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When Tradition Meets Modernity: Five Life Stories from the Galesh Community in Ziarat, Golestan, Iran
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of Linguistics and Philology. (Iranian languages)
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of Linguistics and Philology. (Iranian languages)
Gorgan University of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, PO Box 386, Shahid Beheshti Street, Gorgan, Golestan.
2013 (English)Book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

There is a group called the Galesh in the Alborz mountains of the northern provinces, Gilan, Mazandaran, and Golestan, Iran, whose language and culture is severely endangered due to modernisation of the local economy and lifestyle. The Galesh are herdsmen, who previously lived a semi-nomadic gender segregated life. The wives and children settled in the nearest village, and only the men went to the their workplace or in search of new seasonal pastures for their cows. 

This monograph is a documentation of five life stories from a Galesh community in the village of Ziarat, situated in the Province of Golestan, east of the Caspian Sea in Iran. Nowadays, because of its proximity to Gorgan, Ziarat is growing and the village is undergoing rapid modernization, which in the near future could lead to the disappearance of all its rural and cultural characteristics, including its dialect.

The dialect spoken by the Galesh in Ziarat, which can be described as a variant of Mazandarani, is under heavy influence from Persian. Persian influence can be observed at all levels of morphosyntax as well as in the vocabulary. However, Ziarati still retains its Mazandarani identity, which can be observed particularly in the verb system.

The contents of this monograph are five texts in phonemic transcription with English and Persian translations and a grammatical sketch. The three appendices consist of one text in phonetic transcription, a glossary, and notes on the photos and film found on the CD accompanying the book. The sound files of the five texts are also included on the CD.

We hope that the inhabitants of Ziarat will take pride in this product, which aims to give an authentic picture of life in an Iranian village at the present time, thereby acknowledging their language and culture and spreading knowledge about it both in Iran and within the international linguistic community. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2013, 250.
Studia Iranica Upsaliensia, ISSN 1100-326X ; 21
Keyword [en]
Galesh, Mazandarani, Ziarat, Gorgan, Golestan, endangered languages, language documentation, life stories, cattle breeding
National Category
Specific Languages
Research subject
Iranian Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-207630ISBN: 978-91-554-8778-2OAI: diva2:648968
Available from: 2013-09-17 Created: 2013-09-17 Last updated: 2014-01-23

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Shokri, GuitiJahani, Carina
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