AVROMANI, the dialect of Avroman, properly Hawrāmi, is the most archaic of the Gōrāni group. All Gōrāni dialects exhibit a number of phonological features which link them with the dialects of central Iran and distinguish them from Kurdish. While the main Gōrāni language area, to the west of Kermānæāh, is an island in a sea of chiefly Kurdish dialects, the Hawrāmān now forms a separate islet to the north. It is clear, however, that the neighboring Kurdish dialects have encroached on a much wider Gōrāni area and have been considerably affected in the process. There has also been much interchange of vocabulary.

Phonologically Hawrāmi is distinguished from Kurdish and Persian alike by (i) the preservation of initial y- and w-, (ii) the development of hw- to w-, (iii) wy- to y-, (iv) x- to h-, and (v) dw- to b-; e.g. (i) yawa “barley,” yahar “liver,” “wind,” wahār “spring,” wīs “twenty,” (ii) wārday “to eat,” wāstay, wāz- “to want,” witay, ūs- “to sleep,” wē- “self,” (iii) yāgē “place,” yāw- “arrive”( < *waȳp-), (iv) har “ass,” hāna “spring, source,” (v) bara “door.” In common with Kurdish, etc., it has (vi) the preservation of s, z < IE, k, g and (vii) the development of ǰ- to ž-, e.g., (vi) āsin “iron,” āska “gazelle,” zānāy “to know,” zamā “bridegroom,” (vii) žanī “woman,” žīw- “to live.” The preservation of intervocalic -č-, especially in some verb stems, is noteworthy, e.g., sōč- “burn,” wāč- “speak,” wēč- “sift”; otherwise to , or lost, e.g., tēž “sharp,” miž- “to suck,” “day” (perhaps loanwords).

The vowel system comprises seven long and three short vowels, with a distinction, morphologically important, between open and close e and o, thus ī ē e ā o ū, i a u. The consonant phonemes, 26 in number, are similar to those of the neighboring Kurdish dialects, particularly the continuant allophones of d and t, the distinction between flapped r and rolled , and l and ł. Stress plays a vital part in the morphology, often distinguishing otherwise identical forms, e.g., čˈanī “needle”: čˈanī “with,” lūˈē “they went”: lˈūē “if he had gone” (cf. lūˈē “he was going”).

The dialect preserves a distinction of number (singular and plural), gender (masculine and feminine), and case (direct and oblique) for nouns, pronouns, and adjectives (including the “indefinite article” suffix, masc. -ēw, fem. -ēwa): thus, kitēb (-ēw) -ī siˈāw “(a) black book,” plur. kitēbē sīˈāwē, tawanī (tawanēwa-y) sīˈāwa “(a) black stone,” plur. tawanī sīˈāwē, obl. ǰa tawanē sīˈāwē “from black stone”; dagā-y gawrˈē “a big village,” plur. dagē gawrˈē. Besides the epithetic particle ī there is a genitival (eżāfa) ū: yāna-y (yānēw-ī) gawrˈa “(a) big house,” yāna-w æūānˈay “the shepherd’s house.”

In conjunction with various defining and pronominal suffixes these endings form some very intricate inflexional patterns.

The verbal system presents further complications, having two distinct sets of personal endings used with each of the present and past stems. They are (i-a) Present sing. 1 -u, 2 , 3 , plur. 1 -(y), 2 -(y), 3 , (i-b) Imperfect, -ˈēnē, -ēnī, , -ēnmē, -ēndē, -ēnē, (ii-a) Past, (), , -Ø masc. ~ -a fem., -īmē, -īdē, , and (ii-b) Past Conditional ēnē, etc. (like i-b).

The copula is characterized by the presence of n, thus -anā, -anī, -ā/-n(a) masc. ~ -ana fem., -anmē, -andē, -anē.

The modal prefixes, m(i)- pres. indicative, b(i)- subjunctive, are regularly omitted with some verbs, thus m-ūsˈū “I sleep,” bˈi-daw “should I give,” but karˈū “I do,” kˈarū “if I do”: the corresponding negative forms are generally ma-, na- respectively, thus mˈa-wsū, nˈa-daw, mˈa-karū, nˈa-karū. Verbs may also take adverbial suffixes and a pronominal suffix, as agent in the regular construction of the past tenses of transitive verbs, otherwise as object, e.g., wizū-æ-arāwa wār “I shall throw it () down (-ara) again (-awa),” wist-im-ara wār “I threw it down,” warō-æ-ō “if he drinks it,” agar na-wārda-bīē-m-ō “if I had not drunk it.”



D. N. MacKenzie, The Dialect of Awroman (Hawrāmān-ī Luhōn), Hist.-Filos. Skr. Dan. Vid. Selsk. 4, no. 3, Copenhagen, 1966 (with earlier literature).

Search terms:

 اورامانی oramani  ouramany oraamaani


(D. N. MacKenzie)

Originally Published: December 15, 1987

Last Updated: August 18, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. III, Fasc. 1, pp. 111-112