Central Asia stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to China in the east and from Afghanistan in the south to Russia in the north. It is referred to as the -stans as the five countries generally considered to be within the region all have names ending with the Persian suffix -stan. Central Asias five former Soviet republics are Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Central Asia has historically been closely tied to its nomadic peoples and the Silk Road. It has acted as a crossroads for the movement of people, the Silk Road connected Muslim lands with the people of Europe and China. This crossroads position has intensified the conflict between tribalism and traditionalism and modernization, in pre-Islamic and early Islamic times, Central Asia was predominantly Iranian, peopled by Eastern Iranian-speaking Bactrians and Chorasmians and the semi-nomadic Scythians and Parthians. Central Asia is sometimes referred to as Turkestan, the idea of Central Asia as a distinct region of the world was introduced in 1843 by the geographer Alexander von Humboldt.
The borders of Central Asia are subject to multiple definitions, historically built political geography and geoculture are two significant parameters widely used in the scholarly literature about the definitions of the Central Asia. The most limited definition was the one of the Soviet Union. This definition was used outside the USSR during this period. However, the Russian culture has two terms, Средняя Азия and Центральная Азия. Since then, this has become the most common definition of Central Asia, the UNESCO general history of Central Asia, written just before the collapse of the USSR, defines the region based on climate and uses far larger borders. An alternative method is to define the region based on ethnicity and these areas include Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, the Turkic regions of southern Siberia, the five republics, and Afghan Turkestan. Afghanistan as a whole, the northern and western areas of Pakistan, the Tibetans and Ladakhi are included. Insofar, most of the peoples are considered the indigenous peoples of the vast region.
Central Asia is a large region of varied geography, including high passes and mountains, vast deserts. The vast steppe areas of Central Asia are considered together with the steppes of Eastern Europe as a geographical zone known as the Eurasian Steppe. Much of the land of Central Asia is too dry or too rugged for farming, the Gobi desert extends from the foot of the Pamirs, 77° E, to the Great Khingan Mountains, 116°–118° E. Central Asia has the following geographic extremes, The worlds northernmost desert, at Buurug Deliin Els, the Northern Hemispheres southernmost permafrost, at Erdenetsogt sum, Mongolia, 46°17′ N
Topographically, it is dominated by the Indian Plate, which rises above sea level as Nepal and northern parts of India situated south of the Himalayas and the Hindu Kush. South Asia is bounded on the south by the Indian Ocean and on land by West Asia, Central Asia, East Asia, the current territories of Afghanistan, Bhutan, Nepal, India and Sri Lanka form the countries of South Asia. The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation is an economic cooperation organisation in the region which was established in 1985, South Asia covers about 5.1 million km², which is 11. 51% of the Asian continent or 3. 4% of the worlds land surface area. The population of South Asia is about 1.749 billion or about one fourth of the worlds population, overall, it accounts for about 39. 49% of Asias population and is home to a vast array of peoples. The area of South Asia and its extent is not clear cut as systemic. Aside from the region of South Asia, formerly part of the British Empire, there is a high degree of variation as to which other countries are included in South Asia.
Modern definitions of South Asia are consistent in including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Myanmar is included by some scholars in South Asia, but in Southeast Asia by others. Some do not include Afghanistan, others question whether Afghanistan should be considered a part of South Asia or the Middle East, the mountain countries of Nepal and Bhutan, and the island countries of Sri Lanka and Maldives are generally included as well. Myanmar is often added, and by various deviating definitions based on often substantially different reasons, the British Indian Ocean Territory, the common concept of South Asia is largely inherited from the administrative boundaries of the British Raj, with several exceptions. The Aden Colony, British Somaliland and Singapore, though administered at various times under the Raj, have not been proposed as any part of South Asia. Additionally Burma was administered as part of the Raj until 1937, the 562 princely states that were protected by but not directly ruled by the Raj became administrative parts of South Asia upon joining Union of India or Dominion of Pakistan.
China and Myanmar have applied for the status of members of SAARC. This bloc of countries include two independent countries that were not part of the British Raj – Nepal, and Bhutan, Afghanistan was a British protectorate from 1878 until 1919, after the Afghans lost to the British in the Second Anglo-Afghan war. The United Nations Statistics Divisions scheme of sub-regions include all eight members of the SAARC as part of Southern Asia, population Information Network includes Afghanistan, Burma, Nepal and Sri Lanka as part of South Asia. Maldives, in view of its characteristics, was admitted as a member Pacific POPIN subregional network only in principle, the Hirschman–Herfindahl index of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific for the region includes only the original seven signatories of SAARC. The British Indian Ocean Territory is connected to the region by a publication of Janes for security considerations, the inclusion of Myanmar in South Asia is without consensus, with many considering it a part of southeast Asia and others including it within South Asia.
Afghanistan was of importance to the British colonial empire, especially after the Second Anglo-Afghan War over 1878–1880, Afghanistan remained a British protectorate until 1919, when a treaty with Vladimir Lenin included the granting of independence to Afghanistan. Following Indias partition, Afghanistan has generally included in South Asia
The Caucasus /ˈkɔːkəsəs/ or Caucasia /kɔːˈkeɪʒə/ is a region at the border of Europe and Asia, situated between the Black and the Caspian seas. It is home to the Caucasus Mountains, which contain Europes highest mountain, the Caucasus region is separated between northern and southern parts. The southern parts consist of independent sovereign states, and the parts are under the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation. The region is known for its diversity, aside from Indo-European and Turkic languages, the Kartvelian, Northwest Caucasian. Pliny the Elders Natural History derives the name of the Caucasus from Scythian kroy-khasis, German linguist Paul Kretschmer notes that the Latvian word Kruvesis means ice. According to German philologists Otto Schrader and Alfons A. Nehring, the South Caucasus region and southern Dagestan were the furthest points of Persian expansions, with areas to the north of Caucasus Mountains practically impregnable. The mythological mountain of Qaf, the worlds highest mountain that ancient lore shrouded in mystery, was said to be situated in this region, the Caucasus might be associated with the legendary mountain.
The Ciscaucasus contains the majority of the Greater Caucasus Mountain range. It includes Southwestern Russia and northern parts of Georgia and Azerbaijan, the Transcaucasus is bordered on the north by Russia, on the west by the Black Sea and Turkey, on the east by the Caspian Sea, and on the south by Iran. It includes the Caucasus Mountains and surrounding lowlands, all of Armenia and Georgia are in South Caucasus. The main Greater Caucasus range is generally perceived to be the line between Asia and Europe. The highest peak in the Caucasus is Mount Elbrus in the western Ciscaucasus in Russia, the Caucasus is one of the most linguistically and culturally diverse regions on Earth. The nation states that comprise the Caucasus today are the post-Soviet states Georgia, three territories in the region claim independence but are recognized as such by only a handful or by no independent states, Nagorno-Karabakh and South Ossetia. Abkhazia and South Ossetia are recognised by the majority of independent states as part of Georgia, the Russian divisions include Krasnodar Krai, Stavropol Krai, and the autonomous republics of Adygea, Karachay–Cherkessia, Kabardino-Balkaria, North Ossetia, Ingushetia and Dagestan.
The region has many different languages and language families, there are more than 50 ethnic groups living in the region. Russian is used as a common language, today the peoples of the Northern and Southern Caucasus tend to be either Eastern Orthodox Christians, Oriental Orthodox Christians, or Sunni Muslims. Shia Islam has had many adherents historically in Azerbaijan, located in the part of the region. Located on the peripheries of Turkey and Russia, the region has been an arena for political, religious, throughout its history, the Caucasus was usually incorporated into the Iranian world
The Old Persian language is one of the two directly attested Old Iranian languages. Old Persian appears primarily in the inscriptions, clay tablets, recent research into the vast Persepolis Fortification Archive at the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago have unearthed Old Persian tablets. This new text shows that the Old Persian language was a language in use for practical recording. As a written language, Old Persian is attested in royal Achaemenid inscriptions and it is an Iranian language and as such a member of the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family. The oldest known written in Old Persian is from the Behistun Inscriptions. Old Persian is one of the oldest Indo-European languages which is attested in original texts, the oldest date of use of Old Persian as a spoken language is not precisely known. Their language, Old Persian, became the language of the Achaemenid kings. In these records of the 9th century BCE, Parsuwash are first mentioned in the area of Lake Urmia in the records of Shalmaneser III.
The exact identity of the Parsuwash is not known for certain and he relates that the Armenian people spoke a language that to his ear sounded like the language of the Persians. Old Persian belongs to the Iranian language family which is a branch of the Indo-Iranian language family, the common ancestors of Indo-Iranians came from Central Asia sometime in the first half of the 2nd millennium BCE. The former are the languages in that group which have left written original texts while Median is known mostly from loanwords in Old Persian. Old Persian subsequently evolved into Middle Persian, which is in turn the ancestor of New Persian. Unlike the other languages and dialects and modern, of the Iranian group such as Avestan, Soghdian, Pashto, Old and New Persian represent one and the same language at three states of its history. It had its origin in Fars and is differentiated by dialectical features, Middle Persian, sometimes called Pahlavi, is a direct continuation of old Persian, and was used as the written official language of the country.
Comparison of the evolution at each stage of the shows great simplification in grammar. However, New Persian is a descendent of Middle and Old Persian. Old Persian presumably has a Median language substrate, the Median element is readily identifiable because it did not share in the developments that were peculiar to Old Persian. Median forms are only in personal or geographical names and some are typically from religious vocabulary
Central Kurdish, called Sorani is a Kurdish language spoken in Iraq, mainly in Iraqi Kurdistan, as well as the Kurdistan Province of western Iran. Central Kurdish is one of the two languages of Iraq, along with Arabic, and is in political documents simply referred to as Kurdish. In Sulaymaniyah, the Ottoman Empire had created a secondary school and this allowed Central Kurdish, which was spoken in Silêmanî, to progressively replace Hawrami dialects as the literary vehicle for Kurdish. Since the fall of the Arab Socialist Baath Party – Iraq Region, as a result, Central Kurdish has become the dominant written form of Kurdish. Central Kurdish is written with a modified Arabic alphabet and this is in contrast to the other main Kurdish language, Northern Kurdish, which is spoken mainly in Turkey and is usually written in the Latin alphabet. However, during the past decade, official TV in Iraqi Kurdistan has mainly used the Latin script for Central Kurdish. The exact number of Soriani speakers is difficult to determine, but it is thought that Soriani is spoken by about 6 to 7 million people in Iraq.
It is the most widespread speech of Kurds in Iran and Iraq, in particular, it is spoken by, Around 3 million Kurds in Iranian Kurdistan. Located south of Lake Urmia that stretches roughly to the outside of Kermanshah, around 3 million Kurds in Iraqi Kurdistan, including the Soriani tribe. Most of the Kurds who use it are found in the vicinity of Hewlêr, Kirkuk, following includes the traditional internal variants of Soriani. This region is known as Mukriyan. Ardalani, spoken in the cities of Sanandaj, Kamyaran and Dehgolan in Kordestan province and this region is known as Ardalan. Garmiani, in and around Kirkuk Hawlari, spoken in and around the city of Hawler in Iraqi Kurdistan and its main distinction is changing the consonant /l/ into /r/ in many words. Babani, spoken in and around the city of Sulaymaniya in Iraq, spoken in the towns of Javanroud and some villages around Sarpole Zahab and Paveh. A recent proposal was made for Central Kurdish to be the language of the Kurdistan Regional Government.
This idea has been favoured by some Central Kurdish-speakers but has disappointed Northern Kurdish speakers, Sorani Kurdish has a rich consonant inventory and a fairly rich vowel inventory as well. This section makes use of the International Phonetic Alphabet, the following table contains the vowels of Sorani Kurdish. Vowels in parentheses are not phonemic, but have included in the table below because of their ubiquity in the language
Southern Kurdish is a Kurdish dialect predominantly spoken in western Iran and eastern Iraq. In Iran, it is spoken in the provinces of Kermanshah, in Iraq it is spoken in the region of Khanaqin, all the way to Mandali, Pehle. It has more than one million speakers in the city of Baghdad and it is the dialect of the populous Kurdish Kakayî-Kakavand tribe near Kirkuk and most Yarsani kurds in Kermanshah province. There are populous diasporas of Palewani-speakers found in the Alburz mountains, native speakers use various different alphabets to write Pałewani, the most common ones are extensions of the standard Kurdish alphabets. The extension consists of a vowel, ۊ for the Arabic-based Sorani script. The subdialects of Southern Kurdish are, Kermanshahi is spoken mostly in western Iran, in, referring to the Feyli tribe, known as Ilami, after Ilam Province. It is spoken in eastern Iraq in the Khanaqin region of Diyala province near the Iranian border and it is spoken by the tribe of Ali Sherwan in Ilam, and by almost all Feyli Kurds in Baghdad, Mandali and Zorbatiah in Iraq.
It shares many features with Sorani, garrusi Malekshahi Sanjâbi referring to the language of Sanjâbi people