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Common Kurdish Heritage: Present and Future Tense

PostPosted: Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:37 pm
Author: Emanoelkurdistani
Common Kurdish Heritage “de/do” & “-en-“: A Brief Research on the Present and Future Tense in the Kurdish Languages:


(with special thanks to Shady-Kenache Kurdekey Hewraman, ZazaShadow-Zaza partner, Milad Q. Siyapile Talysh-Chema Bra, Yaser S.-Mazeruni Berar, and my Kurdish borthers on "Zerebar" magazine)

There are three languages that Kurdish people speak. With respect to the number of speakers they are:

A. Kurmanci (also known as “Kurdish” by stranger linguists since its huge number of speakers, owning around 90%-92% of ~45,000,000 speakers and including these dialects: Northern or “Kurmanci”, Central or “Sorani” and Southern or “Gorani”)
B. Hewrami (also known as “Gorani” by stranger linguists since local Kurdish people call all southern Kurdish speeches-both of Kurmanci and Hewrami dialects as “Gorani”. Also it’s the name of a numerous Kurdish tribe-Gorani tribe in the Southeastern Kurdistan-south of Kirmaşan which speak Southern Kurmanci, owning around 4%-5% of speakers and including these dialects: Hewrami Lehun, Hewrami Text, Kakai, Şebbek, Bacalan, Helebceyi, Serencami)
C. Kirmancki (also mistakenly known as “Zaza” (1), owning around 4%-5% of speakers and including these dialects: Northern or Kirdki, Central or Kirmancki, and Southern or Dimilki)

Kirmancki “do” & Kurmanci “de”: Present and Future Tense

The main differences between these languages yield in term of syntax and phonetics. All of which that belongs to the thick influence of Middle Iranian (Parthian language) on the Hewrami and Kirmancki (composing the so-called “Zaza-Gorani” linguistic group). Still a significant and great pair of similarities of unique and special might be found between these three languages though. This among Kirmancki and Kurmanci share some interesting similarities of pair. As far as I have researched Kirmancki and Kurmanci (particularly Northern Kurmaci) share unique similarities in term of grammar:

Kirmancki : Kurmanci (Northern) : English

ez kenan : ez dikim : I do

ezo kenan : ez dikim : I’m doing

ez do bikeran : ezê bikim : I will do

So let’s take a look at the Southern Kurmanci examples:

min kem : I do
min dikem/dêkem : I’m doing
min bikem : I will do

Now I invite you to see some Northern Kurmanci examples:

ez kem : I do
ez dikem : I’m doing
ezê bikem : I will do

Also in Central Kurmanci we have:

min dekem/ekem : I do
min dekem/ekem (2) : I’m doing
min bikem/bikerim : I will do

By observing Northern and Southern Kurmanci examples we could conclude so:

Northern Kurmanci : Central Kurmanci : Southern Kurmanci : Proto Kurmanci : English

ez (di)kem : min dekem : min kem : ez kem : I do

ez dikem : min dekem : min dikem : ez de kem : I’m doing

ezê bikem : min bikem : min bikem/bikerim : ? ? ? ? : I will do

For getting sure about the last line, future tense, we should compare the Kurmanci data with Kirmancki ones:

Kirmancki : Northern : Central : Southern : English

ez kenan : ez (di)kem : min (d)ekem : min kem : I do

ezo kenan : ez dikem : min (d)ekem : min dikem/dêkem : I’m doing

ez do bikeran : ezê bikem : min bikem/bikerim : min bikem : I will do

Just compare Kirmancki “ez-o kenan” and “ez do bikeran” with Kurmanci “ez di-kem” and “ez-ê bikem”. More likely the original forms are “ez do kenan” and “ez do bikeran” in Kirmancki and “ez di kem” and “ez dê bikem” in Kuramnci. Also by comparing Kirmancki “ezo bikeran” with Central Kurmanci “min bikerim” it may be concluded that the original Kurmanci-Proto Kurmanci form should be “ez de/dê bikerim” rather than “ez de/dê bikem”. Therefore we could draw this table:

Proto Kirmancki : Proto Kurmanci : English

ez kenan : ez kem : I do

ez do kenan : ez de kem : I’m doing

ez do bikeran : ez de bikerim : I will do

So these Kirmancki “do” and Kurmanci “de” come from where? What’s their meaning? For an at hand answer I would prefer to observe present and future tense in the other Iranian languages:

Talyshi : Gilaki : Mazandarani : Sangsari : Semnani : Persian

ez kerdîmê : mû kûnim : mên hakimmê : ê hakênndî : e mekerûn : men mîkonem

ez kerê kerdîmê : mû danim kûnim : mên darnim hakimmê : ê dandî hakêndî : e mekerûn : men daram mîkonem

ez bekerdîmê : mû bukûnim : mên hakênim : ê bekerî : e bekerûn : men xahem kerd/men bêkonem

In the future tense all languages show only an additional “be-“ except Official Persian in which we have “xahem + past root” from the verb “xastem” ~ “to want”. But in the present tense examples almost all languages use the verb “to have” with the relative pronoun as an auxiliary verb: Gilaki “denim”, Mazandarani “darnim”, Sangsari “dandî” and Persian “darem”~”I have”. But Talyshi is an exception which uses a strange “karê”. Let’s remark the Kirmancki and Kurmanci examples once again: “do” and “de”. What that rings bell in my mind is the existence of pronouns in them thus they are verbs maybe:

Kirmancki “d-o

Kurmanci “d-e

Talyshi “ker-ê

This theory could be right since the third person pronouns in these three languages match the idea:

Kirmancki “-o” (masculine) and “-a” (feminine)

Kurmanci “-e” (also “-ê”/”-êt”/”-î”/”-îd”)

Talyshi “-ê”

So if they are verbs, what is their meaning? The Kirmancki and Kurmanci “d-“ are really mysterious but the Talyshi “ker-“ is somehow easy to definite: it should be derived from Old Iranian “kirite-“ (present stem “ker-“) in meaning of “do, make”. So the Kirmancki/Kurmanci “d-“ must own the same meaning: “d-“ ~ “do, make”! Its Indo-European root is “dhe-*” in meaning of “do, make, put”. Also West Germanic “don*”, Old English “don”, and New German “tun”. Its existence in Kirmancki and Kurmanci could be of Hittite origin because I couldn’t find any trace of it in the Iranian languages. Therefore a Proto-Common Kurdish form of this verb I may re-construct could be “dan*”.

Hewrami & Kirmancki “-en-“

An interesting and amazing similarity between Kiramncki and Kurmancki occurs in case of verb stems. Where both languages often match each other in a fair manner:

Kirmancki : Kurmanci (all dialects) : Gilaki : Persian : English

ke- : ke- : kûn- : kon- : do
wan- : xwen-/xwîn- : xûn- : xan- : read
waz- : xwaz- : xa- : xah- : want
şi- : çi- : şû- : rev- : go
ye-/ê- : ye-/-ê : e- : ay- : come
va(j)- : wêj-/bêj- : gû- : guy- : say
kew- : kew-/kev- : hakû- : oft- : to
vîn- : wîn-/bîn- : vîn-/bîn- : bîn- : see
nûs- : nûs-/nivîs- : nîvîs- : nêvîs- : write
var- : war-/bar- : var-/bar- : bar- : rain
viraz- : raz- : ray- : vîray- : make, make up, edit
zan- : zan- : dan- : dan- : know

But the stuff which follows two different grammars for Kirmancki and Kurmanci is the additional “-en-“ in the present tense for Kirmancki verbs besides the pronouns:

Kirmancki : Kurmanci : English

ke-n- : ke- : do

do ke-n- : de ke- : to be doing

ş-en- : ç- : go

do ş-en- : de ç- : to be going

ez ke-n-an : ez ke-m : I do

ez do ke-n-an : ez de ke-m : I’m doing

ez ş-en-an : ez ç-im : I go

ez do ş-en-an : ez de ç-im : I’m going

Kirmancki “-en-“ comes from Old Iranian “-ente-“ which was used in order to making adjective from the present root. Still you could found traces of this Ancient “-ente-“ in Persian and-somehow Kurmanci:

Persian : Kurmanci : English

bîn-endê : wîner/bîner : viewer

nêvîs-endê : nûser : writer

z-êndê (< zî + endê) : jî- (also “zi-ndî” a loan-word of Persian origin) : alive

This Ancient Iranian “-ente-“ is found in the Gilaki, Mazandarani (often) and Sangsari (always) in the same role as the Kiramcki’:

Kirmancki : Gilaki : Mazandarani : Sangsari : English

ke-n-an : kûn-(n)-im : hakimmê (< ha-kin-n-mê) : ha-kên-nd-î : I do

waz-en-î : xa-n-î : xa-n-î : xa-nd-e : we want

ş-en-o/a : şû-n-ê : şin-n-ê : şû-nd-ê : s/he goes

As you see in Kirmancki it’s “-en-“, Gilaki and Mazandarani “-n-“ and Sangsari “-ind-“. Hewrami is the closest relative of Kirmancki language. But the greatest and maybe the ever different between them occurs in term of the Ancient “-ente-“ in the present tense:

Hewrami : Kirmancki : English

waz-u : waz-en-ane : I want

wan-î : wan-en-î : you read

ker-o : ke-n-o : he want

ş-îm : ş-en-îme : we go

vaç-êd : va(j)-n-ê : you say

vîn-ên : vîn-en-ê : they see

I’m still on the search about the other traces of the Ancient “-ente-“ in Hewrami language but the interesting information I could find for present time is the existence of “-en-“ (exactly same to the Kirmancki “-en-“) in the present tense of the verb “to be”:

Hewrami : English

xas-en-a : I’m good

xas-en-î : thou art good

xas-en-ø : he is good

xas-en-î : she is good

xas-en-îm : we are good

xas-en-êd : you are good

xas-en-ên : they are good


Hewrami : English

he-n-a : I’m

he-n-î : thou art

he-n-ø : he is

he-n-î : she is

he-n-îm : we are

he-n-êd : you are

he-n-ên : they are

Also an interesting trace of this Ancient “-ente-“ exists in the Kurmanci-particularly Northern Kurmanci “hebûn” ~ “to exist / have”:

… hene : … have/has

… nîne : … don’t/doesn’t have

However in Hewrami and Kirmancki it’s preserved as “-en-“ but it has different usages in those languages. In the Today Hewrami it’s only used only in the verb “to be” but in Kiramncki it’s used in all verbs for present tense except “to be”:

Hewrami : Kirmancki : English

min Kurd-en-a : ez Kurd-an : I’m Kurdish

to Kurd-en-î : tu Kurd-î : thou art Kurdish

an/anî Kurd-en-ø/î : o/a Kurd-o/a : s/he is Kurdish

êma Kurd-en-îm : ma Kurd-îm : we are Kurdish

êşma Kurd-en-êd : şima Kurd-ê : you are Kurdish

adê Kurd-en-ên : ê Kurd-ê : they are Kurdish

min zan-u : ez zan-en-an : I know

to waz-î : tu waz-en-î : you want

varan var-o : varan var-en-o : it rains

êma man-îm : ma man-en-îm : we remain

êşma wan-êd : şima wan-en-ê : you read

adê dest pê ker-ên : ê dest pê ke-n-ê : they start

Totally Kirmancki language shares almost-all its similarities with Hewrami (phonetics, pronouns, etc.) and Kurmanci (“do”/”de”, phonetics) but the only different between it-Kirmancki and the other Kurdish speeches-Hewrami and Kurmanci is the existence of “-en-“ in the present tense in Kirmancki. This case is the only feature that doesn’t exist in Kurmanci language in the same way though Kirmancki shares it in common with Gilaki and Mazandarani languages. The other similarities mainly exist between Kirmancki and Kurmanci only or between Kirmancki, Kurmanci, Gilaki, Mazandarani, etc. in common.

1. Among their neighbors the Dimli are known mainly as Zaza, literally "stutterer," a pejorative perhaps owing to the relative abundance of sibilants and affricates in their language (Hadank, p. 1; MacKenzie, p. 164; cf. zaza "dumb" in Arm. dialects of the Vaspurakan area). [Encyclopedia Iranica]

2. The present tense maker in Tati, Persian and some other Iranian languages is “mî-“. Also it exists in Hewrami as “mi-“/”me-“ and in Southern Leki as “me-“ too and all come from a certain Zoroastrian Pahlavi root: “ehêm”.
Besides Kurmanci and Kirmancki “de”/”de”, we have some Central Kurmanci sub-dialects-particularly Erdellani and Silêmani “e-“ instead of common Central Kurmanci “de-“. This “e-“ is originally “ed-“ and is another form of the common “d-“. Also this Sorani “ed-“ is found in Archaic Hamadani and some Central Iranian dialects close to Kurdish speaking areas:

Silemani Kurdish : Archaic Hamadani Kurdish : Central Iranian Dialects (Vanshani)

e(d)-xwe-m : ed-xwer-im : va-d-xor-un

e(d)-xef-im : ed-xef-im : ha-t-xos-un

Re: Common Kurdish Heritage: Present and Future Tense

PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 8:06 am
Author: Vladimir
Where you got this article from?

Re: Common Kurdish Heritage: Present and Future Tense

PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 8:42 am
Author: Emanoelkurdistani
Vladimir wrote:Where you got this article from?

It's my own article.

Re: Common Kurdish Heritage: Present and Future Tense

PostPosted: Thu Jun 05, 2008 12:24 pm
Author: Johny Bravo
thank you four your great article partner.

Re: Common Kurdish Heritage: Present and Future Tense

PostPosted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 11:06 am
Author: Johny Bravo

why the most soran dialects dont have this "xwaz" in the present tense and "bêj"?

Re: Common Kurdish Heritage: Present and Future Tense

PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2008 1:18 pm
Author: Johny Bravo
Maybe the "de, di- , e-" in Kurdish have the some root as the "-en-" in Zazaki. We know, that the "-en" is come frome Old Iranian "-end", and maybe this "de-, e-" comes also frome "end"?

And in Parthian was this also exist, example:

min vaxt-ahêndê

is in kurdish "min digot", in zazaki "mi vatêne"

I think, this "di" comes also frome "-end", then i can not explain how hawrami "me" can be "de". m -> d loudschift is difficult.

and this showas that my these is possible:

Silemani Kurdish : Archaic Hamadani Kurdish : Central Iranian Dialects (Vanshani)

e(d)-xwe-m : ed-xwer-im : va-d-xor-un

e(d)-xef-im : ed-xef-im : ha-t-xos-un