Re: [tied] Dari/Farsi question

From: Pavel Lurje
Message: 14050
Date: 2002-07-17

Dear Mr(s) cj.
Your question is relly what am I interested in.
Actually, there are three (and in my opinion 4 or even 5) versions of M(odern) P(ersian) -- Farsi of Iran, Dari of Afghanistan and Tajiki of (naturally) Tajikistan. (on my own point of view later), the first two preserve slightly modified Arabic script, while the third for last 60 years -- Russian Cyrillic, enriched with 5 special sighns. They all are called to be different languages (every country of these three wants to have a language of it's own), but the dialectal frontiers naturally do not alwais correspond with political ones, thus we speak about normalised languages of literature and Media. Altogether Afghanistan during it's stormy history had no time to establish any Buehnesprache, a common normal language. Thus, I'll discuss, first of all, normalised F(arsi) and T(ajiki), not taking into consideration colloquial dialects.
The differences of three languages is much less, than of e.g. dialects of German. The natives of Tehran, Kabul and Dushanbe can understand each other with no difficulty. But it is sometimes impossible to find any difference in texts, written in F(arsi) or D(ari) (only in rare grammatical forms and loaned vocabulary: F mashin / D motar etc). But from the speech of a person you learn for sure, from where he is.
The main variation lies in phonetics, esp. vowels.
The C(lassical) P, like Middle P, had the 8 unit vowel-system, while both F and T have 6 vowels each, but with different history. The scheme of their development can be drawn in this way (V: -- long vowel, V`` -- palatalised, V~ back vowel):
F       a``  a~   e      i        o        u
         |     |      |      /\         |      /   \
CP    a    a:    i    i:    e:    u    u:    o:   
         |     |       \/        |        \/        |
T       a    o       i       e        u        u``
None of the extinct normalised variants of P can be considered to be it's chief and only son. This is why I prefer to see 4 different variations of MP: F, D, T and CP (a dead one). The fifth dialect I've mentioned above will be MP, spoken in Pakistan and India. There is not a big group of native Pers., living there, but yet it is a literary language for a greatest number of muslims there (a position, similar to that of English in India). Indian Persian preserves many archaic features, unfamiliar to F, D or T.
PS. About xv: this sound (or cluster) is known to Middle Persian and early CP, but perished in all the 3-4 new forms.
----- Original Message -----
From: hyltoncj64@...
Sent: Wednesday, July 17, 2002 1:55 AM
Subject: [tied] Dari/Farsi question

I know that Dari and Farsi are both versions of Modern Persian -- how similar are they? Is it like the difference between say, American and Australian English, where a few terms might (OK, more than a few terms) might be confusing but the basics are the same or is it more like the relationship between, say French and Spanish?

BTW -- I really love lurking on this list. The discussions are fascinating, even though I can rarely add to them.

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