Keshmi, the dialect of Qeshm Island in the Strait of Hormuz, belongs to the Southwestern branch of the Iranian languages. The largest island in the Persian Gulf, Qeshm was described in 1908 by Lorimer who stated that Arabic was spoken there. Relying on the ethnic map of Iran in the Atlas narodov mira (1964), most later scholars have repeatedly described the language on the island as a mixture of Persian and Arabic, but Izady's (2006) map mentions a "Qishmi" dialect. The present study, which offers a first overv iew of this Keshmi dialect, brings clarity to the contradictory assertions in the literature. An updated description of the island and its population of over 100,000 is provided, touching on geography, history and demographics as well as questions of language use and identity. The paper then examines the dialect's classification, its internal dialect situation, and its linguistic structures, with attention to aspects of the phonology, morphology and lexicon. Although Keshmi speakers view themselves as ethnically distinct, and recognize that their dialect exhibits some distinctive structures, the author uses comparative data to situate the Keshmi dialect within Southwestern Iranian and, in keeping with the perceptions of the speakers themselves, most closely connected to the Bandari dialects of the mainland.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Bandari Persian, Hormozgan province, Keshmi (QESHMI) dialect, Language documentation, Linguistics, Qeshm island, Southwestern iranian languages
Citation
Anonby, E. (2015). The keshmi (QESHMI) dialect of hormozgan province, Iran : A first account.