On Kurdish orthography: The Arabic script vs the Latin alphabet debate


Thu, 09/01/2011 - 3:00pm to Fri, 08/12/2022 - 9:07pm

Talk by: Zana Muhammad, University of Suleimani, Kurdistan-Iraq

as part of the Fall 2011 MENAS colloquium series

Thursday, September 1st, 3-4pm in Marshall 490

This presentation is an introduction both to Kurdish language and its writing systems. It includes a brief account of its history, its position in the language families, the Kurdish people in the four countries of Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Syria alongside their writing system(s), the dialects of Kurdish, and the debate on the Arabic or Latin alphabet.

The presentation is, in essence, an attempt to shed light on some of the linguistic reasons why the Arabic alphabet inappropriately, if compared to the Latin one, represents Kurdish words. In so doing, several lexical as well as phonological examples will be provided and discussed.

The presentation ends with possible recommendations for a unified, appropriate alphabet for Kurdish in the four parts of Kurdistan, along with a list of reading.


Video of the talk

Colloquium archives