Luri language

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PronunciationIPA: [loriː]
Native toIran; a few villages in eastern Iraq.[1][2]
RegionSouthern Zagros
Native speakers
over 4 millions[3]
circa 5 millions[4]
  • Central Luri (Minjai)
  • Feyli[5][6][7][8]
  • Bakhtiari
  • Laki
  • Southern Luri
  • larestani
  • kumzari
Language codes
ISO 639-3Variously:
lrc – Northern Luri
bqi – Bakhtiari
luz – Southern Luri
Luri languages. (Note: Iraqi distribution corresponds to that of Southern Kurdish.)

Luri or Lurish (Luri: لۊری) is a Western Iranian language continuum spoken by the Lurs in Western Asia.The Luri dialects are descended from Middle Persian (Pahlavi). Luri forms five language groups known as Feyli,[5][6][7][8] Central Luri, Bakhtiari,[10][11] Laki[12][13][14][15] and Southern Luri.[10][11] This language is spoken mainly by the Feyli Lurs, Bakhtiari and Southern Lurs (Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, Mamasani, Sepidan, Bandar Ganaveh, Deylam)[16] of Iran and beyond.

Map of Luri-inhabited provinces of Iran, according to a poll in 2010


The Luri dialects are descended from Middle Persian (Pahlavi).[17][18] They belong to the Persid or Southern Zagros group, and are lexically similar to modern Persian, differing mainly in phonology.[19]

According to the Encyclopædia Iranica, "All Lori dialects closely resemble standard Persian and probably developed from a stage of Persian similar to that represented in Early New Persian texts written in Perso-Arabic script. The sole typical Lori feature not known in early New Persian or derivable from it is the inchoative marker (see below), though even this is found in Judeo-Persian texts".[20] The Bakhtiāri dialect may be closer to Persian.[21] There are two distinct languages, Greater Luri (Lor-e bozorg), a.k.a. Southern Luri (including Bakhtiari dialect), and Lesser Luri (Lor-e kuček), a.k.a. Northern Luri.[20]


Lur peoples of Iran are mainly in provinces of Lorestan, Ilam Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari, Fars province (especially Mamasani and Rostam), Khuzestan, Esfahan province and Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad and some of this people live in provinces as like as Hamadan province, Qom province, Qazvin province, Gilan province and Kerman province and Kermanshah Province.[22] A Lur population, known locally as Feyli people, exists in eastern parts of Iraq.[10]

Internal classification[edit]

The language is divided into five chief dialects, Feyli, Central Luri, Laki, Bakhtiari, and Southern Luri. Feyli is used by Feyli people in northern regions of Ilam, central regions of Kermanshah and significant parts of eastern Iraq in Diyala province (Khanaqin, Mendeli and Muqdadiyah cities) and Baghdad;[23]. Central Luri is spoken in northern parts of Luri communities including eastern, central and northern parts of Luristan province, southern parts of Hamadan province mainly in Malayer, Nahavand and Tuyserkan counties, southern regions of Ilam province and southeastern parts of Markazi province. Laki is used in central and northwestern regions of Luristan, central and southern regions of Ilam and southern parts of Kermanshah. Bakhtiari is used by Bakhtiari people in South Luristan, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari province, significant regions in north and east of Khouzestan and western regions of Isfahan province. Finally, Southern Luri is spoken throughout Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad province, and in western and central regions in Fars province, northern and western parts of Bushehr province and southeastern regions of Khouzestan. Several Luri communities are inhabited sporadically across the Iranian Plateau e.g. Khorasan (Beyranvand and Bakhtiari Luri descendants), Kerman, Guilan and Tehran provinces.[24][19][22]


In comparison with other Iranian languages, Luri has been less affected by foreign languages such as Arabic and Turkic. Nowadays, many ancient Iranian language characteristics are preserved and can be observed in Luri grammar and vocabulary. According to diverse regional and socio-ecological conditions and due to longtime social interrelations with adjacent ethnic groups especially Kurds and Persian people, different dialects of Luri, despite mainly common characteristics, have significant differences. The northern dialect tends to have more Kurdish loanwords inside and southern dialects (Bakhtiari and Southern Luri) have been more exposed to Persian loanwords.[25]

Laki Southern Luri Minjai Bakhtiari English Persian Persian transcription
berd/kıçık berd/kuçuk berd berd stone سنگ sang
sē/sia šé/sia black سیاه siyah
čem tye češ ti/tye/tye eye چشم čašm
da/daleke da/dey da/daleke da/daye mother مادر mâdar
pet nuft pet noft/neft/pet nose بینی bini
verza verza verza pel bull گاونر gāve nar
manga maga maga maga cow گاو ماده gave made
jejŭle cilé/cŭlé jejŭ/jejŭle čŭlé Porcupine تشی taši
agır/awır teš agır/teš taš/agır fire آتش âtash
bìlam bēlum bílam bēlom let me به من اجازه بده be man ejaze bedeh / bezâr
kur kur kur kur son/boy پسر pesar
dōt duwer/dōder duxter dōder daughter دختر doxtar
piayēl piayel piaya piayel men مردها mardha
jenēl zenel zenia zengel/zanyal women زنها zanha
mezg mezg mezg mezg brain مغز maghz
pıšì gulŭ pıšì/gulŭ gulŭ/gurbe cat گربه gorbeh
gemal kutŭ/seg gemal/sey seg dog سگ sag
bet bet bet bet duck مرغابی morghabi

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Northern Luri at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Dougherty, Beth K.; Ghareeb, Edmund A. (7 November 2013). "Historical Dictionary of Iraq". Scarecrow Press – via Google Books.
  3. ^ Anonby, Erik John (July 2003). "Update on Luri: How many languages?". Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society. 13 (2): 171–197. doi:10.1017/S1356186303003067. ISSN 2051-2066. Luri is an Indo-Iranian language cluster with over four million speakers.
  4. ^ "LORI LANGUAGE ii. Sociolinguistic Status – Encyclopaedia Iranica". Retrieved 2018-08-20. In 2003, the Lori-speaking population in Iran was estimated at 4.2 million speakers, or about 6 percent of the national figure (Anonby, 2003b, p. 173). Given the nationwide growth in population since then, the number of Lori speakers in 2012 is likely closer to 5 million.
  5. ^ a b Najm S. Mehdi, al-Fayli, Stockholm 2001.
  6. ^ a b "Faylee Archive - الارشيف الفيلي".
  7. ^ a b Black-Michaud, J. (1974). "An Ethnographic and Ecological Survey of Luristan, Western Persia: Modernization in a Nomadic Pastoral Society. Middle Eastern Studies, 10(2), 210–228". JSTOR 4282526.
  8. ^ a b Shoup, J.A.2011.Ethnic Groups of Africa and the Middle East: An Encyclopedia.ABC-CLIO, Incorporated. p.177
  9. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Luric". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  10. ^ a b c Erik John Anonby (2003). Update on Luri: How many languages?. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society (Third Series), 13, pp 171-197. doi:10.1017/S1356186303003067.
  11. ^ a b G. R. Fazel, ‘Lur’, in Muslim Peoples: A World Ethnographic Survey, ed. R. V. Weekes (Westport, 1984), pp. 446–447
  12. ^ B. Grimes (ed.), ‘Luri’, in Ethnologue (13th edition) (Dallas, 1996), p. 677; M. Ruhlen, A Guide to the World's Languages (Stanford, 1991), p. 327.
  13. ^ H. Izadpan¯ah, Farhang-e Laki [Lexicon of Laki]: in Persian, (Tehran, 1978).
  14. ^ بومیان دره مهرگان) تألیف رحیمی عثمانوندی)
  15. ^ H. Izadpan¯ah, Farhang-e Lori [Lexicon of Luri] (Tehran, 1964).
  16. ^ Limbert, John. The Origin and Appearance of The Kurds In Pre-Islamic Iran. Iranian Studies. JSTOR 4309997.
  17. ^ Erik John Anonby, "Update on Luri: How many languages?" // Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society (Third Series), volume 13, issue 02, Jul 2003, pp 171–197.
  18. ^ Don Stillo, "Isfahan-Provincial Dialects" in Encyclopædia Iranica. Excerpt: "While the modern SWI languages, for instance, Persian, Lori-Baḵtiāri and others, are derived directly from Old Persian through Middle Persian/Pahlavi".
  19. ^ a b Bakhtiari tribe and the Bakhtiari dialect[dead link], Encyclopædia Iranica.
  20. ^ a b "LORI LANGUAGE i. LORI DIALECTS – Encyclopaedia Iranica".
  21. ^ Kurdish language, Encyclopædia Iranica.
  22. ^ a b امان الهی بهاروند. اسکندر: قوم لر، انتشارات آگاه، تهران، ۱۳۷۴
  23. ^ Dougherty, Beth K.; Ghareeb, Edmund A. (7 November 2013). "Historical Dictionary of Iraq". Scarecrow Press – via Google Books.
  24. ^ "LORI LANGUAGE ii. Sociolinguistic Status – Encyclopædia Iranica".
  25. ^ "History and cultural relations - Lur". Retrieved 2015-09-21.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]