image of Gorani substrate within Kurdish



The traditional view within Kurdish linguistics is that the split between Central Kurdish (CK) and Northern Kurdish (NK) is mainly the result of a Gorani substrate within the former group. More recent studies refute this hypothesis, arguing instead that Kurdish was initially composed of two distinct but closely related subgroups and that the differences between CK and NK are partly due to distinct source languages and partly due to ensuing contact with neighbouring languages. This study aims to shed new light on the Gorani-substrate hypothesis within CK by examining a corpus-based study of the southernmost CK dialects located within the historical Gorani heartland. Combining recent historical accounts of language shift from Gorani to CK in the region with linguistic data, the paper claims that (i) Gorani borrowings and substrate features reflect different layers of historical contact in Southern CK dialects and (ii) the Gorani substrate has caused a split in the morphosyntactic features across vernaculars of CK, showcasing second-language learning in shaping the historically recent development of Southern CK dialects.

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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keywords: second-language acquisition ; metatypy ; language shift ; borrowing ; imposition ; agentivity
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