Luri language

"Luri" redirects here. For the town in France, see Luri, Haute-Corse.
Not to be confused with Luri language (Nigeria).
Pronunciation Persian pronunciation: [loriː]
Native to Iran; a few villages in eastern Iraq.[1][2]
Region Southern Zagros
Ethnicity Lurs
Native speakers
5 million (2012)[3]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 Variously:
lrc  Central Lurish
bqi  Bakhtiari Lurish
luz  Southern Luri
Glottolog luri1252[12]

Luri languages. (Note: Iraqi distribution corresponds to that of Southern Kurdish.)

Luri also Lurish is a Western Iranian language continuum spoken by the Lurs in Western Asia. Lurish language forms five language groups known as Feyli lurish,[4][5][6][7] Central Lurish (Minjaee), Bakhtiari,[13][14] Laki[8][9][10][11] and the Southern Lurish.[13][14] This language is spoken mainly by the Feyli Lurs (including Minjai, Maleki and Laks), Bakhtiaries and Southern Lurs (Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, Mamasani, Sepidan, Bandar Ganaveh, Deylam).[15]

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


The Luri language is derived and descended from Middle Persian (Pahlavi).[16][16][17] They belong to the Persid or Southern Zagros group, and are lexically similar to modern Persian, differing mainly in phonology.[18]

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".[19] The Bakhtiāri dialect may be transitional between Kurdish and Persian.[20] However, there was never a common ancestor to Luri. There are two distinct languages, Greater Lors (Lor-e bozorg), a.k.a. Southern Luri (including Bakhtiari dialect), and Lesser Lors (Lor-e kuček), a.k.a. Northern Luri.[19]


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.[21] Identified as Feylis, A large crowd of Lurs is located in Eastern parts of Iraq[13]

Internal classification

The language is divided into five languages: Feyli Lurish; this dialect 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;[2] Cental Lurish; this dialect is spoken by northern parts of Lurish 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; this dialect is used in central and northwestern regions of Luristan, central and southern regions of Ilam and southern parts of Kermanshah, Bakhtiari Lurish; this dialect 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, and Southern Lurish; which is spoken by total Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad province, western, and central regions in Fars province, northern and western parts of Bushehr province and southeastern regions of Khouzestan. Several Lurish communities are inhabited sporadicly across Iran Plateau e.g. Khorasan (Beyranvand and Bakhtiare Lurish descendants), Kerman, Guilan and Tehran provinces.[3][18][21]


Lurish language in comparison with other Iranian languages has been less affected by foreign invaders language e.g. Arabic and Turkic. Nowadays, many ancient Iranian language characteristics are preserved and can be observed in Lurish 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 Lurish despite mainly common characteristics, have significant differences. Northern dialect tends to have more Kurdish loanwords inside and southern dialects (Bakhtiari and south Lurish) have been more exposed to Persian loanwords.[22]

Laki South Lurish Minjai BakhtiariEnglishPersian Persian transcription
berd/kıçık berd/kuçuk berd berd stoneسنگ sang
sē/sia šé/sia blackسیاه siyah
čem tye češ ti/tye/tyeeyeچشم chashm
da/daleke da/dey da/daleke da/dayemotherمادر maadar
pet nuft petnoft/neftnoseبینی bini
verza verza verza pelbull گاونر gāve nar
manga maga maga magacowگاو ماده gave made
jejŭle cilé/cŭlé jejŭ/jejŭle čŭléPorcupineتشی tashi
agır/awır teš agır/teštaš/agırfireآتش aatash
bìlam bēlum bílam bēlomlet meبه من اجازه بده be man ejaze bedeh
kur kur kurkurson/boyپسر pesar
dōt duwer/dōder duxterdōderdaughterدختر dokhtar
piayēl piayel piayapiayelmenمردها mardha
jenēl zenel zeniazengel/zanyalwomenزنها zanha
mezg mezg mezg mezgbrainمغز maghz
pıšìgulŭ pıšì/gulŭ gulŭ/gurbecatگربه gorbeh
gemal kutŭ/seg gemal/seysegdogسگ sag
bet bet betbetduckمرغابی morghabi

A Comparison between Lurish and English

Some words in Lurish are similar to English words.

LurishEnglishPersian Persian transcription
Wər Wear پوشیدن Pooshidan
Çlyk Click انگشت Angosht
Leper Leper کهیر Kahir
Leğ/Leng Leg پا Paa
Mordal Morthal مرده Morde
Tôr Trace اثر Asar
Der Dirty کثیف Kasif
Pəty Empty خالی Khali
Perç Purge تمیز Tamiz
Saweir Sewerage گنداب Gandab
Koul/Kalm Column ستون Sotoun
Meliezg Malaise بیقرار Bigharar
Gerivə Grieve غمگین Ghamgin
Rokama Rock سنگ Sang
Evara Evening عصر Asr
Varis Rise بلندشو Bolansho
Behig Bride عروس Aroos

See also


  1. Northern Luri at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. 1 2 Historical Dictionary of Iraq
  3. 1 2 "LORI LANGUAGE ii. Sociolinguistic Status – Encyclopædia Iranica".
  4. 1 2 Najm S. Mehdi, al-Fayli, Stockholm 2001.
  5. 1 2
  6. 1 2 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. Retrieved from
  7. 1 2 Shoup, J.A.2011.Ethnic Groups of Africa and the Middle East: An Encyclopedia.ABC-CLIO, Incorporated. p.177
  8. 1 2 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.
  9. 1 2 H. Izadpan¯ah, Farhang-e Laki [Lexicon of Laki]: in Persian, (Tehran, 1978).
  10. 1 2 (بومیان دره مهرگان) تألیف رحیمی عثمانوندی
  11. 1 2 H. Izadpan¯ah, Farhang-e Lori [Lexicon of Luri] (Tehran, 1964).
  12. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Luric". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  13. 1 2 3 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.
  14. 1 2 G. R. Fazel, ‘Lur’, in Muslim Peoples: A World Ethnographic Survey, ed. R. V. Weekes (Westport, 1984), pp. 446–447
  15. John Limbert، The Origin and Appearance of The Kurds In Pre-Islamic Iran. Iranian Studies.
  16. 1 2 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.
  17. Don Stillo, "Isfahan-Provincial Dialetcs" 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".
  18. 1 2 Bakhtiari tribe and the Bakhtiari dialect , Encyclopædia Iranica.
  19. 1 2
  20. Kurdish language, Encyclopædia Iranica.
  21. 1 2 امان الهی بهاروند. اسکندر: قوم لر، انتشارات آگاه، تهران، ۱۳۷۴
  22. "History and cultural relations - Lur". Retrieved 2015-09-21.

Further reading

Northern Luri edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Bakhtiari test of Wikipedia at Wikimedia Incubator
Laki Lurish test of Wikipedia at Wikimedia Incubator

Southern Lurish test of Wikipedia at Wikimedia Incubator
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