Iranian Ancient Languages Part II

By | December 16, 2021

On the other hand, some of the facts that do not seem to fall within the framework of south-western dialects are to be understood as dialectal peculiarities that have not had vitality in further development, so, for example, the ϑ instead of s mentioned above has been mentioned above it may very well be a peculiarity of the Persepolis speech. In other cases, as in the aforementioned use of ima- with respect to pers. mod. ē n, the chronological fact must not be overlooked: if ima – still occurs in m. pers. merid. and in pers. mod. in some hardened formulas such as imr ū z “today” ims ā l “this year”, it is clear that more than loans, it must be the remains of an ancient, widely diffused form, which over time has lost its vitality.

Even more complex and difficult to recognize is the position of avestic in the Iranian dialect domain. Nor do the information that tradition gives us about Zarathustra and the place of origin of the Avesta, of a clearly legendary character, help at first in its identification. For Iran 2002, please check

There is within the Avesta itself a not negligible difference between the language of the G ā th ā and the language of the so-called recent Avesta; but it is a difference due more to the chronological relationship than to dialectal diversity. The gathic is much more archaic: the law of aspirates of Bartholomae (gath. Aog ə d ā “he said”, Gr. Εὔχομαι, ma av. Rec. Ao χ ta) has full effect, the nom. pl. neuter is followed by the verb in sing. as in a. ind. and in, Greek, the prohibitive particle m ā, a. ind. m āί, gr.μή, is followed by the injunctive, as occurs in the Vedic language, while in the av. rec. it is also conjoined with the optative. Also, in the gath. some words closely related to words of the appear. ind., which in the av. rec. they are not documented. In essence, however, Avestic forms a unitary language, although it reflects different phases of linguistic development (see below).

As far as the dialectal physiognomy of Avestic is concerned, it is certain that many features make it a north-western dialect. The dialectal characteristics of it are found precisely, to a considerable extent, continued in the north-western dialects (m. Pers. N.): av. z ə r ə d – “heart e, a. ind. h ṛ ??? d – is continued in m. pers. N. from z ī rd, and instead in m. pers. S. from d ī l ; av. pu θ ra – continued from m. pers. No Puhr while m. pers. S. pus. Even the geographical distribution of some words avestico connects with the north-western dialects goes is – “say”, m. pers. N. va čē δ in contrast to a. pers. enrollment gaub -, m. pers. S. g ō w ē δ. On the other hand, in some facts the av. goes together with the S. dialects and contrasts with the N. dialects, eg. in the use of pron. rel. ya – depending on what will be in m. pers. and in the mod. pers. the iḍāfat, in the stem k ə r ə nav – “do” (pers. m. S: kun -) with respect to m. pers. N. kar -, etc.

No less complex are the reports of the av. with the Eastern Iranian dialects. Two very important traits detach it from those dialects, namely the iḍāfat, and – ō, – í from * ah * ā h: in oriental dialects the iḍāfat is missing and ad – ō, í correspond to – i and – e. But in other no less important facts there is concordance, e.g., in the verbal ending – r av. agrees with the sacio and the yaγnōbī, in the preterite in ē of the Sogdian and the yaγnōbī it is to be seen the continuation of the Avestic “optative of the past”. In the singular treatment of rt as spirante wanted to see not without verisimilitude a common trait with the ancient Afghan (Junker) and therefore a proof of the Eastern Iranian character of the Avestan language.

Iranian Ancient Languages Part II