ČARZA, village in the mountainous area of the Upper Ṭārom district (baḵš) in the šahrestān of Zanjān, at 49°1′ E, 36°52′ N, 42 km north of the district center, Sīrdān (Razmārā, Farhang II, p. 78). In 1344 Š./1965, when the writer visited the area, Čarza consisted of thirty-eight households (36 households or 145 souls according to Farhang-e ābādīhā-ye kešvar XVI: Ostān-e Gīlān, p. 15) subsisting mainly from cultivation of cereals and providing animal transport to and from neighboring areas. It is one of the few villages in Ṭārom where Iranian Tati dialects have not yet given way to Turkish (for a map and brief description of the Tati-speaking villages of Ṭārom, see Yarshater, 1970, p. 452). The Tati subdialect of Čarza is less conservative than those spoken farther north in Upper Ṭārom, for instance, Bākolur, Jamālābād, Sīavarūd, Nowkīān, and Hazār-rūd, and those spoken in the Rāmand district southwest of Qazvīn (for a description of a typical Rāmandi dialect, see čāl); it is more akin to the dialect of the Šāhrūd district of Ḵalḵāl to the north (Yarshater, 1959), having lost the gender distinction and the plural direct case. Essentially the same variety of Tati is also spoken in Jeyšābād, locally known as Šāva, a village about 4 km south of Čarza.

Phonology. Čarza’i phonology does not differ much from that of Persian, except that it has a phoneme /ə/ distinct from /e/: “two” < > de “other” (also in Jeyšābādi, Bākolūri, and Jamālābādi; the difference between the two phonemes is not always clear in my limited material, however). The phoneme /xᵛ/ was noted only in xᵛa-/xᵛard- “to eat.”

Morphology. Nouns. Two cases are distinguished but only in the singular of nouns ending in consonant or in stressed -á, which in the oblique take the endings (unstressed) -e and (stressed) , respectively. The plural ending is always -on [ɔn]. The oblique case is used for the genitive, as in (e)šta ze bāˊle bigi(r) “take the hand of your son”; the definite direct object, as in čem xāˊše don “set my bone”; and with a postposition, as in (e)šta pére de āpars “ask your father.” The direct case is used in all other instances, including the agent in a passive construction (see ČĀL); destination, as in ā beše be Manjil “he had gone to M.”; and the indefinite object, as in šta xar čem vāš-e bexᵛa “your donkey ate my grass,” vāš deke béze rā “lay out grass for the goat.”

The following nouns denoting relatives form the oblique singular with the ending -r (see ČĀL and CASES) mā/mār “mother,” pe/per “father,” berā/berār “brother,” and xo/xor “sister.” As definite direct objects they also take the oblique marker -e: (e)šta māˊre dáste bigi “take your mother’s hand.”

Adjectives. Attributive adjectives generally precede their nouns and take the ending -a: taru xalā xub nia “wet clothing is not good.” They take oblique endings only when used as substantives.

Pronouns. The personal pronouns distinguish two cases: direct and oblique, as well as an enclitic form (see Table 1). The original first-person singular direct case az is now giving way to men. The oblique case is used as genitive, agent in transitive past-tense constructions (for which most other Tati subdialects have a separate case; see ČĀL), direct object (čemen mazan “don’t hit me”), possessive, and with postpositions. The enclitic pronouns are used, as in other Tati subdialects, chiefly as possessive and as agent of past transitive verbs.

The demonstrative pronouns are am “this” and ā “that” (Table 2; Jeyšābādi forms in parenthesis).

Verbs. The verbal system follows the general pattern of the Tati dialects of Ṭārom. The present is formed from the present stem with the affix me/mi, which follows the preverb if there is one, and present tense endings (Table 3): me-pač-em “I cook, I am cooking, I shall cook,” ā-m(e)-girem “I take.” The subjunctive (also used as conditional present and optative) is formed with the present endings and the prefix be- when the stem is “plain,” that is, without a preverb; begenem “(that) I fall,” agar davazem “if I run.” The imperative is formed in the same way as the subjunctive, except for the second person singular, which has no ending.

The preterit of “to be” (Table 3, above) takes v-, not b-, in all persons when used as an auxiliary: ištá vem, ve/vi, və, vimon, vion, vinda.

All other tenses are built on the past stem. Intransitive verbs form their preterit with the prefix be- (if the stem is plain) and the intransitive past-tense endings (Table 3); the imperfect (also used for unreal conditional) takes the same endings and the affix me-/-mi; the perfect is formed in the same way as the preterit but with a special set of endings (Table 3); the pluperfect, which is also used as the subjunctive perfect, is formed with the past participle (the past stem plus ) and the preterit of “to be” as auxiliary: bekatim “I fell,” ārasastemon “we arrived,” mekatim “I used to fall, I was falling,” bexoteye (Jeyšābādi bexoté) “have you slept?” devašta və (Jeyšābādi bevrita və) “he had run away.”

Continuous present and past are formed with kara and the present and imperfect of the verb respectively: kara či mikari? “what are you doing?” kara dem(e)vaštim “I was running.”

Past transitive verbs form their tenses with the same affixes as intransitive verbs but without personal endings (as in the third person singular). The agent is expressed by the enclitic pronouns: ta izem-ey beškest “did you cut (lit. “break”) wood?” izem-em meškest “I was cutting wood,” anār-eš bexᵛardéya “he has eaten pomegranate,” ta če kār-ey bekarda ve (e)šta-šon bega “what had you done that they seized you?”

The causative is formed by adding -on to the present stem: devazon “make run!”

The passive (rare in Čarza’i) is formed by adding -i to the present stem: bar ā-ne-mkaria “the door does not open” (ākar- “to open”).

The verb išta-/ištā “to stand, stay” is prefixed to the preterit of “to be” in order to express “to be, to be present”: Manjil bem/Manjil ištá vim “I was in M.”

Postpositions. The following postpositions (some derived from nouns) occur: de “from,” var “from,” delá “in, inside,” sar “on,” vani “with,” “for.” They all govern the oblique case.



E. Yarshater, “The Dialect of Shāhrūd (Khalkhāl),” BSOAS 22/1, 1959, pp. 52-68.

Idem, “The Tati Dialects of Rāmand,” in W. B. Henning and E. Yarshater, eds., A Locust’s Leg. Studies in Honour of S. H. Taqizadeh, London. 1962, pp. 240-45.

(Ehsan Yarshater)

Originally Published: December 15, 1990

Last Updated: December 15, 1990

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