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Lahijan (Persian: Lāhijān‎‎, also known as, Lāhijān) is a Caspian sea resort in and the capital of Lahijan County, Gilan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 71,871, in 21,518 families.


The resort Lahijan has both traditional and modern architecture. The town, which has an Iranian-European urban structure, lies on the northern slope of the Alborz mountains. Its culture and climatic favorable condition have made Lahijan a major tourist hub in northern Iran. The city is basically founded on the sediments remaining from big rivers in Gilan, including the Sefid-Rud (White River). Historically, the city was the major business center and of course the capital of East Gilan during the time of special rulers. Lahijan has also been a tourism hub of the Islamic world during different eras in Iran's history. Etymology[edit] The word "Lahijan" is originated from the economic stance the city had during its historical periods. "Lāhijān" is formed by two words: Lah, means silk and "Jan or Gan" means a place where something is done. Therefore, by compounding these two parts, the word "Lahijan or lahigan" was made, which means "a place to obtain silk fiber".

Professor Bahram Farah'vashi who is an Iranian expert in ancient languages says that in the Middle Persian Language; Lah refers to silk, and in Decisive Argument; Lah means the red silk. Therefore, Lahygan (today, Lahijan) is an area where silk is obtained.

It can also mean the place related to people from the Yemeni town of Lahij.

Lahijan and languages[edit]

Lahijan at night In Gilan, there are two major Iranian language groups, namely Gilaki and Taleshi, and pockets of two other groups, Tati and Kurdish. The non-Iranian languages include Azeri and some speakers of Gypsy (Romany, of Indic origin).

Gilaki is spoken by possibly three million people as a first or second language and has had budding literature and fledgling prose publications, including newspapers.

The five Iranian languages in Gilan belong to the north-western branch of Iranian. Gilaki, which has two main dialect types, eastern and western, with the Safid-rud River as the general border, is a member of the Caspian subgroup. Tati and Taleshi (Talyshi) together make up the larger dialect chains which together make up the larger Tatic family (not to be confused with Tat-Persian spoken in pockets north of the Baku area).

Among these, the two Tati pockets in Gilan, Kalasi, and Kabataʾī, have their closest relatives in Upper Tarom in Zanjan province. Taleshi is a dialect chain of three main types, southern, central, and northern; and southern Taleshi is closer in type and mutual comprehension to some forms of Tati than it is to central or northern Taleshi. Rudbari may originally have been a subgroup of Tatic that has largely adapted structurally to Gilaki.

There are many subdialects of Gilaki, and, progressing to the east, it gradually blends into Mazandarani (Tabarestan). The intermediate dialects of the area between Tonokabon and Kalardasht serve as a transition between Gilaki and Mazandarani. The differences in forms and vocabulary lead to low mutual intelligibility with either Gilaki or Mazandarani, and so these dialects should probably be considered a third separate language group of the Caspian area.

Since the time depth between south-western Iranian and north-western Iranian is greater than that of, for example, English and Swedish within the Germanic languages, Gilaki and Persian differ on almost all grammar points. Time depth within western Iranian, however, is not an absolute measure of distance, since north-western Iranian and south¬western Iranian have coexisted within the same cultural zone for millennia, during which Persian has consistently been by far culturally dominant. All Caspian languages contain many lexical items (e.g., dan- “to know,” xast “to want,” guft- “to say,” tanest “can”) and certain grammatical features (the loss of the conjugation of transitive verbs and the use of ra) that most likely show quite early influence of Persian.

More recently, however, due to both the economic importance of the Caspian and the Gilān’s proximity to Tehran, Gilaki has been under¬going a massive, indelible Persian imprint: heavy influx of vocabulary (e.g., Pers. pəsər, duxtər, damad, negah kudən have replaced the native rey, kor, zama, fəndərəstən), significant syntactic interference (e.g., eżāfa), changes in vowel pronunciation, and even morpheme borrowings. One thus gets the erroneous impression that Gilaki is merely a dialect of Persian. Yet it is a mixed language, and is becoming even more mixed. Virtual one-to-one correspondences between Gilaki and Persian are commonplace, and often unavoidable: Gil. məšγul-ə taayi kudən durust kudə́n-əšåm-u γəzå bid and Pers. mašḡūl e tahīya kardan dorost kardan e šām o ḡaḏā būdand “they were busy providing and making dinner.”

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