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Kurdish,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 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).
REFERENCESBakaev, 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.