Sims-Williams, Nicholas & Bi Bo. 2018. A Sogdian fragment from Niya. In Huaiyu Chen & Xinjiang Rong (eds.), Great journeys across the Pamir mountains (Brill’s Inner Asian Library 37), 83–104. Leiden: Brill.
In 1994, the Sino-Japanese Niya Expedition Team excavated an artifact (93A27F1:3) at Niya. It is a small brown package or pouch made from a piece of paper (originally mistaken for parchment) fastened by a woolen string. Traces of writing were visible, so the artifact was provisionally referred to as “A Kharoṣṭhī text written on parchment” in the preliminary report of its discovery. In 2007, when the Xinjiang Institute of Archaeology’s research group on Niya was editing the third volume of the Report on the Sino-Japanese Joint Expedition in Niya, they carefully examined this “parchment text.” After the string was untied, it was found that the paper had been used to wrap up a powder of vegetable origin, perhaps spices or medicine. When the powder was removed, a text written in black ink in a clear script was visible. Noting that the writing appeared to be the same as that of the Sogdian “Ancient Letters” found near Dunhuang, which were written in the early fourth century, and other Sogdian fragments of similar date found at Loulan, the local archaeologists were able to determine that this new fragment was also written in early Sogdian script.
Beek, Lucien, Alwin Kloekhorst, Guus Kroonen, Michaël Peyrot & Tijmen Pronk (eds.). 2018. Farnah. Indo-Iranian and Indo-European studies in honor of Sasha Lubotsky. Ann Arbor; New York: Beech Stave Press.
Over thirty specialists in Indo-European linguistics have contributed this elegant volume in honor of Prof. Sasha Lubotsky of Leiden University. Besides giving an excellent snapshot of the research currently being undertaken by his students and colleagues at that institution, Farnah contains contributions from well-known scholars across the world covering topics in Tocharian, Germanic, Slavic, Indo-Iranian, and Anatolian linguistics, to name a few.
Click here to see a full list of the contributions.
Table of Contents
Peter C. Bisschop: Vedic Elements in the Pāśupatasūtra
Václav Blažek: The Case of Tocharian ‘silver’: Inherited or Borrowed?
Michiel de Vaan: The Noncanonical Use of Instrumental Plurals in Young Avestan
Desmond Durkin-Meisterernst: Sogdian Plurals in the Vessantara Jātaka
Jost Gippert: A Middle Iranian Word Denoting an Office-Holder
Stephanie W. Jamison: The Vedic Perfect Imperative and the Status of Modal Forms to Tense-Aspect Stems
Michael Janda: Vedisch dhénā-: Bedeutung und Etymologie
Jay H. Jasanoff: The Phonology of Tocharian B okso ‘ox’
Jared Klein: Syncretism in Indo-European: A Natural History
Alwin Kloekhorst: The Origin of the Hittite ḫi-Conjugation
Werner Knobl: Das Demonstrativpronomen ETÁD im Ṛgveda
Petr Kocharov: A Comment on the Vocalization of Word-initial
and Medial Laryngeals in Armenian
Frederik Kortlandt: The Indo-European k-Aorist
Guus Kroonen: Lachmann’s Law, Thurneysen’s Law, and a New Explanation of the PIE no-Participles
Leonid Kulikov: Vedic āhanás– and Its Relatives/Cognates within and outside Indo-Iranian
Martin Joachim Kümmel: The Survival of Laryngeals in Iranian
Rosemarie Lühr: Prosody in Indo-European Corpora
Hrach Martirosyan: Armenian Andndayin ōj and Vedic Áhi-Budhnyà– ‘Abyssal Serpent’
Ranko Matasović: Iranian Loanwords in Proto-Slavic: A Fresh Look
H. Craig Melchert: Semantics and Etymology of Hittite takš–
Benedicte Nielsen Whitehead: PIE *gwh3-éu– ‘cow’
Alan J. Nussbaum, A Dedicatory Thigh: Greek μηρὀς and μῆρα Once Again
Norbert Oettinger: Vedisch Vivásvant– und seine avestische Entsprechung
Birgit Anette Olsen: The Development of Interconsonantal Laryngeals in Indo-Iranian and Old Avestan ząθā ptā
Michaël Peyrot: Tocharian B etswe ‘mule’ and Eastern East Iranian
Georges-Jean Pinault: New Look at Vedic śám
Tijmen Pronk: Old Church Slavonic (j)utro, Vedic uṣár– ‘daybreak, morning’
Velizar Sadovski: Vedic and Avestan Parallels from Ritual Litanies
and Liturgical Practices I
George Starostin: Typological Expectations and Historic Reality: Once Again on the Issue of Lexical Cognates between Indo-European and Uralic
Lucien van Beek: Greek πέδιλον ‘sandal’ and the Origin of the e-Grade in PIE ‘foot’
Michael Weiss: Veneti or Venetes? Observations on a Widespread Indo-European Tribal Name
This volume of the Iranisches Personennamenbuch (Lexicon of Iranian personal names) presents a full collection of the personal names attested between 150 BCE and 300 CE in Parthian epigraphical sources, inclusive of patronymics and family names as well as the topographical names derived from personal names. Also non-Parthian and even non-Iranian (Semitic, Latin, etc.) personal names are taken into account, as they are part of the onomastic material attested in an Iranian language. The presentation of the names in principle is the same as in the earlier volumes of the Iranisches Personennamenbuch: First comes a full listing of all references (with the kind of the text and its provenance given in abbreviated form), then a sketchy prosopographical characterisation of the person(s) bearing the name, and finally the section on the morphological and etymological interpretation of the name, in which a cautious judgement is attempted. Here the names attested in the Old Iranian and the other Middle Iranian languages (together with their collateral tradition), now known in much greater numbers than at the time of Ferdinand Justi’s Iranisches Namenbuch (1895), are quoted in a fitting manner. Full indexes make all the names accessible that are quoted by way of comparison.
About the Autor:
Rüdiger Schmitt ist emer. Professor für Vergleichende Indogermanische Sprachwissenschaft und Indoiranistik der Universität des Saarlandes, Saarbrücken.
On the basis of a thorough philological-linguistic study, the book aims primarily at reintegrating the complex whole of the various phenomena that have contributed to creating what in modern scholarship runs under the name of Christian Sogdian Gospel Lectionary E5, a set of manuscript fragments preserved in the Turfan Collection in Berlin. The study applies a precise methodology that puts various disciplinary approaches on the same level in order to relate and interconnect textual, material and historical-cultural aspects. Specific codicological characteristics are considered in correlation with the broader manuscript tradition to which the fragments belong. The discussion of the Gospel lectionary leads to reflections on the transmission, reception and development of a specific body of religious knowledge, namely that of the Church of the East. The exploration of linguistic phenomena takes also into consideration the processes at work in the missionary history of the Church of the East in Central Asia between Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages in the Oasis of Turfan in present-day Xinjiang, China. The book therefore addresses Iranologists as well as students of Eastern Christianity and of manuscript cultures.
Chiara Barbati (PhD 2009) is a senior research fellow at the Institute of Iranian studies of the Austrian Academy of Sciences (ÖAW). She specializes in Ancient and Middle Iranian languages. Her main fields of research are Sogdian language and literature with particular regard to the Christian Sogdian texts in relation to its Syriac sources, history of eastern Christianity through primary sources (Syriac) as well as secondary sources (Sogdian, Middle Persian, New Persian), paleography and codicology of pre-Islamic Iranian manuscripts and Iranian dialectology from an historical point of view.
Bactrian, the only Iranian language written in the Greek alphabet, was spoken in ancient Bactria in northern Afghanistan. It is an intermediary Middle Iranian language, possessing the characters of both Eastern and Western Iranian groups, and thus playing a very important role in the dialectology of Iranian Languages.
Saloumeh Gholami’s study deals with various relatively unknown phonological, morphological and syntactical features of Bactrian and includes the following topics: historical phonology of Bactrian; the syntactical position of different kinds of nouns and their relationship in a sentence; the different types of pronouns and their syntactical properties; the function and syntactical position of prepositions and postpositions; adverbs and their formation; proximate and remote deixis adverbs as well as their different syntactic positions; various kinds of conjunctions and their functions; selected aspects of the verb; word order in clauses with transitive or intransitive verbs, and an investigation of double object constructions; as well as the different types of compounds.
Based on a corpus coming from the Turfan oasis (in present-day Xinjiang, People’s Republic of China) and consisting of Christian Middle Iranian literature in several languages (Middle Persian, Syriac and Sogdian) and scripts (East Syriac, Pahlavi and secular Sogdian), the present paper is aimed at identifying and outlining the translation techniques for the transmission of religious knowledge, based on a literary tradition as well as on a manuscript tradition, from one context to another. The religious knowledge is that which belongs to the “Church of the East” and which is written in its official liturgical language, i.e. Syriac in East Syriac script. The general context is that of the missionary activities of the “Church of the East” along the Silk road between late Antiquity and early Middle Age. The particular context is that of the converted Iranian communities.
About the Author:
Chiara Barbati (PhD 2009) is a scholar of Ancient and Middle Iranian languages in the Institute of Iranian Studies, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Vienna (ÖAW).
Ergativity is a grammatical phenomenon that has been discussed controversially in linguistics in general and in the Iranian Studies in particular. The scientific debate is characterized by a lack of consideration of the Old and Middle Iranian data. In many cases, the selected examples, which their position in the respective language system is still unclear, are associated with theory-driven assumptions about a hypothetical model of development, which is to be plausible, but not verifiable.
The present study provides a solution through the complete analyzing of the Avestan , Old Persian, Bactrian and Parthian documents as well as an extensive study of Middle Persian evidences (approximately 12,500 Middle Persian cases). In addition to the relevant ergativity aspects such case, congruence, word order, and reflexivity both the development of syntactic structures (e.g. relative clauses) as well as the verbal and nominal system (e.g. the temporal aspect system or the function of enclitic personal pronouns) are discussed .
Results are illustrated with relevant evidences (over 1,400 examples alone in the main part), whose validity is constantly checked and based critically on detailed philological discussion. The material part also serves as a vademecum, which can be used in parallel with the reading of the main part, as well as a separate reference book that systematically illustrates the history of the object in ergative languages.
The volume presents the most exhaustive investigation on ergativity in within the Old and Middle Iranian languages.