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Georgian is the most important language in the South Caucasian family of languages also known as the Kartvelian languages. The main center for this language is Georgia although this language is also spoken by some people in Iran and Turkey. Georgian-speaking Iranians presently live in some regions of the town of Faridan. They are mainly the descendents of the prisoners of war that the Safavid king, Shāh Abbās, had brought to Esfahān. Moreover, the Shāh Abbās had also settled some of these war captives in the Khorāsān, Māzandarān, Gilān, and Fārs provinces but these groups have become assimilated with the rest of the Iranians and have forgotten their original mother tongues. The oldest written Georgian texts date back to the 5th Century AD. As a result of the prolonged interaction between the Georgians and the Iranians, many Iranian terms have come to enter into the Georgian language either directly or through the Armenian language.
The most important characteristics of the Georgian language are as follows:
- It lacks grammatical genders;
- It lacks definite articles;
- There is no defined syntax and a verb can appear either at the beginning, middle, or at the end of a sentence;
- The nouns are declined in seven cases;
- The subject of intransitive verbs can be the doer or otherwise.
Georgian is the only Caucasian language that has its own script. The Old Georgian was written in a script called “Khutsuri” which had been invented by Saint Mashtots who was also the inventor of the Armenian script. This script was, however, replaced by another one called the “Mkhedruli” in the 11th Century AD. The Mkhedruli script originally had forty characters but now contains only thirty-three characters.
* source: Rezaie Baghbidi , Hasan " Iran Entry " The Great Islamic Encyclopedia . Ed. Kazem Musavi Bojnourdi.Tehran: The Center of Great Islamic Encyclopaedia , 1989-, V.10 , pp.556 - 557
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