JOWŠAQĀN ii. The Dialect




Jowšaqāni, spoken in the township of Jowšaqān, is a variety of the local dialects of Kāšān, a subgroup of the Central Dialects (q.v.; see also ISFAHAN xx, xxi). Published materials on the dialect include Ann Lambton’s brief grammar and texts and glossary (pp. 43-78), and R. Zargari’s verb forms, glossary, and idioms (pp. 53-125). The following grammar is based chiefly on Lambton’s documentation, supported by some verb forms from Zargari; these generally show agreement as being the same dialect, except in a few traits that will be mentioned. On the other hand, the Jowšaqāni material published by E. Yarshater in his comparative study on the grammatical gender shows certain inconsistencies with the abovementioned sources (see Borjian) and therefore is excluded from this brief study.

Phonology. The vowels are /a, e, i, ā, o, u/. /ü/ occurs in just a few words: hüp “good,” hürd “small,” dür “far,” zü/zu: “fast,” pür/pu:r “son, boy,” pül/pu:l “money,” vüšt/vu(:)št “find,” Güšgun “Jowšaqān.” The vowels E and O in Lambton are most likely allophones of the main vowels listed above (cf. Ema/ema “it came,” vEšt-/vašt- “run”; gOrd/gurd “big,” xo/xO/xu “self,” bašvå/ā/O/a “he said”; å is short ā (between cardinals nos. 5 and 6), but length is not phonemic (for details, see Borjian). u and o alternate in many words: bo ~ bu “is,” tum ~ tom “egg.” The final a is usually raised when suffixed: kia “house” ~ kie-e šāh “king’s house,” mera “man” ~ mere-rå (accusative), vača “child” ~ vačiun “children,” yarza ~ yarze-i “a little,” mua “month” ~ mOi-i “a month,” āsta ~ āstela “slow(ly)” (with the diminutive ending -la). Diphthongs include /åu/ (åur “cloud,” kåuš “shoe,” tåur “manner, kind,” šåu “night,” but īšau “tonight”), /ay/, and /ey/, which alternate freely in some words: čaim/čeim “eye.” The consonants correspond closely to those of spoken Persian.

Noun phrase. The predominant plural marker is -un, with occasional use of -(h)ā, e.g., karg-un/-hå “hens,” šav-un “nights.” Grammatical gender is distinguished in (i) substantives, the masculine and feminine generally ending in the unstressed a and e, respectively: håūlia/håūlie “colt/filly foal of a donkey”; (ii) personal/demonstrative pronouns nen/nena (proximate), nun/nuna (remote); (iii) 3rd pers. sing. endings (Set I in Table 1) -e/-ea: ate/atea “he/she comes,” bama/bamea “he/she came.” (See also Yarshater.) — The modifiers (possessives and adjectives) follow the noun, with an optional eżµāfa (q.v.) marker: bar(-e) kargdun “hen-coop’s door,” Emām-e gOrd “big imam,” ya-i bi “the other one.” — The direct object marker -(r)ā is used lavishly, but its absence in some sentences suggests its foreign provenance: man bOz adOzdam “I will steal the goat,” ke to bakOšinda “that they kill you,” āftāwa man dia tå xO-m dast-Em bašuram “give the water-pot to me, so that I myself wash my hands.”

Personal pronouns (PP) are of two types: independent and enclitic, as listed in Table 1. Independent pronouns, third person singular and plural, distinguish between the proximate and remote, and function also as demonstrative adjectives (DA) and pronouns (DP). Examples: DA: nEn pīrjan dOru åujea “this old woman is telling lies.” DP: pul-e nEnun yāgīr bakErima “that we save the money for these.” PP: nun ju bášvāt, man ju atam “he then said, I will go as well,” nun1 da va-š2-parså “he2 asked him1,” be nunun båu “say to them,” nun1-Eš2 beyā “he2 told him1,” karg-e nun1-Eš2 bagart “he2 took her1 hen.” — Enclitic pronouns function as (1) possessives: guš-dun “your ears”; (2) direct objects: peidå-šò kEram “I may find it,” be-ḏ-axOsam “I will hit you,” š1-ār-Ešun2-ga “they2 took it1”; (3) indirect objects: var-Eš1-Eš2 “he2 placed [it] before him1”; (4) agents in past of transitive verbs, i.e., Set II endings (see Person endings, below).

The reflexive pronoun xo- either appears plain (bå ču-e xO “with his stick”) or takes the enclitic pronouns (Set II) to function as an: (1) emphatic: vīčāra xO-š o jan-Eš o vačiun-Eš vEša båuOtinda “the wretched [man] himself, his wife and his children went to bed hungry”; (2) possessive: bOz-E xO-š-Eš navüšt “he did not find his goat,” az jīr-e vagīal-e xO-m angEsam “I look from under my arm”; (3) direct object: atarsam ke xO-m ju badOzdinda “I fear that they will steal me as well”; (4) with prepositions: xO-šun be xO-šun ba-šun-va “they said to themselves.” Prepositions include dar “in(to),” ru “in,” jir(-e) “under,” var-e “with, by,” peč “back,” borā “for,” “with” be “to,” az “from,” “until,” among others. The only postposition, besides -rā, is -da “to; from; in,” which often accompanies a preposition to form a circumposition: bašo ru-garmua-da hāčašt “he went into the bathhouse [and] sat (there),” nEn kargun-rå az jalav-e nun da ba-šun-vedErna “they made the hens pass in front to him,” bOz dOmbāl-Eš da ate “the goat is coming behind him,” man pīšīm ru kia-ye nun da nun-Em bexard va pasīn yai-i bi da "At noon I had a meal in his house, and this afternoon somewhere else.”

Verb phrase. The verbal system is based on the binary present and past stems. The latter are either irregular (e.g., pres./past anges-/angašt- “look,” in-/di- “see”) or derivable from the present stem by suffixing to it: viš-/višā- “boil.” The marker may pass to -o before a suffix, e.g., xāk-Ešun be-rijo-a “they have poured soil,” a-xEndo-inda “they were laughing.” The stems in -rd optionally lose it when not suffixed: raxt-Eš-Eš bar-kard “he took off his clothes.”

The preverbs ā, , ār, bar, dar, va/ve/vā, like the nominal components such as pe “back,” “foot,” “together,” further specify a stem, e.g., bend-/bast- “tie,” dar-~ “shut; tie,” yā-~ “tie together”; gErd-/gErdā- “wander, search”; bar-~ = va/vā-~ “return”; pe-~ “turn back”; ā-gir-/ga(r)t- = ha-~ “seize,” ār-~ “pick up,” yā-~ “save (e.g., money)”; ()-ker-/kard- “do,” ā-~ “close,” bar-~ “kick out; take off,” va-~ (auxiliary); n-/na- (nā-) “put,” tāq-~ “open”; ve-št-/štā- “stand,” pā-~ “stand up”; (e)-/ema- “come,” bar-~ “come out,” ru-~ “come in,” ār-~ “be able to” (see Modals, below); voz-/vašt- “run,” ār-~ “jump,” bar-~ “flee.” In the forms involving the past stems of transitive verbs, only h(ā) and ār tend to stay on the verb; other preverbs are separated from the verb by Set II endings: š-ā-qut “he hanged,” š-ār-pit “he twisted,” va-š parsā “he asked,” dar-eš vāšt “he lost,” bar-eš rit “he poured out.”

Modal prefixes are a- and ba-, which mark the durative and perfective aspects, respectively. The preverb, if any, suppresses ba- and precedes a-, which appears immediately before the stem. See Table 2 for paradigms. The durative marker a- appears in its full historical form at- (see ISFAHAN xxi, p. 106) in the verbs “bring” (e.g., at-ār-am “I bring,” bar š-at-ārd “he would bring out”) and “come” (with further irregularities; see the examples below). The negative marker ná- suppresses both aspect markers; hence the distinction between the imperfective and perfective is lost in the negative. ná- comes just before the stem in the present and past intransitive forms. Examples: present indicative/subjunctive: na-u(v)Oj-am “(that) I say not,” čura dar-na-girn-īma “we will/should not light a lamp”; intransitive preterit/imperfect: bar-na-ma “he did/would not come out.” In past transitive conjugations, the negative marker is placed before Set II endings unless the latter is moved off the verb (see below for explanation): na-šun-vūšt “they did not find,” čī-š na-vušt “he did not find (any)thing.”

Person endings consist of two sets, as shown in Table 1. The 3rd person singular is optionally zero in past forms. Set I endings are used in the present indicative (at-am “I come”) and subjunctive (bat-am “that I come”) and the intransitive preterit (b-ame-am “I came”), imperfect (bateme-am “I would come, was coming), and perfect (*bama-am “I have come”). Imperative endings are singular -a/zero and plural -i(y)a/-ida: dar-k-a “fall!” rasn-a “deliver!” ba-in-ø “see!” bauoj-ø “say!” bur-a “come!” nur-ia “come not ye!” ba-kEr-iya “do ye!” ba-xOr-īda “eat ye!” gūš da “hold it!"

Set II endings are used in the transitive past as subject (agent) markers; they are prefixed to the durative marker in the imperfect (šu-a-ka “they would do”) and inserted before the stem in the preterit (ba-šun-gat “they took”) and perfect (ba-šun-karda “they have done”). As in other Central Dialects, there is a strong tendency for Set II to move off the verb to a preceding word, most often to the direct object: nEzan-Eš baka “she did as such,” xar- kūče bi de babart “he took the donkey to another alley,” ya zang- gardan-Eš basta bo “he had tied on a bell to its neck.” It is not uncommon for the agent to move to the indirect object: bašoinda šāh-šun beā “they went [and] told the king.” The agent remains on the verb when the direct object is (1) not present in the same clause: har-če pei anguštar bagErdainda, na-šun-vūšt “however much they searched for the ring, they did not find [it],” nun1-Eš2 baba ru kia hā-š3-čuna “he2,3 took him1 into the house [and] sat [him] down”; (2) defined by the accusative marker: mOn-a garmua-da bar--ga “she turned me out of the bathhouse”; (3) far away (spatially or semantically) from the verb: šāgīāl ye karg az man ba-š-ba “the jackal took a hen of mine,” nāčāki nun jane-da na-š-famå “he did not find the illness in the woman.” The imperfect forms tend to take up the agent: mardOm š-a-di “he would see the people.” Intransitive compound verbs normally receive transitive conjugations: bOrma-šun baka (= barbaftinda) “they wept,” dād-Eš bajī “he shouted (for help),” dast šu-aji “they were clapping,” jandegunE-š aka “he was living.”

"To be”: the copula consists of Set I endings (except the 3rd sing. -a) suffixed to the present stem h- (zero for the 1st and 2nd persons), past stem bo/bu-, and subjunctive stem b-. The copula generally functions also as existential verb (e.g., bašdi ke xar naha “he saw that the donkey was not there,” dOzdun ju ru miun-e mardOm-da boinda “the thieves too were among the people”), yet the locative da (< *dar) may replace the copula (mālun ru nEn čā da “the properties are in that well”), and the verb “stand” functions as a existential verb in this sole example: bar-e kargdun-da Eštå yEk-do barm “at the door of the hen-coop were (‘stood’) a couple of rainwater tubs” (cf. JARQUYA ii).—“Become” is expressed by the copula plus the modal affixes -a and ba-/va-; “be” and “become” merge in their subjunctive and negative forms. “Become” functions as the auxiliary in the passive construction: čāk va-bo “that she gets well,” dāxEl va-b-iya! “come in ye!” makva bua “it is lost,” hat čār babwai-inda “now they have become four,” pāk-e mardOm jam ba-bo-inda “all the people gathered,” rūt a-bo “she was stripping.”

Modals: (1) gi/gā “want; must” is conjugated with Set II pronouns/endings as the agent in all tenses: pres. m-a-gi, dagi, šagi, mu-a-gi, duagi, šuagi, past: m-a-gā, dagā, šagā, a-mun-gā, adungā, ašungā; e.g., do nafar šagī bā-yā dO:zd vabinda “two persons would have to join together to become thieves,” muagi ke nun bar-eš-ārima “we want to take him out,” har-či duagī bakeriya “you may do as you wish,” šāh šagā ke-az Kāšun ejbārī bagīrī “the king wanted to take [some] conscripts from Kāšān.” (2) “Can” is formed by be- + Set II pronouns + -da + 3rd sing. masculine forms of the verb ār(-e)-/ār-Oma- (i.e., the verb “come,” with the preverb ār-, equivalent to Pers. bar-āmadan): nunče be-šun-da ārEma pül o javāhEr šārEšunga “they took what they were able of money and jewels,” be-mun-da ārnate “it is beyound our capability.” (3) The impersonal abu “must; can” (the subjunctive 3rd sing. of “be/become”): abu bašea “she must go,” āsun nabu vāt “it cannot be said easily.”

The causative and passive are formed by suffixing -(e)n and -i, respectively, to the present stem; the past stem is then made by adding to it: ba-vašt-ø “he ran,” ba-š-voz-n-ā “he made [it] run,” ba-voz-n-i-ā-ø “it was made run.”—The pluperfect and the perfect subjunctive are formed by the past participle followed by the preterit and subjunctive forms of “be,” respectively: hāčašta bo-ø “he was sitting,” ba-šun-sāta bo “they had built”; bahofta bu-ø “he may have slept,” ba-š-ešnofta bu “he may have heard.”—The future is formed by the invariable komi inserted before the past stem, which receives intransitive conjugation: komi-engašt-ø “he will look,” dar-komi-kat “it will fall,” komi-rāst-ima “we will spin,” dar-komi-pušt-inda “they will put on,” komi-ār-sat “he will weigh.”—Zargari gives progressive tenses consisting of conjugation of “have” followed by that of the present or imperfect of the main verb: dār-ia a-sāj-ia/dard-edun du-sāt “you are/were making.”—The infinitive marker is -an, added to the past stem with no modal prefix: āqut-an “to hang,” baxšā-an “to forgive.” The past participle, used in the present perfect and periphrastic tenses, is the past stem suffixed by a stressed -a, with or without the modal prefix ba-: či-a “arranged,” b-ešnāsā-a “recognized,” hā-čašt-a “is sitting.”



H. Borjian, “The Median of Jowshaqan: based on the texts collected by Ann K. S. Lambton,” forthcoming. A. K. S. Lambton, Three Persian Dialects, London, 1938.

Ehsan Yarshater, “Distinction of Grammatical Gender in the Dialects of Kashan Province and Adjoining Areas,” in Papers in Honour of Professor Mary Boyce II, Acta Iranica 25, Leiden, 1985, pp. 727-45.

Raḥmat-Allāh Zargari, Tāriḵ, farhang, wa honar-e Jowšaqān-e qāli, Tehran, 1995.

(Habib Borjian)

Originally Published: June 15, 2009

Last Updated: April 17, 2012

This article is available in print.
Vol. XV, Fasc. 1, pp. 79-81