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What’s with this “Wren” thing?
The oldest extant version of the fable
are presenting here appeared in 1913 in the first volume of a two-volume anthology
Saxon folktales (Plattdeutsche
Volksmärchen “Low German Folktales”)
collected by Wilhelm Wisser (1843–1935). Read
very place at which the bulk of the Azeri people is divided: The
Bridge of Separation (Ayrılıq körpüsü) on the Azerbaijan-Iran border. More Azeris live in Iran than in Azerbaijan.
[Photograph: Azeri, Wikimedia Commons]
The majority of Azerbaijani (or Azeri) speakers lives in an area that comprises
the modern independent country of Azerbaijan and a part of northwestern Iran.
A good deal more speakers live on the Iranian side of the border. Azerbaijani nationalists consider the entire area “Azerbaijan,” whose capital they regard as being Tabriz, a city situated in Iran. (The capital of the country of Azerbaijan is Baku [Azerbaijani Bakı].)
is the official state
of the independent country of Azerbaijan, a former Soviet state. In Iran it
as a regional language. Minorities of Azerbaijani speakers live in surrounding
countries, namely Armenia, Georgia, Iraq, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Syria, and
Russia. Some Azerbaijani-speaking communities can also be found in other former
states as well as in Europe and the Americas. In Russia it has offcial status
in the Republic of Dagestan. Also, in Iraq it does has official status
a regional language, albeit mislabeled as “Turkmen.”
full independence of the country of Azerbaijan (a former Soviet state), the Azerbaijani
language there is a part of everyone’s school curriculum. This means that ethnic
and linguistic minorities (for instance, Russians, Ukrainian and Jews, let alone
traditional minorities of the country)
of the Soviet Union was not the case. This is not the case on the Iranian side of the border, where Farsi (Persian) always takes precedence and politicians only use snippets of Azerbaijani
to woo northwestern crowds.
native region of this Turkic language lies at a crossroads of the following language families: Altaic (Turkic: Azerbajani, Khalaj, Kumyk, Nogai, Turkish, Turkmen),
Indo-European (Armenian, Iranian [Farsi, Kurdish, Talysh, Tat, Zazaki], Karachi-Domari, Russian), Kartvelian (Georgian, Mingrelian, Laz), Northeast Caucasian (Aghul, Avar, Chechen, Dargwa, Lak, Lezgian, Rutul, Tabasaran,
Tsakhur), Northwest Caucasian (Adyghe), and Afro-Asiatic (Semitic: Arabic, Aramaic).
it is undoubtedly a Turkic language, Azerbaijani shows many signs of strong
contacts with non-Turkic language varieties,
especially with Iranian varieties. Azerbaijani of the State of Azerbaijan and
of other former Soviet states is influenced by Russian, aside from having earlier
division of dialects that is perceived as roughly
running along the Azerbaijan-Iranian border, with speakers in Turkey also
using Southern Azerbaijani. This division is further exacerbated by the use
of the Roman script (formerly the Cyrillic script) in the north and the use
of the Perso-Arabic script in the south.
Iranian languages have undergone considerable West Turkic (Oghuz) influences, most, if not all, of them having eminated from Azerbaijani.
Most of the inhabitants of what are now Azerbaijan and northwestern Iran formerly spoke Azari, an Iranian language from which some believe the now severely endangered Tat language descended.
Azerbaijani is fairly closely related to Afshar,
Turkmen, with which it shares the Western (Oghuz) branch of Turkic. (To a
lesser degree it is related to the Salar language of China which descended
Western branch also.)
is the medium of an old and rich literary and musical culture in which mainly
Iranian and Arabic elements intermingle.