Day 10 - Zazaki (Dimli)

The last day of the course will be dedicated to the introduction of a lesser-known but very interesting Iranian language spoken in the eastern part of the Republic of Turkey. The speakers of Zazaki are often incorrectly considered Kurds, though their language strongly differs from Kurdish and belongs to the Caspian group of N.-W. Iranian languages.

Homework (15 min.) - At the beginning of the class, the instructor will discuss the homework article and assignments with the students. This will include also asking and answering questions from yesterday’s lesson.

Part One (1 hour) - In the first half of the class we are going to take a look at the historical and political characteristics of Zazaki or Dimli (as the native speakers call it). Zazaki is spoken in the eastern regions of modern-day Turkey (historic Western Armenia) in the triangle between the cities of Siverek, Erzincan, and Varto, and some villages around Bitlis. There are probably some 1.5-2 million Zazas.

Break (15 min.)

Part Two (40 min.) - The second half of the class will be dedicated to the grammar of Zazaki and especially the particular grammatical points which show that this is a different language than Kurdish.

Discussion (20 min.) - Later in the class, the students and instructor will discuss different issues and questions related to Zazaki (Dimli).


Paul, Ludwig, Zazaki. Grammatik und Versuch einer Dialektologie. Wiesbaden 1998; 

Paul, L., ‘Zazaki’, in Windfuhr, G. (ed.), The Iranian Languages, Routledge, 2009, pp. 545-586;

Paul, L. (1998). The Position of Zazaki among West Iranian Languages. In Nicholas Sims-Williams (ed.), Proceedings of the Third European Conference of Iranian Studies held in Cambridge, 11th to 15th September 1995. Part I: Old and Middle Iranian Studies, 163-177.