Southern Luri, an Indo-European language in the Southwestern Group of
Iranian languages, counts almost one million speakers. Still, while brief
linguistic sketches have been written in Farsi, the existence of Southern
Luri as a distinct language group has until recently been unknown to
Western scholarship. In a recent comparative work, ‘Update on Luri: How
Many Languages?’ (2003), Anonby established the existence of three separate
languages in the Luri continuum: Lurist?ni, Bakhti?ri and Southern Luri.
In the present study, the author provides a window into the phonological
system of Southern Luri. Although closely related to both Bakhti?ri and
Farsi, the language is nonetheless distinguished by a number of particular
- and at times striking - phonological characteristics. The vowel system
is marked by a rich inventory of diphthongs, several of which exhibit
historical /h/ as a lengthening element. Among the numerous phonological
processes, pervasive short vowel reduction and a series of consonant
softenings are most prominent. Rigorous restrictions in the composition of
syllables drive most of the morphophonemic processes. The study addresses
the impact of borrowing on the language and concludes with a précis on
speech style, stress and intonation processes.
2nd printing 2007.