Southern Kurdish

Southern Kurdish

Southern Kurdish
پەهلەوانی، کوردی خوارگ
Native to Eastern Iraq, Western Iran
Native speakers
3 million in Iran (2000)[1]
Garrusi (Bijari)
Hawar alphabet, Perso-Arabic (Sorani alphabet)
Language codes
ISO 639-3 sdh
Glottolog sout2640[2]
Linguasphere 58-AAA-c

Southern Kurdish (کوردی خواریگ; kurdîy xwarîg), also called Pehlewani[3] (پەهلەوانی; Pehlewanî) or Pahlawanik, is a group of Kurdish dialects predominantly spoken in western Iran and eastern Iraq. In Iran, it is spoken in the provinces of Kermanshah (Kirmaşan) and Ilam. In Iraq it is spoken in the region of Khanaqin (Xaneqîn), all the way to Mandali, Pehle. It has more than one million speakers in the city of Baghdad. It is also the language of the populous Kurdish Kakayî-Kakavand tribe near Kerkuk and most Yarsani kurds in Kermanshah province. There are also populous diasporas of Southern Kurdish Dialects group found in the Alburz mountains.

Native speakers use various different alphabets to write southern kurdish, the most common ones are extensions of the standard Kurdish alphabets.

The extension consists of an extra vowel, "ۊ" for the Arabic-based Sorani script and "ü" for the Latin-based Kurmanji script.

IPA Latin letter Arabic letter
ʉː ü ۊ


  • Dialects 1
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4
  • Additional sources 5


The dialects of Southern Kurdish are:

  • Kermanshahi (Kirmaşanî) is spoken mostly in western Iran, in and around the city of Kermanshah (Kirmaşan).
  • Feyli, referring to the Feyli tribe; also known as Ilami, after Ilam Province. It is spoken in eastern Iraq in the Khanaqin region of Diyala province near the Iranian border, and in western Iran in Ilam province and parts of Kermanshah province, by the Feyli Kurds. Mahaki is a sub-dialect. It is spoken by the tribe of Ali Sherwan (Beyrey) in Ilam, and by almost all Feyli Kurds in Baghdad, Mandali, Badrah, and Zorbatiah in Iraq. It shares many features with Sorani.[4]
  • Garrusi (Gerrûsî) (Bijari)
  • Malekshahi (Melikşayî)
  • Sanjâbi (Sincawî) referring to the language of Sanjâbi people. It is closely related
  • Laki is considered a dialect of Southern Kurdish as well, though this is disputed.

See also


  1. ^ Southern Kurdish at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Southern Kurdish".  
  3. ^
  4. ^ Vahid-e-Ranjbar, Dastur-e Zaban-e Kurdi-ye Kermanshahi. Kermanshah: Taq-Bostan. 1388

External links

  • Information regarding Southern Kurdish
  • Kurdish Academy of Language describing Southern Kurdish

Additional sources

  • Kamandar Fattah, Les Dialectes kurdes méridionaux: étude linguistique et dialectologique. Louvain, Peeters, 2000, p. 55-62