Tag Archives: Middle Iranian

The Neo-Aramaic Verbal Root GŠQ ‘to Look’ and its Middle Iranian Origin

Mutzafi, Hezy. 2020. The Neo-Aramaic Verbal Root GŠQ ‘to Look’ and its Middle Iranian Origin. Le Muséon 133 (1-2), 1-12.

The Neo-Aramaic verbal root gšq ‘to look’, known since the 19th century to occur in the Christian NENA (North-Eastern Neo-Aramaic) dialects of Urmi and Salmas in Iranian Azerbaijan, has thus far remained without an established, or at least plausible, etymology. The etymology proposed in this paper considers gšq to be inherited from an earlier NENA layer, in which it was a denominative derivative of a noun akin to Mandaic gušqa ‘spy’, a Middle Iranian loanword. This etymology is buttressed by parallel cases in Neo-Aramaic and other languages of the world as regards semantic changes and affinities between the meanings ‘to spy’ and ‘to look’, as well as similar processes of word-formation in NENA, namely denominative verbs derived from borrowed nouns and inflected in the neo-pa”el verbal pattern.

Manichaean Sogdian Cosmogonical Texts

Morano, Enrico. 2019. Manichaean Sogdian cosmogonical texts in Manichaean script. In Chen Hao (ed.), Competing narratives between nomadic people and their sedentary neighbours (Studia Uralo-Altaica 53). Szeged.

The present paper gives a survey of the Sogdian fragments in Manichaean script of the Berlin Turfan Collection which deal with cosmogony.

STUDIA IRANICA 48(1)

The first issue of Studia Iranica 48 (2019) has been published. For a table of contents and access to individual articles, see below or visit this page.

  • Alisher BEGMATOV: Commodity Terms in the Languages of Central Eurasia. New Interpretations from Mugh Document A-1
  • Mihaela TIMUŞ: Pōryōtkēšān versus Kēšdārān. L’autorité religieuse contre les tenants d’autres doctrines
  • Nikolaus OVERTOOM: Considering the Failures of the Parthians against the Invasions of the Central Asian Tribal Confederations in the 120s BC
  • Étienne DE LA VAISSIÈRE: Al-Mu’taṣim et l’Ayādgār ī Jāmāspīg
  • Jean-Pierre DIGARD: Un pan méconnu de la civilisation iranienne. Son «système domesticatoire»
  • Comptes rendus

A Sogdian Fragment from Niya

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.

Farnah: Indo-Iranian and Indo-European Studies in Honor of Sasha Lubotsky

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

Iranian Philology in Honour of Gherardo Gnoli

Morano, Enrico, Elio Provasi & Adriano V. Rossi (eds.). 2017. Studia Philologica Iranica. Gherardo Gnoli Memorial Volume. (Serie Orientale Roma, Nuova Serie 5). Roma: Scienze e Lettere S.r.l.
Table of Contents
  •  M. Alram:  “Ein Schatzfund des Hunnen-Königs Mihirakula”
  • G. Asatrian: “Middle Iranian Lexical Archaisms in Armenian Dialects”
  • H.R. Baghbidi: “Three Etymological Notes”
  • C.G. Cereti: “A Short Note on MHDA 38”
  • J. Cheung: “On the Origin of the Terms “Afghan” & “Pashtun” (Again)”
  • C.A. Ciancaglini: “Phonology, Etymology and Transcription Issues of Middle Persian Final Sequences ‹-lg› and ‹-lkꞌ›”
  • I. Colditz: “Another Fragment of the “Parable on the Female Hearer Xybrʾ”?”
  • M. Dandamayev: “Indian Soldiers in Achaemenid Babylonia”
  • A. de Jong: “The Women Who Witnessed Zoroaster’s Birth”
  • D. Durkin-Meisterernst: “Yima’s anādruxti-“
  • E. Filippone: “On the Meaning of Avestan nāuuiia– and Pahlavi *nāydāg
  • Ph. Gignoux: “Sur les noms de personnes et quelques particularités linguistiques d’une nouvelle collection privée de parchemins pehlevis”
  • R. Gyselen: “Formules moyen-perses et monogrammes sassanides”
  • A. Hintze: “The Advance of the Daēnā: The Vištāsp Yašt and an Obscure Word in the Hāδōxt Nask
  • H. Humbach: “Zarathushtra and the Balance”
  • J. Josephson: “The Pahlavi Psalter as a Translation”
  • J. Kellens: “Les Gâthâs dites de Zarathusthra
  • G. Lazard: “Les racines de la langue persane”
  • P. Lecoq: “Le -a final en vieux perse”
  • C. Leurini: “The Virgins and the Bride: Matt. 25:1 in the Manichaean Middle Persian Fragment M36”
  • P.B. Lurje: “More on Sogdian Versification: Translated and Original Compositions
  • M. Macuch: “A Legal Controversy from the Sasanian Period in a Late Pahlavi Rivāyat Text”
  • M. Maggi: “Annotations on the Book of Zambasta, IV: Ronald E. Emmerick’s Notes”
  • E. Morano: “The Jackals and the Elephant: A Manichaean Sogdian Tale in Manichaean Script. With an Appendix with Corrections to Previously Edited Fragments of Tales
  • É. Pirart: “Les Soleils de l’Avesta”
  • A. Piras: “X˅arǝnah– and the Garlands. Notes about the Avestan and Manichaean Yima
  • E. Provasi: “Some Notes on Sogdian Phonology: Prothetic Aleph and Labialised Velars”
  • Ch. Reck: “Form and Emptiness: A Fragment of a Sogdian Version of the Heart Sutra?”
  • A.V. Rossi: “Ten Years of Achaemenid Philology: Old Persian &
    Achaemenid Elamite 2006-2016”
  • G. Scarcia: “Alla ricerca di un Ur-Farhâd: Hercules patiens, magnetico signor dottore, scalpellino, feldmaresciallo mecenate?”
  • R. Schmitt: “Der Flußgott Oxos in der iranischen Anthroponymie”
  • M. Schwartz: “An Achaemenid Position, and Gathic Composition:
    OPers. *grasta-(pati-), OAv. grə̄hma-, and PIE √gʰres
  • Sh. Shaked: “Zoroastrian Views on Suffering”
  • N. Sims-Williams: “The Name of the Kushan Goddess Ομμα”
  • P.O. Skjærvø: “Khotanese Land Purchase Deeds”
  • D. Weber: “Bemerkungen zu einigen Personennamen in den neuen Dokumenten aus Tabaristan”
  • G. Windfuhr: “The Enigmatic kurušag Ewe that Nursed Infant Zarathushtra, and the Precession of the Equinoxes”
  • E. Yarshater: “Tāti Dialects”
  • Y. Yoshida: “A Manichaean Middle Persian Fragment Preserved in the Kyōushooku Library, Osaka, Japan”
  • P. Zieme: “Ein altuigurisches Fragment zur manichäischen Ethik”

The Middle Persian words xwarrah and farr

Shavarebi, Ehsan & Ahmad Reza Qaemmaqami. 2016. Les mots moyen-perses xwarrah et farr: un nouvel argument onomastique. Folia Orientalia 53. 261–274.

This article analyses Ardašīr-Farr, the honorary title attributed to Abarsām, a high-ranking dignitary at the reign of Ardašīr I, and its similarity to the name of the city of Ardašīr-Xwarrah.

Personal names in Parthian epigraphical sources

pnb-schmitt-2016Schmitt, Rüdiger. 2016. Iranisches Personennamenbuch Band 2/Faszikel 5: Personennamen in parthischen epigraphischen Quellen. (Österreichische Akademie Der Wissenschaften. Philosophisch-Historische Klasse; Iranische Onomastik 15). Wien: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften (ÖAW).
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.

The Christian Sogdian Gospel Lectionary

Barbati 2016Barbati, Chiara. 2016. The Christian Sogdian Gospel Lectionary E5 in Context (Veröffentlichungen Zur Iranistik 81). Wien: Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften.

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.

Selected Features of Bactrian Grammar

Gholami, Saloumeh. 2014. Selected Features of Bactrian Grammar (Gottinger Orientforschungen, III. Reihe: Iranica 12). Harrassowitz Verlag.

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.

For more information see the ToC of this volume.