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Joyce Blau l'éternelle chez les Kurdes

 | 
Hamit Bozarslan
, 
Clémence Scalbert-Yücel

Literary Gurāni: Koinè or Continuum?

Philip G. Kreyenbroek et Behrooz Chaman Ara

Texte intégral

  • 1 Joyce Blau. (1996): « Kurdish Written Literature », in Philip G. Kreyenbroek and Christine Alison ( (...)

1Professor Joyce Blau, to whom this article is dedicated in friendship and admiration, is one of the few scholars to have worked on the rich literature of the Eastern Kurds in a language widely referred to as « Gurani ».1 Following a usage that has become more or less established, in a publication on the subject, Joyce speaks of Gurani as a « literary koinè ».

  • 2 In what follows the form « Gurani » will be used. Diacritics will only be used for names of languag (...)
  • 3 Joyce Blau. (1989): « Gourani et Zaza » in Rüdiger Schmitt (ed.), Compendium Linguarum Iranicarum, (...)
  • 4 Notably in Karl Hadank (1930): Mundarten der Gūrān, besonders das Kändūläī, Auramānī und Bādchälānī(...)

2The term « Gurani » or « Gorani »2 is used to denote a number of different phenomena. It used as a collective term for a group of dialects spoken in the Hawrāmān and Gurān regions; it is in this sense that Joyce used the term in her publication « Gourani et Zaza ».3 When used in this way, however, « Gurani » comprises two groups of living dialects viz. those of Hawrāmān and Gurān, which show marked differences from one another. Although the Gurani dialects are not as well documented as Hawrami, several spoken forms have been described at least to some extent.4

3Besides those « natural », spoken forms of « Gurani », the term is also used for another form of speech which is used for literary purposes, and which is often described as a koinè.

4In this paper, the following definition of a koinè will be used:5

a koinè language is a standard language or dialect that has arisen as a result of contact between two mutually intelligible varieties (dialects) of the same language… A koinè variety emerges as a new spoken variety in addition to the originating dialects; it does not change any existing dialect.

5This term was first used for « literary » Gurani by Ch. Rieu (1881), and has been widely used ever since, presumably because literary Gurani has much in common with several known koinès. Like other koinès, for example, it emerged to serve as a common idiom intelligible to speakers of a number of languages or dialects, which were themselves in part mutually intelligible. It is the contention of the present authors that a fundamental difference between koinès and literary Gurani is that the latter never functioned as a spoken language (which is part of the definition given above), but was exclusively a literary idiom intended to be intelligible to speakers of a range of « Zagrosian » languages. While the use of the term koinè for literary Gurani may therefore be justified to some extent, this paper aims to show that it is to some extent misleading. It is our view that, given the variations in vocabulary and grammar that occur in texts in this idiom, the concept of a « continuum » is more helpful for understanding the way literary Gurani functions than that of a koinè.

6Several scholars have discussed the phenomenon of a « literary Gurani ». D.N. McKenzie states:

Gurāni once also attained the status of a literary language (see below). This literary Gurāni koinē differs in its morphology to a varying extent from all existing dialects. In particular its nominal inflection is considerably reduced.6

7Elsewhere McKenzie writes:

  • 7 D.N. McKenzie (1965): « Some Gorani Lyrical Verse », BSOAS 28/2, p. 255, 258. URL: https://www.jsto (...)

This seems an appropriate moment to turn back from the spoken language to take fresh look at literary Gorānī and in particular the most neglected part of it, namely lyric verse. What now emerges clearly is the way in which the poets have drawn on Gorānī, Kurdish, and Persian vocabulary, and even grammatical constructions, at will…7

8One essential and obvious fact, which Soane ignored, emerges clearly from a comparison of the few transcriptions of Gurani verse given by Benedictsen-Christensen and Minorsky on the one hand and Mann (MS notes) and Hadank on the other. It is that the inhabitants of the Āwrāmān and Kirmānšāh areas respectively, in their use of literary Gurani, give the koinè the phonetic values of their own dialects.

9McKenzie, then, notes that a range of pronunciations of this literary idiom are acceptable.

10I.K. Fattah, while accepting that certain works are in a koinè based on Gurani, describes the language of other compositions as being essentially in another language or dialect, to which certain features from Gurani were added so as to comply with the requirements of literary Gurani 

  • 8 The reference is to H. IzadPanah (1384/2005): Shāhnāme-ye-Laki, Tehran.
  • 9 Ismaïl Kamandâr Fattah (2000): Les dialectes Kurdes méridionaux : Étude linguistique et dialectolog (...)

… le « gurāni-koinè poétique » doit occuper une place à part au sein de dialectes gurāni-zāzā du fait de sa fonction socio-linguistique et du caractère collectif de son usage, parmi les Kurdes d’Iran de parlers différents. Il fut pendant des siècles la langue poétique des dynasties d’Ardalān, de la grande région de Kirmānšāh et du Lorestān historique… et celle de l’essentiel des écrits des Kurdes Ahl-e Haqq, en partie toujours en usage encore dans la majorité du Kurdistan iranien, dans la grande région de Kirmānšāh,…
Si cette koïnè poétique s’est surtout développée dans une zone que l’on peut schématiquement situer entre la grande région de Kirmānšāh-Hamadān et le Lakestān et leurs environs, et s’il est établi une tradition assez justifiable de regrouper sous la dénomination gurāni cette koïnè avec l’ensemble des dialectes gurāni-zāzā …
Du reste, cette koïnè d’une grande clarté est ressentie en particulier par les Kurdes du sud jusqu’au sud de Pištiku et par les Kurdes lak comme leur dialecte poétique et littéraire de registre épique, mystique et amoureux. Ils l’ont pratiqué, animé et marquée pendant des siècles, parallèlement à une production abondante dans leurs dialectes spécifiques. Cette symbiose avec le gurāni-koïnè poétique des KS (Kurdes du sud, PK), des Lak et en partie des Lor du Lorestān est si ressentie qu’Izadpanāh crut avoir découvert un épisode du Shāhnāme en laki, alors qu’il s’agissait en réalité d’une version en gurāni.8 On trouve dans la grande région de Kirmānšāh … un grand nombre de poèmes kurdes du sud présentant quelques éléments grammaticaux empruntés aux dialectes gurāni (tels que les préfixes ma- du présent et du passé duratif) ; dans son ouvrage Kurdish Songs, Mokri qualifie cette variante poétique de « kirmānšāhi style hawrāmāni ».9

11To this we may add that, in the perception of B. Chamanara (hereafter BC), a native of the Zagros region and a specialist on the literature of Western Iran, literary Gurani has equally strong links with local languages such as Kalhori, Lakki, Feyli and Lori as it has with Hawrami/Gurani. P. Kreyenbroek (hereafter PK), moreover, has been shown religious texts of the Yāresān or Ahl-e Haqq, which were said by native speakers of Lakki to be in their language, but were in fact in literary Gurani, in which large parts of the sacred literature of the Yāresān is composed. In spite of this apparent confirmation of some of Fattah’s assertions, a number of questions remain:

  • Is the qualification of literary Gurani as a koinè appropriate or misleading?

  • To what extent can literary Gurani, which is found in a range of heterogeneous texts, be said to be a single, coherent linguistic system?

  • If not, can a clear distinction be made between a literary Gurani that is close to spoken forms of that language, and a « Kirmānšāhi-style Hawrāmāni » as Mokri and Fattah appear to do? In other words, is it true, as Fattah implies, that certain texts are essentially in another language (such as Lakki or Kalhori), to which certain artificial features deriving from Gurani are added so as to lend the text the semblance of being in Gurani?

12In order to provide at least some answers to these question we shall compare data deriving from BC’s extensive study of a large number of manuscripts of the Kurdish Šāhnāme, and the texts of the oldest Ahl-e Haqq kalāms (the so-called Perdiwari kalāms) as found in Anon. 1, which was given to PK by Sayyed Fereydoun Hosseyni, a religious leader of the Yāresān, as being the best source for these texts. BC is a native speaker of Kalhori who, as a musician and specialist on Western Iranian culture, possesses a good knowledge of the literary language of his region. PK has worked for some years on the older religious texts of the Yāresān or Ahl-e Haqq.

13McKenzie (EIr), who treats « the koinè » as a unified whole, notes the following differences between the literary idiom and the natural dialects of Gurān and Hawrāmāṇ:

  • Nouns: Most dialects (but not the literary koinè) share with the neighboring Kurdish two stressed determinative suffixes, masc. -ak’a, fem. Hawr. -ak’ē, Kand. -ak’ī, and in combination with a demonstrative adjective -’a.

  • An eẓāfa (q.v.) is found in Hawrāmī ( for the genitive, with epithets) and Kandūlaī ( generally): other dialects, like the koinē, have .

  • The personal endings of present tenses are Hawr. sing. 1 , 2 , 3 , plur. 1 -mē, 2 -dē, 3 ; Kand. , , , -im, ,-ān; but Gahv., -im, , -i, -ām, -a, -in. In the koinē, -m and -n occasionally appear in the first per. sing. -ū(m/n).

  • The past tenses of transitive verbs are inflected ergatively, with the agential suffixes -im, -it, -iš, -mā(n), -tā(n), -šā(n).

  • 10 D.N. McKenzie (1965) p. 259.

14As far as the ezāfe is concerned, McKenzie’s assertion that « the koinē » has long is perhaps a slip of the pen. In an earlier publication,10 the author speaks of « the Izafe ı », which corresponds to the evidence of the kalāms and the Šāhnāme.

15As McKenzie says, a determinative suffix in -aka is conspicuously absent from literary Gurani, apparently in all its forms. Given the frequent occurrence of this particle in other forms of the language, it can be assumed that this feature helps listeners to identify a text as Gurani.

  • 11 Mohammad Mokri (1967): Le Chasseur de Dieu et le Mythe du Roi Aigle (Dawray Dāmyārī), Wiesbaden, Ha (...)
  • 12 See also Parvin Mahmoudveyssi et. al. p. 13; 55-6, which describes what may be remnants of an earli (...)
  • 13 O. Mann’s notes were published after his death by Karl Hadank. O. Mann (in Hadank op. cit. p. 99-10 (...)
  • 14 Karl Hadank op. cit., p. 438.
  • 15 No categorical pronouncements can be made until a full grammatical analysis of the texts is availab (...)

16A further characteristic of literary Gurani appears to be that nouns do not consistently have oblique endings. Mokri gives a list of instances of what appear to be oblique cases in , -a, and -ī,11 but the very variety of these endings, combined with the fact that the instances where these must indeed denote obliques are not numerous, suggests that these are mere relics of earlier usage, possibly adopted for metrical reasons.12 According to McKenzie (EIr), « Most dialects present a distinction of two numbers and two cases (direct and oblique) in the nominal inflection, but only Hawrami has preserved a further consistent distinction of two grammatical genders. » O. Mann13 notes that Kandule’i has an oblique in -ī, but that the oblique ending is often lacking. In Gahwāre’i an oblique in -e was apparently found only rarely in the early 20th century.14 Even though the oblique appeared to be disappearing in spoken form of Gurani in the course of the past century, its scarcity15 in texts of much earlier origin, such as the kalāms, is worthy of note, and may be an instance of the grammatical simplification that McKenzie referred to (see above).

17In addition to this, an important marker of Gurani is the vocabulary. Pace Fattah, it is not the case that a text in e.g. Kalhori or Lakki with a few added features deriving from Gurani is acceptable as literary Gurani. For « he came », for example, the verb hat / hāt, which occurs in several Zagrosian languages (see below), cannot be used in « Gurani » poetry of any type, only āmā being permissible.

  • 16 The available information on the vocabulary of these dialects is insufficient to enable one to be m (...)
  • 17 H. Safari (1378/1999): Wāženāme-ye Dālāhu, Kermanshah.

18It is probably significant that preferred forms are generally identical with, or relatively close to their equivalents in Hawrami, and also presumably to spoken Gurani dialects16 (see table below). The fact that such a table could be drawn up at all, and that a glossary of the literary Gurani idiom now exists,17 suggests that the vocabulary that may be used in literary Gurani is restricted, and its use therefore marks a text as being in literary Gurani.

Literary Gurani, epic texts

Hawrāmi

Lakki

Lori

Kalhori

Feyli

English

Āmā

āmā

hat

ūmā

hāt

hāt

He came

bāčā, wāčā, wāča

wāča

biwūš

baš

büš

büš, būš

Say!

wēš, xwēš

wēš

wiž

xōš

xwaē

wižē, xwaē

His own

Čēšan

čēšan

časē

čiša

čaya, čwaya

čaya

What happened to him?

makēšā

makēšā

makēšā

kēšā

kēšīā

dikēšā/makēšā

He drew

hūn, hün,

wīn

hūn

xīn

xün

xūn, xwēn

Blood

Hurēz

hurza

wirēz

wirēz

hīzgir, ałis, hałis

hīzgir, ałis, hałis

Get up!

19Some alternative forms are found in the literature, however, particularly in the Šāhnāme.

  • Besides forms with initial w-, forms with xw- can be found

    • « He ate »: ward, xward

    • « Himself »: wēš, xwēš

    • « He read »: wand, xwand

    • « Good, happy »: waš, xwaš

  • Where spoken Hawrami has initial y-, some forms in y- and x- are both attested in the literary language:

    • « House »: yāna, xāna

    • « Soil »: xarrig, harrig

  • Forms with non-initial m may have variants in -w:

    • « Eye »: čam, čaw

    • « Flat »: hāmār, hāwār

  • Elsewhere, b alternates with w:

    • « Wine »: šarāw, šarāb

    • « He tied »: wast, bas(t)

    • « Patience »: sawr, sabr

    • « Tiger »: bawr, babr.

  • Other variants include:

    • « Memory »: wīr, hür

    • « Stand up! »: wirēz, hurēz

    • « Go! »: bičū, bišū

    • « I too »: min-īč, min-īš

  • Prepositions show the following variants:

    • « To »: aw, wa, ba

    • « From »: ža, ja

  • 18 So H. Safari op. cit., p. 260 262.

20The present tense of literary Gurani compares with Hawrami and a dialect of spoken Gurani as follows (pres. ind. of wārdin, wardan,18 Haw. wārday « to eat »):

  • 19 D.N. McKenzie (1966) op. cit., p. 37.
  • 20 See Karl Hadank op. cit., p. 438.
  • 21 So e.g. in the expression maramo, « he says », which marks the beginning of many verses in the Kalā (...)
  • 22 So in H. IzadPanah, op. cit., vv. 5, 6 et passim.
  • 23 So in H. IzadPanah, op. cit., vv. 9, 11, 12 et passim.

Lit. Gurani

Hawrami19

Gahwāre’i20

mawarū, -ūm, -im

waru

mawarim

mawarī

warī

mawarī

mawarū, -o21

warō

mawari

mawarūn, -īn

warmē

mawarām

mawarīn, -ūn22

wardē

maware

mawarin, -ān, -o23

warā

mawarin

21In the texts studied by BC, the form in -ūn is a 1st plural rather than singular as stated by McKenzie (see above) while, at least in the Šāhnāme, the 1st singular can also have the endings -ūm and -im. In some texts the ending -ūn can also denote a 2nd pl., while the 3rd pl. can have the ending -o.

22Interesting though these details may be, it is the use of past tenses in various texts in literary Gurani that calls into question the idea that this is a unified koinè.

  • 24 Mann in Karl Hadank op. cit., p. 458.
  • 25 As far as ergative constructions are concerned, the passages in Rijābi (Karl Hadank op. cit., p. 46 (...)
  • 26 The following abbreviations will be used here: P= Patiens; A= Agens V= Verb; sA= pronominal suffix (...)

23As far as the living Gurani dialects is concerned, in the passage in Gahwāre’i given by Mann,24 whose use of the ergative is largely similar to that of other dialects,25 we find the following types of ergative sentences:26

šinaftawiš « he had heard »: V+sA.
wātiš « he said »: V+sA
dīm « I saw »: V+sA
rā-š makard « he made his way »: P+sA.V
min šinaftami « I have heard »: A.V+sA
niyāmawa « I put it back »: V+sA

  • 27 Karl Hadank op. cit., p. 454.

24In single sentences27 we find the same patterns, with an apparent preference for A.P+sA.V sentences, e.g.

ā sarbāza ča-š dā wanit?
« 
what did that soldier give you? »

min ya kitāwum nüs
« 
I wrote a book. »

  • 28 cf Karl Hadank op. cit., p. 438.

25Perhaps because the dialect of Gahwāre does not make extensive use of oblique endings,28 it appears that ergative constructions must contain a personal suffix added to Patient or Verb, even if a noun or pronoun denoting the Agent occurs in the sentence. In this respect Gahwāre’i usage is similar to that of Sorani Kurdish, which does not differentiate between rectus and oblique, but unlike Kurmanji, where the oblique case is clearly distinguished from the rectus.

  • 29 The so-called « Perdiwari Kalāms », which are believed to have been committed to writing at the tim (...)
  • 30 Anon. (copied 1387/2008): Daftar-e Diwān-e Gawra-ye Perdiwari [The Book of the Great Collection of (...)

26As far as literary Gurani is concerned, McKenzie’s statement that, « The past tenses of transitive verbs are inflected ergatively » is true, on the whole, of the language of the older29 Yāresān Kalāms: 30

  • 31 Or perhaps: « you proclaimed/read an error ».

Kāka ghałat-it kard, ghałat-it wānā
min yezdānān-u hīč kas nazānā
« 
Oh Kaka (Reda), you have made an error, your error is this:31
I am divine and no one knew.
 »

27The first half-verse has the P+sA.V, while hīč kas nazānā in the second can be interpreted as an ergative (A.V) with hīč kas functioning as an oblique indicating the Agent, or simply as a non-ergative past.

  • 32 Anon., op. cit., p. 16.

28The construction V+sA.P is also frequently found in the Kalāms, e.g:32

Dīm gawra kināča mandan ča hawār
« 
I saw a big girl who had not returned from the summer quarters »

  • 33 Mohammad Mokri, op. cit., p. 114-7.
  • 34 Mohammad Mokri op. cit., p. 171.

29Mokri33 offers an overview of the verbs found in the Dawra-y Dāmyāri, which shows that ergative constructions (esp. P.V+sA, V+sA.P and P+sA.V) are generally used for the past of transitive verbs. A clearly non-ergative construction, however, is found in st. 175 of the Dawra-y Dāmyāri: 34

Qūč-i Ismā‘īl bardīm wa tiřgāṇ
« 
We rapidly took the lamb (that was meant to be sacrificed for) Ismā‘īl »

  • 35 The form bardīm is also found in Anon. (op. cit., p. 113) which rules out a simple error.

30The use of the disyllabic bardīm35 is presumably due to metrical reasons. The metre requires 2 x 5 syllables, so that *bardimān would be over-long. However this may be, the fact remains that even in the older kalāms non-ergative past tenses of transitive verbs do occur.

  • 36 Not all of these texts were available to us.
  • 37 Amīr Zūle’i (copied 1368/1989): Daftar-e Šayx Amir [The Book of Sheikh Amir], copied by Khass ‘Ali (...)

31Insofar as could be ascertained,36 later Yāresān kalāms also tend to use the ergative. Thus a verse by Amīr Zūle’ī37 shows P.V+sA:

  • 38 The combination ay or a-y in literary Gurani is widely pronounced /aɛy/.

zař saray šāhān dī-mān way38 wayne

« We saw the golden palace of Kings there »

32Many Yāresān claim that the language of the later compositions tends to depart from correct Gurani usage, and this trend may also affect the use of the ergative. More research in this field is required.

  • 39 D.N. McKenzie (1965) op. cit., p. 262-3.

33In the lyrical Gurani verse studied by McKenzie, we find a similar use of the ergative as in the Yāresān Kalāms: transitive verbs in the past tense normally have ergatives, but exceptions occur. Thus we find in a poem by Maḥzūnī: 39

āır dāy wa dił, darūn-ım tāw dā
« 
You set fire to my heart (which) inflamed my entrails »

34In epic poetry, on the other hand, the non-ergative construction appears to be the rule rather than the exception. In an epic poem quoted by Minorsky40 we find:

  • 41 The text follows Minorsky’s transcription.

Qaläm gĭrt wä däs Behrūz-e särwar41
Nuwisā juwāw nāzdār-e kešwar
Sar nāmä wä āw tälā enšā kĭrd
Äwäl esme zāt muškul-gušā kĭrd
« 
Behruz the leader took the pen in his hand
The Glorious One of the world wrote an answer
The beginning of the letter he wrote with golden ink
First he gave the name of the Essence as “the Problem-solver”
. »

35The « ergative » construction A.P+sA.V is rarely seen in the epic poetry studied by BC. On the other hand, besides straightforward non-ergative constructions there are fairly frequent instances of the ambiguous construction P.V+sA, e.g.:

dast-iš girt wa das bard-iš wa yāna
« He took her hand in his hand and took her home. »

  • 42 See Mohammad Mokri (1966): La Légende de Bīžan-u Manīja, Paris, Klincksieck, p. 75-6.

36In many texts we find such forms as kard-iš, bard-iš alternating with non-ergative verb forms, suggesting that the use of such forms depends on the requirement of the metre (see text below). In Mokri’s edition of Bīžan-u Manīja,42 the situation is similar: very few verses have P+sA.V, or A.P.V; the construction P.V+sA is still used relatively often; while the non-ergative construction appears to be most widely used.

  • 43 While the suffix is usually transcribed -iš in Kalām texts [see Ṭāheri, T. (2007, 2009), Saranjām, (...)

37All this seems to suggest that the construction P.V.sA has lost much of its ergative value, and the verbs in -iš or -43are little more than ossified forms of the type that is also found in Ferdowsi’s Persian Šāhnāme. In fact BC, a « native listener » to Gurani poetry whose first language is the « non-ergative » Kalhori but who is also fluent in the « ergative » Sorani, describes his perception of the -forms in literary Gurani as follows:

The function of -in /bikard-aš/ biward-aš/, etc. is not the sign of an ergative, but is a matter of individual preference in Gurani poetry. In the lines below, the suffix - can be eliminated without changing the meaning of the sentence, whereas one cannot eliminate it in « ergative » languages.

38The following passage, which aptly illustrates the alternation between simple past and past with -aš, is from Rusam-u Zurāw, the Gurani version of Ferdowsi’s Rostam-o Sohrāb.

āhirē naw dašt-i sārā firūzā

He lit a fire in the desert

timām jam kard-aš yakāyak sūzā

He collected it (firewood) all, and burnt every piece

tarkaš bas na pēšt kamand-u kamān

He tied his quiver to his back, (and) his lasso and bow

řū kard- wa miłk, šāri samangān

And turned his face to the Kingdom of the city of Samangān

tahmīna ja šār niyāz makard-aš

Tahmine was praying for help in the city

sar wa čarx-i barz-i haftimīn bard-aš

She lifted her head as high as the seventh heaven

manził ba manził tay kard-aš wa qīn

He passed house after house in anger

har tā ki yāwā ba tūrān zamīn

Until he arrived in the land of Turan

ja hozūr-i šā nakard-aš madār

He had no fear of the presence of the King

har tā ki yāwān ba qasr-i zařkār

As he arrived at the gold-adorned castle

hurēzā ba tāw wayna-y šams-i zař

He stood up, radiant like the golden sun

tū ba tū-y libās bikard na war

He put on his clothes one over the other

čan kēšā parēt jafā-y řūžigār

How much did he suffer for you from the injustice of fate

čan jādū ba tēx kard- nigūnsār

How many warlocks did he exterminate with his sword

39Clear ergatives are found in that text in a small number of cases, e.g.:

Šāhīt dā min
« 
You have given me the kingdom » (P+sA.V)
Minit kard wa šāh
« 
You made me a King » (P+sA.V)

40All this enables us to address the questions asked earlier. First of all, however felicitous the term « koinè » may have seemed to scholars in the past, the fact is that literary Gurani does not – and, given the alternation between ergative and non-ergative pasts, cannot – function as a spoken language. Since our definition states that « a koiné variety emerges as a new spoken variety in addition to the originating dialects », other qualifications need to be found to describe the nature of literary Gurani.

41As to the unity of literary Gurani, one needs to take into account different considerations. While linguists may remark on certain inconsistencies in grammar and pronunciation, there can be no question that « native listeners », most of whom are used to hearing a range of Iranian languages and dialects – both ergative and « non-ergative » – in their everyday lives, perceive the language of various texts in this idiom as a single, distinct « language ». While the speech forms in question must meet certain requirements both as regards grammar and vocabulary, a range of variants are evidently accepted as correct. In other words, Gurani is an idiom in which, within certain parameters, a continuum of different phonological and grammatical features is regarded as correct.

42The fact that literary Gurani has a well-defined vocabulary (showing a clear preference for words of Hawrami/Gurani origin) rules out Fattah’s suggestion that poetry could essentially be composed in a different language, to which certain artificial features deriving from Gurani were then added. Again, it seems more appropriate to explain the range of permissible variants in grammar and phonology as a continuum which enables a poet to follow his linguistic preferences up to a point, but only within limits that are clear to poet and audience alike.

  • 44 E.g. Gurani, Lakki, though not Lori.

43These arguments, then, do not favour seeking to draw a hard-and-fast distinction between « literary Gurani proper » and « Kirmānšāhi-style Hawrāmāni ». The classical Yāresān kalāms are typically performed for a restricted audience whose first language is likely to be an « ergative » one.44 Because of their sacred nature, moreover, these texts are memorised with great precision, and probably have not changed much since they were composed many centuries ago. Performances of the Šāhnāme, on the other hand, were popular occasions intended for a much broader audience, including many speakers of non-ergative languages. Given the importance of oral transmission in traditional Zagrosian culture, such factors made the language of Šāhnāme texts more liable to be influenced by the languages of the non-Gurani populations, and probably by Persian. As a result, in the Kurdish Šāhnāme the non-ergative past, which is also occasionally found in texts where the ergative predominates, gradually came to be used mostly in its simplest forms (the « -iš construction »). Evidently these constructions gradually ceased to be perceived as ergatives by many speakers of non-ergative languages, and they eventually gave way to non-ergative construction – but again, some ergatives are still found there.

44In view of these considerations it seems most appropriate to regard all varieties of literary Gurani as variants of a single idiom, which was never intended to be spoken but served to convey Zagrosian culture in such a way that it could be understood by all members of this multi-lingual society. As Joyce Blau’s work has shown, the literature resulting from this unusual development is a valuable part of the cultural heritage of the Kurds, and deserves to be more fully studied.

Bibliographie

Amīr Zūle’i (copied 1368/1989), Daftar-e Šayx Amir [The Book of Sheikh Amir], copied by Khass ‘Ali Nowruzi Siyahbidi. n.pl.

Anon. (copied 1387/2008), Daftar-e Diwān-e Gawra-ye Perdiwari [The Book of the Great Collection of Perdiwari (Kalāms)], copied by Kāki ‘Azizpanāhi Tutshāmi (n.pl.)

Joyce Blau (1989), « Gourani et Zaza » in R. Schmitt (ed.), Compendium Linguarum Iranicarum, Wiesbaden, Reichert, p. 336–40.

Joyce Blau (1996), « Kurdish Written Literature », in Ph. Kreyenbroek and Ch. Alison (eds.), Kurdish Culture and Identity, London and New Jersey, Zed, p. 20-28.

Joyce Blau (2010), « Written Kurdish Literature », in P.G. Kreyenbroek and U. Marzolph (eds.), Oral Literature of Iranian Languages: Kurdish, Pashto, Balochi, Ossetic, Persian and Tajik. Companion Volume II, A History of Persian Literature XVIII, London and New York, IB Tauris, p. 1-32.

Ismaïl K. Fattah (2000), Les dialectes Kurdes méridionaux : Étude linguistique et dialectologique, Louvain, Peeters.

Karl Hadank (1930), Mundarten der Gūrān, besonders das Kändūläī, Auramānī und Bādchälānī, Berlin.

H. IzadPanah (1384/2005), Shāhnāme-ye-Laki, Tehran.

Mahmoudveysi, P., D. Bailey, L. Paul, and G. Haig (2012), The Gorani Language of Gawraǰū, a village of West Iran: Texts, grammar, and lexicon, Wiesbaden, Reichert.

D.N. McKenzie (1965), « Some Gorānī Lyrical Verse », Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 28/2, p. 255-83. DOI: 10.1017/S0041977X00075108.

D.N. McKenzie (1966), The Dialect of Awroman (Hawraman-i Luhon), Copenhagen, Munksgaard.

D.N. McKenzie (EIr), « Gurāni » in Encyclopaedia Iranica http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/gurani.

Vladimir Minorsky (1943), « The Gūrān », Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies XI, p. 74-103. DOI : 10.1017/S0041977X00071226.

Mohammad Mokri (1966), La Légende de Bīžan-u Manīja, Paris.

Mohammad Mokri (1967), Le Chasseur de Dieu et le Mythe du Roi Aigle (Dawray Dāmyārī), Wiesbaden, Harrassowitz.

Charles Rieu (1881), « Gurani Koine », in Catalogue of the Persian Manuscripts in the British Museum II, London, p. 728-34.1378/20. URL: https://archive.org/stream/catalogueofpersi02brituoft#page/724/mode/2up.

H. Safari (1378/1999), Wāženāme-ye Dālāhu, Kermanshah.

T. Ṭāheri (2007, 2009), Saranjām, 2 Vols, Erbil.

Notes

1 Joyce Blau. (1996): « Kurdish Written Literature », in Philip G. Kreyenbroek and Christine Alison (eds.), Kurdish Culture and Identity, London and New Jersey, p. 20-28; Joyce Blau. (2010): « Written Kurdish Literature », in Philip G. Kreyenbroek and Ulrich Marzolph (eds.), Oral Literature of Iranian Languages: Kurdish, Pashto, Balochi, Ossetic, Persian and Tajik. Companion Volume II, A History of Persian Literature XVIII, London and New York, p. 7-9.

2 In what follows the form « Gurani » will be used. Diacritics will only be used for names of languages or dialects where their absence could give rise to mispronunciations, e.g. Gahwāre’i, Rijābi, but Hawrami.

3 Joyce Blau. (1989): « Gourani et Zaza » in Rüdiger Schmitt (ed.), Compendium Linguarum Iranicarum, Wiesbaden, p. 336–40. URL: https://archive.org/details/CompendiumLinguarumIranicarum1989.

4 Notably in Karl Hadank (1930): Mundarten der Gūrān, besonders das Kändūläī, Auramānī und Bādchälānī, Berlin. ; and more recently in Parvin Mahmoudveysi, Denise Bailey, Ludwig Paul, and Geoffrey Haig (2012): The Gorani Language of Gawraǰū, a village of West Iran : Texts, grammar, and lexicon, Wiesbaden, Reichert.

5 See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koin%C3%A9_language.

6 « Gurani », in Encyclopaedia Iranica. http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/gurani.

7 D.N. McKenzie (1965): « Some Gorani Lyrical Verse », BSOAS 28/2, p. 255, 258. URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/611607.

8 The reference is to H. IzadPanah (1384/2005): Shāhnāme-ye-Laki, Tehran.

9 Ismaïl Kamandâr Fattah (2000): Les dialectes Kurdes méridionaux : Étude linguistique et dialectologique, Leuven, Peeters, p. 68-70.

10 D.N. McKenzie (1965) p. 259.

11 Mohammad Mokri (1967): Le Chasseur de Dieu et le Mythe du Roi Aigle (Dawray Dāmyārī), Wiesbaden, Harassowitz, p. 118-9.

12 See also Parvin Mahmoudveyssi et. al. p. 13; 55-6, which describes what may be remnants of an earlier oblique in certain contexts in a modern living dialect of Gurani.

13 O. Mann’s notes were published after his death by Karl Hadank. O. Mann (in Hadank op. cit. p. 99-100), see D.N. McKenzie (1966): The Dialect of Awroman (Hawraman-i Luhon), Copenhagen, Munksgaard, p. 3.

14 Karl Hadank op. cit., p. 438.

15 No categorical pronouncements can be made until a full grammatical analysis of the texts is available.

16 The available information on the vocabulary of these dialects is insufficient to enable one to be more specific.

17 H. Safari (1378/1999): Wāženāme-ye Dālāhu, Kermanshah.

18 So H. Safari op. cit., p. 260 262.

19 D.N. McKenzie (1966) op. cit., p. 37.

20 See Karl Hadank op. cit., p. 438.

21 So e.g. in the expression maramo, « he says », which marks the beginning of many verses in the Kalāms.

22 So in H. IzadPanah, op. cit., vv. 5, 6 et passim.

23 So in H. IzadPanah, op. cit., vv. 9, 11, 12 et passim.

24 Mann in Karl Hadank op. cit., p. 458.

25 As far as ergative constructions are concerned, the passages in Rijābi (Karl Hadank op. cit., p. 463) and Zarde’i (Karl Hadank op. cit., p. 476) show no major differences from the one in Gahwāre’i. Insofar as one can judge from a single short passage (Karl Hadank op. cit., p. 469), the « Sayyedi » (now usually called Seydāni dialect appears to prefer the construction P.V+sA (ča dīm « what did I see » rather than *ča-m dī), or indeed V+sA (parsām « I asked », which is indistinguishable from a non-ergative construction).

26 The following abbreviations will be used here: P= Patiens; A= Agens V= Verb; sA= pronominal suffix referring to the Agent.

27 Karl Hadank op. cit., p. 454.

28 cf Karl Hadank op. cit., p. 438.

29 The so-called « Perdiwari Kalāms », which are believed to have been committed to writing at the time when Soltān Sahāk resided in Perdiwar near Paveh, perhaps in the 14th or 15th century CE.

30 Anon. (copied 1387/2008): Daftar-e Diwān-e Gawra-ye Perdiwari [The Book of the Great Collection of Perdiwari (Kalāms)], copied by Kāki ‘Azizpanāhi Tutshāmi (n.pl.), p. 16.

31 Or perhaps: « you proclaimed/read an error ».

32 Anon., op. cit., p. 16.

33 Mohammad Mokri, op. cit., p. 114-7.

34 Mohammad Mokri op. cit., p. 171.

35 The form bardīm is also found in Anon. (op. cit., p. 113) which rules out a simple error.

36 Not all of these texts were available to us.

37 Amīr Zūle’i (copied 1368/1989): Daftar-e Šayx Amir [The Book of Sheikh Amir], copied by Khass ‘Ali Nowruzi Siyahbidi. n.pl., p. 6.

38 The combination ay or a-y in literary Gurani is widely pronounced /aɛy/.

39 D.N. McKenzie (1965) op. cit., p. 262-3.

40 Vladimir Minorsky (1943): « The Gūrān », BSOAS XI, p. 90. URL: https://archive.org/details/Minorsky1943BSOASGuran.

41 The text follows Minorsky’s transcription.

42 See Mohammad Mokri (1966): La Légende de Bīžan-u Manīja, Paris, Klincksieck, p. 75-6.

43 While the suffix is usually transcribed -iš in Kalām texts [see Ṭāheri, T. (2007, 2009), Saranjām, 2 Vols, Erbil, passim], BC pronounces it as -aš.

44 E.g. Gurani, Lakki, though not Lori.

Auteurs

Université de Göttingen

Université du Kurdistan, Iran

© Institut français d’études anatoliennes, 2018

Conditions d’utilisation : http://www.openedition.org/6540

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