Talk:Avestan language

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
          This article is of interest to the following WikiProjects:
WikiProject Languages (Rated Start-class)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Languages, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of standardized, informative and easy-to-use resources about languages on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.
 
WikiProject Iran  
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Iran, an attempt to build a comprehensive and detailed guide to articles related to Iran on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please join the project where you can contribute to the discussions and help with our open tasks.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.
 
WikiProject Central Asia (Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon Avestan language is part of WikiProject Central Asia, a project to improve all Central Asia-related articles. This includes but is not limited to Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Tajikistan, Tibet, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Xinjiang and Central Asian portions of Iran, Pakistan and Russia, region-specific topics, and anything else related to Central Asia. If you would like to help improve this and other Central Asia-related articles, please join the project. All interested editors are welcome.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
 
WikiProject Zoroastrianism (Rated B-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Zoroastrianism, which is a collaboration of editors who thrive to improve Wikipedia's coverage of Zoroastrianism-related topics. If you would like to participate, you can edit this article, or visit the project page, where you can join the project and see a list of objectives.
B-Class article B  This article has been rated as B-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.
 

original work?[edit]

Is this original work? -- Zoe Both Rigvedic Sanskrit and Avestan Persian are too similar to be a concidence and both certainly have a common Aryan origin. Thus there is no latitude to create a fake controversy to push an agenda pertaining to this.

The following is an example of the closeness of the Avestan and Sanskrit languages: Old Iranian/Avestan: aevo pantao yo ashahe, vispe anyaesham apantam (Yasna 72.11) Old Indian/Sanskrit: abade pantha he ashae, visha anyaesham apantham Translation: the one path is that of Asha, all others are not-paths. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 65.88.88.203 (talk) 22:35, 14 May 2012 (UTC)


Probably not. Most of the other stuff entered by the same user was copyright violation. -- Zocky 03:06 Jan 24, 2003 (UTC)

I have rewritten this page from scratch. -- Paul Barlow

Needs serious editing![edit]

The article needs serious editing. The text is not called Zend Avesta, rather just the Avesta (Middle Persian Abestag). Zand is the commentary on the Avesta. I am going to edit it and add to the contents.

I know where your coming from. I wouldn't mind using the Zand, except that the Zand was written in Pahlavi and thus irrelevant to this article! Also "Vidaevdat" should be Vidēdāt acc. to Boyce and corresponds to the transliteration system given down the page. The more common name "Vendidād" might be mentioned in parenthesis just to avoid confusion. Khirad 10:51, 11 September 2005 (UTC)

My problem throughout wikipedia is the usage of "Magi". It is inaccurate and suggestive. Nowhere have I seen anyone use the correct Dastur, Mobed, or Ervad. Khirad 10:52, 11 September 2005 (UTC)

Dravidian loanwords in Avestan[edit]

Is there any Dravidian loan in Avestan? Meursault2004 16:10, 21 Mar 2005 (UTC)

I don't think so, though there may be in its descendant: Pashto, since the Dravidian peoples once extended all the way into the areas Pashto is now spoken, and there remain pockets to this day. Could an odd loan word have made its way into Avestan? Anything's possible! But was there considerable influence? No. Even the Indo-Aryan language Hindi hasn't absorbed much of its neighboring Dravidian langs. Come to think of it, why hasn't anyone mentioned Pashto? Khirad 10:51, 11 September 2005 (UTC)

So you think Pashto is a modern descendant of Avestan? Interesting, I haven't heard that before. Well now it's time for something else: the Indo-Aryan language Hindi hasn't absorbed much of its neighboring Dravidian langs, but how about Sanskrit? It has absorbed quite a few like phala (fruit) etc. Furthermore the Dravidian languages have influenced the phonology of Sanskrit. The so-called retroflex phonemes are loans from Dravidian. Meursault2004 13:56, 11 September 2005 (UTC)

Links[edit]

I changed Devanagri to Devanāgarī not just because it's correct, but because the other spelling is a pet peeve of mine! Also added omniglot link for goodness sake! Khirad 10:51, 11 September 2005 (UTC)

Avestan is an extict language[edit]

Avestan, an extinct Indo-Iranian language related to Old Persian and Sanskrit. Heja Helweda 01:54, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Implosives??[edit]

I never heard of Avestan or any other Iranian languages using implosives. Also, the presence of a "post-uvular" nasal is dubious. Avestan alphabet on www.avesta.org does not include those sounds.

I got rid of them. The table is now correct.--AlBargit

Classification not certain???[edit]

What is the nonesense about the classification of Avestan as an Eastern Iranian language being unclear? Where did you get the idea that the seperation of the Eastern and Western Iranian are "poorly understood"? If you have read anything written since 1950's on (it is a problem, people often go back to the 19th century works on Avestan), you will see that it is always marked as an Eastern Iranian Language. The differences are clear and very well understood, so I beg to differ with the statement here. Avestan has classical East Iranian phonological tendencies (z for WIr. d, for example) and has been confidently put as a Northeastern Iranian language. no doubt about it.--71.106.119.109 08:59, 8 October 2006 (UTC)

It is not about western Iranian and eastern Iranian. The fact is that in old Iranian times, the distinction was rather one between southwestern Iranian and the rest of Iranian languages. Also the phonological tendency of z for d is present in all western Iranian languages who are not southwestern. Ellipi (talk) 19:54, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

Table incomplete[edit]

It seems as though the table doesn't address what consonants are represented by ϑ, t̰, ṇ, ṣ̌,. I'm assuming the last two are simply retroflex, but I really have no idea about the first two. Ƶ§œš¹ [aɪm ˈfɻɛ̃ⁿdˡi] 01:06, 8 January 2007 (UTC)

about Iraqian Kurdish[edit]

This sie is gift from Qurdian separatist and read terrorists. The Avestan language is EASTERN iranian (as Pashto, Ossetian and others) and NON Kurdian language. Stop with propaganda of Greater Kurdistan!

FYI The Avestan sacred texts may have been composed [geographically] in eastern Iran, but Avestan language shows few if any of the distinctive characteristics of the later Eastern Iranian languages. (source: Iranica). Ellipi (talk) 16:01, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

Alphabet Section[edit]

Just Curious - which part of "After the >>alleged<< destruction of the Achaemenid palace library by Alexander the Great" is more of an "allegation" than the rest of History in general... —Preceding unsigned comment added by 38.112.25.6 (talk) 19:47, August 29, 2007 (UTC)

Artificial Young Avestan - What is "artificial"?[edit]

The passage that contains "The Artificial Young Avestan however is a corrupt form of the language..." seems like a sentence constructed to express an opinion.

All human languages are "artificial". i.e. they are all humanly created. All languages go through "corruption" as they mutate or evolve. Based on such an opinion therefore, today's English would be a corruption of Chaucer's definition of the language. Or, perhaps, Chaucer's definition is "artificial"?

I hope someone knowledgeable about this subject would remove the words "corrupt" and "artificial" and rephrase them in less subjective fashion. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Hence Jewish Anderstein (talkcontribs) 19:25, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

I see where you are coming from, but thats not whats meant. See, at some point the priests themselves could not write Avestan. But the language was considered sacred, so additions had to be made in that language to give them doctrinal legitimacy. So, the priests tried anyway, and the result is "artificial Younger Avestan." Its a copy-and-paste job of existing phrases with a lot of guesswork in between. It would as if I had tried to write this comment in Middle English (worse though, since Avestan is highly inflected). -- Fullstop (talk) 12:40, 28 March 2008 (UTC)
Why not say that through oral transmission, some corruption possibly occured. I believe the Young Avesta was used to decipher Old Persian. What I am understand from your statement is the priests arbitrarly wrote in young Avesta without understanding it. Where-as Young Avesta seems to be just an evolution from Old Avesta and if there are corruptions, is due to the fact that it became a dead language and oral transmission is not perfect, hence some corruption might have occured. --alidoostzadeh (talk) 15:40, 28 March 2008 (UTC)
Reading the article, it seems the Artifical language is applied to Vendidad. Any sources for this statement? --alidoostzadeh (talk) 15:42, 28 March 2008 (UTC)

Alleged "POV pushing" of "eastern"[edit]

On my talk page, Xashaiar opined ...

Fullstop, your extreme POV-pushing toward eastern Iran in almost all Iranian related edits of yours is unacceptable to me. Please consider a central approach. Thanks.--Xashaiar (talk) 00:48, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

That is quite a remarkable inversion of the situation. In reality, I merely follow sources ...

The Encyclopedia Iranica article on "Avestan language" states:

Avestan, which is associated with northeastern Iran, and Old Persian, which belongs to the southwest, together constitute what is called Old Iranian.

Xashaiar asserts (see next point) that the Iranica's "Avestan geography" article asserts the contrary. What that article actually says is:

With the exception of an important study by P. Tedesco (1921 ...), who advances the theory of an “Avestan homeland” in northwestern Iran, Iranian scholars of the twentieth century have looked increasingly to eastern Iran for the origins of the Avestan language and today there is general agreement that the area in question was in eastern Iran—a fact that emerges clearly from every passage in the Avesta that sheds any light on its historical and geographical background.

What Xashaiar turned that passage into is:

Despite this modern linguistic classification of Avestan language, the determination of the geographical location of Avestan language is however by no means complete. Although modern scholars are increasingly pointing to eastern Iran as the origins of the Avestan language, there is evidence of an Avestan homeland in north-western Iran. (cf. Avestan Geography, G. Gnoli).

That is a blindingly obvious inversion of meaning.

Now, I really don't care whether Avestan is classified as "eastern" or "western", but Xashaiar's creative re-interpretation of sources will really not do. So I've replaced Xashaiar's creative "analysis" of Gnoli's "Avestan geography" with a verbatim quote from that source. Its superfluous in my opinion, but Xashaiar wants it, so that's what he gets. -- Fullstop (talk) 12:04, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

Dear Fullstop, my comment was not exclusively about this article. So maybe you should move the discussion to your talkpage. If not, I will answer here. But to start with, you know better than I do how one can use a source. There are eastern and western oriented scholars who write for EIr. Picking up only those comments/arguments which concentrate on eastern Iran and ignoring the western Iranian arguments is what worries me. I had added "Although modern scholars are increasingly pointing to eastern Iran as the origins of the Avestan language," this is really what the source say. Also note that EIr states explicitly that "It is impossible to attribute a precise geographical location to the language of the Avesta." Again you ignored this. So I inserted the matterial. Next I am going to add from the quote

Young Avestan went through the following stages: 1. The original language of the composers of grammatically correct YAv. texts; perhaps in Marv or Herat; 2. Dialect influences as a result of the transfer of the Av. texts to Southeast Iran (Arachosia?); 3. Transfer of the Avesta to Persis in Southwest Iran, possibly earlier than 500 B.C.; 4. Transmission of the Avesta in a Southwest Iranian theological school, probably in Eṣṭaḵr: Old Pers. and Mid. Pers. influences, the insistence on fantastic pronunciations by semi-learned schoolmasters (Av. aēθrapaiti-), the composition of ungrammatical late Av. texts, the adaptation of portions of texts taken from other regions where they were recited; 5. The end of the oral transmission: phonetic notation of the Avestan texts in the Sasanian archetype, probably in the fourth century A.D.; 6. Post-Sasanian deterioration of the written transmission due to incorrect pronunciation (Vulgate); 7. In the ninth and tenth centuries A.D. the manuscript copies of individual texts were made on which the extant manuscripts are based; 8. Earlier manuscripts were copied in manuscripts dating from A.D. 1288 till the nineteenth century by scribes who introduced errors and corruptions. These are the manuscripts extant today.

— (Avestan Language in EIr)

It is clear how you would "use" this excerpt and how I would use it. That's why I asked you to choose "a central approach".::-Xashaiar (talk) 13:12, 30 June 2009 (UTC)


> my comment was not exclusively about this article
You need to revise your assumptions. I don't give a damn about eastern/western, nor for any other parochial nationalist crap.
> There are eastern and western oriented scholars who write for EIr.
You misappropriated Gnoli. I didn't use him at all. So any abuse you heap on Gnoli, you heap on your yourself.
There is also no such thing as "eastern and western oriented scholars". Real scholars do not have agendas.
> ignoring the western Iranian arguments is what worries me
What part of "today there is general agreement that the area in question was in eastern Iran" do you not understand?
There are no current "western Iranian arguments". So there are also no "western Iranian arguments" that anyone can "ignore".
What should be worrying you is that even though the sources say one thing, you keep insisting that the opposite is valid.
> "It is impossible to attribute a precise geographical location to the language of the Avesta." Again you ignored this.
You incorrectly assume that "geographical location" refers to Eastern or Western. In reality, it means "precise geographical location". PRECISELY.
> It is clear how you would "use" this excerpt and how I would use it.
It is not "clear" how you would use it since you just pasted it without explaining why you pasted it. Nor is there anything in it that explains why you asked me to "choose 'a central approach'". -- Fullstop (talk) 17:16, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
You said "I don't give a damn about eastern/western, nor for any other parochial nationalist crap." Oh yes you do. Do you want me to show it by copy-pasting some of your edits on ancient Iranian stuff? When I added "It is impossible to attribute..", I did not assume anything and I do not take Gnoli as "the sources" but only as "a source". You say "You need to revise your assumptions." If I find evidence that I was wrong, I will happily do that. On the excerpt above: why did you ignore "3. Transfer of the Avesta to Persis in Southwest Iran, possibly earlier than 500 B.C.;4. Transmission of the Avesta in a Southwest Iranian theological school, probably in Eṣṭaḵr: Old Pers. and Mid. Pers. influences,..(ibid).."? instead you "created" the phrase "where Avestan was not spoken" as a replacement for Persis... ? If this is not POV pushing so what is it? I propose using the "exact wording" of Hoffmann suggested stages (5+8) that (O/Y) Avestan labguage went through. Agree?--Xashaiar (talk) 18:05, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
> Do you want me to show it ...
If you think you have a case for your allegations of impropriety, take it to AN/I.
> If I find evidence that I was wrong, I will happily do that.
I repeat: What part of "today there is general agreement that the area in question was in eastern Iran" do you not understand?
Inversely: How much lack of evidence does it take for you to figure out that you are not correct?
> why did you ignore 3. Transfer ... to Persis
I didn't ignore anything. I merely thought the names irrelevant.
  • Note also that the context is errors introduced to Avestan by transfer to Persis. So, you are objecting to lack of mention of transfer to the west. You are objecting to lack of mention of "the insistence on fantastic pronunciations".
  • I also don't mention "(Arachosia?)" or "Southeastern Iran", or that Hoffmann says "composed ... perhaps in Herat, Marv". So, by your logic, I must also be anti-Arachosian, anti-Herat, anti-Marv, anti-southeastern too.
So, according to your logic, not mentioning location names makes me both anti-western and anti-eastern. I also did not mention semi-learned schoolmasters. According to your logic, that must make me anti-semi-learned schoolmasters. I also did not mention fantastic pronunciations, so that must make anti-fantastic pronounciations. I also failed to mention 1288 AD. That must make me anti-1288 AD.
Your logic is obviously lacking. As I said before, if you think you have a case for your allegations of impropriety, take it to AN/I. If you don't have a case, no one wants to hear it.
On the other hand, if you have something sensible to say about content, then you are welcome to discuss it. -- Fullstop (talk) 22:21, 30 June 2009 (UTC)
> If you think you have a case for your allegations of impropriety, take it to AN/I.
I am not interested in that. I assume I have made my point.
> So according to your logic,...Your logic is obviously lacking.
Not really. Several times I asked you please read Zero order logic, basically a logic not necessary to be taught: "x=2 implies that x is an even number", but not "every even number is 2". In our context: The "assumption that you are eastern POV pushing" implies that "you ignored mentioning southwestern Iran" and not "ignoring the name Marv" implies "you are anti-Marv." It is probable that "my logic (as you put it)" helps me to make the statement "an anti-Marv" will "ignore mentioning Marv". You got it? Note that logic has nothing to do with the content of "assumption and/or conclusion". This was WP:FORUM. On the assumption which is the point, I said: "if I find evidence, I will happily revise it". Now, I am asking a simple question and would like to get a simple answer. I am going to change your "where Avestan was not spoken" (what a "honest use of source"!) with "(south-)western Iran". Fine with you? If not please tell us why.--Xashaiar (talk) 00:46, 2 July 2009 (UTC)
> I assume I have made my point.
Nope.
> Several times I asked you please read Zero order logic
This is not a mathematics article, and I have no interest in digressions into that domain.
> You got it?
No. But as you say, you are FORUMizing, so I don't need to care.
> I am going to change your "where Avestan was not spoken" (what a "honest use of source"!) with "(south-)western Iran"
If you have any valid reason to suppose that my actions are not honest, then -- like I said -- take it to AN/I. I am not interested in your ad-hominem speculations until someone sensible has determined that they have merit. Until then, your ad-hominem speculations are worthless.
And yes, since you are obsessed with south-western Iran, and it will make you very happy to see it mentioned, and since granting you that pleasure will not compromise the article, you may replace "changes introduced by transfer to where Avestan was not spoken" by "changes introduced by transfer to (south-)western Iran". -- Fullstop (talk) 02:05, 2 July 2009 (UTC)


I agree with Fullstop, except that I say "Eastern Iran" should NOT be used as a term for a land. "Afghanistan" should be used. In http://www.people.fas.harvard.edu/~witzel/AryanHome.pdf Afghanistan is used for this general area, and "central Afghan highland" is used for Airyanem Vaejah. Actually, Afghanistan appears in all academic papers, exept here on wikipedia, where Afghanistan and Pashtuns are under-represented, which surely shows a bias. 119.152.247.133 (talk) 17:57, 30 June 2009 (UTC)

Persian language?[edit]

Wouldn't Avestan be a Persian language, instead of Eastern Iranian? Iran has nothing to do with the creation of Avestan. Avestan was the language used by the Persians in Zoroaster's life. That group of people were not eastern Iranians, but Persians or specifically Achamenidians. Warrior4321talk 01:05, 4 July 2009 (UTC) DO YOU KNOW 75%OF PERSIAN LANGUGE IS ARABIC PLUS KURDISH VERY POOR LANGUGE.AND IF YOU DONT AGREE GO FIND OUT FOR YOURSELF. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 70.79.138.2 (talk) 01:54, 15 March 2013 (UTC)

Persians spoke/speak Persian (duh!), not Avestan. Old Persian is not Avestan. There were numerous Iranian languages, spoken variously by dozens (if not hundreds) of tribes, of which the Persians and "Whachamacallitians" were just two.
Not that it is in any way a reason why the Iranian languages are called what they are called, you seem to suppose that the word "Iranian" is of recent coinage. On the contrary, the ethnic name is prehistoric. Both Old Iranian languages are simultaneously also the transmitters of that ethnic name, and the speakers of both Old Persian and Avestan called themselves "Iranians".
The term "Iranian language" is applied to any language which descends from the Iranian language prototype (the proto-Iranian parent language). By historical times, a multitude of Iranian languages was spoken over a region that stretched from the Danube delta in the extreme northwest to the Indus delta in the extreme south east; from the Tigris-Euphrates delta in the extreme south west to the Tarim Basin in the extreme north east.
Obviously, the term "Iranian" is not restricted to the political entity named "Iran". Indeed, like most ancient country names, the word "Iran" derives from the name of a people ("[land] of Iranians"), and not vice-versa. Incidentally,... Zoroaster predates the Achaemenids by quite a bit. -- Fullstop (talk) 16:42, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
Persians that were in Zoroaster's time did speak Avestan. The texts were not written in a foreign language, but in a language the public spoke and understood. The people who spoke Avestan called themselves Iranians, but the foreign world called them Persians. Only the inhabitants of Greater Iran called themselves Iranians. I'm not an expert editor, but wouldn't WP:POV require a point of view from the people who call them Persians? Warrior4321talk 17:29, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
"you wrote: Persians that were in Zoroaster's time did speak Avestan" how do you know/mean that? "you wrote: The people who spoke Avestan..the foreign world called them Persians." and how do you know/mean this? But overall if your understanding of "Persian" is (better to be in linguistic context, indeed!) "southwestern Iranian", then you may have a point in questioning the "northeastern classification of Avestan" otherwise please do not confuse Persian with Iranian so freely in any linguistic context.--Xashaiar (talk) 22:17, 4 July 2009 (UTC)
I got the information from the Wikipedia article of Iran, especially in the etymology section. 22:37, 4 July 2009 (UTC)


Xashaiar, he's not questioning the east/west. He's questioning "Iranian".
He's telling everyone that -- because the Greeks sometimes called everything "Persian" -- we also need to call everything "Persian". This is one of those stupid ideas promoted by the first-generation immigrant children who think they need to distance themselves from the term "Iranian" because its associated with extremism and what not.
Those stupid children thus go around contriving all sorts of silly arguments to call everything "Persian". Which of course not only annoy everyone, and contradicts all the reliable sources, it actually accomplishes exactly the opposite of what they intend.
I know of no nationalist ideology that says "please, please use a foreign name, not our indigenous name." Irrational bastards.
The gimmicks are always the same. "I saw it on Wikipedia". And then they'll add it to WP if it is not already there. Just like "I saw it on the article in Iran#etymology", above. Or, I saw it at "Persian empire". Of course, he or his pals put it there to begin with.
Of course for them it doesn't matter if its unsourced. It doesn't matter if no RS. It doesn't matter because they already believe it.
Note how it made no difference that I said the name was ancient. It made no difference that I said "Iran" comes from "Iranian", not vice-versa. It made no difference that the Cambridge History of Iran is a "foreign" source. If the one argument fails, another will pop up. Medusa's magic. The goalposts slide around the field because they are on well-oiled wheels.
Its not possible to educate these chilluns. They already know what the proper terminology is. They already know what the RS say. They already know that their arguments are stupid.
There is thus only one way to deal with them. And that is like this:
> wouldn't WP:POV require a point of view from the people who call them Persians?
No. The policy you are looking for is WP:NPOV, which says (links, italics and emphasis per source):
All Wikipedia articles and other encyclopedic content must be written from a neutral point of view, representing fairly, and as far as possible without bias, all significant views that have been published by reliable sources.
This means that if you have a significant view, published in a reliable source, then you may state it. That is what NPOV says. And that's what Wikipedia insists on. So, spare us the "reasoning" about what an unattested bronze age people thought, spoke and understood, and instead cough up those reliable sources. Until then, goodbye. -- Fullstop (talk) 23:53, 4 July 2009 (UTC)

I was merely asking if Persian would be a more appropriate name, just to improve Wikipedia. I don't know where you got the idea that my pals or I would post that there. The purpose of me, coming and discussing this on the talk page is because I do not want to add it to Wikipedia, if it should not be there.

After asking my question and to your response, I did some research on the topic and I found out that Iranians in Iran have always called themselves Iranians, all the way from Zoroaster's time. Yet, like in the post above foreigners have called Iranians, Persians. Ergo, my previous post. I was just sharing what I found, to try and improve the article. I don't see why you had to use a personal attack on me. Warrior4321talk 02:05, 5 July 2009 (UTC)

  1. No, you were not merely "asking"; you had already changed the article (29 June). You also changed several others (11 May, 20 June, 28 June, etc). Going around changing names is not evidence of "trying to improve" articles.
  2. As far as your "foreigners have called" is concerned:
    • From "Greeks1", "Greeks2", "Greeks3", Greeks4, or "Romans1", "Romans2", "Romans3" or Romans4, or "Arabs1" or "Arabs2", "Arabs3", "Arabs4", or "Indians1", "Indians2", "Indians3", or Chinese1, Chinese2, Chinese3, or Russians1, Russians2, Russians3, Russians4, Russians5 or even so-called "intelligent" lifeforms to whom we owe a great deal of garbage on Wikipedia (e.g. "Persian Empire" and "Iran naming dispute"), it should be obvious that the "foreign" designation argument is specious. There are no rules for names; we call the Greeks "Greeks" despite what they call themselves, and we call the Russians "Russians" because of what they call themselves. We have names for "Eskimo", and "Australopithecus afarensis", and "Berber" because we give them names. Sometimes names are endonyms, sometimes they are exonyms, sometimes they are both, and sometimes they are neither. There are no rules.
    • Not that it matters, but "Iranian languages" are so called due to both "foreign" (Greek, Latin, French) and "non-foreign" (Avestan) terms for "Iranian". This happened in 1771, and was related to the discovery of Avestan itself.
    • The age of names has nothing to do with anything either. It would be quite absurd for the fa.wiki to rename Upper Central Asia "Turan", or rename India "Sindh", or rename Europe "Rum" just because the historical Iranians did so.
    Names are not chosen on the merit of what anyone ("foreigners" or not) did, nor when they did it, nor why they did it.
  3. On Wikipedia we follow the terminology used by reliable sources. This is the only criterion. And so regardless of the fact that some ("foreigner" or not) called Zoroaster a "Chaldean" or "Babylonian" or "Bactrian" or "Persian" or "Median" or "Parthian", we are in no way obliged to pay any attention to any of it. -- Fullstop (talk) 18:15, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
Alright, thank-you for your time. :) Therefore, for further editing, I would not use the Persia or Persian, only Iranian? Warrior4321talk 20:47, 5 July 2009 (UTC)
You need to recognize the context in which the word appears. When the subject of the context is real Persians or real Parthians (i.e. ethnic Persians or ethnic Parthians) etc, it would be inappropriate to generalize that context as "Iranian". Inversely, when a source speaks of "Persians" or "Parthians" etc in the pars pro toto sense, then it would be inappropriate to treat those terms as referring to the ethnic groups.
It is also inappropriate to equate "speakers of Persia language" with ethnic Persians. You will see this sort of equation all over Wikipedia. It follows in the footsteps of 19th century notions that language equals ethnicity. It is as absurd as the supposition that "speakers of English" are ethnic English.
In other words, you need to understand what you are reading, and to distill it in the sense that the source intended it to be understood. This is of course not limited to Iranian names, or even to names. -- Fullstop (talk) 08:57, 6 July 2009 (UTC)

Pashto is the closest language to Avestan[edit]

There are many historical reference to pashto that links it as the modern successor of avestan which is a fact considering that pashto has a vast avestan vocabulary preserved both living and extinct as opposed to many other indo-iranian languages in the region. 71.139.17.191 (talk) 18:49, 15 November 2009 (UTC)Pashtun786

ROFL hahaha ...creating and fabricating new history for Pushtuns, huh? Scholars and experts spit in your face.--188.97.64.86 (talk) 16:53, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

Its okay you persian wannabes can get know where with your fake "everything is persian" propaganda looool that something you should laugh at, by the way the truth can sometimes hurt, persians come from pashtuns (Real aryans). 71.139.6.39 (talk) 05:11, 8 May 2010 (UTC)pashtun786

You Sir(s), belong to the stormfront forums. Please go there and say whatever you like, this is an encyclopedia not a place to express your racial superiority.16:14, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

hahha pashtus? lol your language everything is persian i`m not persian but anyways

for example dari give me some historical facts about ancient pashtus? i have seen black and chinese pashtus

Classification[edit]

The classification of Avestan as an East Iranian language is not correct. See the article Eastern Iranian languages by Nicholas Sims-Williams in Encyclopaedia Iranica: ... Avestan geographically belongs to the eastern Iranian area (see avestan geography), but shows few if any of the distinctive characteristics of the later Eastern Iranian languages. (A possible example is provided by the Av. third person plural verbal ending -āire < *-ārai, which has its only precise cognates in the Eastern Iranian languages Khotanese, Chorasmian, and Yaghnobi.) One may suppose that at this stage the Iranian languages had only recently begun to diverge from one another, and that only the more peripheral languages had already developed markedly individual traits. ... Tajik (talk) 15:54, 8 May 2010 (UTC)

You are right. I have discussed this several times. I think a good wording is: "Avestan is an Old Iranian language. The geography of Avestan language, and hence the geograpgical classification, is not definitively clear." Though I would go further and call Avestan a central Iranian language. In fact "Proto-Central Iranian: ...This group is represented by Old Iranian Avestan and Median; MIr. Parthian, Bactrian, Choresmian, and Sogdian; and by most modern Ir. languages, including the literary languages Kurdish, Balochi, Pashto, and Ossetic." (see page 149 of Old Persian Book of Skjærvø. Xashaiar (talk) 16:26, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
Well, the geographical classification is almost certainly northeastern Iranian, i.e. modern Central Asia. This can be explained by Avestan geography which mentions almost all Iranian lands of the east but does not mention any western regions (Arachosia and Aria are the westernmost lands mentioned). But the linguistic classification, which uses the same "west vs. east" terminology, is not clear. It seems that Avestan is much older than Old Persian and ancient Eastern Iranian languages and hence shares both characteristics. Tajik (talk) 17:15, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
In fact geographical classification is unclear. That's what the note in this article says: "It is impossible to attribute a precise geographical location to the language of the Avesta". Though most people considered it northeastern. The problem with this "consensus" is that there is no real discussion on this. This is closely related to the basic and famous difficulty: when was Zoroaster born. I think if Zoroaster goes more than 1000 years before Achaemenids, then northeastern geographical attribution is correct, but if Zoroaster comes sooner than that, central and western is more probable. In any case, northeastern classification is neither geographically correct (in my opinion) nor linguistically (see the link to OP book). Also note that linguistic classification is not always unambiguous. Having said this, I think removing "northeaster" in the lead should solve the problem. Xashaiar (talk) 17:39, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
There is no dispute over the geographical classification of the Avestan language. While the exact location may never be discovered, it is a generally accepted opinion (based on countless facts) that the origins of the Avesta are in Eastern Iran, i.e. modern Central Asia. See the article Avestan Geography in Iranica:
  • It is impossible to attribute a precise geographical location to the language of the Avesta. The Avestan texts, however, provide some useful pointers, while their comparison with Old Persian inscriptions offer further evidence: Geographical references in the Avesta are limited to the regions on the eastern Iranian plateau and on the Indo-Iranian border. Moreover, the Old Persian inscriptions are written in a language different from that of the Avesta. With the exception of an important study by P. Tedesco (“Dialektologie der westiranischen Turfantexte,” Le Monde Oriental 15, 1921, pp. 184ff.), who advances the theory of an “Avestan homeland” in northwestern Iran, Iranian scholars of the twentieth century have looked increasingly to eastern Iran for the origins of the Avestan language (e.g., G. Morgenstierne, Report on a Linguistic Mission to Afghanistan, Oslo, 1926, pp. 29f.; W. B. Henning, Zoroaster, Politician or Witch-doctor?, London, 1951, pp. 44f.; K. Hoffmann, “Altiranisch,” in HO I, 4: Iranistik 1, Linguistik, Leiden and Cologne, 1958, p. 6); and today there is general agreement that the area in question was in eastern Iran — a fact that emerges clearly from every passage in the Avesta that sheds any light on its historical and geographical background.
So what I am criticizing is the linguistic classification. While the Avestan language was clearly eastern in terms of geography, its classification as an Eastern Iranian language is very doubtful. We should stick to Iranica and classify the language that way. Tajik (talk) 19:27, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
I think you are misunderstanding the point. 1. Ragha is by all means the modern Ray and Xnenta is modern Gorgan. 2. Shahnama being mythological does include Elborz (and by definition a mytholical text takes the word in reality and build a unreal character of it. at least that's what I understand). 3. According to Humbach ( several article but mainly in (1991). The Gāthās of Zarathushtra I-II) and Witzel (M. Witzel (2000). “The home of the Aryans”,) central and northern Iran proper are in geography of Avestan. This is enough to question your sentence "There is no dispute over the geographical classification of the Avestan language" (assuming that we use eastern and western correctly; e.g. modern Tehran is according to me Western/Central Iran). You can say according to Gnoli Avestan Geography is in east. 4. What do you think "eastern/western (linguistic!) classification" means? It means nothing: one simply assumes the geography of certain language L (e.g. Persian BORN in southwest Iran) and classifies it as such (e.g. Persian is "southwestern Iranian") and if another language M is (a). with a geographically unclear place of birth, (b). and comparatively similar to the already classified language, then the language M is classified as L. This being said, Persian is probably wrongly classified, as it was not born in southwestern Iran. What do you mean by "We should stick to Iranica and classify the language that way." Iranian languages in EIr. was written by Skjærvø and I am giving his opinion here. Xashaiar (talk) 20:10, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
And I see that in the latest EIr article the language Avestan is said to have been spoken in Central Asia and modern day Afghanestan. Based on this article I guess, on a second thought, that the classification "northeastern Iranian" is correct and we may leave it like that. But my first quote from the same author confuses me. ... Xashaiar (talk) 20:26, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
I think you are misunderstanding the linguistic classification of "east/west". It is a very complicated system that does not have real standards. And it cannot be used to define geographic locations. In a modern context, Ossetian is western by geography but clearly eastern linguistically. Equally, Tajik is western in a linguistic sense but clearly eastern geographically. The same problematic is true for the Avesta. Whether the language itself was eastern or western is not known, but the location it was spoken was - based on all facts available - almost certainly in Central Asia. Tajik (talk) 21:15, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
1. you write "It is a very complicated system.." No it is not. It is exactly how I wrote it and is in fact silly. There is no definition whatsoever for "linguistic classification of east/west" in general context. You (and many other people) made up this expression for convenience and in order to understand why for example Ossetic is called Easten Iranian. No problem with this way of understanding things and I do this too, but one should not forget its conventional meaning. You will not be able to find any definition of cardinal-directional association of languages in general context in any respectable source. 2. you write "the location it [avestan] was spoken was - based on all facts available - almost certainly in Central Asia" this is like saying Persian is based on all facts spoken in Herat. So what? Did you mean Avestan homeland? If so you are wrong, at least not based on all facts. I gave three sources that question Avestan homeland and geography as exclusively eastern. (I am using this "eastern" based on the link to EIr. article on Eastern Iranian languages you posted). But do not worry I respect what EIr. states, though I can source different opinions too. Xashaiar (talk) 23:01, 8 May 2010 (UTC)
I think all sources should be mentioned, including the ones you have named. It should be mentioned that the discussion is not over, but that there is a general consensus supported by a majority of scholars who classify the the language geographically in eastern Iran while the linguistic classification is not fully clear. Tajik (talk) 14:49, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
Is the current version problematic? What would you like changed? Xashaiar (talk) 16:20, 9 May 2010 (UTC)
I would take out "Eastern Iranian" from the box ... to start with ... Tajik (talk) 17:10, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

zairi- / zarat-[edit]

There is a section in the etymology of the Zarathushtra article in which the claim is made that because "zarat-/zarant-" "do not appear in Avestan," there is reason for other alternative etymologies. But a simple look at the two main Avestan dictionaries online shows "zairi-" "zaranim-" etc. do translate to "golden," or "yellow." Is this a case where the Orientalist etymologies are based on a rather plain error? -Stevertigo (w | t | e) 20:30, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

Avestan is NOT an Eastern Iranian language[edit]

While the notion of Avestan being part of he Eastern Iranian group has been around for some time, today's scholarship agrees that Avestan in its original, Old Avestan form was what is best named the "central dialect" in Iran, together with e.g. Median and what was probably Old Parthian. The common features with Eastern Iranian languages are basically the influence of the Eastern Iranian transmitters of the Avestan corpus. See Sims-Williams in Ramat and Ramat (1998) and R. Schmitt in CLI (1989) —Preceding unsigned comment added by 195.194.91.172 (talk) 18:27, 18 November 2010 (UTC)

Eastern Iranian classification[edit]

Because most academic sources including LINGUIST List classifies Avestan as Eastern Iranian and the same was its classification in the original version of this article prior to recent changes that go against any consensus, it is good I think to restore that classification in the article. Massagetae(talk) 07:52, 16 April 2014 (UTC)

LinguistList is not a reliable source. Neither is Ethnologue. The Iranian articles have been unsourced or poorly sourced for years, so I finally decided to do something about it. According to The Iranian Languages (Routledge 2009), Avestan is "Central Iranian". Now, if you find a better source and want to redo the classification of our Iranian articles, knock yourself out, but that means you need to actually get a better source. — kwami (talk) 09:23, 16 April 2014 (UTC)