The Caspian Language of Šahmirzād

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Habib Borjian



Located in the Semnān area (midway between Tehran and Khorasan), the town of Šahmirzād and its neighboring villages are home to speakers of Šahmirzādi, a vernacular sharply differing from the other language types spoken in the Semnān area but closely related to the Mazandarani language spoken across the Alborz range to the north, along the Caspian coast. This article studies Šahmirzādi phonology, grammar, and vocabulary, with a look at cross-linguistic influence in the situation of language contact. The article concludes with a discussion of the possible status of Šahmirzādi as a separate language within the Caspian family.

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