Language-genetic affiliation

Kurdish menKurdish is a Northwest Iranian language (and as such affiliated to the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European language phylum), related most closely to Persian and transitional varieties spoken along the Iraq-Iran border, such as Hawrami, Gurani, Luri and others, as well as to Dimli (Zazaki), which is spoken in dispersed communities within the Kurdish-speaking areas. The northern varieties of Kurdish are known as Kurmanji (and in Iraq as Bahdini), those spoken in the south of the region are known as Sorani. The dividing line roughly follows the Great Zab river, between the towns of Mosul and Rawandiz to the north, and Arbil and Mahabad to the south. The reality on the ground, however, is one of a continuum of dialects, and there is considerable differentiation especially around the transition areas and within the dialects of Sorani.