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Kumzari language: Wikis


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Spoken in Oman
Region Kumzar
Total speakers Less than 10,000 (Ethnologue cites 1,700)
Language family Indo-European
Writing system Persian alphabet
Language codes
ISO 639-1 None
ISO 639-2
ISO 639-3 zum

Kumzari is an Iranian language spoken by the Kumzaris (a subdivision of the Shihuh tribe[1]) in the Kumzar coast of Musandam Peninsula, northern Oman. This is the only Iranian language spoken in the Arabian Peninsula. Kumzaris can also be found in towns of Dibah and Khasab, as well as various villages and the Larak Island. Speakers are descendants of fishermen that inhabited the coast of Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.

The language is a development of early Modern Persian and is closely related to the Minabi dialect of southern Balochistan. The majority of vocabulary, as well as the grammatical and syntactic structure of the language, is Iranian, although a large number of Arabic words exist in the everyday speech. Despite the fact that it is spoken by the Persian Gulf fishermen, its phonology bears closer resemblance with the Persian language dialects of Fars province in Iran and is thought to be mutually understandable by the speakers of Luri.

The number of Kumzari speakers is estimated at less than 10,000 native speakers, although the members of the tribe number at ca. 21,000 (2000 estimate). Members of the younger generation tend to learn Arabic instead of their native tongue. The language is not written and possesses no literature corpus.




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