Introduction

Introduction

 

The Zazaki language is spoken by about 184,000 people in eastern Turkey. The people, called Zazas, mainly reside in the Bingol province: Karkiova and Kigi districts; Elazig province: Elazig merkez and Karakoqan districts; Erzurum province: Cayirli and Erzincan districts; Malatya province; Mus province: Varto district; Sivas province, Divrigi, Imranli, Kangal, and Zara districts; Tunceli province: Hozat, Nazmiye, Ovacik, Pulumur, and Tunceli merkez districts; at least 83 total villages.

The autonym for the language is Shar Ma. Alternate names are Alevica, Dersimki, Dimilki, Kirmanjki, Northern Zaza, So-Bê, Zaza, and Zonê Ma. The ethnologue code is kiu. The language is classified as Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Northwestern, Zaza-Gorani. Zazaki is used both in the home and community by all ages. There are also newspapers, periodicals, radio, TV and videos in the language. A grammar of the language has been completed.

The Zazas are believed to have immigrated from Deylaman toward the west. There are two known dialects: Tunceli and Varto.