|Native to||Iran (Province of Mazandaran and parts of the provinces of Alborz, Tehran, Semnan and Golestan)|
|Region||South coast of the Caspian Sea|
|2.320 million (2019) (2016)|
|Regulated by||None. But the Linguistic faculty of Mazandaran University officially gathers materials and resources about it.|
Areas where Mazandarani is spoken as the mother tongue
Mazandarani (), or Tabari (?), is an Iranian language of the Northwestern branch spoken by the Mazandarani people. As of 2019 , there were over 2,320,000 native speakers. As a member of the Northwestern branch (the northern branch of Western Iranian), etymologically speaking, it is rather closely related to Gilaki and also related to Persian, which belongs to the Southwestern branch. Though the Persian language has influenced Mazandarani to a great extent, Mazandarani still survives as an independent language with a northwestern Iranian origin.
Mazandarani is closely related to Gilaki, and the two languages have similar vocabularies. The Gilaki and Mazandarani languages (but not other Iranian languages) share certain typological features with Caucasian languages (specifically the non-Indo-European South Caucasian languages), reflecting the history, ethnic identity, and close relatedness to the Caucasus region and Caucasian peoples of Mazandaranis and Gilak people.
The name Mazanderani (and variants of it) derives from the name of the historical region of Mazandaran (Mazerun in Mazanderani), which was part of former Kingdom of Tapuria. People traditionally call their language Tabari, as the Tabari themselves do.
The name Tapuri / Tabari (which was the name of an ancient language spoken somewhere in former Tapuria) is now used in preference to the name Mazandarani by the young.
However, both Gilan and Mazanderan formed part of the state known as Tapuria.
The earliest references to the language of Mazandaran, called Tabari, are to be found in the works of the early Muslim geographers. Al-Muqaddas? (or Moqaisi, 10th century), for example, notes: "The languages of Komish and Gurgan are similar, they use h?, as in h?-dih and h?k-un, and they are sweet [to the ear], related to them is the language of Tabaristan, [similar] save for its speediness."
Among the living Iranian languages, Mazanderani has one of the longest written traditions, from the tenth to the fifteenth century. This status was achieved during the long reign of the independent and semi-independent rulers of Mazandaran in the centuries after the Arab invasion.
The rich literature of this language includes books such as Marzban Nameh (later translated into Persian) and the poetry of Amir Pazevari. Use of Mazanderani, however, has been in decline for some time. Its literary and administrative prominence had begun to diminish in favor of Persian by the time of the integration of Mazandaran into the national administration in the early seventeenth century.
The Mazanderani language is closely related to Gilaki and the two languages have similar vocabularies. In 1993, according to Ethnologue, there were more than three million native speakers of Mazanderani.
The dialects of Mazanderani are Saravi, Amoli, Baboli, Ghaemshahri, Chaloosi, Nuri, Shahsavari, Ghasrani, Shahmirzadi, Damavandi, Firoozkoohi, Astarabadi and Katouli.
Furthermore, an extinct variety, Gorgani, was documented back to the 14th and 15th centuries, from the writings of the Horufi movement.
Like other modern Iranian languages there is no distinction between the dative and accusative cases, and the nominative in the sentence takes almost no indicators but may be inferred from word order (depending on dialect it may end in a/o/e). Since Mazanderani lacks articles, there is no inflection for nouns in the sentence (no modifications for nouns). For definition, nouns take the suffix e (me d?tere meaning The daughter of mine while me d?ter means my daughter). The indefinite article for single nouns is a-t? with t? for determination of number (a-t? kij? meaning a girl). There exist some remnants of old Mazanderani indicating that, in the nominative case, female nouns used to end in a, while male nouns ended in e (as in j?n? meaning the woman and m?rd? meaning the man). Grammatical gender is still present in certain modern languages closely related to Mazandarani such as Semnani, Sangesari and Zazaki.
Adpositions in Mazanderani are after words, while most of other languages including English and Persian have preposition systems in general. the only common postpositions that sometimes becoming preposition are ?e and t?. Frequently used postpositions are:
|re||of / to|
|je||from / by|
|h?mr? / j?||with|
|s?ri||on / above|
|b?ne||under / below|
|p?li||near / about|
|der?||among / inside|
The list below is a sample list obtained from the Online Mazanderani-Persian dictionary.
/a/ may also range to a more back [?].
/w/ appears as an allophone of /v/ in word-final position. /?/ may appear as a voiceless trill in word-final position [r?]. An occasional glottal stop /?/ or voiceless uvular fricative /?/ or voiced plosive /?/ may also be heard, depending on the dialect.
Spoken in a territory sheltered by the high Alborz mountains, Mazanderani preserves many ancient Indo-European words no longer in common use in modern Iranian languages such as Persian. Listed below are a few common Mazanderani words of archaic, Indo-European provenance with Vedic cognates.
|new||neo||no / now||návas||*néwos||adjective|
|great||gat||gozorg, gonde, got||adjective|
|being||bien||budan||bh?-||*b?uH-||infinitive of verb|
|moon||moong / mong||mâh||ms||*m?h?n?s||noun|
|cow||go / gu / guw||gâv||gáu?||*gws||noun|
|my||me / mi (before the noun)||am (after the noun), om||máma||*méne||verb|
Mazandarani is rich in synonyms, some such nouns also retaining the gender they possessed in Indo-European times: for instance the words mi?, gal, gerz all have the meaning of mouse, although they are not all of the same gender. While many Indo-Iranian languages use a masculine noun taking such related forms as mu? or muska or mu?k, in Mazandarani the most commonly used name for the mouse is the feminine noun gal.[vague]
Another example relates to the cow, the most important animal in the symbolism of Indo-European culture: in Mazanderani there are more than 1000 recognized words used for different types of cow. The table below lists some specimens of this rich vocabulary. In Mazandaran there are even contests held to determine those with the greatest knowledge of this bovine nomenclature.
|Mazanderani name||Meaning||Mazanderani name||Meaning|
|ahl||Bull subdued[clarification needed]||n? d||Young plough bull used for the first time|
|?hy||Black-eyed cow||paei varz?||Single bull used for ploughing|
|ala?t||Miner's tool, ending in two wooden arcs||par?||Cattle for ploughing|
|baKhte b?ri||Bullock and traces||raji||A cow that is ready to mate|
|b?reng||Reddish-brown cow||ra? go||Crimson cow with black spots|
|batkoniye||Castrated male bovine cattle to eliminate it from washing down[clarification needed]||ra? j?nk?||Young bull with red and black streaks|
|b?r gele||Yellow / red cow||ra? kamer||Brown-and-white cow|
|b?r x||Sharp, red points of a cow's horns||s?r?||Bull with a white forehead|
|b?rek||Light yellow bull||s?r?||Bull with a white forehead|
|b?reng||Blonde cow||?el?b beze goz?r||The new wide calf rain caused a sharp volley crumbled[clarification needed]|
|b?rmango||Fawn cow||seln?z||Cow streaked with white from nose to tail|
|das kare||Place where bull fights held||sembe band||Ox bearing a wooden yoke|
|de jet||Rust-coloured cow killed by two bulls||serxe sel||Red cow with a white stripe from neck to tail|
|demes m?r||Cow with a two-year-old calf||set?re||Black-and-white-spotted cow|
|demis m?r||Two-year-old bull calf||sey? bare||Black cow with a white forehead.|
|dt h?kerden||Provoke a bull to attack||sey? kachal||Black cow with black spots on the tail end of the frontal[clarification needed]|
|el? el?||Cow with horns growing in opposite directions||sey? sel||Black cow with a white line running along its spine to its tail|
|el? kal||Cow with large open horns||seyel||White-bellied cow|
|el? ?iro||Cow with spreading horns||?ir vej||Gelded calf or bull|
|elx||A bull that has large open horns||?ir?||A cow with a white head and tail|
|em?j||Ox that once trained for ploughing||k?||Pale yellow cow|
|e?te||Pair of cows for work||t?||Miner's cow, only to be closed[clarification needed]|
|ez?li||Cow that is bred to plough||ta?r in||Pair of four-year-old cows inseminated naturally|
|fal||Cow ready for mating||tal go||A cow that is ready for ploughing|
|fares||Ox that has not been taught to portage||t?le m?r||Cow with bells hung around his neck|
|?alfer||Bovine of a yellowish colour||tarise||Cow whose first calf is female and has reached two years of age|
|jandek||Bull bison that used for mating||tersek?||Two-and-a-half-year-old cow that is ready to mate|
|j?nek?||Strong, young bull left ungelded for the purposes of breeding or combat||te? k?le||A young bull|
|jinek?||Young bull||te?k||Young bull that is not yet ready for ploughing|
|jonde k? sare||Place where young bulls and breeding cattle are raised||te?kel||Small bull|
|jone k? kole||Bullock less than two years old that has done no work||tit?ppeli mango||Black and white cow|
|j?ndek?||Bullock more than two years old that has done no work||tolom||Young cow - heifer|
|j?nekk?||Young bulls||t?z kel||bull|
|j?nekk? jang||Quarrel between young bulls||varz?||Bullock|
|Kh?mod||Ox plough||x?l d?r||Bovine with bicoloured coat|
|l?ch kal||Cow with open horns||xes xesi go||A cow that lies down on the ground while working|
|lachchi||Open cow horns that grow in opposite directions||xet?r||Alarmed cow|
|lase sar g?||Cow that goes to everyone||xik chaf||A cow that refuses to give milk to calves or its owner|
|l beni||Bridegroom's gift cow||z?m borde||Cow missed after giving birth|
|m?g?||A cow||zan? g?||Cow fighting with its horns|
|mango||Relating to lactating cows||zar x?l||Black cow with yellow spots|
|m?r?an||Young cow||zargele||Yellow cow|
|m?r?||Cow with a white forehead||zemess?ni kar||Cow that leans due to food shortages in the winter|
|merem||Lovely young cow||zing?l||Black cow with white legs|
In Iran, there are some popular companies and products, like Rika (son) or Kija (daughter), which take their name from Mazanderani words.
áme k?rk? ?únn? n?f?r-sar. n?f?r-sar x?s?nn?. badími n?f?r-sar-e l-o-?u ham? bapíss?n?. b?út?m?, "va j?n! inj?, k?lum-e pali, mé-vesse ?tt? k?rk-k?li d?r?s hk?n!" v? ?m n?mun ke pe dar-bi?rd?, hamun badím? b?mún? s?re pi?r o va. ande-tumi pi?r o va b?mún? s?re, n?m?z k?rd?n?, q?z? x?rd?n?; ba:d ?z n?m?z ?ín? ún-var, st-e r hark?t k?rd?n?.
(from Maryam Borjian and Habib Borjian, "Ethno-Linguistic Materials from Rural Mazandaran [: Mysterious Memories of a Woman]," Iran and the Caucasus 11/2, 2007, pp. 226-254.)
|oz?r?-vâ én? dámbe s?vâí
i?nn? búye d?lbárr? d?v?i
|At break of dawn blows the cool breeze.
Bearing the healing odor of the beloved.
|basut? sin?ye miónn? h?re?!
tév?sse - n?z?nin! - baím? nâx
|Behold,a heart's core ravaged by the flame!
For you - O worthy of love! - I am sick with longing.
D?l-e armun "Heart's Aspiration"
Quatrains sung by Sabura Azizi, transcribed and translated by Habib Borjian; Ref. Habib Borjian and Maryam Borjian, "Mysterious Memories of a Woman: Ethno-Linguistic Materials from Rural Mazandaran," Iran and the Caucasus 11/2, 2007.
In dates given below, A.P. denotes the Iranian calendar, the solar calendar (365 days per year) which is official in Iran and Afghanistan.