The Lur are found mainly in three regions of Iran—Lorestān, Bakhtīarī, and Kohkīlūyeh, all of which are located along a northwest-southeast axis of the Zagros mountain range and its southern foothills. These mountains are 160 to 320 kilometers wide, and extend southeastward from Lake Van in Turkey to near Bandar Abbas in southern Iran, a distance of about 1,600 kilometers. The valleys within this mountain range have rich pastures that have been used by several nomadic pastoral societies, including the Lur.
Generally speaking, the Lur speak Luri, an Indo-Iranian dialect closely related to modern Persian (Farsi). Modern Luri is viewed as the continuation of an old dialect closely related to old Persian, or as a derivation from the Middle Persian that developed in pre-Islamic times. An alternative theory suggests that modern Luri developed from New Persian during the tenth century A . D .
There are three primary languages spoken by Lur today. Luri, a dialect of Farsi, is spoken by almost 90 percent of the inhabitants of Kohkīlūyeh. A Turkic language (which seems intrusive to the region) is spoken by the Qashqa'i pastoral nomads, who migrate annually into the area with their flocks of sheep. Farsi, the official language of government bureaucracies and non-Lur civil servants, is gaining in importance and popularity owing to compulsory education and government programs. Men, who, unlike women, have extensive contacts outside their communities, are often bilingual in Luri-Farsi and Turkic-Farsi.