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Futher to, and in support of the Iranians who lived in Tajikistan, just below me, I want to make a comment on the so-caled 'Macedonian' language. I am Bulgarian and can say the same about the Macedonian language. Namely, it is a Serbianized Bulgarian dialect which was created on a single date, in 1945, and given an official status in Tito's multi-ethnic Yugoslav communist federation, which was designed to follow the model of the 'Big Brother', the USSR. Since then, the (previously ethnic Bulgarian) population in the new People's Republic of Macedonia, was declared 'Macedonian', those who opposed the denationalization were sent to 'correction' labour camps, until the goal of creating a separate 'Macedonian' national identity was more or less achieved. Its primary target was to make Bulgaria weaker and to prevent it from controlling the strategically important road Belgrade - Thessaloniki. The BIG Brother, or USSR, itself was the place of a number of such national experiments, and a series of artificial languages were created for political reasons: Moldavian, a Romanian dialect, Karelian, a Finnish dialect, Tajik, a Persian dialect, Buryatian, a Mongol dialect, and even Belarusian or White Russian, which is a Russian dialect, although with a different historical development (This was an anti-Russian move taken by Lenin and the Bolsheviks in 1918, let's not forget that they feared and hated the Great Russian imperialism and the memory of Great Russia just as much as any foreign imperialism). Georgi Stojchev, Sofia
"Archaic" is linguistically problematic
A living language cannot be "archaic." To dub the Tajik language "an archaic form of Persian" is linguistic chauvinism. It's akin to saying people in the Amazon or in Borneo speak "primitive languages" because they lack words for computer, automobile or chocolate sundae. It's an irrational and unempirical worldview and is linguistically unsound.
If a language is currently spoken, it is not archaic. It, by definition, cannot be archaic; it's contemporary. The parity of languages disallows such temporal categorizations of language as primitive or archaic if they are in current use by a people.
Using that phrase does one of two things:
1. Relegates the language to a lower status than Modern Farsi 2. Denotes that the language is less than developed, which, as a spoken, living language, is impossible and not at all empirical.
EDIT: I would suggest the following: "The phonology of Tajik is more similar to Proto-Indo-Iranian/has maintained an inventory of phonemes, lexemes, etc." (this is for example only. I am not very familiar with these languages, so perhaps Proto-Indo-Iranian is not the correct point of divergence for Farsi and Tajik, though it sounds like it probably would be).
- I agree that "archaic" should be avoided in this sense, as it properly refers to stages of languages that are chronologically old; for example, Vedic Sanskrit and Hittite are archaic Indo-European languages. The correct term for languages, dialects or individual forms which have changed less than related languages, dialects or cognate forms is conservative.
- Farsi and Tajik are extremely closely related and said to be essentially mutually intelligible. The point of divergence is Early New Persian, about 500–1000 years ago. Proto-Indo-Iranian, in contrast, is probably as old as 4000–4500 years ago, so you're quite off.
- That said, I don't even agree that Tajik is a particularly conservative form of Persian. The Uzbek influence in its morphology, syntax and lexicon is obvious. Not even its vocalism could be described as relatively conservative compared to Western Persian as spoken in Iran, as it's changed the system too, only in a different way, through different mergers; the vocalism of Afghan Persian is a much better example for conservativity as it retains the Early New Persian system essentially completely, except for the phonetic change of short high vowels [i] and [u] (perhaps more narrowly [ɪ] and [ʊ]) to short mid vowels [e] and [o]. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 14:26, 12 January 2014 (UTC)
Etymology of "Tajik"
The words "tat" and "tatchik" could not be Turkic ("tat" in Turkic means "taste") but are Indo-European Iranic from Iranic Tude(=people) out of PIE *teuta(=people) wich gave the names "deutsch" and "dutch"
- No. See Tajik people#Name. As explained by Encyclopædia Iranica, the ultimate origin is most probably the name of the Arab bedouin tribe Ṭayyiʾ. There's no way Middle Persian tāzīk (New Persian tāzi) "Arab" can derive from Proto-Indo-European *teuteh₂. --Florian Blaschke (talk) 14:09, 12 January 2014 (UTC)