- Language: Kurdish
- Alternate names:
- Language code: kur
- Language family:
- Number of speakers: 29,960,872.
The Kurdish languages constitute a dialect continuum, belonging to the Iranian language family, spoken by Kurds in the geo-cultural region of Kurdistan and the Kurdish diaspora. The three Kurdish languages are Northern Kurdish, Central Kurdish, and Southern Kurdish. A separate group of non-Kurdish Northwestern Iranian languages, the Zaza–Gorani languages, are also spoken by several million ethnic Kurds. Studies as of 2009 estimate between 8 and 20 million native Kurdish speakers in Turkey. The majority of the Kurds speak Kurmanji. Most Kurdish texts are written in Kurmanji and Sorani. Kurmanji is written in the Hawar alphabet, a derivation of the Latin script, and Sorani is written in the Sorani alphabet, a derivation of Arabic script.
The Kurdish VerbKurdish verbs agree with their subjects in person and number. They have the following major characteristics:
- Verbs have two stems: present and past.
- Present stems can be simple or secondary.
- Simple tenses are formed by the addition of personal endings to the two stems.
- Secondary stems consist of a root + suffixes that indicate transitivity, intransitivity, and causativity.
- There are 3 tenses: present, past, and future.
- There are 2 voices: active and passive.
- There are 2 aspects: imperfective and perfective. Aspect is as important as tense.
- There are 4 moods: indicative, conditional, imperative, and potential.
- Past tense transitive sentences are formed as ergative constructions, i.e., transitive verbs in the past tense agree with the object rather than the subject of the sentence.