shenâsi 4.
  • ______________. 2008. Tabarica II: Some Mazandarani Verbs. Iran and the Caucasus 12(1):73–82.
  • ______________. Two Mazandarani Texts from the Nineteenth Century. Studia Iranica 37(1):7–50.
  • Borjian, Habib, and Maryam Borjian. 2007. Ethno-Linguistic Materials from Rural Mazandaran: Mysterious Memories of a Woman. Iran and the Caucasus 11(2):226–254.
  • Borjian, Habib, and Maryam Borjian. 2008. The Last Galesh Herdsman: Ethno-Linguistic Materials from South Caspian Rainforests. Iranian Studies 41(3):365–402.
  • Le Coq, P. 1989. Les dialects Caspiens et les dialects du nord-ouest de l'Iran. In Rüdiger Schmitt (ed.), Compendium linguarum Iranicarum. Wiesbaden: L. Reichert. pp. 296–312.
  • Nawata, Tetsuo. 1984. Māzandarāni. Tokyo: Institute for the Study of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa. Series: Asian and African Grammatical Manual; 17. 45 + iii pp.
  • Shokri, Giti. 1990. Verb Structure in Sāri dialect. Farhang, 6:217–231. Tehran: Institute for Humanities and Cultural Studies.
  • _________. 1995/1374 A.P. Sārī Dialect. Tehran: Institute for Humanities and Cultural Studies.
  • Shokri, Giti. 2006. Ramsar
    Ramsar
    Ramsar is a city in and the capital of Ramsar County, Mazandaran Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 31,659, in 9,421 families....

    ī Dialect. Tehran: Institute for Humanities and Cultural Studies.
  • Yoshie, Satoko. 1996. Sārī Dialect. Tokyo: Institute for the Study of Languages and Cultures of Asia and Africa. Series: Iranian Studies; 10.

External links