Azeri and Persian Vocabularies in the Language of Tabriz People, by the late Dr. Yahya Zoka, edited by Iran Abdi, under the supervision and with the introduction of Jaleh Amouzgar is released by the CGIE press.
As the late author noted, the process of gathering data and compiling the book lasted almost fifty years. The book is an outstanding research in the field of linguistic studies, and it will shed light on the history and culture of Azerbaijan region, according to the head of the Centre for the Great Islamic Encyclopaedia.
IUP (Markaz-e Nashr-e Daneshgahi) undertook the process of the publication of the book in 1997/6/23, according to a contract, and the process of its editing and preparation was entrusted to Hossein Baniadam. He edited the four letters: Ā, A, B, and P with accuracy, patience, and compassion under the supervision of Dr. Zoka, but unfortunately, the death of Zoka on 2001/1/17 discontinued the work.
The Centre for the Great Islamic Encyclopaedia, in a letter to IUP dated 2012/2/29, expressed its interest in publishing the book, which led to an agreement between the two institutes. The handwritten text of the book and the accompanying notes were assigned to CGIE in March 2013 and Dr. Jaleh Amouzgar proposed Dr. Iran Abdi, a lecturer at the University of Hamadan, to pursue the project.
Dr. Jaleh Amouzgar, who was in charge of supervising the book after Dr. Zoka, has mentioned in a part of her introduction to the book: “This book, which is published by CGIE after the death of its esteemed collector, Professor Yahya Zoka, demonstrates the cultural growth of Iranian society in honoring the sincere efforts of past patriots who strived to promote Iranian culture and Persian language.
Yahya Zoka, the compiler of the work, was a remnant of the generation who loved Iran from the bottom of their hearts, and tried as much as he could to promote Iranian culture. He was a patriotic Azerbaijani who sought love for his homeland under the umbrella of the Greater Iran. Because of his familiarity with the Turkish language and his interest and attachment to Persian language, which is the secret of Iran’s immortality, he collected these vocabularies.
The book begins with the introduction by the late Yahya Zoka and his biography. subsequently, Ms. Abdi explains her method and the history of the gradual development of the book in a detailed introduction. Afterwards, the phonetic table of Azeri language is provided in the style intended by Dr. Zoka. After the page of abbreviations, the main text is presented in two parts; the first is the Azeri and Persian vocabularies and the second is the old alleys of Tabriz.”
Yahya Zoka was born in 1923 in Tabriz. His grandfather was a merchant from Tabriz, and his father was first a railway and then a Melli Bank employee. He started his primary education in Tabriz (Roshdieh school) and continued in Tehran (Targhib school). First high schools OF Zoka were Tamaddon in Tehran and Pahlavi in Qazvin, and his second high school was Firooz Bahram. The latter changed his life, where he was classmate with Iraj Afshar and Houshang Kavousi and received his diploma in literature from Parviz Natel Khanlari, Zabihollah Safa, Mohammad Hossein Mashayekh Fereidani and Mohammad Javad Torbati. Zoka was graduated from the Faculty of Literature, University of Tehran in 1954 with the highest scores. He was one of the first graduates of archeology, and two years later, the government hired him officially. In the first year, along with Iraj Afshar, Mohammad Taghi Daneshpajooh and Mohammad Meshkat, he was the librarian of the Faculty of Law, University of Tehran. Then Zoka went to the Fine Arts Office, which was renamed to the Ministry of Culture and Arts in 1964. Afterwards, he became the sponsor of the Office of Museums and Popular Culture; the director of the Museum of Decorative Arts; the deputy director of the Office of Museums and Popular Culture; the director of the Anthropology Museum; the director of the publication of the Archeology, Popular Culture, Museums, and Restoration of Historical Monuments Office; the director of the National Library of Iran; and the consultant of the Minister of Culture and Arts until 1978/8/27, when he officially retired.
He was an expert in the works of art and assisted in collecting and assessing items for several museums in Iran, including Golestan Palace, Abgineh (glassware), Carpet, Reza Abbasi, Decorative Arts, and Negarestan. He carried out an eminent role in retrieving one of the most valuable works of Iranian art, Shahnameh of Tahmasb. Zoka was a member of several international societies of Iranian studies and traveled to many countries to introduce Iranian civilization and culture in his lectures. He wrote more than forty books and one hundred and forty articles and essays on the history, culture and civilization of Iran, among which, his History of Photography and Leading Photographers in Iran, in 2000 won the 17th Book of the Year Award. Moreover, he won several awards and medals for introducing Iranian culture and art. He worked tirelessly despite his old age and illness, and finally passed away on 2001/1/17 due to a fatal kidney failure, while some of his works, including this book, remained unfinished.
Introduction of the late Yahya Zoka to the book Azeri and Persian Vocabularies in the Language of Tabriz People:
“This book is the result of nearly fifty years of intermittent research in which every word that is known as Azeri or Dari Persian is collected and presented in an alphabetical order. Firstly, the meaning of each word and an example of its use in the spoken language are cited. I have tried to quote the proverbs, idioms, phrases or sentences in which the word is employed, so that the proverbs and idioms of Tabriz people also be gathered advantageously. Afterward, the words and their meanings in various dictionaries, especially Borhān-e Qāteʻ and other ancient books, are cited as evidence. Finally, the origin of the word and its background in Avestan, Ancient Persian and Pahlavi languages have been discussed. These vocabularies include 3200 Azeri or Dari Persian words, all of which are currently used in the language of the original people of Tabriz. But it cannot be claimed that all the words of this language are collected, possibly thousands of other words are used by craftsmen and farmers that the author is unaware of, for lack of field inquiries. Today, most inhabitants of Tabriz are not original citizens. In this city, people are gathered from all over Azerbaijan or even Aran (Republic of Azerbaijan) and villages with various cultures, behavior, education, dialects and even ideas; therefore, they cannot be considered pure Tabrizian. So the author should not be criticized if there are words in the book that the current citizens are unaware of or words that people employ now but are not in the book. The author, as a native of Tabriz, has tried to collect merely the common Azeri and Persian vocabularies of the two previous generations of this city as far as he could. It should be added that these are not all Azeri or Persian words used throughout Azerbaijan and Aran – whose language (Arani) can be considered as the niece of Azeri. There are hundreds, even thousands of pure Azeri or Arani words in the dialects of other cities, towns and villages of Azerbaijan and Aran that are not included in this work. It is the responsibility of the intelligent people of those places to identify and collect such vocabularies and publish them. Some scholars and linguists have mistakenly considered the language of the Aran Azerbaijani people to be Turkish, so they regrettably have not devoted proper attention to its vocabulary and remained unaware of this rich linguistic treasure. Since the enemies of Iranian culture and history have been intentionally and deceitfully trying to hide the truth, it is the duty of every honorable, patriotic and intelligent Iranian to diligently clarify the historical facts and silent the enemies strongly. It is also the responsibility of young linguists, who admire the truth and their country, to take steps in this field and conduct beneficial researches. They have to investigate the historical, cultural and social reasons for neglecting Azeri and Arani languages, as well as the phonetic, grammatical, lexical and semantic modifications of the remaining vocabularies. They should prepare research works to the benefit of the history, culture and the independence of their homeland.”
Yahya Zoka – Tehran
Book title: Azeri and Persian Vocabularies in the Language of Tabriz People
Author: Yahya Zoka
Edited by: Iran Abdi
Under the supervision and with the introduction of: Jaleh Amouzgar Yeganeh
Publisher: The Centre for the Great Islamic Encyclopaedia (Centre for Iranian and Islamic Studies), IUP (Markaz-e Nashr-e Daneshgahi)
Number: 1000 copies
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