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Deleting reference to Beckwith's kooky theory[edit]

I'm deleting the following sentence: "Christopher I. Beckwith claims, in Empires of the Silk Road, that Avestan is an Indo-Aryan language, with the Iranian linguistic traits found in the Avesta having been introduced by oral transmission among Iranian language speakers." The idea is, frankly, nuts, and I don't think anyone takes it seriously. Mrrhum (talk) 18:36, 15 April 2015 (UTC)

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 (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)

Dravidian people have never streched in to Pashtun land so stop with the BS, they're lands do not even cross the indus river. Pashto has no dravid words either, just heavy borrowing from Arabic and Sanskirit. And Retroflex nouns are not only common in Indian language but even in European languages like Icelandic, Swedish and Norwiegian. Retroflex nouns found in Pashto is due to a proto-indo european cause. Akmal94 (talk) 23:20, 18 June 2015 (UTC)

@Akmal94: Do not engage in necromancy, i.e. "raise the dead": you just replied to a ten year old comment. Ogress smash! 23:32, 18 June 2015 (UTC)


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)


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 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.-- 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 (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.
> 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 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. (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 (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 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. (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.-- (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). (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


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 (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)

Requested move 15 July 2015[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Move. We have consensus that this is the WP:COMMONNAME of the topic, and that the topic is the WP:PRIMARYTOPIC of the term. Cúchullain t/c 15:38, 23 July 2015 (UTC)

Avestan languageAvestanWP:COMMONNAME and WP:PRIMARYTOPIC. "Avestan" redirects to the language page. Shhhhwwww!! (talk) 02:06, 15 July 2015 (UTC)

. The trend has change albeit quietly:
  1. Afrikaans
  2. Amharic
  3. Bislama
  4. Bokmal
  5. Dzongkha
  6. Esperanto
  7. Haitian Creole
  8. Hindi
  9. Interlingua
  10. Kannada
  11. Kinyarwanda
  12. Kirundi
  13. Latin
  14. Lingala
  15. Luganda
  16. Malayalam
  17. Northern Sami
  18. Nynorsk
  19. Old Church Slavonic
  20. Pali
  21. Pashto
  22. Sanskrit
  23. Scottish Gaelic
  24. Standard Tibetan
  25. Tagalog
  26. Twi
  27. Urdu
  28. Volapuk
Shhhhwwww!! (talk) 07:09, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Per nom. --Zyma (talk) 19:03, 15 July 2015 (UTC)
  • Support WP:CONCISE (yet totally unambiguous) title. Khestwol (talk) 14:55, 20 July 2015 (UTC)
It is ambiguous (it means anything associated with the Avesta), which is why the phrase "the Avestan language" is used in the lit. — kwami (talk) 05:43, 23 July 2015 (UTC)
No it is not ambiguous. It is far less ambiguous than for example Latin which can also refer to Latins and Latin people. There are, at least, no Avestan people. So "Avestan" is unambiguous enough to be the title of the language article. Khestwol (talk) 11:54, 23 July 2015 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.


@Taivo, Florian Blaschke, and Maunus: please have a look at this edit, which canged "Indo-Iranian" into "Indo-Aryan," witht he brilliant edit-summary "Facts. Iran didn't exist when these languages emerged!"
@Hvarena: the existence or non-existence of Iran at the time of the Avestan language is completely irrelevant; this is about naming-conventions. Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 14:55, 24 September 2015 (UTC)

Both the labels "Indo-Aryan" and "Indo-Iranian" are in use about the same grouping. We should definitely note that. Yes, the existence of the Iranian state is entirely irrelevant for the argument. Europe also wasnt called Europe during the time when proto-Indo-European was spoken that is still what the family is called.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 14:59, 24 September 2015 (UTC)
So, "Indo-Aryan/Indo-Iranian"? Joshua Jonathan -Let's talk! 15:01, 24 September 2015 (UTC)
No in the infobox it needs to say whatever title the article on Indo-Iranian languages is located at. As long as the article is not moved to "Indo-Aryan languages" then it needs to remain as is.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 18:25, 24 September 2015 (UTC)

The map used in this artivle is factually wrong. Aryans lived west of the Indus river and the Hindus lived east of it. Thus Indo-Aryan languages, with Avestan, Vedic sanskrit and European ones, being subgroups. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Hvarena (talkcontribs) 15:12, 24 September 2015 (UTC)

Avestan is NOT an Iranian language. You don't even belong to the religion Zoroastrianism nor are you Parsee/Aryan. What gives you the right to decide what is right or wrong regarding these topics? — Preceding unsigned comment added by Hvarena (talkcontribs) 16:49, 24 September 2015 (UTC)

I am a linguist and the terms you are trying to change are linguistic terms based on how linguists classify the language. Your apparent classification is not one that any linguists would agree with, and noone uses the term Indo-Aryan in the meaning you are giving it as a label for the entire indo-european family. My religion and ethnicity (or yours) is entirely irrelevant for this argument. ·maunus · snunɐɯ· 17:32, 24 September 2015 (UTC)

Avestan Old Northeast Iranian - Pashto New Northeast Iranian[edit]

Would anyone have any issues were I to add a section like this to this wikipedia article?

The nearest thing to a direct living descendent of the language of Zarathushtra is known as Pashto, one of the two official languages of the nation of Afghanistan, the other being Dari-Persian.

Gathic or Old Avestan, the language of Zarathushtra, and Zend or Young Avestan, the language of Zarathushtra’s followers are classified as the Northeast variety of the Aryan language-subfamily. Old Avestan preserves larygneal hiatus like Vedic Sanskrit but more faithfully preserves archaic features not found in Vedic, nor Young Avestan making Vedic Sanskrit resemble Young Avestan more so than to Old Avestan.

Because of much of the editorial work happened during the Young Avestan period, Old Avestan has a strongly Young Avestan phonetic cast that represents secondary overlayering and adaption… For example, words beginning in Iranian with the disyllabic sequence * ĵu’a- (with hiatus from * ĵuHa-) still scan disyllabically in the Gathas; later this sequence became monosyllabic *ĵu̯a-, the ancestor of both Avestan zba- (the spelling in the transmitted text) and of Old Persian za-. All this indicates that the text preserves (underneath the modernizations) a stage from a time before the common ancestor of Avestan and Old Persian split. (If that is true, then Young Avestan actually is a lineal descendant of Old Avestan.) Thus the participle zbaiieṇte ‘for him invoking’ at Yasna 49.12 must be read *zuu̯aiieṇtē (probably really *zuu̯aiantai if one undoes the vowel changes.) – Benjamin Fortson, Indo-European Language and Culture pg. 230

Pashto is a new Northeast Aryan language spoken in Afghanistan among Pashtun tribesmen and according to James Darmesteter Pashto is a lineal descendent of Zend Avestan. Pashto /ʂ/, /ʐ/ ɳ / and / ṛ / are all developed from Avestan. Pashto ʂ is a reflex of Avestan sr, rs, r, š corresponding to PIE * kś. The Pashto liquid / ṛ / developed from Av. rt, rd, and the nasal rn. ʈ and ɖ, and kh, however, developed from Indic languages. The Pashtun homeland, Pouruta, is also mentioned in the Avesta. -

'We sacrifice unto Mithra, the lord of wide pastures, .... sleepless, and ever awake; 13. 'Who first of the heavenly Yazads [angels] reaches over the Hara, before the undying, swift-horsed sun; who, foremost in a golden array, takes hold of the beautiful summits, and from thence looks over the abode of the Aryans with a beneficent eye. 14. 'Where the valiant chiefs draw up their many troops in array; where the high mountains, rich in pastures and waters, yield plenty to the cattle; where the deep lakes, with salt waters, stand; where wide-flowing rivers swell and hurry towards Ishkata [Hindu Kush] and Pouruta [Pashtunistan], Mouru [Merv] and Haroyu [Herat], the Gava-Sughdha [Sogdiana or Samarkand] and Hvairizem [Chorosmia]; – Mehr Yasht 4.12-14 Mojobadshah (talk) 23:27, 15 November 2015 (UTC)

It does not seem very coherent and lack citations for the main claims. So yes, I would ave a problem with this.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 02:30, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

Manus what is your issue exactly? that this evidence lacks citations or is incoherent. I've already indicated the sources and I'll provide citations. That should not be an issue. If you think what I've written is incoherent tell me how I can make this more coherent for you, otherwise once I provide the necessary citations I see no reason to post what is written. If you're not going to address my contribution above, and I do post something close to the above along with the citations which are already cited here, I don't want to receive threats from anyone that I may be banned.Mojobadshah (talk) 13:31, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

My issue is both. It is not meaningfully written. And it contains uncited information that is likely to be false. One piee of false information is this: Pashto is not the closest language to Avestan, Ossetian and several other languages are equally close. It is also wildly off topic in its long quotattions of Zoroastrian scripture. It quite simply doesnt seem that you understand how articles are written on wikipedia.·maunus · snunɐɯ· 15:35, 16 November 2015 (UTC)

Manus, are you ok? Apart from your consistent antagonisms on how writing style which is purely subjective (and please do not make any more references to a contributors writing style on this forum. I don't want to have to report you for slander. If you have an issue with style all you got to do is provide constructive criticism as to how the writers style can be improved. There's no cause for slander according to your subjectivity.) - the first two paragraphs that I've provided are practically written verbatim from the sources which I've also cited or provided a link for. As far as the Pashto language being the nearest relation to the Avestan language - before I cite my sources and once I cited my sources would you have an issue with cited sources that support that: Pashto is the closest thing to a direct linguistic descendant of Avestan for several reasons though some may not be linguistic, rather extralinguistic. 1.) Whereas Avestan is an Old Northeast Iranian language - Pashto is a New Northeast Iranian language. 2.) Not only did the language that Zarathushtra and Vishtaspa are associated with designated "Avestan" take root in ancient Balkh, Afghanistan (where Pashto is mostly spoken today) a place-name recalled as Berekhda-[Aramaiti] in the Gathic Avestan language (according to Martin Huag) and Bakhdi in Young Avestan the birthplace and residence of Zarathushtra and Vishtaspa themselves, respectively 3.) according to Michael Witzel the Pashtuns live on part where the Avestan people did 4.) the Pashtuns live on part a majority of place-names attested to in the Avesta 4.) the Pashtuns maintain a few traditions which are remnants of the Avestan period eg. Noe Ruz, Haft Sin, etc... the former Zarathushtrian holy day cited by Mary Boyce as having been established by Zarathushtra himself 5.) its true that Ossetic is an East Iranian language and that the place-name Georgia itself is derived from the Avestan place-name Verekhana but if you mean to say that the Ossetian language is more authentically an descendant of Avestan on account of archaisms and it being defined a Middle Northeast Iranian language - the Pashto language preserves archaisms that even Ossetian does not - so you would not have a point here. Nonetheless I have no issue making a note that Ossetian is related to the Avestan language on account of these aforesaid facts. I also wouldn't have an issue were a note to be made that the linguistic descendant of Soghdian - Yaghanobi which is spoken in Tajikistan is also a New Northeast Iranian language related to the Avestan. However 5.) there are plenty of sources that show that the Soghdians or Yaghanobi were the East Iranian speaking people who were located in the region to the North of the Avestan people (otherwise and linguistically tied by national self-designation to the Gog of Hebrew scripture) whereas the Pashtuns are otherwise known as Afghans - the Avestan people and most likely even the national self-designation Afghan itself being tied to both the term Maga "the Avestan priestly caste or community" as well as the Magog of Hebrew scripture who were located in the region to the south of the ancient Tajikis - the majority of the territories attested to in the Avesta. It's true that there were ancient Tajikis affiliated with the religion of the Avesta, but they were not the people more directly associated with the Avestan language themselves. The people more directly associated with the Avesta would today be known as the Afghans or Pashtuns. So if I provided the citations supporting these facts are you going to have a problem? If so why?Mojobadshah (talk) 12:57, 17 November 2015 (UTC)

As far as the 3rd paragraph - it may take a little more effort to make the connection between the Avestan place-name Pouruta, and the Pashtuns or their unofficial state "Pashtunistan" but there is also a host of evidence pointing to this connection. 1.) Martin Huag identifies Pouruta as "Parthia." Prof. Sims Wiliams connects the form Pashto to Persia." And if I'm not mistaken it's Michael Witzel who connects the form Parthia to the form Persia. One way or another the Parthians were not only East Iranian speakers just like the Pashto speakers (and not the Persian speakers). They designated themselves Ashakanian a national ethnonym which is connected to the national self-designation of Pashto speakers Afghan." They claimed to be the direct descendants of the Acheamenid dynasty assumingly because the Acheamenid dynasty was influenced by the Avestan people who descended from East Iran whereas there is no indication that the West Iranian Old Persian speakers were of the Avestan or Zoroastrian flavor until the introduction of the Avestan people to Western Iran. And although this next point is not entirely supportive of my point here the Parthians were designated themselves "Magi" known as Magusaeans in the Aramaic tongue (nd this ethnic self-designation was not only derived from Avestan but has been in use by Eastern Iranians themselves since times immemorial. Sufism for example could be interpreted as the continuum of the Avestan religion - and Sufism took root among the ancient Afghans (while Shiaism also a continuum is more authentically of the West Iranian flavor) Pashtun "holy-men" designate themselves with Avestan derived ethonyms such as [Pir-e-Moghan] as well as Khwaja (a term associated with Kohi-Khwaja - the site of Parthian Zarathusthrian inhabitance cited to be the future birthplace of Zarathushtra's descendant eg. this is the site of the legendary Parhtian Zarathushtrian known as Gondophares which is supported by archeological evidence which includes the remains of the historical figure's palace and temple). Mojobadshah (talk) 13:27, 17 November 2015 (UTC)