Zazaki, Southern


A language of Turkey

Alternate Names
Dimili, Dimli, Southern Zaza, Zaza, Zazaca

L1 users: 1,500,000 (Paul 1998), decreasing. A few elderly monolinguals. Ethnic population: 3,000,000 (Paul 1998).


Bingöl, Diyarbakir, and Elazig provinces: primarily Bingöl, Cermik, Dicle, Egil, Gerger, Palu, and Hani cities.

Language Status

5 (Developing).


Sivereki, Kori, Hazzu (Hazo), Motki (Moti), Dumbuli (Dumbeli), Eastern Zazaki (Central Zazaki), Dersimki. Dialects differ slightly, but mutually intelligible. A member of macrolanguage Zaza [zza].


SOV; noun head initial; numerals, demonstratives, and quantifiers precede head; 2 genders; 3 cases: nominative, oblique, vocative; content-question word position in situ; split ergative system.

Language Use

In urban areas children still learn only L1 at home. Home, neighborhood, friends. All ages. Positive attitudes, increasingly. Most also use Turkish [tur]. Some also use Northern Kurdish [kmr]. Used as L2 by Northern Kurdish [kmr].

Language Development
Literature. Newspapers. Periodicals. Radio. TV. Videos. Dictionary. Grammar. Texts.

Latin script [Latn].

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