This language had a significant impact on Armenian
, a large part of whose vocabulary was formed primarily from borrowings from Parthian; its derivational morphology and syntax was also affected by language contact
, but to a lesser extent. Many ancient Parthian words were preserved, and now only survive in Armenian.
Parthian was a Western Middle Iranian language
. Language contact
made it share some features of the Eastern Iranian language
group, the influence of which is attested primarily in loanwords
. Some traces of Eastern influence survive in Parthian loanwords in Armenian.
Parthian loanwords appear in everyday Armenian vocabulary; nouns, adjectives, adverbs, denominative verbs, and administrative and religious lexicons.
The Parthian language was the language of the old Satrapy of Parthia and was used in the Arsacids
courts. The main sources for Parthian are the few remaining inscriptions from Nisa
texts, Sasanian multi-lingual inscriptions
, and remains of Parthian literature in the succeeding Middle Persian
Among these, the Manichaean texts, composed shortly after the demise of the Parthian power, play an important role for reconstructing the Parthian language.
These Manichaean manuscripts contain no ideograms.
Attestations of the Parthian language include:
This sample of Parthian literature is taken from a Manichaean text fragment:
A fragment from Mani's own account of his life
Differences from Middle Persian
Although Parthian was quite similar to Middle Persian in many aspects, we can still observe clear differences in lexical, morphological and phonological forms. In the text above, the following forms can be noticed:
- ⟨āγad⟩, came, instead of Middle Persian ⟨āyad⟩.
- ⟨wāxt⟩, said, instead of ⟨gōft⟩. This form for the verb to say can still be found in many contemporary Northwestern Iranian languages, e.g. Mazandarani ⟨vātεn⟩ or Zazaki ⟨vatış; vaten⟩. It is also common in Tati and Talysh, though not in Gilaki, Kurmanji or Sorani.
- ⟨až⟩, from, instead of ⟨az⟩. Observe also in ⟨kanīžag⟩, handmaiden, instead of ⟨kanīzag⟩ and even in ⟨društ⟩, healthy, instead of ⟨drust⟩. The rendering of the Persian sound /z/ as /ʒ/, /tʃ / or /dʒ/ is also very common in Northwestern Iranian languages of today.
- ⟨ay⟩, you are (Singular), instead of ⟨hē⟩.
- ⟨zamīg⟩, land, instead of ⟨zamīn⟩. The form ⟨zamīg⟩ can be found in Balochi. The form ⟨zamin⟩ can be found in Persian.
- ⟨hō⟩, that or the, instead of ⟨(h)ān⟩.
- The abstractive nominal suffix ⟨-īft⟩ instead of ⟨-īh⟩, as in ⟨šādīft⟩, joy, Middle Persian ⟨šādīh⟩.
Other prominent differences, not found in the text above, include the personal pronoun ⟨az⟩, I
, instead of ⟨an⟩ and the present tense root of the verb ⟨kardan⟩, to do
, ⟨kar-⟩ instead of Middle Persian ⟨kun-⟩. Also, the Middle Persian linking particle and relative pronoun ⟨ī(g)⟩ was not present in Parthian, but the relative pronoun ⟨čē⟩, what
, was used in a similar manner.
- ^ Lecoq, Pierre (1983). "Aparna". Encyclopedia Iranica. 1. Costa Mesa: Mazda Pub.
- ^ "Iranian languages". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2017-09-20.
- ^ "Iran Chamber Society: History of Iran: Parthian History and Language". www.iranchamber.com. Retrieved 2017-09-20.
- ^ "Iran Chamber Society: Iranian Scripts: Parthian Script". www.iranchamber.com. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
- ^ "Parthian language". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2017-09-20.
- ^ Wiesehöfer, Josef (2001). Ancient Persia : from 550 BC to 650 AD. Translated by Azado, Azizeh. I.B. Tauris. p. 118. ISBN 1-86064-675-1.
- ^ Tafazzoli, A.; Khromov, A. L. (1996). "Sasanian Iran: Intellectual Life". History of Civilizations of Central Asia. Volume 3. UNESCO. ISBN 92-3-103211-9.
- ^ A. D. H. Bivar (1981). "The Second Parthian Ostracon from Qubmis (Qubmis Commentaries No. 3)". Journal of the British Institute of Persian Studies. 19 (1): 81–84. doi:10.2307/4299707. JSTOR 4299707.
- ^ "The Bilingual Inscription of Vologeses son of Mithridates" (PDF). rahamasha.net.
- ^ Potter, D. S. (1991). "The Inscriptions on the Bronze Herakles from Mesene: Vologeses IV's War with Rome and the Date of Tacitus' Annales" (PDF). Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik. 88: 277–290. JSTOR 20187558.
- ^ "Manichaean Reader, Part No. 4: A fragment from Maniʼs own account of his life".
- ^ Sims-Williams, Nicholas (2004). Corpus Fontium Manichaerum: Dictionary of Manichaean Texts, Vol. III, Part 1: Dictionary of Manichaen Middle Persian and Parthian. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols. p. 129. ISBN 2-503-51776-5.
Last edited on 13 March 2021, at 13:41
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