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language belonging to the Iranian group of the Indo-Iranian subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages. See Indo-IranianIndo-Iranian,
subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages, spoken by more than a billion people, chiefly in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Iran, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka (see The Indo-European Family of Languages, table).
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the language of the Kurds living in Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Syria, and other countries (Afghanistan, Lebanon, USSR). In the USSR, Kurdish is spoken by approximately 90,000 people (1970, census); in other countries, according to varying approximate estimates (1971), there are 7.5 to 12 million Kurdish speakers.

Kurdish belongs to the western group of Iranian languages. The most important Kurdish dialects are Kirmanji (northwestern dialect, spoken by the majority of Kurds) and Sorani (southeastern dialect); smaller dialects are Gorani, Luri, Zaza.

Kurdish has 30 consonant phonemes and nine vowel phonemes—/a/, /e/, /Ə/, /i/, /Ə /,/I/, /o/, /u/, and /Ü /—which have reduced-nonreduced opposition. There is opposition of aspirated and unaspirated voiceless occlusives (stops). Stress is dynamic. Kurdish has three cases: direct, oblique, and vocative (remnants). There are definite and indefinite articles and subject and object conjugations.

The first known Kurdish literary work was written in script derived from Arabic writing (11–12th centuries). Kurdish writing systems exist in Iraq (an Arabic-based script) and in the USSR (an Armenian-based script from 1921 to 1929, a Romanbased alphabet from 1929 to 1946, and a Russian-based alphabet since 1946).


Bakaev, Ch. Kh. Govor kurdov Turkmenii. Moscow, 1962.
Bakaev, Ch. Kh. Kurdsko-russkii slovar’. Moscow, 1957.
Kurdoev, K. K. Grammatika kurdskogo iazyka. Moscow-Leningrad, 1957.
Kurdoev, K. K. Kurdskii iazyk. Moscow, 1961.
Kurdoev, K. K. Kurdsko-russkii slovar’. Moscow, 1960.
Farizov, I. O. Russko-kurdskii slovar’. Moscow, 1957.
Tsukerman, I. I. Ocherki kurdskoi grammatiki. Moscow, 1962.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
In a relevant development in late April, reports from Afrin and A'azaz regions in Northern Aleppo said that heavy clashes had erupted between the Kurdish fighters and the Turkish army and its affiliated militants, adding that the Turkish army has pounded the Kurdish positions in Northern Aleppo with artillery fire.
Michael Eppel then quickly surveys Kurdish distinctiveness under Arab, Persian, and Turkish dominance in the early Muslim centuries; the era of Ottoman and Iranian rule; the demise in the nineteenth century of the Kurdish emirates or principalities, which possessed many of the characteristics of a state; the seeds of Kurdish nationalism in the declining Ottoman Empire; the beginnings of modern Kurdish politics; the Kurds and Kurdistan during World War I; and the Kurds and the new Middle East after the Ottomans.
There is a history of the Turkish onslaught against the Kurdish population living in Turkey.
Voting took place not only in the autonomous Kurdish region, but also in what are termed the disputed areas - areas that are officially in federal Iraq but have come under the control of the Kurdish Regional Government and its peshmerga troops.
Two other Kurds and one Turkmen security guard were also wounded in the clash that broke out when a Kurdish convoy celebrating the referendum, carrying Kurdish flags, drove by the Turkmen party office, security sources said.
A tenuous ceasefire between the Turkish government and Kurdish militants in the country unraveled last summer amid spillover from the war in Syria.
The second is Turkey's bad performance in the Kurdish initiative at home.
One of the main Kurdish players in Syria, the KDPS, with support from Massoud Barzani's KDP in Iraq, has been leading an effort to unify the political parties representing Syrian Kurds.
The statement stressed that Turkey which has waged a genocidal war against more than 25 million Kurds and its government which has been chasing and arresting civilian Kurds and "the strugglers of the Kurdistan Workers' Party" cannot be a friend of the Kurdish people in Syria or recognize their legitimate nationalist rights.
This article investigates the role that Islam can play in the process of Kurdish integration into the Iraqi state.
Most of the recently published books on the Kurdish problem in Turkey focus on the armed struggle and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
"Today we started courses of a four-year undergraduate programme on Kurdish language and literature," Professor Kadri Yildirim, head of the department at Artuklu University in southeastern Mardin province, said.