Documenting a religious minority: the Dari dialect of Kerman

The Endangered Language Documentation Programme (ELDP) provides grants worldwide to for the linguistic documentation of endangered language and knowledge. Grantees create multimedia collection of endangered languages. These collections are preserved and made freely available through the Endangered Languages Archive (ELAR) housed at the library of SOAS University of London.

Dari (also known as Behdini, Gavri or Gavruni) belongs to the Central group of Western Iranian languages. It is spoken by the religious minority of the Zoroastrians in the cities of Yazd and the surrounding areas, Kerman and Tehran. While the situation of the Zoroastrian-Yazdi dialect is comparatively better, the situation of the Kermani dialect, the focus of this project, is especially grave. The exact number of Behdinan speakers is not clear. For the Kermani dialect, we can estimate only thirty-five speakers, based on a list of the names, of whom twenty-seven are living in Tehran and six living in Kerman. Primary investigator: Saloumeh Gholami

Project Details


Location: Iran, Southern Asia, Asia Organiser(s): Endangered Languages Documentation Programme Project partner(s): Empirical Linguistics of Goethe University Funder(s): Arcadia Funding received: £106,671.00 Commencement Date: 01/2010
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