Tati language (Iran)

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This article is about a group of northwestern Iranian languages spoken in Iran. For the southwestern Iranian language spoken in the Caucasus, see Tat language (Caucasus).
Native to Iran
Region Northwest of Iran
Native speakers
unknown (undated figure of 220,000 Takestani)[1]
28,000 Harzani (2000)
Others shifting
Language codes
ISO 639-3 Variously:
tks – Takestani/Khalkhal
xkc – Kho'ini
hrz – Harzandi
rdb – Rudbari
esh – Eshtehardi
tov – Taromi
xkp – Kabatei
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters.

Tati (Persian: تاتی) is a group of northwestern Iranian dialects which are closely related to the Talysh language, spoken by the Tat people of Iran. Tats are a subgroup of Persians and speak a Persian dialect related to middle-Persian Pahlavi. They also claim ancestry from the Sassanid Persians.

Some sources use the term old Azari/Azeri to refer to the Tati language as it was spoken in the region before the spread of Turkic languages (see Ancient Azari language), and is now only spoken by different rural communities in Iranian Azerbaijan (such as villages in Harzanabad area, villages around Khalkhal and Ardabil), and also in Zanjan and Qazvin provinces.[clarification needed][2][3][4][5]

In the field of phonetics Tati is similar to the rest of the north-western Iranian languages: it is distinguished by the persistence of Iranian *z, *s, *y-, * v- against the south-western d, h, j-, b-; development /ʒ/ < * j, */t͡ʃ/ against the south-west z, and the preservation of intervocalic and postvocalic *r and even, for a number of dialects, development rhotacism.

In the field of morphology, Tati is less analytical in structure than the south-western Iranian languages. Having lost the ancient foundations of classes and verb, tati preserved case (two case: direct, or subjective, and oblique). It is a gender-neutral language except in some name and verb formations.

Tati is an ergative language, i.e. "with transitive verbs the subject/agent of the verb is expressed by the direct case in the present tenses, but by the oblique in the past tenses, whereas the direct object/patient in the present tenses is expressed by the oblique, but by the direct in the past".[6]


  1. Chāli, Tākestāni, Eshtehardi, Khiāraji, Ebrāhim-ābādi, Sagz-ābādi, Dānesfāni, Esfarvarini, Khoznini
  2. Kho'ini, Balbavini, Sefid-kamari, Halabi, Sa'd-ābādi
  3. Khalkhāli, Tāromi
  4. Harzandi, Dizmāri
  5. Kuhpaya'i, Rudbari, Alamuti
  6. Kiliti

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Takestani/Khalkhal at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
    Kho'ini at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
    Harzandi at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
    Rudbari at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
    Eshtehardi at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
    Taromi at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
    (Additional references under 'Language codes' in the information box)
  2. ^ it is also spoken in some villages like Vafs and Chehreghan in the central areas of Iran like Gholamhossein Mosahab's The Persian Encyclopedia
  3. ^ Paul, Ludwig (1998a). The position of Zazaki among West Iranian languages. In Proceedings of the 3rd European Conference of Iranian Studies, 11-15.09.1995, Cambridge, Nicholas Sims-Williams (ed.), 163-176. Wiesbaden: Reichert.
  4. ^ Andrew Dalby, Dictionary of Languages: the definitive reference to more than 400 languages, Columbia University Press, 2004, pg 496.
  5. ^ "Azari, the Old Iranian Language of Azerbaijan," Encyclopaedia Iranica, op. cit., Vol. III/2, 1987 by E. Yarshater. External link: [1]
  6. ^ Iranica entry on Eshtehārdi, one of Tati dialects

External links[edit]