Zazaki, Northern


A language of Turkey

Alternate Names
Alevica, Dersimki, Dimilki, Kirmanjki, Northern Zaza, So-Bê, Zaza, Zonê Ma

140,000 in Turkey.


Tunceli Province, Tunceli merkez, Hozat, Nazmiye, Pülümür, and Ovacik subprovinces; Erzincan Province, Erzincan and Cayirli subprovinces; Elazig Province, Elazig merkez and Karakoqan subprovinces, 8 or more villages; Bingöl Province, Kigi and Karkiova subprovinces, 3 villages; Mush Province, Varto subprovince, 46 villages; Sivas Province, Zara, Imranli, Kangal, and Divrigi subprovinces, 15 or more villages; Erzerum Province, Hinis and Tekman subprovinces, 11 or more villages.

Language Status

4 (Educational).


Tunceli, Varto. Lexical similarity: 70% with Southern Zazaki [diq]. A member of macrolanguage Zaza [zza].


SOV; prepositions and postpositions; genitives, articles, adjectives relatives after noun heads; numerals before noun heads; question word replaces content word in content questions; 2 prefixes, 2 suffixes, word order distinguishes subject, object, indirect object; noun affixes indicate case; verb affixes indicate person, number, gender; ergativity; passives; causatives; comparatives; V, VC, VCC, CV, CVC, CVCC; nontonal.

Language Use

Abroad, they use Northern Zazaki for close relationships. Home, community. All ages. Also use Turkish [tur]. Used as L2 by Northern Kurdish [kmr].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: School-age children to 40 years old, are literate in Turkish. Poetry. Magazines. Newspapers. New media. Radio programs. Films. TV. Videos. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible portions.

Latin script [Latn].

Other Comments

Ethnonym for Alevi-Zaza: Kirmanj (Kirmanc), Kizilbash-Zaza. Muslim (Alevi).