GIŌNI (Giāni), a Persian dialect of the Northern Lor type, spoken in the village of Giān/Giō (the archaeological site Giyan Tepe, q.v.), 12 km west of the city of Nehāvand. Giōni is closely related to Bālā Garivaʾi and Ḵorramābādi, all of which differ markedly from Southern Lori dialects such as Baḵtiāri and from standard Persian. Giōni shows numerous Northwest Iranian features.

Phonology. Giōni has an eleven vowel system /ī, Ī, ē, e, ö, a, ā, ō, o, ǖ, u/. Ī is articulated extraordinarily close to i. Lax e has a wide range of articulation, tending to the central. ö is a lax front rounded vowel. ǖ is a tense high front rounded vowel. The diphthongs /öø, ōw, ay, ey/ occur. ø is a front-rounded semivowel.

The consonantal system is close to that of Persian. Early New Persian γ and q, however, have merged in Giōni q, a voiceless velar stop. Word-initial r and l are realized as tensed R and L, which are also refl;exes of geminated r and l. R is trilled; L is produced by fl;attening the tongue tip across the alveolar ridge and allowing breath to escape along the sides of the tongue. l in contact with ī is realized as L.

Raising, merger, fronting, and laxing processes similar to those found in other West Persian dialects occurred in Giōni (see DEZFŪLĪ-ŠŪŠTARĪ). Early New Persian ō has merged with ū as in gūš (ear), but ē remained a distinct phoneme Ī as in bĪl (shovel). ā was raised to ō before nasals as in dōna (seed), šōm (dinner). ū was fronted to ǖ before dental stops and y as in (smoke), (hair). The sequence -ih- became Ī as in (quince). ē and ō were laxed generally before consonant clusters as in beḵt (he sifted), soḵt (it burned). ā was laxed before the sequence -nd- as in man (he remained).

b was spirantized postvocalically as in köøk (partridge), aftōw (sun). Syllable-fi;nal d was often lost as in (willow), kūū (blue; Pers. kabūd). h in many cases corresponds to early New Persian kò as in harde (to eat), hoftie (to sleep); f is dropped and the preceding vowel lengthened in the past stems of the three verbs gere:te (to take), go:te (to say), ra:te (to go).

Synchronically, ī raises a preceding ā to ū as in emūīm “we came” (< emā- + īm); Ī to ī as in mīīm “we give” (mĪ- + + -īm); and ö to ü (imper. sg. Röø “go,” pl. Rǖit); ū raises ā in the preceding syllable to ō as in bōzū (arm), jōrū (broom); a preceding dental fronts o to ö as in (you [sg]), sös (weak).

Word-fi;nal n is deleted without nasalization of the preceding vowel as in garde (neck), but plural gardenyā (necks).

Nouns, pronouns, adjectives, and verbs are stressed on their fi;nal nonenclitic syllables. The verbal prefi;xes ba- (subjunctive, imperative), na- (negative), and ma- (negative imperative) are stressed. The continuous prefi;x mĪ- is not.

Morphology. Noun plurals are formed by the stressed suffi;x -yā. The eżāfa (q.v.) acts as in Persian, but is realized only after constituents ending in consonants. Thus, hōna gap (big house), but asp-e gap (big horse). Giōni has a contrastive suffi;x, stressed -eka, which is like colloquial Persian . As in Persian, the eżāfa is deleted when -eka marks noun-modifi;er strings: asp-e gap “big horse,” asp gapeka “the big horse.” The defi;nite object marker (= Persian -[r]o) is unstressed -(n)a.

The antecedent of a restrictive relative clause is marked by the enclitic . An indefi;nite noun singled out from another indefi;nite noun or nouns is marked with a phonetically identical but historically different enclitic .

The independent pronouns are: me,, ū, īmā, šemā, ūnō(n-). Suffi;xal pronouns are: -(e)m, -(e)t, -(e)š, -(e)mō(n-), -(e)tō(n-), (e)šō(n-). Demonstrative pronouns, which cannot modify nouns, are ya (this), va (that), yenō(n-) (these), venō(n-) (those). Demonstrative adjectives are ī (this/these), ū (that/those); plurals of ī and ū, which act as demonstrative pronouns, are īnō(n-), ūnō(n-). hĪ(n-) corresponds to the Persian possessive formative māl: hĪn-e men e (it’s mine).

The verbal system is close to that of Persian. Present tense endings are stressed - em, -ī, -a, -īm, -īt, -an. Past tense endings have the same phonetic shape, but are unstressed. The third person singular termination in the past is Ø. Examples: mĪrĪza (he pours), Reḵt (he poured), mĪreḵt (he was pouring). The present perfect is based on a past participle in -a: Reḵtám (< Reḵtá + -m), Rektí (Rekta + -i, with elision of fi;nal -a before ī of the second person). Third person singular of “be” may occur with all forms: Reḵtam a, Reḵtī a, etc. Past perfect is formed with “was”: Reḵtǖīm “I had poured” (Reḵta + + -m).

An inchoative occurs, formed from present stem plus -y-, past stem plus -es:- (cf. Mid. Pers. -ihist) as in mĪsūzyan (they are getting burned), soktes:an (they got burned). The present inchoative can suggest futurity as in mĪtarsyem (I’ll get scared). A transitivizer -enā (Mid. Pers. -ēnīd) occurs as in mĪsūzenem (I burn [it]), sūzenām (I burned [it]).

hĪsem “I am” etc., negative nĪsem, correspond to Persian hastam, nīstam. “Become” is expressed with forms built on a root bū- as in mūem “I become” (< mĪ– + + -em).



Sekandar Amanolahi and Wheeler M. Thackston, Tales from Luristan (Matalya Lurissu): Tales, Fables, and Folk Poetry from the Lur of Bala-Gariva, Cambridge, Mass., 1987.

Ḥāmid Izadpanāh, Farhang-e lori, Tehran, 1343 Š./1964.

Colin MacKinnon, “The Dialect of Gio,” Stud. Ir. 6, 1977, pp. 211-47.

(Colin MacKinnon)

Originally Published: December 15, 2001

Last Updated: February 9, 2012

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