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CAIS ARCHAEOLOGICAL & CULTURAL NEWS©

 

Atlas of Tati Language Being Compiled

 

News Category:

Cultural

 21 September 2003

 

Dr Saeed Oryan

Tati language is one of the oldest Iranian languages spoken in various parts of Iranian world that is now facing threats to its existence.

So far, there has been little systematic effort at documenting the language. Now the Language and Dialects Research Center affiliated to the Cultural Heritage Organization is set to publish an atlas of Iran's Tati dialects.

Experts believe scattered pockets of Tati speaking people across Iran are important linguistic communities which have two key characteristics: first their relationship with various linguistic families sometimes far apart from each other and second their structure's influence on the history of the Persian language and other languages in the country.

Head of the research center Dr. Saeed Oryan said the Tati speaking people were used to be concentrated in what is today the Ardabil (ancient Artavilla) province in central west Iran. Later they migrated to other areas in the country including the Qazvin province.

The Tati language then came into contact with other prevalent languages resulting in them falling underneath and local languages going on top, he noted.

The situation got the Tati speaking people to learn the dominant language and teach it to their children, leading to the extinction of the language in many villages where it was once spoken, Dr. Oryan remarked.

As a result, he pointed out, the language is endangered particularly in the East Azarbaijan province where an isolated village with 10 families is considered the main Tati speaking pocket in the province, he continued.

Dr. Oryan blamed the decline in the use of the language on people's emigration to larger cities.

A data bank of the Tati dialects spoken in the provinces of Qazvin, Ardabil, East Azarbaijan, Markazi and Zanjan has been compiled in the research center and now experts are analyzing the collected information.

 

 

 

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