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  • Writer's pictureZia Khoshsirat

Dailami, A Dialect of Gilaki

Updated: Dec 27, 2018

You may ask what is Dailami or if I made this title. The answer to the second question is simply no. Dailami (Daylami) is not a new name, mentioned in old documents which I discussed shortly in a conference presentation (Gili, Dailami, Tabari: A New Classification of Gilaki Language 2018) and my thesis (The Origin of the Gilaki Causative Suffix -be(ː)- 2018). Here two historical evidence:

1. Samarqandi (15th century) says Pendar-e Razi (10th century) had poems in three languages; one of them was Dailami (Right Picture)

2. Tonekaboni Dailami (17th century) has many words in his book, Tohfeh Hakim Momen, with the title of Dailami, as a dialect (Left Picture)

So, what is Dailmi? Dailami is what scholars know as Galeshi dialect. Galesh [gäləʃ] means herdsman/shepherd in Alborz mountain. But you, as my readers, should know to the best my knowledge there is no historical evidence show people call their dialect Galeshi. Even all highlanders are not shepherd. Actually they are part of the community, not representing the whole. I think the answer lies within lowlanders who know all highlanders as Galesh. The reason possibly goes back to few centuries ago, when city dwellers had much more contact and trading with the Galeshs, (Rabino 1978). Perhaps they named the Galeshs’ dialect Galeshi and extended it to other highlanders, even if their businesses were not shepherding. Presumably, this name is what scholars heard from lowlanders about dialect of highlanders. Last point: if you are reading/writing a paper, article, book about Gilaki and see/write Galeshi as a dialect, be sure (some) highlanders do not feel okay 'other' people call their dialect Galeshi, unless you are specifically talking about shepherds or those related to them. Instead Dailami is suggested; it subsumes all groups and geographically is more comprehensive (Gilan, Mazandaran, Alamoot, Taleqan).

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