The Short Vowels /i/ and /u/ in Iranian Balochi Dialects

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Zabol University

2 Uppsala University, Sweden

3 University of Sistan and Baluchestan


The aim of the present paper is to study the status of the short vowels /i/ and /u/ in five selected Iranian Balochi dialects. These dialects are spoken in Sistan (SI), Saravan (SA), Khash (KH), Iranshahr (IR), and Chabahar (CH) regions located in province Sistan va Baluchestan in the southeast of Iran. This study investigates whether these two vowels have the same qualities as the short /i/ and /u/ do in the Common Balochi inventory (i, iː, u, uː, a, aː, eː, oː). The Common Balochi inventory is the vowel system represented generally for Balochi language, which is a North-Western Iranian language, a sub-branch of the Indo-Iranian family. The data for this survey are gathered from villages, rural areas, and cities in these regions in the forms of free speech and verbal elicitation from more than 20 literate and non-literate male and female language consultants, 2 males and 2 females for each dialect. The investigation reveals that the short /i/ and /u/ show strong tendencies towards a lower position. This study suggests phonemic systems in which the short /i/ is modified to short /e/ in all dialects, but /u/ is modified to /o/ only in SI, SA, and CH; the lowering of the short /u/ to short /o/ in KH and IR may still be in the transition stage. It is possible that Persian, as the dominant language has had its influence on these dialects causing a lowering tendency in the two vowels under study. 


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