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Grammatica e vocabolario della lingua Kurda

The "Grammar and vocabulary of the Kurdish language" is probably the first scientific acknowledgement of the originality of the Kurdish language which was published in 1787 in Rome/Italy. This book is the first attempt to codify and provide a defined writing system for Kurdish language. This first grammar and manual of the Kurdish language was written by the Italian Dominica friar Maurizio Garzoni to enable Christian missionaries to converse with Kurmanji-speakers.

Garzoni had reached the city of Mosul - situated 400 km north of Baghdad - in 1762 and lived there until 1787. Together with his precursor Domenico Lanza (1718-1782), and his successor Giuseppe Campanile (1762-1835), Garzoni greatly contributed to the knowledge of that region. 

Although influenced by their European perspective and Catholic dogmatism, they described in broad terms the language and the social, political, and economic structure of the Kurdish society. Garzoni reports that among themselves Christians used books in their own language. All of them, however, needed to know the Kurdish language not only for their daily contacts with Muslims, but also in their economic transactions with the Kurdish owners and tribal chiefs of the region. 

Garzoni's Grammatica e vocabolario is very important in the Kurdish history as it is the first acknowledgement of the originality of the Kurdish language on a scientific base. It earned its author the title of "Father of Kurdology" and of "The pioneer Kurdish grammarian". - Lightly foxed in places. - Early 19th century gilded and panelled calf with label, in centre Royal gilt embossing "The Society of Writers to the Signet" (spine under laid and carefully restored). - Originally, "The Signet" was the private seal of the early Scottish Kings, and the "Writers to the Signet" were those authorised to supervise its use and, later, to act as clerks to the Courts.


The legacy of the Dominicans 

The Italian Dominicans have made a decisive contribution to the knowledge of Kurdistan and its people with very interesting studies and their presence in the mission to Mosul from 1750 until 1856. We distinguish between the historian Dominic Lanza (1718-1782), the philologist and grammarian Mauritius Garzoni (1734-1804), first in the West to establish the originality of the Kurdish language with the publication of the Grammar and Vocabulary of the Kurdish language in Rome in 1787, which earned him the title of "father of curdologia ', the historian and ethnologist Campanile Giuseppe (1762-1835), who left extensive analysis on the uses, customs and religions of the peoples of Kurdistan.

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Grammatica e vocabolario della lingua Kurda