ĀMORAʾĪ or Āmorī, the dialect spoken in Āmora, a village of some 1000 inhabitants (1969) in the district of Ḵalaǰestān, in šahrestān of Tafreš, and one of a number of closely similar dialects spoken in the villages of the Tafreš area, all forming a transitional group between Central Dialects and the Tātī dialects of northwestern Iran.

The consonants are practically those of spoken New Persian, but /w/ seems to enjoy a phonological status.

The vowel system consists of /a ā e i o ö u ü/. Ir. ā is often reduced to o before nasal (the latter may be dropped when final): rona “thigh” (NPers. rān), roxon “river” (NPers. rudxāna), no “bread” (NPers. nān); Ir. ū is represented by ü: dür “far away” (OPers. dūra-, NPers. dūr), pül “money,” pür “son” ( < *pūr < puθra-); au becomes u: ruǰa “fasting” (NPers. ruza); initial v- is preserved: vāt “wind” (NPers. bād), varg “wolf”; xt > t: detaka “girl” (NPers. doxtar), ret “pour” (NPers. rixt), sāt “make” (NPers. sāxt); fr > r: rut “sell” (NPers. foruxt); č > ǰ: ǰe “from” (OPers. hača, NPers. az), riǰ- “pour” (NPers. riz-); Ām. z corresponds to NPers. d (IE. ǵ, ǵh): zon- “know” (NPers. dān-), zomā “step-son” (NPers. dāmād); the labial element in original sw (IE. kᵛw) is preserved: esba “dog” (NPers. sag); remarkable is giyō “soul” (NPers. ǰān, Parth. gyʾn, Sīvandī gyān). Āmoraʾī does not share some characteristic features with other Tafreš dialects (Vafsī and Āštīānī): š is preserved in baša “he went” (Vafsī basse, Āšt. besī), pronominal suff. sing. 3 -eš (Vafsī and Āšt. -es); m is also preserved (when Vafsī has w): vāmma “almond” (Vafsī vāwwa, NPers. bādām), šomā “you” (Vafsī sowān).

Āmoraʾī distinguishes two grammatical genders, masculine and feminine, in nouns, the 3rd person singular of personal (demonstrative) pronouns, and in the 3rd person singular of all past tenses. The feminine marker everywhere is an unaccented -a: déta “daughter”, zanía “woman,” māláka “cat,” magása “fly,” süa “apple,” vāmma “almond,” gerdáka “walnut,” bíla “spade,” derzéna “needle,” véla “flower,” ongóšta “finger” (note, however, “mother,” det “girl,” zen “wife,” but māzenáre “wife’s mother,” šīazenáre “husband’s mother”); in pronouns: o/yo (with the loss of -n) “this, that, he”; óna/yona “this, that, she”; in verbs: asb-öm ba-mard “my horse died,” but bezza-m ba-marda “my goat died,” šia-š ba-mard-ey “her husband has died,” but mā-š ba-mardia “his mother has died”; e-d-vašt/-a “he/she used to run away.” In ergative constructions the verb agrees with its object: yey pāru-e boland-öm hā-get “I bought a long shovel,” but yey bíla bolanda-m ha-get-a “I bought a long spade.” Singular adjectives agree in gender with their nouns (see the above example). The plural marker is stressed -gál: asb-gál “horses”; in that case, the fem. ending is dropped: sü-a “apple,” but plur. sü-gál. In the oblique, all nouns, sing. and plur., add an unstressed -e (the fem. marker -a disappears). The oblique case is used for the agent in the ergative construction: Hasan-e nuneš baxord “Hassan ate the bread,” Zeynab-e lebās badut “Zaynab sewed a garment”; for the accusative: Hasan-e bowr “Bring H.,” ruanda-gal-e bowr “Bring the children”; after a preposition: ǰe Hasan-e/Zeynab-e vā-pers “Ask H./Z.”.

Personal independent pronouns have two numbers (sing. and plur.), two cases (dir. and obl., except in plur. 1-2) and two genders (masc. and fem., only in sing. 3; Table 1).

The pronominal suffixes are: sing. 1 -öm, 2 -et, 3 -eš, plur. 1 -emon, 2 -eton, 3 -ešon. There are two sets of demonstratives: o (fem. ona) “that” and yo (fem. yona) “this.”

The verbal system is based on two stems: past and present. Ām. has two modal affixes: (1) ba-/be-/bo which is used with the subjunctive, imperative, preterit and perfect. Ex. ba-ma “he came,” be-ruš “sell!” (2) e- / ed-, a durative marker which is used with the present and imperfect: ed-ām “I say” < *ed-vā-m. As in many other dialects, some verbs exhibit a meaningless t-infix: e-t-i “you go” (here the stem is lost). The personal endings of the present and subjunctive are: sing. 1 -öm / -m, 3 -i, 2 -e, plur. 1 -imi, 2 -ite, 3 -ene. The preterit of intr. verbs has the same endings except that sing. 3 is: masc. nil and fem. -a. Ex. ba-mard/-a “he/she died;” (cf. bama/bamia “he/she came”). In the past tenses of trans. verbs, the pronominal elements are infixed between the modal affix and the stem: ba-š-kard “he did,” ba-š-vāt “he said,” be-mon-di “we saw,” or they are suffixed to a preceding word, including a preverb: hā-š-dā “he gave” (there is no modal affix with a preverb), čiši-t ba-kard “what did you do?” rubā karga-š ba-barde “the fox has taken the hen.” The perfect of an intr. verb is formed from the past part. and the present of the substantive verb. Ex. “run away, escape”: sg. 1 böaštam, 2 böaštey, 3 masc. böastey, fem. böaštiyey, plur. 1 böašteymi, 2 böašteyte, 3 böaštiane. The pluperf. is formed from the past part. and the preterit of the auxiliary “to be”: sing. 1 böašti biöm, 2 b. bi, 3 b. be, plur. 1 b. bime, 2 b. bite, 3 b. bene. The subj. perf. has the past part. and the subj. of “to be”: sing. 1 böašti böm, 2 b. bi, 3 b. bu, plur. 1 b. bimi, 2 b. bite, 3 b. böne. There exists moreover a conditional past: sing. 1 (aga) böaštiyām, 2 böšatiyāy, 3 böaštiā, plur. 1 böaštiāymi, 2 böaštiāyt, 3 böaštiāne. The present passive of trans. verbs is obtained by adding the morpheme -i to the active present stem and the past passive has the morpheme -iā. The present stem of the causative is formed by adding the morpheme -ān to the present stem of the simple present stem. The most important preverbs are: (meaningless; = hā dā “give”), ver “upwards” (ver get “take up”), dar “down” (dar kat “fall”), “back” (kard “do” : va kard “open”).

Most important adverbs and prepositions are: endow “here,” owna “there,” vassar “above,” hāččāl, hāddom “down,” vāššü “under,” bar “out,” niyum “in the midst of” (with conson. metathesis! cf. NPers. miyān), “for,” ǰe “of,” be “with,” be . . . da “in.”

Some lexical items may be noted here: šiya “father,” xuwāxa “sister,” ruwanda “child,” varriya “lamb,” valk “leaf,” vid “willow,” owwa “water,” šowa “night,” sāla “year,” hezere “yesterday,” nemru “midday,” xola “hole,” zeǰa “ugly,” ba-š-xušārd “he squeezed” (NPers. fešord).



M. Moḡdam, Guyešhā-ye Vafs o Āštīān o Tafreš, Irān-Kūda 11, Tehran, 1318; Prof. E. Yarshater’s field notes, kindly supplied to the writer.

(P. Lecoq)

Originally Published: December 15, 1989

Last Updated: August 3, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 9, pp. 985-986