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The Extinct Dialect of Tajrish: Caspian or Persian?

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Abstract Once spoken in the Alborz foothills north of Tehran, the vernacular of Shemirān and its administrative center Tajrish was greatly influenced by the Caspian languages spoken northward across the Alborz range, in its valleys and in the Caspian littoral. This study of Tajrishi draws on the texts collected by Valentin Zhukovskii in the 1880s as well as two recent documentations of smaller size. It reveals that Tajrishi and the adjoining vernaculars constitute the southernmost part of the Caspian-Persian linguistic transition zone in Central Alborz.

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20. Tāhbāz Sirus Yush 1963 Tehran
21. Zhukovskii (Zhukovskiy) V.A. Materialy dlya izucheniya persidskikh’ narechiy I-II 1888-1922 Petrograd
22. FN11 Caspian can be divided into three language groups: Gilaki in the west, Central Caspian in the middle, and Māzandarāni (Maz.) in the east. The term Central Caspian, coined by Donald Stilo, embraces the dialect continuum within the Tonekābon and Kalārdasht districts of the central Alborz. On Kalārdashti, see Borjian 2010. The Caspian traits in Tajrishi are chiefly Maz., while many are also found in Central Caspian and Gilaki. My Maz. data comes from my largely unpublished documentation, and from Tāhbāz and Jahāngiri, who provide data for the valleys of Nur and Kojur, respectively.
23. FN22 I have written a separate article on the Shemirān dialect group, submitted to the festschrift of Prof. Jemshid Giunashvili. My other related articles study the vernaculars of the upper Karaj river valley and the Jājrud valley.
24. FN33 In one article, Sādeqi converted Zhukovkii’s texts into Roman letters, and provided a very useful analysis of Zhukovskii’s inconsistencies in documenting the sounds of the dialect; he also commented on the morpho-syntax of Tajrishi, using the data from both Zhukovskii and Sāmeʿi. It appears that Sādeqi was unaware of the Tajrishi glossary compiled by Zhukovskii.
25. FN44 The sources of these three texts, as Zhukovskii alludes to in the first volume of his book (xv-xvi), are as follows. Text I: from Peter Lerch, Forschungen über die kurden und die iranischen Nordchaldäer, Saint Petersburg, 1857, 1-4. Text II: the beginning of a Finnish poem, taken from Bacmeistersche Sprachproben (see Christensen). Text III: from Latifa va zarifa, Tehran, 1299/1881; Mirzā Mohammad-Shafiʿ Gashtāsb (Mirza M. Schafi Gachtasb), Majmaʿ al-tamsil/Dictionnaire Mofid Persan-Arabe-Russe-français, Saint Petersburg, 1869.
26. FN55 Probably göu “cow” and gal “herd.”
27. FN66 “397:11” stands for “Zhukovskii, II, 397, line 11.” This convention will be used henceforth.
28. FN77 Translated from the Persian deraxt barg-e sabz o šāxahā-ye gonda dārad.
29. FN88 Translation of in morγ nok-e tiz o dom-e kutāh dārad.
30. FN99 Sādeqi surmises that the -a in una might be a shortened form of az “from.” This is untenable on the ground that a(z) appears only as a preposition in Tajrishi. If there is a preposition az in sentences (4) and (5), it should be the ending vowel in betére, i.e. beter e(z).
31. FN1010 In the following examples, from Hesārak, Dulāb, and Sulqān (GD, 113-17), ina is used as the demonstrative as well as third person pronoun: ina daftare mâ bu “this was our notebook”; ina bičâre dare (the locative verb does not seem to belong here) “he is desperate”; ina pulaki bo “he was venal.”
32. FN1111 Translated from the Persian sentence xodâ birun nešasta. Sādeqi interprets dervâ as bâ dar (dam-e dar) “with (at) the door.”
33. FN1212 Note HS me-š- am I go, daram mi-š- om I am going, me-šo-m I went, dabom mi-šo-am I was going. These discrepancies in the endings in HS’s data occur despite his efforts to establish phonetic rules for the endings.
34. FN1313 For Pers. če xorda’i? “what have you eaten?”
35. FN1414 Pers. ḡazā-ye šomā če buda ast? “what has been your food?”
36. FN1515 Pers. pašimān šod ke čerā pul-e siāh-rā nagerefte “he was regretful why had he not taken the copper coins.”
37. FN1616 For the Pers. āvarda-and “they have brought,” an introductory formula in telling anecdotes.
38. FN1717 Pers. xodā birun nešasta bā to kār dārad.
39. FN1818 But we find in his data nediyey “you haven’t seen” (30), apparently a preterit form.
40. FN1919 For the postposition -de, see §2.3.3.
41. FN2020 For this, see §3.5.2.
42. FN2121 yâ in one instance (396:25) is probably a typographic error.
43. FN2222 See Moʿin, ed., 472; Bartholomae, 629-30.
44. FN2323 Morgenstierne, 74, surmises the root *us-paf- for the Shughni group.
45. FN2424 I owe this remark to Prof. Martin Schwartz in a personal communication.
46. FN2525 Features such as the past-stem formant -âd- in one verb only (§3.1.1) and a few words common to Northwest Iranian languages (§5.4) are insufficient to establish a Northwestern background for Tajrishi.
47. FN2626 HS describes biâm- as present stem, which is incorrect.
48. FN2727 No present stem is stated by HS.
49. FN2828 Probably migof t, with voicing of the last sound due to the succeeding word.
50. FN2929 For this verb, VŽ var-gerd-: gerdi- corresponds to HS var-ged-: gedi-.
51. FN3030 Corrected for nizar.
52. FN3131 For this gloss Zhukovskii also has bémak “suck!” which is obviously a loanword.
53. FN3232 See §3.4.1 for the inconsistency in the endings.

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Affiliations: 1: Encyclopaedia Iranica


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