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The Avromani-speaking Area in Iran

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image of Iran and the Caucasus

One of the difficult tasks of linguistic geography is the clear delimitation of dialectal borders in a multi-dialectal and multi-lingual environment. Western Iran is exactly such a region, hosting a number of Iranian and non-Iranian dialects: Kurdish, Avromani, Gurani, Laki, Kalhori, Luri, Azari Turkish, etc. The demographic situation is rather complicated here as well: along with the localities that are inhabited by a single ethnic group, there are many townships and rural settlements having mixed populations of different ethnic and linguistic backgrounds. In addition, the indiscriminate use of the ethnonym Kurd, applied as a common label to almost all Iranian-speakers of the area, except for, of course, Persians.

This paper tries to identify the area populated by the Avromans in the abovementioned region, with possibly accurate statistical data on the number of inhabitants, obtained through the author's personal efforts during several fieldwork periods. This is a part of a larger project on Gurani dialects, including Avromani.

Affiliations: 1: Yerevan State University


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