Persian language

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"Farsi" redirects here. Persian language_sentence_0

For other uses, see Farsi (disambiguation). Persian language_sentence_1

Persian language_table_infobox_0

PersianPersian language_header_cell_0_0_0
PronunciationPersian language_header_cell_0_1_0 [fɒːɾˈsiː (listen)Persian language_cell_0_1_1
Native toPersian language_header_cell_0_2_0 Persian language_cell_0_2_1
Native speakersPersian language_header_cell_0_3_0 70 million

(110 million total speakers)Persian language_cell_0_3_1

Language familyPersian language_header_cell_0_4_0 Indo-EuropeanPersian language_cell_0_4_1
Early formsPersian language_header_cell_0_5_0 Old PersianPersian language_cell_0_5_1
Standard formsPersian language_header_cell_0_6_0 Iranian Persian

Dari TajikPersian language_cell_0_6_1

DialectsPersian language_header_cell_0_7_0 Persian language_cell_0_7_1
Writing systemPersian language_header_cell_0_8_0 Persian language_cell_0_8_1
Official statusPersian language_header_cell_0_9_0
Official language inPersian language_header_cell_0_10_0 Persian language_cell_0_10_1
Regulated byPersian language_header_cell_0_11_0 Persian language_cell_0_11_1
Language codesPersian language_header_cell_0_12_0
ISO 639-1Persian language_header_cell_0_13_0 Persian language_cell_0_13_1
ISO 639-2Persian language_header_cell_0_14_0 (B)

 (T)Persian language_cell_0_14_1

ISO 639-3Persian language_header_cell_0_15_0 – inclusive code

Individual codes:  – Iranian Persian  – Dari  – Tajik  – Aimaq dialect  – Bukhori dialect  – Hazaragi dialect  – Judeo-Persian  – Pahlavani  – Dehwari  – Judeo-Tat  – Caucasian TatPersian language_cell_0_15_1

GlottologPersian language_header_cell_0_16_0 Persian language_cell_0_16_1
LinguaspherePersian language_header_cell_0_17_0 58-AAC (Wider Persian)
> 58-AAC-c (Central Persian)Persian language_cell_0_17_1

Persian (/ˈpɜːrʒən, -ʃən/), also known by its endonym Farsi (فارسی, Fārsī, [fɒːɾˈsiː (listen)), is a Western Iranian language belonging to the Iranian branch of the Indo-Iranian subdivision of the Indo-European languages. Persian language_sentence_2

Persian is a pluricentric language predominantly spoken and used officially within Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan in three mutually intelligible standard varieties, namely Iranian Persian, Dari Persian (officially named Dari since 1958) and Tajiki Persian (officially named Tajik since the Soviet era). Persian language_sentence_3

It is also spoken natively in the Tajik variety by a significant population within Uzbekistan, as well as within other regions with a Persianate history in the cultural sphere of Greater Iran. Persian language_sentence_4

It is written officially within Iran and Afghanistan in the Persian alphabet, a derivation of the Arabic script, and within Tajikistan in the Tajik alphabet, a derivation of Cyrillic. Persian language_sentence_5

The Persian language is a continuation of Middle Persian, the official religious and literary language of the Sasanian Empire (224–651 CE), itself a continuation of Old Persian, which was used in the Achaemenid Empire (550–330 BC). Persian language_sentence_6

It originated in the region of Fars (Persia) in southwestern Iran. Persian language_sentence_7

Its grammar is similar to that of many European languages. Persian language_sentence_8

Throughout history, Persian has been a prestigious cultural language used by various empires in Western Asia, Central Asia, and South Asia. Persian language_sentence_9

Old Persian written works are attested in Old Persian cuneiform on several inscriptions from between the 6th and the 4th centuries BC, and Middle Persian literature is attested in Aramaic-derived scripts (Pahlavi and Manichaean) on inscriptions from the time of the Parthian Empire and in books centered in Zoroastrian and Manichaean scriptures from between the 3rd to the 10th century AD. Persian language_sentence_10

New Persian literature began to flourish after the Arab invasion of Iran with its earliest records from the 9th century, since then adopting the Arabic script. Persian language_sentence_11

Persian was the first language to break through the monopoly of Arabic on writing in the Muslim world, with the writing of Persian poetry developed as a court tradition in many eastern courts. Persian language_sentence_12

Some of the famous works of medieval Persian literature are the Shahnameh of Ferdowsi, the works of Rumi, the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, the Panj Ganj of Nizami Ganjavi, the Divān of Hafez, The Conference of the Birds by Attar of Nishapur, and the miscellanea of Gulistan and Bustan by Saadi Shirazi. Persian language_sentence_13

Persian has left a considerable influence on its neighboring languages, including other Iranian languages, the Turkic languages, Armenian, Georgian and the Indo-Aryan languages. Persian language_sentence_14

It also exerted some influence on Arabic, while borrowing vocabulary from it under medieval Arab rule. Persian language_sentence_15

The Persian language was the chosen official language for bureaucracy even among those who were not native speakers, for example the Turks in the Ottoman Empire, or the Pashtuns in Afghanistan who preferred it over their native tongue Pashto before the 20th century. Persian language_sentence_16

There are approximately 110 million Persian speakers worldwide, including Persians, Tajiks, Hazaras, Caucasian Tats and Aimaqs. Persian language_sentence_17

The term Persophone might also be used to refer to a speaker of Persian. Persian language_sentence_18

Classification Persian language_section_0

Persian is a member of the Western Iranian group of the Iranian languages, which make up a branch of the Indo-European languages in their Indo-Iranian subdivision. Persian language_sentence_19

The Western Iranian languages themselves are divided into two subgroups: Southwestern Iranian languages, of which Persian is the most widely spoken, and Northwestern Iranian languages, of which Kurdish is the most widely spoken. Persian language_sentence_20

Name Persian language_section_1

The term Persian is an English derivation of Latin Persiānus, the adjectival form of Persia, itself deriving from Greek Persís (Περσίς), a Hellenized form of Old Persian Pārsa (𐎱𐎠𐎼𐎿), which means "Persia" (a region in southwestern Iran, corresponding to modern-day Fars). Persian language_sentence_21

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the term Persian as a language name is first attested in English in the mid-16th century. Persian language_sentence_22

Farsi, which is the Persian word for the Persian language, has also been used widely in English in recent decades, more commonly to refer to the standard Persian of Iran. Persian language_sentence_23

However, the name Persian is still more widely used. Persian language_sentence_24

The Academy of Persian Language and Literature has called for avoiding the use of the endonym Farsi in foreign languages and has maintained that Persian is the appropriate designation of the language in English, as it has the longer tradition in western languages and better expresses the role of the language as a mark of cultural and national continuity. Persian language_sentence_25

Eminent Iranian historian and linguist Ehsan Yarshater, founder of Encyclopædia Iranica and the Center for Iranian Studies at Columbia University, mentions the same concern in an academic journal on Iranology, rejecting the use of Farsi in foreign languages. Persian language_sentence_26

Etymologically, the Persian term Fārsi derives from its earlier form Pārsi (Pārsik in Middle Persian), which in turn comes from the same root as the English term Persian. Persian language_sentence_27

In the same process, the Middle Persian toponym Pārs ("Persia") evolved into the modern name Fars. Persian language_sentence_28

The phonemic shift from /p/ to /f/ is a result of the medieval Arabic influences that followed the Arab conquest of Iran, and is due to the lack of the phoneme /p/ in Standard Arabic. Persian language_sentence_29

Standard varieties' names Persian language_section_2

Iran's standard Persian has been called, apart from Persian and Farsi, by names such as Iranian Persian and Western Persian, exclusively. Persian language_sentence_30

Officially, the official language of Iran is designated simply as Persian (فارسی, fārsi). Persian language_sentence_31

Dari Persian (فارسی دری, fārsi-ye dari), that is the standard Persian of Afghanistan, has been officially named Dari (دری, dari) since 1958. Persian language_sentence_32

Also referred to as Afghan Persian in English, it is one of Afghanistan's two official languages together with Pashto. Persian language_sentence_33

The term Dari, meaning "of the court", originally referred to the variety of Persian used in the court of the Sasanian Empire in capital Ctesiphon, which was spread to the northeast of the empire and gradually replaced the former Iranian dialects of Parthia (Parthian). Persian language_sentence_34

Tajik Persian (форси́и тоҷикӣ́, forsi-i tojikī), that is the standard Persian of Tajikistan, has been officially designated as Tajik (тоҷикӣ, tojikī) since the time of the Soviet Union. Persian language_sentence_35

It is the name given to the varieties of Persian spoken in Central Asia, in general. Persian language_sentence_36

ISO codes Persian language_section_3

The international language-encoding standard ISO 639-1 uses the code fa, as its coding system is mostly based on the native-language designations. Persian language_sentence_37

The more detailed standard ISO 639-3 uses the name "Persian" (code fas) for the dialect continuum spoken across Iran and Afghanistan. Persian language_sentence_38

This consists of the individual languages Dari (Afghan Persian) and Iranian Persian. Persian language_sentence_39

History Persian language_section_4

In general, the Iranian languages are known from three periods, namely Old, Middle, and New (Modern). Persian language_sentence_40

These correspond to three historical eras of Iranian history; Old era being sometime around the Achaemenid Empire (i.e., 400–300 BC), Middle era being the next period most officially around the Sasanian Empire, and New era being the period afterwards down to present day. Persian language_sentence_41

According to available documents, the Persian language is "the only Iranian language" for which close philological relationships between all of its three stages are established and so that Old, Middle, and New Persian represent one and the same language of Persian; that is, New Persian is a direct descendant of Middle and Old Persian. Persian language_sentence_42

The known history of the Persian language can be divided into the following three distinct periods: Persian language_sentence_43

Old Persian Persian language_section_5

Main article: Old Persian Persian language_sentence_44

As a written language, Old Persian is attested in royal Achaemenid inscriptions. Persian language_sentence_45

The oldest known text written in Old Persian is from the Behistun Inscription, dating to the time of king Darius I (reigned 522–486 BC). Persian language_sentence_46

Examples of Old Persian have been found in what is now Iran, Romania (Gherla), Armenia, Bahrain, Iraq, Turkey and Egypt. Persian language_sentence_47

Old Persian is one of the oldest Indo-European languages which is attested in original texts. Persian language_sentence_48

According to certain historical assumptions about the early history and origin of ancient Persians in Southwestern Iran (where Achaemenids hailed from), Old Persian was originally spoken by a tribe called Parsuwash, who arrived in the Iranian Plateau early in the 1st millennium BCE and finally migrated down into the area of present-day Fārs province. Persian language_sentence_49

Their language, Old Persian, became the official language of the Achaemenid kings. Persian language_sentence_50

Assyrian records, which in fact appear to provide the earliest evidence for ancient Iranian (Persian and Median) presence on the Iranian Plateau, give a good chronology but only an approximate geographical indication of what seem to be ancient Persians. Persian language_sentence_51

In these records of the 9th century BCE, Parsuwash (along with Matai, presumably Medians) are first mentioned in the area of Lake Urmia in the records of Shalmaneser III. Persian language_sentence_52

The exact identity of the Parsuwash is not known for certain, but from a linguistic viewpoint the word matches Old Persian pārsa itself coming directly from the older word *pārćwa. Persian language_sentence_53

Also, as Old Persian contains many words from another extinct Iranian language, Median, according to P. Persian language_sentence_54 O. Skjærvø it is probable that Old Persian had already been spoken before the formation of the Achaemenid Empire and was spoken during most of the first half of the first millennium BCE. Persian language_sentence_55

Xenophon, a Greek general serving in some of the Persian expeditions, describes many aspects of Armenian village life and hospitality in around 401 BCE, which is when Old Persian was still spoken and extensively used. Persian language_sentence_56

He relates that the Armenian people spoke a language that to his ear sounded like the language of the Persians. Persian language_sentence_57

Related to Old Persian, but from a different branch of the Iranian language family, was Avestan, the language of the Zoroastrian liturgical texts. Persian language_sentence_58

Middle Persian Persian language_section_6

Main article: Middle Persian Persian language_sentence_59

The complex grammatical conjugation and declension of Old Persian yielded to the structure of Middle Persian in which the dual number disappeared, leaving only singular and plural, as did gender. Persian language_sentence_60

Middle Persian developed the ezāfe construction, expressed through ī (modern ye), to indicate some of the relations between words that have been lost with the simplification of the earlier grammatical system. Persian language_sentence_61

Although the "middle period" of the Iranian languages formally begins with the fall of the Achaemenid Empire, the transition from Old to Middle Persian had probably already begun before the 4th century BC. Persian language_sentence_62

However, Middle Persian is not actually attested until 600 years later when it appears in the Sassanid era (224–651 AD) inscriptions, so any form of the language before this date cannot be described with any degree of certainty. Persian language_sentence_63

Moreover, as a literary language, Middle Persian is not attested until much later, in the 6th or 7th century. Persian language_sentence_64

From the 8th century onward, Middle Persian gradually began yielding to New Persian, with the middle-period form only continuing in the texts of Zoroastrianism. Persian language_sentence_65

Middle Persian is considered to be a later form of the same dialect as Old Persian. Persian language_sentence_66

The native name of Middle Persian was Parsig or Parsik, after the name of the ethnic group of the southwest, that is, "of Pars", Old Persian Parsa, New Persian Fars. Persian language_sentence_67

This is the origin of the name Farsi as it is today used to signify New Persian. Persian language_sentence_68

Following the collapse of the Sassanid state, Parsik came to be applied exclusively to (either Middle or New) Persian that was written in the Arabic script. Persian language_sentence_69

From about the 9th century onward, as Middle Persian was on the threshold of becoming New Persian, the older form of the language came to be erroneously called Pahlavi, which was actually but one of the writing systems used to render both Middle Persian as well as various other Middle Iranian languages. Persian language_sentence_70

That writing system had previously been adopted by the Sassanids (who were Persians, i.e. from the southwest) from the preceding Arsacids (who were Parthians, i.e. from the northeast). Persian language_sentence_71

While Ibn al-Muqaffa' (eighth century) still distinguished between Pahlavi (i.e. Parthian) and Persian (in Arabic text: al-Farisiyah) (i.e. Middle Persian), this distinction is not evident in Arab commentaries written after that date. Persian language_sentence_72

Gernot Windfuhr considers new Persian as an evolution of the Old Persian language and the Middle Persian language but also states that none of the known Middle Persian dialects is the direct predecessor of Modern Persian. Persian language_sentence_73

Ludwig Paul states: "The language of the Shahnameh should be seen as one instance of continuous historical development from Middle to New Persian." Persian language_sentence_74

New Persian Persian language_section_7

"New Persian" (also referred to as Modern Persian) is conventionally divided into three stages: Persian language_sentence_75

Persian language_unordered_list_0

  • Early New Persian (8th/9th centuries)Persian language_item_0_0
  • Classical Persian (10th–18th centuries)Persian language_item_0_1
  • Contemporary Persian (19th century to present)Persian language_item_0_2

Early New Persian remains largely intelligible to speakers of Contemporary Persian, as the morphology and, to a lesser extent, the lexicon of the language have remained relatively stable. Persian language_sentence_76

Early New Persian Persian language_section_8

"New Persian" is taken to replace Middle Persian in the course of the 8th to 9th centuries, under Abbasid rule. Persian language_sentence_77

With the decline of the Abbasids began the re-establishment of Persian national life and Persians laid the foundations for a renaissance in the realm of letters. Persian language_sentence_78

New Persian as an independent literary language first emerges in Bactria through the adaptation of the spoken form of Sassanian Middle Persian court language called Pārsi-ye Dari. Persian language_sentence_79

The cradle of the Persian literary renaissance lay in the east of Greater Iran in Greater Khorasan and Transoxiana close to the Amu Darya (modern day Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan). Persian language_sentence_80

The vocabulary of the New Persian language was thus heavily influenced by other Eastern Iranian languages, particularly Sogdian. Persian language_sentence_81

The mastery of the newer speech having now been transformed from Middle into New Persian was already complete by the era of the three princely dynasties of Iranian origin, the Tahirid dynasty (820–872), Saffarid dynasty (860–903) and Samanid Empire (874–999), and could develop only in range and power of expression. Persian language_sentence_82

Abbas of Merv is mentioned as being the earliest minstrel to chant verse in the newer Persian tongue and after him the poems of Hanzala Badghisi were among the most famous between the Persian-speakers of the time. Persian language_sentence_83

The first poems of the Persian language, a language historically called Dari, emerged in Afghanistan. Persian language_sentence_84

The first significant Persian poet was Rudaki. Persian language_sentence_85

He flourished in the 10th century, when the Samanids were at the height of their power. Persian language_sentence_86

His reputation as a court poet and as an accomplished musician and singer has survived, although little of his poetry has been preserved. Persian language_sentence_87

Among his lost works is versified fables collected in the Kalila wa Dimna. Persian language_sentence_88

The language spread geographically from the 11th century on and was the medium through which among others, Central Asian Turks became familiar with Islam and urban culture. Persian language_sentence_89

New Persian was widely used as a trans-regional lingua franca, a task for which it was particularly suitable due to its relatively simple morphological structure and this situation persisted until at least the 19th century. Persian language_sentence_90

In the late Middle Ages, new Islamic literary languages were created on the Persian model: Ottoman Turkish, Chagatai, Dobhashi and Urdu, which are regarded as "structural daughter languages" of Persian. Persian language_sentence_91

Classical Persian Persian language_section_9

See also: List of Persian poets and authors Persian language_sentence_92

"Classical Persian" loosely refers to the standardized language of medieval Persia used in literature and poetry. Persian language_sentence_93

This is the language of the 10th to 12th centuries, which continued to be used as literary language and lingua franca under the "Persianized" Turko-Mongol dynasties during the 12th to 15th centuries, and under restored Persian rule during the 16th to 19th centuries. Persian language_sentence_94

Persian during this time served as lingua franca of Greater Persia and of much of the Indian subcontinent. Persian language_sentence_95

It was also the official and cultural language of many Islamic dynasties, including the Samanids, Buyids, Tahirids, Ziyarids, the Mughal Empire, Timurids, Ghaznavids, Karakhanids, Seljuqs, Khwarazmians, the Sultanate of Rum, Delhi Sultanate, the Shirvanshahs, Safavids, Afsharids, Zands, Qajars, Khanate of Bukhara, Khanate of Kokand, Emirate of Bukhara, Khanate of Khiva, Ottomans and also many Mughal successors such as the Nizam of Hyderabad. Persian language_sentence_96

Persian was the only non-European language known and used by Marco Polo at the Court of Kublai Khan and in his journeys through China. Persian language_sentence_97

Persian language_description_list_1

Despite Anatolia having been ruled at various times prior to the Middle Ages by various Persian-speaking dynasties originating in Iran, the language lost its traditional foothold there with the demise of the Sasanian Empire. Persian language_sentence_98

Centuries later, however, the practise and usage of Persian in the region would be strongly revived. Persian language_sentence_99

A branch of the Seljuks, the Sultanate of Rum, took Persian language, art and letters to Anatolia. Persian language_sentence_100

They adopted Persian language as the official language of the empire. Persian language_sentence_101

The Ottomans, who can roughly be seen as their eventual successors, took this tradition over. Persian language_sentence_102

Persian was the official court language of the empire, and for some time, the official language of the empire. Persian language_sentence_103

The educated and noble class of the Ottoman Empire all spoke Persian, such as Sultan Selim I, despite being Safavid Iran's archrival and a staunch opposer of Shia Islam. Persian language_sentence_104

It was a major literary language in the empire. Persian language_sentence_105

Some of the noted earlier Persian works during the Ottoman rule are Idris Bidlisi's Hasht Bihisht, which began in 1502 and covered the reign of the first eight Ottoman rulers, and the Salim-Namah, a glorification of Selim I. Persian language_sentence_106

After a period of several centuries, Ottoman Turkish (which was highly Persianised itself) had developed towards a fully accepted language of literature, which was even able to satisfy the demands of a scientific presentation. Persian language_sentence_107

However, the number of Persian and Arabic loanwords contained in those works increased at times up to 88%. Persian language_sentence_108

In the Ottoman Empire, Persian was used for diplomacy, poetry, historiographical works, literary works, and was taught in state schools. Persian language_sentence_109

Persian language_description_list_2

Main article: Persian language in South Asia Persian language_sentence_110

See also: Persian and Urdu and Dobhashi Persian language_sentence_111

The Persian language influenced the formation of many modern languages in West Asia, Europe, Central Asia, and South Asia. Persian language_sentence_112

Following the Turko-Persian Ghaznavid conquest of South Asia, Persian was firstly introduced in the region by Turkic Central Asians. Persian language_sentence_113

The basis in general for the introduction of Persian language into the subcontinent was set, from its earliest days, by various Persianized Central Asian Turkic and Afghan dynasties. Persian language_sentence_114

For five centuries prior to the British colonization, Persian was widely used as a second language in the Indian subcontinent, due to the admiration the Mughals (who were of Turco-Mongol origin) had for the foreign language. Persian language_sentence_115

It took prominence as the language of culture and education in several Muslim courts on the subcontinent and became the sole "official language" under the Mughal emperors. Persian language_sentence_116

The Bengal Sultanate witnessed an influx of Persian scholars, lawyers, teachers and clerics. Persian language_sentence_117

Thousands of Persian books and manuscripts were published in Bengal. Persian language_sentence_118

The period of the reign of Sultan Ghiyathuddin Azam Shah, is described as the "golden age of Persian literature in Bengal". Persian language_sentence_119

Its stature was illustrated by the Sultan's own correspondence and collaboration with the Persian poet Hafez; a poem which can be found in the Divan of Hafez today. Persian language_sentence_120

A Bengali dialect emerged amongst the common Bengali Muslim folk, based on a Persian model and known as Dobhashi; meaning mixed language. Persian language_sentence_121

Dobhashi Bengali was patronised and given official status under the Sultans of Bengal; whose first language was Persian, and was the most popular literary form used by Bengalis during the pre-colonial period, irrespective of their religion. Persian language_sentence_122

Following the defeat of the Hindu Shahi dynasty, classical Persian was established as a courtly language in the region during the late 10th century under Ghaznavid rule over the northwestern frontier of the subcontinent. Persian language_sentence_123

Employed by Punjabis in literature, Persian achieved prominence in the region during the following centuries. Persian language_sentence_124

Persian continued to act as a courtly language for various empires in Punjab through the early 19th century serving finally as the official state language of the Sikh Empire, preceding British conquest and the decline of Persian in South Asia. Persian language_sentence_125

Beginning in 1843, though, English and Hindustani gradually replaced Persian in importance on the subcontinent. Persian language_sentence_126

Evidence of Persian's historical influence there can be seen in the extent of its influence on certain languages of the Indian subcontinent. Persian language_sentence_127

Words borrowed from Persian are still quite commonly used in certain Indo-Aryan languages, especially Urdu (also historically known as Hindustani), Punjabi and Sindhi. Persian language_sentence_128

There is also a small population of Zoroastrian Iranis in India, who migrated in the 19th century to escape religious execution in Qajar Iran and speak a Dari dialect. Persian language_sentence_129

Contemporary Persian Persian language_section_10

Persian language_description_list_3

In the 19th century, under the Qajar dynasty, the dialect that is spoken in Tehran rose to prominence. Persian language_sentence_130

There was still substantial Arabic vocabulary, but many of these words have been integrated into Persian phonology and grammar. Persian language_sentence_131

In addition, under the Qajar rule numerous Russian, French, and English terms entered the Persian language, especially vocabulary related to technology. Persian language_sentence_132

The first official attentions to the necessity of protecting the Persian language against foreign words, and to the standardization of Persian orthography, were under the reign of Naser ed Din Shah of the Qajar dynasty in 1871. Persian language_sentence_133

After Naser ed Din Shah, Mozaffar ed Din Shah ordered the establishment of the first Persian association in 1903. Persian language_sentence_134

This association officially declared that it used Persian and Arabic as acceptable sources for coining words. Persian language_sentence_135

The ultimate goal was to prevent books from being printed with wrong use of words. Persian language_sentence_136

According to the executive guarantee of this association, the government was responsible for wrongfully printed books. Persian language_sentence_137

Words coined by this association, such as rāh-āhan (راه‌آهن) for "railway", were printed in Soltani Newspaper; but the association was eventually closed due to inattention. Persian language_sentence_138

A scientific association was founded in 1911, resulting in a dictionary called Words of Scientific Association (لغت انجمن علمی), which was completed in the future and renamed Katouzian Dictionary (فرهنگ کاتوزیان). Persian language_sentence_139

Persian language_description_list_4

The first academy for the Persian language was founded on 20 May 1935, under the name Academy of Iran. Persian language_sentence_140

It was established by the initiative of Reza Shah Pahlavi, and mainly by Hekmat e Shirazi and Mohammad Ali Foroughi, all prominent names in the nationalist movement of the time. Persian language_sentence_141

The academy was a key institution in the struggle to re-build Iran as a nation-state after the collapse of the Qajar dynasty. Persian language_sentence_142

During the 1930s and 1940s, the academy led massive campaigns to replace the many Arabic, Russian, French, and Greek loanwords whose widespread use in Persian during the centuries preceding the foundation of the Pahlavi dynasty had created a literary language considerably different from the spoken Persian of the time. Persian language_sentence_143

This became the basis of what is now known as "Contemporary Standard Persian". Persian language_sentence_144

Varieties Persian language_section_11

There are three standard varieties of modern Persian: Persian language_sentence_145

Persian language_unordered_list_5

All these three varieties are based on the classic Persian literature and its literary tradition. Persian language_sentence_146

There are also several local dialects from Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan which slightly differ from the standard Persian. Persian language_sentence_147

The Hazaragi dialect (in Central Afghanistan and Pakistan), Herati (in Western Afghanistan), Darwazi (in Afghanistan and Tajikistan), Basseri (in Southern Iran), and the Tehrani accent (in Iran, the basis of standard Iranian Persian) are examples of these dialects. Persian language_sentence_148

Persian-speaking peoples of Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan can understand one another with a relatively high degree of mutual intelligibility. Persian language_sentence_149

The following are some languages closely related to Persian, or in some cases are considered dialects: Persian language_sentence_150

Persian language_unordered_list_6

  • Luri (or Lori), spoken mainly in the southwestern Iranian provinces of Lorestan, Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad, Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari some western parts of Fars Province and some parts of Khuzestan Province.Persian language_item_6_6
  • Achomi (or Lari), spoken mainly in southern Iranian provinces of Fars and Hormozgan.Persian language_item_6_7
  • Tat, spoken in parts of Azerbaijan, Russia, and Transcaucasia. It is classified as a variety of Persian. (This dialect is not to be confused with the Tati language of northwestern Iran, which is a member of a different branch of the Iranian languages.)Persian language_item_6_8
  • Judeo-Tat. Part of the Tat-Persian continuum, spoken in Azerbaijan, Russia, as well as by immigrant communities in Israel and New York.Persian language_item_6_9

More distantly related branches of the Iranian language family include Kurdish and Balochi. Persian language_sentence_151

Phonology Persian language_section_12

Main article: Persian phonology Persian language_sentence_152

Iranian Persian has six vowels and twenty-three consonants. Persian language_sentence_153

Vowels Persian language_section_13

Historically, Persian distinguished length. Persian language_sentence_154

Early New Persian had a series of five long vowels (//, //, /ɒː/, // and //) along with three short vowels /æ/, /i/ and /u/. Persian language_sentence_155

At some point prior to the 16th century in the general area now modern Iran, /eː/ and /iː/ merged into /iː/, and /oː/ and /uː/ merged into /uː/. Persian language_sentence_156

Thus, older contrasts such as شیر shēr "lion" vs. شیر shīr "milk", and زود zūd "quick" vs زور zōr "strong" were lost. Persian language_sentence_157

However, there are exceptions to this rule, and in some words, ē and ō are merged into the diphthongs [eɪ] and [oʊ] (which are descendants of the diphthongs [æɪ] and [æʊ] in Early New Persian), instead of merging into /iː/ and /uː/. Persian language_sentence_158

Examples of the exception can be found in words such as روشن [roʊʃæn] (bright). Persian language_sentence_159

Numerous other instances exist. Persian language_sentence_160

However, in Dari, the archaic distinction of /eː/ and /iː/ (respectively known as یای مجهول Yā-ye majhūl and یای معروف Yā-ye ma'rūf) is still preserved as well as the distinction of /oː/ and /uː/ (known as واو مجهول Wāw-e majhūl and واو معروف Wāw-e ma'rūf). Persian language_sentence_161

On the other hand, in standard Tajik, the length distinction has disappeared, and /iː/ merged with /i/ and /uː/ with /u/. Persian language_sentence_162

Therefore, contemporary Afghan Dari dialects are the closest to the vowel inventory of Early New Persian. Persian language_sentence_163

According to most studies on the subject (e.g. Samareh 1977, Pisowicz 1985, Najafi 2001), the three vowels traditionally considered long (/i/, /u/, /ɒ/) are currently distinguished from their short counterparts (/e/, /o/, /æ/) by position of articulation rather than by length. Persian language_sentence_164

However, there are studies (e.g. Hayes 1979, Windfuhr 1979) that consider vowel length to be the active feature of the system, with /ɒ/, /i/, and /u/ phonologically long or bimoraic and /æ/, /e/, and /o/ phonologically short or monomoraic. Persian language_sentence_165

There are also some studies that consider quality and quantity to be both active in the Iranian system (such as Toosarvandani 2004). Persian language_sentence_166

That offers a synthetic analysis including both quality and quantity, which often suggests that Modern Persian vowels are in a transition state between the quantitative system of Classical Persian and a hypothetical future Iranian language, which will eliminate all traces of quantity and retain quality as the only active feature. Persian language_sentence_167

The length distinction is still strictly observed by careful reciters of classic-style poetry for all varieties (including Tajik). Persian language_sentence_168

Consonants Persian language_section_14

Persian language_table_general_1

Persian language_header_cell_1_0_0 LabialPersian language_header_cell_1_0_1 AlveolarPersian language_header_cell_1_0_2 PalatalPersian language_header_cell_1_0_3 VelarPersian language_header_cell_1_0_4 UvularPersian language_header_cell_1_0_5 GlottalPersian language_header_cell_1_0_6
NasalPersian language_header_cell_1_1_0 mPersian language_cell_1_1_1 nPersian language_cell_1_1_2 Persian language_cell_1_1_3 Persian language_cell_1_1_4 Persian language_cell_1_1_5 Persian language_cell_1_1_6
PlosivePersian language_header_cell_1_2_0 p bPersian language_cell_1_2_1 t dPersian language_cell_1_2_2 Persian language_cell_1_2_3 k ɡPersian language_cell_1_2_4 (q)Persian language_cell_1_2_5 ʔPersian language_cell_1_2_6
FricativePersian language_header_cell_1_3_0 f vPersian language_cell_1_3_1 s zPersian language_cell_1_3_2 ʃ ʒPersian language_cell_1_3_3 x ɣPersian language_cell_1_3_4 Persian language_cell_1_3_5 hPersian language_cell_1_3_6
Flap or TapPersian language_header_cell_1_4_0 Persian language_cell_1_4_1 ɾPersian language_cell_1_4_2 Persian language_cell_1_4_3 Persian language_cell_1_4_4 Persian language_cell_1_4_5 Persian language_cell_1_4_6
ApproximantPersian language_header_cell_1_5_0 Persian language_cell_1_5_1 lPersian language_cell_1_5_2 jPersian language_cell_1_5_3 Persian language_cell_1_5_4 Persian language_cell_1_5_5 Persian language_cell_1_5_6

Notes: Persian language_sentence_169

Persian language_unordered_list_7

  • in Iranian Persian /ɣ/ and /q/ have merged into ɣ~ɢ, as a voiced velar fricative [ɣ] when positioned intervocalically and unstressed, and as a voiced uvular stop [ɢ] otherwise.Persian language_item_7_10

Grammar Persian language_section_15

Main article: Persian grammar Persian language_sentence_170

Morphology Persian language_section_16

Suffixes predominate Persian morphology, though there are a small number of prefixes. Persian language_sentence_171

Verbs can express tense and aspect, and they agree with the subject in person and number. Persian language_sentence_172

There is no grammatical gender in modern Persian, and pronouns are not marked for natural gender. Persian language_sentence_173

In other words, in Persian, pronouns are gender neutral. Persian language_sentence_174

When referring to a masculine or a feminine subject the same pronoun is used (pronounced "ou", ū). Persian language_sentence_175

Syntax Persian language_section_17

Normal declarative sentences are structured as (S) (PP) (O) V: sentences have optional subjects, prepositional phrases, and objects followed by a compulsory verb. Persian language_sentence_176

If the object is specific, the object is followed by the word rā and precedes prepositional phrases: (S) (O + rā) (PP) V. Persian language_sentence_177

Vocabulary Persian language_section_18

Main article: Persian vocabulary Persian language_sentence_178

Native word formation Persian language_section_19

Persian makes extensive use of word building and combining affixes, stems, nouns and adjectives. Persian language_sentence_179

Persian frequently uses derivational agglutination to form new words from nouns, adjectives, and verbal stems. Persian language_sentence_180

New words are extensively formed by compounding – two existing words combining into a new one. Persian language_sentence_181

Influences Persian language_section_20

See also: List of English words of Persian origin, List of French loanwords in Persian, and Iranian languages § Comparison table of the Iranian languages Persian language_sentence_182

While having a lesser influence on Arabic and other languages of Mesopotamia and its core vocabulary being of Middle Persian origin, New Persian contains a considerable number of Arabic lexical items, which were Persianized and often took a different meaning and usage than the Arabic original. Persian language_sentence_183

Persian loanwords of Arabic origin especially include Islamic terms. Persian language_sentence_184

The Arabic vocabulary in other Iranian, Turkic and Indic languages is generally understood to have been copied from New Persian, not from Arabic itself. Persian language_sentence_185

John R. Perry, in his article Lexical Areas and Semantic Fields of Arabic, estimates that about 24 percent of an everyday vocabulary of 20,000 words in current Persian, and more than 25 percent of the vocabulary of classical and modern Persian literature, are of Arabic origin. Persian language_sentence_186

The text frequency of these loan words is generally lower and varies by style and topic area. Persian language_sentence_187

It may approach 25 percent of a text in literature. Persian language_sentence_188

According to another source, about 40% of everyday Persian literary vocabulary is of Arabic origin. Persian language_sentence_189

Among the Arabic loan words, relatively few (14 percent) are from the semantic domain of material culture, while a larger number are from domains of intellectual and spiritual life. Persian language_sentence_190

Most of the Arabic words used in Persian are either synonyms of native terms or could be glossed in Persian. Persian language_sentence_191

The inclusion of Mongolic and Turkic elements in the Persian language should also be mentioned, not only because of the political role a succession of Turkic dynasties played in Iranian history, but also because of the immense prestige Persian language and literature enjoyed in the wider (non-Arab) Islamic world, which was often ruled by sultans and emirs with a Turkic background. Persian language_sentence_192

The Turkish and Mongolian vocabulary in Persian is minor in comparison to that of Arabic and these words were mainly confined to military, pastoral terms and political sector (titles, administration, etc.). Persian language_sentence_193

New military and political titles were coined based partially on Middle Persian (e.g. ارتش arteš for "army", instead of the Uzbek قؤشین qoʻshin; سرلشکر sarlaškar; دریابان daryābān; etc.) in the 20th century. Persian language_sentence_194

Persian has likewise influenced the vocabularies of other languages, especially other Indo-European languages such as Armenian, Urdu, Bengali and (to a lesser extent) Hindi; the latter three through conquests of Persianized Central Asian Turkic and Afghan invaders; Turkic languages such as Ottoman Turkish, Chagatai, Tatar, Turkish, Turkmen, Azeri, Uzbek, and Karachay-Balkar; Caucasian languages such as Georgian, and to a lesser extent, Avar and Lezgin; Afro-Asiatic languages like Assyrian (List of loanwords in Assyrian Neo-Aramaic) and Arabic, particularly Bahrani Arabic; and even Dravidian languages indirectly especially Telugu and Brahui; as well as Austronesian languages such as Indonesian and Malay. Persian language_sentence_195

Persian has also had a significant lexical influence, via Turkish, on Albanian, Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian, and Serbo-Croatian, particularly as spoken in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Persian language_sentence_196

Use of occasional foreign synonyms instead of Persian words can be a common practice in everyday communications as an alternative expression. Persian language_sentence_197

In some instances in addition to the Persian vocabulary, the equivalent synonyms from multiple foreign languages can be used. Persian language_sentence_198

For example, in Iranian colloquial Persian (not in Afghanistan or Tajikistan), the phrase "thank you" may be expressed using the French word مرسی merci (stressed, however, on the first syllable), the hybrid Persian-Arabic phrase متشکّرَم motešakkeram (متشکّر motešakker being "thankful" in Arabic, commonly pronounced moččakker in Persian, and the verb ـَم am meaning "I am" in Persian), or by the pure Persian phrase سپاسگزارم sepās-gozāram. Persian language_sentence_199

Orthography Persian language_section_21

The vast majority of modern Iranian Persian and Dari text is written with the Arabic script. Persian language_sentence_200

Tajiki, which is considered by some linguists to be a Persian dialect influenced by Russian and the Turkic languages of Central Asia, is written with the Cyrillic script in Tajikistan (see Tajik alphabet). Persian language_sentence_201

There also exist several romanization systems for Persian. Persian language_sentence_202

Persian alphabet Persian language_section_22

Main article: Persian alphabet Persian language_sentence_203

Modern Iranian Persian and Afghan Persian are written using the Persian alphabet which is a modified variant of the Arabic alphabet, which uses different pronunciation and additional letters not found in Arabic language. Persian language_sentence_204

After the Arab conquest of Persia, it took approximately 200 years which is referred to as Two Centuries of Silence in Iran, before Persians adopted the Arabic script in place of the older alphabet. Persian language_sentence_205

Previously, two different scripts were used, Pahlavi, used for Middle Persian, and the Avestan alphabet (in Persian, Dīndapirak or Din Dabire—literally: religion script), used for religious purposes, primarily for the Avestan but sometimes for Middle Persian. Persian language_sentence_206

In the modern Persian script, historically short vowels are usually not written, only the historically long ones are represented in the text, so words distinguished from each other only by short vowels are ambiguous in writing: Iranian Persian kerm "worm", karam "generosity", kerem "cream", and krom "chrome" are all spelled krm (کرم) in Persian. Persian language_sentence_207

The reader must determine the word from context. Persian language_sentence_208

The Arabic system of vocalization marks known as harakat is also used in Persian, although some of the symbols have different pronunciations. Persian language_sentence_209

For example, a ḍammah is pronounced [ʊ~u], while in Iranian Persian it is pronounced [o]. Persian language_sentence_210

This system is not used in mainstream Persian literature; it is primarily used for teaching and in some (but not all) dictionaries. Persian language_sentence_211

There are several letters generally only used in Arabic loanwords. Persian language_sentence_212

These letters are pronounced the same as similar Persian letters. Persian language_sentence_213

For example, there are four functionally identical letters for /z/ (ز ذ ض ظ), three letters for /s/ (س ص ث), two letters for /t/ (ط ت), two letters for /h/ (ح ه). Persian language_sentence_214

On the other hand, there are four letters that don't exist in Arabic پ چ ژ گ. Persian language_sentence_215

Additions Persian language_section_23

The Persian alphabet adds four letters to the Arabic alphabet: Persian language_sentence_216

Persian language_table_general_2

SoundPersian language_header_cell_2_0_0 Isolated formPersian language_header_cell_2_0_1 Final formPersian language_header_cell_2_0_2 Medial formPersian language_header_cell_2_0_3 Initial formPersian language_header_cell_2_0_4 NamePersian language_header_cell_2_0_5
/p/Persian language_cell_2_1_0 پPersian language_cell_2_1_1 ـپPersian language_cell_2_1_2 ـپـPersian language_cell_2_1_3 پـPersian language_cell_2_1_4 pePersian language_cell_2_1_5
/tʃ/Persian language_cell_2_2_0 چPersian language_cell_2_2_1 ـچPersian language_cell_2_2_2 ـچـPersian language_cell_2_2_3 چـPersian language_cell_2_2_4 če (che)Persian language_cell_2_2_5
/ʒ/Persian language_cell_2_3_0 ژPersian language_cell_2_3_1 ـژPersian language_cell_2_3_2 ـژPersian language_cell_2_3_3 ژPersian language_cell_2_3_4 že (zhe or jhe)Persian language_cell_2_3_5
/ɡ/Persian language_cell_2_4_0 گPersian language_cell_2_4_1 ـگPersian language_cell_2_4_2 ـگـPersian language_cell_2_4_3 گـPersian language_cell_2_4_4 ge (gāf)Persian language_cell_2_4_5

Historically, there was also a special letter for the sound /β/. Persian language_sentence_217

This letter is no longer used, as the /β/-sound changed to /b/, e.g. archaic زڤان /zaβān/ > زبان /zæbɒn/ 'language' Persian language_sentence_218

Persian language_table_general_3

SoundPersian language_header_cell_3_0_0 Isolated formPersian language_header_cell_3_0_1 Final formPersian language_header_cell_3_0_2 Medial formPersian language_header_cell_3_0_3 Initial formPersian language_header_cell_3_0_4 NamePersian language_header_cell_3_0_5
/β/Persian language_cell_3_1_0 ڤPersian language_cell_3_1_1 ـڤPersian language_cell_3_1_2 ـڤـPersian language_cell_3_1_3 ڤـPersian language_cell_3_1_4 βePersian language_cell_3_1_5

Variations Persian language_section_24

The Persian alphabet also modifies some letters of the Arabic alphabet. Persian language_sentence_219

For example, alef with hamza below ( إ ) changes to alef ( ا ); words using various hamzas get spelled with yet another kind of hamza (so that مسؤول becomes مسئول) even though the latter is also correct in Arabic; and teh marbuta ( ة ) changes to heh ( ه ) or teh ( ت ). Persian language_sentence_220

The letters different in shape are: Persian language_sentence_221

Persian language_table_general_4

Arabic Style letterPersian language_header_cell_4_0_0 Persian Style letterPersian language_header_cell_4_0_1 namePersian language_header_cell_4_0_2
كPersian language_cell_4_1_0 کPersian language_cell_4_1_1 ke (kāf)Persian language_cell_4_1_2
يPersian language_cell_4_2_0 یPersian language_cell_4_2_1 yePersian language_cell_4_2_2

Latin alphabet Persian language_section_25

Main article: Romanization of Persian Persian language_sentence_222

The International Organization for Standardization has published a standard for simplified transliteration of Persian into Latin, ISO 233-3, titled "Information and documentation – Transliteration of Arabic characters into Latin characters – Part 3: Persian language – Simplified transliteration" but the transliteration scheme is not in widespread use. Persian language_sentence_223

Another Latin alphabet, based on the Common Turkic Alphabet, was used in Tajikistan in the 1920s and 1930s. Persian language_sentence_224

The alphabet was phased out in favor of Cyrillic in the late 1930s. Persian language_sentence_225

Fingilish is Persian using ISO basic Latin alphabet. Persian language_sentence_226

It is most commonly used in chat, emails and SMS applications. Persian language_sentence_227

The orthography is not standardized, and varies among writers and even media (for example, typing 'aa' for the [ɒ] phoneme is easier on computer keyboards than on cellphone keyboards, resulting in smaller usage of the combination on cellphones). Persian language_sentence_228

Tajik alphabet Persian language_section_26

Main article: Tajik alphabet Persian language_sentence_229

The Cyrillic script was introduced for writing the Tajik language under the Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic in the late 1930s, replacing the Latin alphabet that had been used since the October Revolution and the Persian script that had been used earlier. Persian language_sentence_230

After 1939, materials published in Persian in the Persian script were banned from the country. Persian language_sentence_231

Examples Persian language_section_27

The following text is from Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Persian language_sentence_232

Persian language_table_general_5

Iranian PersianPersian language_header_cell_5_0_0 همه‌ی افراد بشر آزاد به دنیا می‌آیند و حیثیت و حقوق‌شان با هم برابر است، همه اندیشه و وجدان دارند و باید در برابر یکدیگر با روح برادری رفتار کنند.Persian language_cell_5_0_1
Iranian Persian

transliterationPersian language_header_cell_5_1_0

Hameye afrâd bašar âzâd be donyâ miâyand o heysiyat o hoğuğe šân bâ ham barâbar ast hame šân andiše o vejdân dârand o bâjad dar barâbare yekdigar bâ ruhe barâdari raftâr konand.Persian language_cell_5_1_1
Iranian Persian IPAPersian language_header_cell_5_2_0 [hæmeje æfrɒde bæʃær ɒzɒd be donjɒ miɒjænd o hejsijæt o hoɢuɢe ʃɒn bɒ hæm bærɒbær æst hæme ʃɒn ændiʃe o vedʒdɒn dɒrænd o bɒjæd dær bærɒbære jekdiɡær bɒ ruhe bærɒdæri ræftɒr konænd]Persian language_cell_5_2_1
TajikiPersian language_header_cell_5_3_0 Ҳамаи афроди башар озод ба дунё меоянд ва ҳайсияту ҳуқуқашон бо ҳам баробар аст, ҳамаашон андешаву виҷдон доранд ва бояд дар баробари якдигар бо рӯҳи бародарӣ рафтор кунанд.Persian language_cell_5_3_1
English translationPersian language_header_cell_5_4_0 All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.Persian language_cell_5_4_1

See also Persian language_section_28

Persian language_unordered_list_8


Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persian language.