Year 2021, Volume 7 , Issue 1, Pages 82 - 102 2021-01-25

Language Shift Among Speakers of Kalhuri Kurdish in Iran
Language Shift Among Speakers of Kalhuri Kurdish in Iran

Javad YARAHMADİ [1]


In the multicultural and multiethnic context of Iran, Farsi is the only official and the most prestigious language. This article investigates sociolinguistic factors fostering a radical language shift from Kalhuri Kurdish to Farsi in Kermanshah, the largest Kurdish city in Iran. This shift has raised many social and cultural controversies within the Kurdish community. Data was gathered through a questionnaire focusing on attitudinal, economic and social factors affecting the shift. The participants were one thousand native Kurdish speakers in Kermanshah. The data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and item percentage. The findings revealed that social, personal and economic factors contributed to the shift, with economic concerns outweighing the other factors. In discussion and conclusion, we deal with the implications of the findings.

In the multicultural and multiethnic context of Iran, Farsi is the only official and the most prestigious language. This article investigates sociolinguistic factors fostering a radical language shift from Kalhuri Kurdish to Farsi in Kermanshah, the largest Kurdish city in Iran. This shift has raised many social and cultural controversies within the Kurdish community. Data was gathered through a questionnaire focusing on attitudinal, economic and social factors affecting the shift. The participants were one thousand native Kurdish speakers in Kermanshah. The data was analyzed using descriptive statistics and item percentage. The findings revealed that social, personal and economic factors contributed to the shift, with economic concerns outweighing the other factors. In discussion and conclusion, we deal with the implications of the findings.

  • Agyekum, K. (2009). Language shift: A case study of Ghana. Sociolinguistic Studies, 3(3), 381–403.
  • Ahmadzadeh, H., & Stansfield, G. (2010). The Political, Cultural, and Military Re-Awakening of the Kurdish Nationalist Movement in Iran. The Middle East Journal, (1), 11-27.
  • Anonby, E. (2004). Kurdish or Luri. Laki’s Disputed Identity in the Luristan Province of Iran. Kurdische Studien, 4 (5), 7-22.
  • Babane, M., & Chauke, M. (2016). Xitsonga in Language Shift: A Sociolinguistic Approach. Journal of Social Sciences, 47(1), 49-57.
  • Babayiğit, M. V. (2020a). Does Multimedia Technology Facilitate Pragmatics Awareness among Teenage Learners? A Case of Secondary-School Students. International Journal of Kurdish Studies 6 (2), 164 – 174, DOI: https://doi.org/10.21600/ijoks.724142.
  • Babayiğit, M. V. (2020b). Kürtçe, Türkçe ve İngilizce Atasözlerinde Azim, Başarı, Çalışkanlık, Kararlılık ve Tembellik İfadeleri. International Journal of Kurdish Studies 6 (2), 244 – 257, DOI: https://doi.org/10.21600/ijoks. 760441.
  • Babayiğit, M.V. (2020). Native Kurdish Teenage Learners' Language Shift from English to Kurdish in Learning the Target Language; A Case of High School Students with Samples, ECLSS Online 2020f.
  • Badashian, S. (2010). Naqdi bar qanune madeye vahede “Mamnu’iyate bekargiriye asami, anavin va estelahate bigane” mosavebe 1375 ba ta’kid bar hoquqe Iraniane ĝaire Fars [A critique of the ban on the use of foreign names, titles and expressions law, adopted in 1996, with an emphasis on the rights of the non-Farsi Iranians]. Haidarbaba 2 (20): 8,12.
  • Baker, C., & Jones, S. P. (1998). Encyclopedia of bilingualism and bilingual education: Multilingual Matters.
  • Barrena, A., Amorrortu, E., Ortega, A., Uranga, B., Izagirre, E., & Idiazabal, I. (2007). Does the number of speakers of a language determine its fate? International journal of the sociology of language, 2007(186), 125-139.
  • Bouchard, M.-E. (2019a). Becoming monolingual: The impact of language ideologies on the loss of multilingualism on Sâo Tome Island. Languages, 4 (3), 50.
  • Bouchard, M.-E. (2019b). Ongoing change in post-independence São Tomé: The use of rhotics as a marker of national identity among young speakers of Santomean Portuguese. Language Variation and Change, 31 (1), 21-42.
  • Brown, C. L. (2009). Heritage Language and Ethnic Identity: A Case Study of Korean- American College Students. International Journal of Multicultural Education, 11 (1). Brubaker, R. (2004). Ethnicity without groups: Harvard University Press.
  • Chakrani, B. (2013). The Impact of the Ideology of Modernity on Language Attitudes in Morocco. The Journal of North African Studies, 18 (3), 431-442. Crystal, D. (2014). Language Death. Cambridge University Press.
  • Dweik, B. S., & Nofal, M. Y. (2013). Language Maintenance among the Indians of Yemen: A Sociolinguistic Study. International Journal of Arabic–English Studies (IJAES), 14. Entessar, N. (1992). Kurdish Ethnonationalism: Lynn Rienner Publishers Boulder.
  • Fishman, J. A. (1991). Reversing Language Shift: Theoretical and Empirical Foundations of Assistance to Threatened Languages (Vol. 76): Multilingual Matters. Fishman, J. A. (1997). The Sociology of Language. Sociolinguistics, 25-30. Springer.
  • Ghasemi, V. (2008). “Senasaei Manateghe Kamtar Tose Yafte ye Keshvar”. [The identification of less developed areas of Iran]. Deputy Governor of Isfahan Province.
  • Hassanpour, A. (1992). Language and Nationalism in Kurdistan: 1918–1985. San Francisco.
  • Heller, M., & McElhinny, B. (2017). Language, Capitalism, Colonialism: Toward a Critical History: University of Toronto Press.
  • Holmes, J. (2014). An Introduction to Sociolinguistics. England. In: Pearson Education Ltd.
  • Husseini, H. (2001). Rabeteye Marg o Mir Va Tose’e Dar Ostanhaye Keshvar”. [The Relationship between Mortality and Development in Iranian Provinces]. Social Sciences letter (17).
  • Jagodic, D. (2011). Between Language Maintenance and Language Shift. Eesti ja soome-ugri keeleteaduse ajakiri. Journal of Estonian and Finno-Ugric Linguistics, 2(1), 195-214.
  • Jahani, C. (2005). State Control and its Impact on Language in Balochistan. The Role of the State in West Asia 14, 151.
  • Kalan, A. (2016). Whos Afraid of Multilingual Education?: Conversations with Tove Skutnabb-Kangas, Jim Cummins, Ajit Mohanty and Stephen Bahry about the Iranian Context and Beyond: Multilingual Matters.
  • Kaplan, R. B. (2015). Multilingualism vs. Monolingualism: The view from the USA and its Interaction with Language Issues around the World. Current Issues in Language Planning, 16 (1-2), 149-162.
  • Karacan, H. (2020). Kurmanji and Zazaki Dialects: Comparative Study on their Phonetics. International Journal of Kurdish Studies 6 (1), 35 – 51. DOI: https://doi.org/10.21600/ijoks. 653812
  • Karacan, H. & Khalid, H. S. (2016). Adjectives in Kurdish language: Comparison between dialects. International Journal of Kurdish Studies 2 (2), 15 – 23. DOI: https://doi.org/10.21600/ijks.76230
  • Karimi Doostan, Gh. (2001). Kordye Ilami: Gooyshe Badre[ Ilami Kurdish: a Survey of Badreye Dialect]. Sanandaj: Kurdistan University Press.
  • Karimi, J. (2017). Nazarye’ye Pasaestemari va Kordshenashi[ Postcolonial Theory and Kurdology]. Tehran: Nei publication.
  • Kaufman, T. (1976). Archaeological and Linguistic Correlations in Mayaland and Associated Areas of Meso-America. World Archaeology, 8 (1). 101-118
  • Kembo‐Sure, V. N. W. (1999). African Voices: An introduction to the Languages and Linguistics of Africa.
  • Kluger, J. (2013). The Power of the Bilingual Brain. Time Magazine, 42-47.
  • Kondakov, A. (2011). Koch Survey Wordlists and Sociolinguistic Questionnaire. SIL International. Accessed June 6, 2019.
  • Koivunen, K. (2002). “Premodern People Using Postmodern Technology”. The 5th Conference of The European Sociological Association,192-288.
  • Lai, M. L. (2010). Social Class and Language Attitudes in Hong Kong. International Multilingual Research Journal 4 (2), 83-106.
  • Martin, N. (2009). Arab American Parents' Atittudes toward their Children's Heritage: Language Maintenance and Language Practices. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  • Mirhosseini, S. A. and Abazari, P. (2016). “My language is like my mother”: Aspects of language attitudes in a bilingual Farsi-Azerbaijani context in Iran. Open Linguistics, 2 (1).
  • Mirvahedi, S. H. (2016). Exploring family language policies among Azerbaijani-speaking families in the city of Tabriz, Iran. In Family Language Policies in a Multilingual World, 84-105. Routledge.
  • Mohamadzadeh, H. (2011). Anva’e Qomgeraie dar Miane Kordhaye Iran [ Different Types of Ethnicity Among Iranian Kurds]. Ph.D. Dissertation in Sociology. Allame Tabatabaee University. Faculty of Social Sciences.
  • Mufwene, S. S. (2017). Language Vitality: The Weak Theoretical Underpinnings of What Can Be an Exciting Research Area. Language, 93(4), e202-e223.
  • Paulston, C. B., & McLaughlin, S. (1994). Language-in-education policy and planning. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 14, 53-81.
  • Pourahmad, et al. (2003). Barresi Ravande Taghyrate Tose’e Yaftegi Ostanhaye Keshvar [Investigating the Developmental Changes in the Provinces of Iran]. Journal of Cultural Research, (8) 9.
  • Ranjbar, V. (2015). Dastoore Zabane Kordi, Gooyeshe Kermanshahi [Kurdish Grammar, Kermanshahi Dialect]. Tehran: Hermes Books.
  • Safran, W. (2008). Language, Ethnicity and Religion: a Complex and Persistent Linkage. Nations and Nationalism, 14 (1), 171-190.
  • Serajzade, H., Ghaderzadeh, O. and Rahmani, J. (2015). Motalee Keifi Mazhab o Qomgeraie dar Miane Kordhaye Shiee o Sunni. [A Qualitative Research on the Religion and Ethnicity Among Shittie and Sunni Kurds], Iran Sociology Journal (15) 4: 3-29.
  • Santello, M. (2015). Bilingual Idiosyncratic Dimensions of Language Attitudes. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 18 (1), 1-25.
  • Sheyholislami, J. (2010). Identity, Language, and New Media: the Kurdish Case. Language Policy, 9 (4), 289-312.
  • Sheyholislami, J. (2011). Kurdish Identity. In Kurdish Identity, Discourse, and New Media, 47-77: Springer.
  • Sheyholislami, J. (2012). Linguistic minorities on the internet. In Computer-mediated communication across cultures: International interactions in online environments, 235-250: IGI Global.
  • Tezcür, G. M., & Asadzade, P. (2019). Ethnic nationalism versus religious loyalty: The case of Kurds in Iran. Nations and Nationalism, 25 (2), 652-672.
  • Todd, T. (1985). A Grammar of Dimili (Also Known as Zaza). Ann Arbor: University of Michigan.
  • Trudell, B. (2016). Language Choice and Education Quality in Eastern and Southern Africa: A Review. Comparative Education, 52 (3), 281-293.
  • Vali, A. (1995). The Making of Kurdish Identity in Iran. Critique: Journal for Critical Studies of the Middle East, 4 (7), 1-22.
  • Vali, A. (1998). The Kurds and their ‘others’: Fragmented identity and fragmented politics. Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East, 18 (2), 82-95.
  • Wardhaugh, R. (2015). An Introduction to Sociolinguistics (Vol. 28): John Wiley & Sons.
  • Weisi, H. (2015). Language Endangerment among Kurdish speakers in Iran. Germany: Lambert Academic Publishing.
Primary Language en
Subjects Social
Journal Section Makaleler
Authors

Orcid: 0000-0003-1495-8589
Author: Javad YARAHMADİ (Primary Author)
Institution: Ministry of Education
Country: Iran


Dates

Application Date : December 10, 2020
Acceptance Date : January 2, 2021
Publication Date : January 25, 2021

Bibtex @research article { ijoks838443, journal = {International Journal of Kurdish Studies}, issn = {2149-2751}, eissn = {2149-2751}, address = {}, publisher = {Hasan KARACAN}, year = {2021}, volume = {7}, pages = {82 - 102}, doi = {10.21600/ijoks.838443}, title = {Language Shift Among Speakers of Kalhuri Kurdish in Iran}, key = {cite}, author = {Yarahmadi, Javad} }
APA Yarahmadi, J . (2021). Language Shift Among Speakers of Kalhuri Kurdish in Iran . International Journal of Kurdish Studies , 7 (1) , 82-102 . DOI: 10.21600/ijoks.838443
MLA Yarahmadi, J . "Language Shift Among Speakers of Kalhuri Kurdish in Iran" . International Journal of Kurdish Studies 7 (2021 ): 82-102 <http://ijoks.com/en/pub/issue/59757/838443>
Chicago Yarahmadi, J . "Language Shift Among Speakers of Kalhuri Kurdish in Iran". International Journal of Kurdish Studies 7 (2021 ): 82-102
RIS TY - JOUR T1 - Language Shift Among Speakers of Kalhuri Kurdish in Iran AU - Javad Yarahmadi Y1 - 2021 PY - 2021 N1 - doi: 10.21600/ijoks.838443 DO - 10.21600/ijoks.838443 T2 - International Journal of Kurdish Studies JF - Journal JO - JOR SP - 82 EP - 102 VL - 7 IS - 1 SN - 2149-2751-2149-2751 M3 - doi: 10.21600/ijoks.838443 UR - https://doi.org/10.21600/ijoks.838443 Y2 - 2021 ER -
EndNote %0 International Journal of Kurdish Studies Language Shift Among Speakers of Kalhuri Kurdish in Iran %A Javad Yarahmadi %T Language Shift Among Speakers of Kalhuri Kurdish in Iran %D 2021 %J International Journal of Kurdish Studies %P 2149-2751-2149-2751 %V 7 %N 1 %R doi: 10.21600/ijoks.838443 %U 10.21600/ijoks.838443
ISNAD Yarahmadi, Javad . "Language Shift Among Speakers of Kalhuri Kurdish in Iran". International Journal of Kurdish Studies 7 / 1 (January 2021): 82-102 . https://doi.org/10.21600/ijoks.838443
AMA Yarahmadi J . Language Shift Among Speakers of Kalhuri Kurdish in Iran. Kurdish Studies. 2021; 7(1): 82-102.
Vancouver Yarahmadi J . Language Shift Among Speakers of Kalhuri Kurdish in Iran. International Journal of Kurdish Studies. 2021; 7(1): 82-102.
IEEE J. Yarahmadi , "Language Shift Among Speakers of Kalhuri Kurdish in Iran", International Journal of Kurdish Studies, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 82-102, Jan. 2021, doi:10.21600/ijoks.838443