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Project Members

  • Donald Stilo

An Atlas of the Araxes-Iran Linguistic Area

The Atlas of the Araxes-Iran Linguistic Area covers the languages the South Caucasus, eastern Turkey, northern Iraq and northern Iran, an area involving heavy contact phenomena leading to many shared features among the following five different language families, and two genera of Indo-European:

  • KARTVELIAN: colloquial Georgian, Georgian dialects; Laz; Megrelian;
  • INDO-EUROPEAN, Armenian: colloquial Yerevan, widely variant dialects of Armenia, Iran and formerly Turkey;
  • ALTAIC: Azerbaijani dialects of Azerbaijan and Iran; Iraqi Turkmen; eastern Turkish dialects;
  • SEMITIC: Neo-Aramaic (highly divergent dialects of various Christian and Jewish communities of Kurdistan); Arabic dialects (Turkey, Iraq);
  • NORTHEAST CAUCASIAN: Udi (a Daghestanian language of Azerbaijan). 
  • INDO-EUROPEAN, Iranian: Tati, Talyshi, northern Kurdish (Turkey, Iraq, Armenia, Azerbaijan); Central Kurdish (Iraq-Iran), Zazaki (Turkey), Gurani (Iran-Iraq); Caucasian Tat (Muslim, and Jewish communities in Azerbaijan/Daghestan (Russia); colloquial Persian;

The Atlas provides background on the history and distribution of 65-70 languages and dialects investigated and demonstrates their shared phonological, grammatical and lexical features which are displayed on individual maps consisting of data points, color-coded according to family, where value responses for each of 330 features in each language are entered. Each map will have an accompanying descriptive text explaining the general issues of the given feature.  On the accompanying CD-ROM, each data point on each map is then linked to the database providing additional discussion and multiple examples for the given language.