A dialect is a variety of a language used by group of people whose lexicon, syntax, phonetics and phonology are different from those of other people. The existence of many geographical, economic and social barriers among the speakers of a language cause the emergence of many dialects. As such, each language has many dialects and accents and each dialect has many different accents.(Encyclopaedia Iranica, vol, 2: P.1237)
Many of the dialects in the Fars and Bushehr provinces belong to the languages on the south western part of Iran. In some of these dialects, a distinctive and important feature such as ergative structure in the transitive verbs still exists which contrasts with the intransitive verbs which remained in the modern Persian from the middle era.
In this study, five dialects of the regions of fars, Bushehr and Yazd provinces including “Ardakani”, Dashtaki” and “Lari” belonging to Fars, “Dashti” and “Yazdi Jewish” belonging to Bushehr and Yazd provinces, respectively, have been investigated and analyzed extensively from the ergative structure point of view. As such, regarding the investigation of these five dialects of the three provinces, two research methods have been utilized. The first one concerns the empirical research based on which the data heve been collected from interviews done with the speakers of the mentioned dialects ranging in age from 50 to 70, both illiterate and literate benefiting from the tape-recorders. Accordingly, the data were recorded on some tapes. The second research method relates to library research based on which the researcher took notes through referring to the sources including books, article, theses and dissertations. As such the comparative and historical investigation of the ergative verbs had been done in the Iranian languages and dialects of different regions of the three mentioned provinces; namely, Fars, Bushehr and Yazd.
Discussion and Conclusion
Ergative as a technical expression has been used in the modern linguistics especially the typology of languages. The etymology of it goes back to Greeke which means “to cause, to make something happen, to create”. This feature is a grammatical marker which is related to the subject of transitive verbs. Moreover, it is one the features of ancient languages which have not been changed greatly; that is, those languages which are conservative and tend to maintain its ancient origins. Many samples of ergative structure can be found in languages such as ancient Sumerian, Tabati, Barmei, Borouvshaski, Eskimo, Bask and other languages such as Australian, Ghafghazian and Indian. (Kalbasi, Iran: P.70-87).
The results of the study showed that ergative in Ancient Persian which is a totally inflectionl language has a dark manfestaion and is used only in a passive voice.
Ergative in middle Persian which is a continuation of ancient Persian and where the eight inflectional cases have been disappeared has a dominat manifestation.
In the development of the Iranian languages from middle Persian to the modern one, the ergative structure has not been applied in modern Persian due to the fact that the modern Persian has been modified and developed in the east of Iran and the feature of ergative structure has a very dark manifestation in the eastern Iranian languages.
The ergative structure in the dialects such as Ardakani, Dashti, Dashtaki, Yazdi Jewish and Lari which belong to the dialects in the south western part of Iran has a wide and extensive application. Moreover, due to the existence of ergative structure in these dialects, they belong to the absolute and complete ergative.