Kurdish language

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Flag of Armenia.svg Armenia - minority language[4]

Kurdish (Kurdish: Kurdî or کوردی) is a dialect continuum spoken by the Kurds in western Asia. Genealogically, it is part of the Iranian branch of the Indo-Iranian group of the Indo-European languages. It has between 16[2] and 35[3] million speakers today. It exists in a continuum of dialects spoken in a geographic area spanning Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Syria, and a small number of speakers in the South Caucasus.[5] There exists no any single Kurdish language per se. What exists is the concept, a discursive construct of such a language that at best refers to a group of speech varieties which are not mutually intelligible unless there has been considerable prior contact between their speakers.[6]

The written literary output in Kurdic languages was confined mostly to poetry until the early 20th century, when a general written literature began to be developed. In its written form today "Kurdish" has two regional standards, namely Kurmanji in the northern parts of the geographical region of Kurdistan, and Sorani further east and south. Another distinct language group called Zaza-Gorani is also spoken by several millions of ethnic Kurds today and is generally also described and referred to as Kurdish, or as Kurdic languages, because of the ethnic association of the communities speaking the languages and dialects.[7] Hewrami, a variation of Gorani, was an important literary language used by the Kurds but was steadily replaced by Sorani in the twentieth century.[8]

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