A pilot survey of the Kurdish dialects of Iraq

The goal of the project is to provide a description of some of the major differences between the dialects of Kurdish spoken in northern and central Iraq. The only comparative work on the dialects of the area was conducted by MacKenzie and published in 1961, based on a small selection of locations. Kurdish autonomy in the area, and the rise in importance of communications in Kurdish in Iraq and lately in neighbouring Turkey, make this a timely investigation.

Using a questionnaire and samples of free speech, we will carry out a pilot project with emigrant Kurds in England and France, as well as in a number of locations in the Kurdish areas of northern Iraq. We aim to cover major structural variants representing up to 40 origin locations.

The results will be made freely accessible on an online database, in the form of transcriptions of words and phrases, sound files, and maps representing the location of each variant.

Click here to access the project database.

Click here to access the pilot project dialect variation maps.

Project coordinator

Prof. Yaron Matras (University of Manchester)

In collaboration with

Dr Salih Akin (Université de Rouen)

Technical support and database

Christopher White

Website design

Hazel Gardner

All photos by Salih Akin unless specified.

British Academy logo

The project is funded by a Small Grant from the British Academy.