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Encyclopedia > Sogdian language

The Sogdian language is a Middle Iranian language spoken in Sogdiana (Zarafshan River Valley) in the modern day republics of Uzbekistan and Tajikistan (chief cities: Samarkand, Panjikent, Ferghana). Numerous languages are spoken in Iran, yet all of them originate from the same linguistic roots. ... Sogdiana (Sugdiane, O. Pers. ... Samarkand (Samarqand or Самарқанд in Uzbek, in Persian سمرقند) (population 400,000) is the second-largest city in Uzbekistan, capital of Samarqand Province. ... Panjakent (also spelled Panjikent or Panjekent) is a city in western Tajikistan on the Zeravshan river. ... Fergana is a city in the Fergana Valley, capital of the Fargona Viloyati of Uzbekistan. ...

Sogdian is one of the most important Middle Iranian languages with a large literary corpus, standing next to Middle Persian and Parthian. It was the language of trade in all of Central Asia (Transoxiana) and was the lingua franca of Chinese and Iranian traders. The language belongs to the Northeastern branch of Iranian languages. No evidence of an earlier version of the language (*Old Sogdian) have been found, although the mention of the area in Old Persian inscriptions means that a separate and recognisable Sogdiana existed since at least the Achaemenid era (ca. 550-323 BCE). Sogdian possesses a more conservative grammar and morphology than Middle Persian Pahlavi is a term that refers: (1) to a script used in Iran derived from the Aramaic script, and (2) more broadly, to Middle Persian, the Middle Iranian language written in this script. ... Reproduction of a Parthian warrior as depicted on Trajans Column The Parthian Empire was the dominating force on the Iranian plateau beginning in the late 3rd century BCE, and intermittently controlled Mesopotamia between ca 190 BCE and 224 CE. Origins Bust of Parthian soldier, Esgh-abad Museum, Turkmenia. ... Map of Central Asia showing three sets of possible boundaries for the region Central Asia located as a region of the world Central Asia is a vast landlocked region of Asia. ... Transoxiana (sometimes spelled Transoxania) is the largely obsolete name used for the portion of Central Asia corresponding approximately with modern-day Uzbekistan and southwest Kazakhstan. ... Lingua franca, literally Frankish language in Italian, was originally a mixed language consisting largely of Italian plus a vocabulary drawn from Turkish, Persian, French, Greek and Arabic and used for communication throughout the Middle East. ... The Iranian languages are a part of the Indo-European language family. ... Sketch of the first column of the Behistun Inscription Old Persian is the oldest attested Persid language. ... Inscriptions are words or letters written, engraved, painted, or otherwise traced on a surface and can appear in contexts both small and monumental. ... Achaemenid Empire The Achaemenid Dynasty was a dynasty in the ancient Persian Empire, including Cyrus II the Great, Darius I and Xerxes I. At the height of their power, the Achaemenid rulers of Persia ruled over territories roughly emcompassing some parts of todays Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon... Grammar is the discovery, enunciation, and study of rules governing the use of language. ... Morphology is the following: In linguistics, morphology is the study of the structure of word forms. ...

The economic and political importance of the language guaranteed its survival in the first few centuries after the conquest of Sogdiana by the Muslims in the early eighth century CE. The fact that the earliest texts of Modern Persian have been written in the territory of Sogdiana under the patronage of Samanid Kings means that many Sogdian words have entered Modern Persian as well. Only a dialect of Sogdian, called Yaghnobi language, has survived into the 21st century and is spoken by the mountain dwellers of the Yaghnob valley. A Muslim is a believer in or follower of Islam. ... Persian (فارسی), also known as Farsi (local name), Parsi (older local name, but still used by some speakers), Tajik (a Central Asian dialect) or Dari (an Afghan dialect), is a language spoken in Iran, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan. ... The Samanid dynasty (819-999) was a Persian dynasty in Central Asia, named after its founder Saman Khuda. ... Yaghnobi language - one of two living Northeastern Iranian languages, spoken in high valley of the Yaghnob river in Zarafshan area of Tajikistan, considered to be direct descendant of Sogdian by many linguists. ...

Evidence of early Sogdian script has been found in Sogdiana. This early script was taken from the Aramaic script and was almost solely heterographic. However, much of the rather large corpus of Sogdian writings (religious writings, letters, literature, and administrative correspondence) is in the Sogdian Script that has its roots in the same Aramaic script and like Middle Persian, contains many Logograms. Various Sogdian pieces, almost entirely religious works of Manichaean and Christian writers, have also been found in the Turfan text corpus. Sogdian script is the direct ancestor of Uighur script, itself the forerunner of the Mongolian script. Aramaic was for a long time (between the later Assyrian empire and the Abbasid Caliphate) a lingua franca in the Middle East; its alphabet, though itself derived from the Phoenician alphabet, therefore superseded the Old Hebrew alphabet that had been independently descended from the Phoenician alphabet. ... A Chinese logogram A logogram, or logograph, is a single written character which represents a word or a morpheme (a meaningful unit of language). ... Manichaeism was one of the major ancient religions. ... A Christian is a follower of Jesus of Nazareth. ... Turfan (Uyghur: تۇرپان; Uyghur latin: Turpan; Modern Chinese 吐魯番, Pinyin: TÇ”lÇ”fán; Ancient Chinese 高昌, Pinyin Gāochāng, Wade-Giles: Kao-chang; 42°59′ N 89°11′ E) is an oasis city in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region of the Peoples Republic of China. ... Uyghurs (also called Uighurs, Uygurs, or Uigurs) (Chinese: 維吾爾 or 维吾尔 in pinyin: wéiwúěr) are a Turkic ethnic group of people living in northwestern China (mainly in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, where they are the dominant ethnic group together with Han people), Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. ... The Mongolian language historically has four writing systems that have been used over the centuries. ...

Sample Sogdian text (transliteration): MN sγwδy-k MLK’ δy-w’šty-c ’t x’xsrc xwβw ’pšwnw δrwth γ-rβ nm’cyw

Word-by-word translation: From Sogdiana's King Dywashtic to Khakhsar's Khuv Afshun, (good) health (and) many salutation...

External links

  • Iranian Language Family: http://www.iranologie.com/history/ilf.html
  • Sogdian: http://www.geocities.com/interlinguae/sogdian.html
  • Sogdian Dictionary: http://www.uni-koeln.de/phil-fak/indologie/lil/sd-search.html

  Results from FactBites:
Sogdian language (232 words)
One of the dead East Iranian languages, Sogdian was once spoken in ancient Sogdiana, the historical region along the upper Zeravshan river, having the center in Samarkand (then Marakanda).
Later Sogdian was assimilated by classic Persian and mostly by languages of Turkish nomadic tribes.
The language of Sogdian documents represents the western dialects of the tongue, while the eastern branch gave birth to another Iranian language, Yagnobi, spoken nowadays.
Sogdian language (461 words)
Sogdian is one of the most important Middle Iranian languages with a large literary corpus, standing next to Middle Persian and Parthian.
It was the language of trade in all of Central Asia (Transoxiana) and was the lingua franca of Chinese and Iranian traders.
The language belongs to the Northeastern branch of Iranian languages.
  More results at FactBites »



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