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Azerbaijani, South

A language of Iran

ISO 639-3: azb

Population 23,500,000 in Iran (1997). Population includes 290,000 Afshar, 5,000 Aynallu, 7,500 Baharlu, 1,000 Moqaddam, 3,500 Nafar 1,000 Pishagchi, 3,000 Qajar, 2,000 Qaragozlu, 130,000 Shahsavani (1993). Population total all countries: 24,364,000.
Region East and West Azerbaijan, Ardebil, Zanjan, and part of Markazi provinces. Many in a few districts of TehranTehran. Some Azerbaijani-speaking groups are in Fars Province and other parts of Iran. Also spoken in Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Turkey (Asia), USA.
Alternate names   Azeri, Torki
Dialects Aynallu (Inallu, Inanlu), Karapapakh, Tabriz, Afshari (Afshar, Afsar), Shahsavani (Shahseven), Moqaddam, Baharlu (Kamesh), Nafar, Qaragozlu, Pishagchi, Bayat, Qajar. Distinctive linguistic differences between the Azerbaijani of the former USSR (North) and Iranian Azerbaijani (South) in phonology, lexicon, morphology, syntax, and loanwords. Teimurtash (7,000 in Mazanderan; possibly the same as Teimuri, Timuri, Taimouri) and Salchug (in Kerman Province) may be dialects. Qashqa'i may be a dialect. Part of the Qizilbash merchant group speak the Afshari dialect, which is strongly influenced by Persian. The dialect spoken in Syria is different from Kirkuk of Iraq, and may be closer to Turkish (Osmanli) than to Azerbaijani. There is a gradual transition of dialects from Turkish to Azerbaijani from central to western Turkey.
Classification Altaic, Turkic, Southern, Azerbaijani
Language use Language of wider communication. Vigorous. All ages. Speakers also use Western Farsi.
Language development Arabo-Persian script, Roman-based script and Cyrillic script; Cyrillic script in Afghanistan; Arabic script in Iraq. Poetry. Newspapers.
Comments Agriculturalists; pastoralists. Muslim (Shi'a).

Also spoken in:

Afghanistan

Language name   Azerbaijani, South
Region Afshari dialect spoken in small groups north of Kabul, Chandaul quarter of Kabul City, also some in Herat city.
Alternate names   Azeri
Dialects Afshari (Afshar, Afsar).
Language use Those under 35 do not know any Azerbaijani. Part of the Qizilbash speak Dari. All speakers also use Persian or Pashto.
Comments Muslim.
   

Iraq

Language name   Azerbaijani, South
Population 300,000 to 900,000 in Iraq (1982).
Region Kirkuk City, Arbil, Rowanduz, towns and villages southeast from Kirkuk as far as Al Miqdadiyah, Khanaqin, and Mandali; also several places in the Mosul Region.
Dialects Kirkuk.
Language use They speak South Azerbaijani at home.
Language development Many read Arabic or Kurdish. Low literacy rate in South Azerbaijani.
Comments They are called 'Turkmen', or 'Turks', in Iraq and Syria. There is little literature. Muslim.
   

Syria

Language name   Azerbaijani, South
Population 30,000 in Syria (1961 census).
Region Homs and Hama.
Language use Speakers also use Arabic.
Comments They are called 'Turkmen' or 'Turkomen' in Syria and Iraq. Not a written language in Syria. Muslim.
   

Turkey (Asia)

Language name   Azerbaijani, South
Population 530,000 in Turkey.
Region Kars Province.
Alternate names   Azeri
Dialects Kars.
Language use The people of Kars Province speak Azerbaijani but use Turkish as the literary language.
Comments Muslim.