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Goran Kurds

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Goran Kurds

"Gurani" redirects here. For the Romanian village, see Pietroasa, Bihor. For the Iranian administrative subdivision, see Gurani Rural District.
Not to be confused with Goran language, also known as Dazaga language, part of the Saharan branch of the Nilo-Saharan language family, nor with the South Slavic variety Gora(ni).
Native to Iraq and Iran
Region Primarily Hawraman and Garmian
Native speakers 200,000–300,000  (2007)Template:Infobox language/ref
Language family
Language codes
ISO 639-3 hac
Linguist List Template:Infobox language/linguistlist
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Linguasphere 58-AAA-b

Gorani (also Gurani) is a group of Northwestern Iranian dialects spoken by Kurdish[1][2] people in the southernmost parts of Iranian Kurdistan and the Iraqi Kurdistan region. It is classified as a member of the Zaza–Gorani branch of the Northwestern Iranian languages.[3] The Hewramî dialect, although often considered a sub-dialect of Gorani,[4][5] is a very distinct dialect spoken by Gorani/Hewrami people in a region called Hewraman along the Iran–Iraq border, and is sometimes considered to be a distinct language.[6]

Although Gorani language shares similarities in vocabulary to Kurmanji and Sorani, also spoken by Kurds, Gorani is distinct grammatically from the two and shares similarities with Zazaki.[3] Gorani is spoken in the southwestern corner of province of Kurdistan and northwestern corner of province of Kermanshah in Iran, and in parts of the Halabja region in Iraqi Kurdistan and the Hawraman mountains between Iran and Iraq.

The oldest literary documents in these related languages, or dialects, are written in Gorani.

Many Gorani speakers belong to the religious grouping Yarsanism, with a large number of religious documents written in Gorani.

Gorani was once an important literary language in the southeastern parts of the Kurdistan geographical region but has since been replaced by Sorani.[7] In the 19th century, Gorani as a language was slowly replaced by Sorani in several cities, both in Iran and Iraq. Today, Sorani is the primary language spoken in cities including Kirkuk, Meriwan, and Halabja, which are still considered part of the greater Goran region.


The name Goran appears to be of Indo-Iranian origin. The name may be derived from the old Avestan word, gairi, which means mountain.[8] The word Gorani refers to inhabitants of the mountains or highlanders as the suffix -i means from. The word has been used to describe mountainous regions and the regions' communities in modern Kurdish literary texts.

The name Horami is believed by some scholars to be derived from God's name in Avestan, Ahura Mazda.[9]


Under the independent rulers of Ardalan (9th–14th / 14th–19th century), with their capital latterly at Sanandaj, Gorani became the vehicle of a considerable corpus of poetry. Gorani was and remains the first language of the scriptures of the Ahl-e Haqq sect, or Yarsanism, centered around Gahvara. Prose works, in contrast, are hardly known. The structure of Gorani verse is very simple and monotonous. It consists almost entirely of stanzas of two rhyming half-verses of ten syllables each, with no regard to the quantity of syllables.

An example: دیمای حمد ذات جهان آفرین

"After praise of the Being who created the world

یا وام پی تعریف شای خاور زمین

I have reached a description of the King of the Land of the East.

Names of forty classical poets writing in Gurani are known, but the details of the lives and dates are unknown for the most part. Perhaps the earliest writer is Mala Parisha, author of a Mathnawi of 500 lines on the Shi'ite faith who is reported to have lived around 1398–99. Other poets are known from the 17th–19th centuries and include Mahzuni, Shaikh Mostafa Takhti, Khana Qubadi, Yusuf Zaka, and Ahmab Beg Komashi. One of the last great poets to complete a book of poems (divan) in Gurani is Mala Abd-al Rahm of Tawa-Goz south of Halabja.

There exists also dozen or more long epic or romantic Mathnawis, mostly translated by anonymous writers from Persian literature including: Bijan and Manijeh, Khurshid-i Khawar, Khosrow and Shirin, Lalyi o Majnoon, Shirin and Farhad, Haft Khwan-i Rostam and Sultan Jumjuma. Manuscripts of these works are currently preserved in the national libraries of Berlin, London, and Paris.

Some Gorani literary works:

  • Shirin u Xusrew by Khana Qubadi (lived 1700–1759), published 1975 in Bagdad.
  • Diwan des Feqe Qadiri Hemewend, 19th century
  • The Koran in Gorani, translated in the 20th century by Haci Nuri Eli Ilahi (Nuri Eli Shah).


Main article: Hewramî

Hewramî or Hawramî, also known as Ōrāmāni, Horami, Awromani, Owrami, Hawrāmi is one of the main dialects of the Gorani language, and refers to a specific variant or dialect of Gorani and is regarded as the most archaic of the Gorani group.[10] It is mostly spoken in Horaman (also Horaman or Horaman) in western Iran (Iranian Kurdistan) and northeastern Iraq (Iraqi Kurdistan). The key cities of this region are Pawe in Iran and Halabja in Iraq. Horami is sometimes called Auramani or Horami by people foreign to the region.

See also




External links

  • The Dialect of Awroman( Hawraman-i Luhon) by D.N.MacKenzie
  • Gorani Influence on Central Kurdish: Substratum or Prestige Borrowing? by Michiel Leezenberg, University of Amsterdam
  • Ergativity and Role-Marking in Hawrami by Anders Holmberg, University of Newcastle & CASTL and David Odden, Ohio State University
  • The Noun Phrase in Hawrami by Anders Holmberg, University of Newcastle & CASTL and David Odden, Ohio State University
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