Indo-European Languages Indo-Iranian Languages Iranian Languages Persian Afro-asiatic Languages Semitic Languages Arabic
Indo-European languages : the most widely spoken family of languages in the world other languages Hellenic Italic Germanic Slavic Indo-Iranian Iranian Indian (Indo-Aryan) Split up around early 2nd millenium BC Dardic and Nuristani languages Persian ( around 70 million speakers) Kurdish (ca. 25 million speakers) Pashto (ca. 25 million speakers) Balochi (ca. 7 million speakers) Main distinction: Eastern group and Western group
Present name: Fars (ARABIC) Persia (LATIN) Πέρσις - Pérsis (GREEK) Parsa (OLD PERSIAN) Persian (ENGLISH) Persianus (LATIN) Language spoken in
a glimpse of Persian language history Proto-Iranian language Appeared in the Iranian plateau ca. 1500 BC From which Persian descended… … and evolved through three stages of development Old Persian Middle Persian Modern Persian ca. 525 BC – 300 BC ca. 300 BC – 800 AD from 800 AD
It’s clear that Persian belongs to the Indo-European family
Let’s have a look at his history.
… but why we still have an Arabic echo when we listen to it?
a glimpse of Persian language history Old Persian ca. 525 BC – 300 BC Originated in the Parsa ( Fars ) province First written evidence with the rise of Achaemenid empire Was spoken throughout the vaste Persian Empire and used as “lingua franca” for over 200 years Received influence from… Elamite, Babylonian, Aramaic, Greek… … and gave influence to Hebrew
It was written in an adapted cuneiform alphabet (known as Mikhi ) It declined with the fall of Achaemenid dinasty ( 300 BC ) Old Persian must not be confused with Avestan Written from left to right Aramaic
ca. 300 BC – 800 AD Middle Persian is a period, more than a single language Parthian , a language once spoken in small region, spread through all Iran After the rise of the Sassanid, a language named Pahlavi was spoken Pahlavi was written in an alphabet of the same name, an Aramaic-derived script Written from right to left Middle Persian influenced Middle Persian period ended after the Arab conquest Arabic, Latin; Hindi, Armenian, Georgian
Modern Persian began after the Arab conquest The process of transformation lasted around 200 years and consisted of: - Import of new Arabic words which changed the vocabulary - Use of Arabic script instead of the previous Pahlavi alphabet (but NOT the structure of the language) Transition from Middle Persian to Modern Persian lasted till 10th century AD Since then the language is known as Classical Persian … having its Golden Age during the 13th and 14th century AD
Evolution of Persian language – some brief notes
… in 1000 years the language has remained stable in terms of grammar rules and large part of vocabulary
Evolution of Persian language First 1500 of history: modification in the transition from Old Persian to Modern Persian GENDER Abolition of Abolition of CONJUGATIVE SUFFIXES PLURAL OF FOREIGN WORDS Simplification in the formation of KETAB (Arabic) K O T O B (Arabic) KETAB - HA (Persian)
characteristics Persian is very powerful in wordbuilding and versatile in ways a word can be built from combining affixes, stems, nouns and adjectives Just by combining roots with affixes, Persian vocabulary could reach the number… … of 226 million words!
For example: present stem of the verb dân estan (to know) we can obtain knowing dân + -ande + -i dânandegi one who knows dân + -ande dânande ignorance; foolishness nâ- + dân + -i nâdâni ignorant; foolish nâ- + dân nâdân wisdom dân + -â + -i dânâyi wise, learned dân + -â dânâ faculty dân + -eš + -kade dâneškade university-mate ham- + dân + -eš + -gâh + -i hamdânešgâhi pertaining to university dân + -eš + -gâh + -i dânešgâhi university dân + -eš + -gâh dânešgâh Scientist dân + -eš + -mand dânešmand knowledge dân + -eš dâneš English translation Components Persian word
i.e. verbs consisting of an element ( noun , adjective, preposition), followed by a light verb ( “do”, “give”, “hit” ) which loses its original meaning Examples: FEKR kardan thought to do GUSH dadan ear to give Fekr kardan = “to think” Gush dadan = “to listen” Very similar to the old English give an ear