Parthian language


Parthian language

Infobox Language
name=Parthian
nativename=
region=Ancient Iran
extinct=Marginalized by Middle Persian from the 3rd century
familycolor=Indo-European
fam2=Indo-Iranian
fam3=Iranian
fam4=Western Iranian
fam5=Northwestern Iranian
iso2=|iso3=xpr
The Parthian language, also known as Arsacid Pahlavi, is a now-extinct ancient Northwestern Iranian language spoken in Parthia, a region of northeastern Greater Iran, to include a significant portion of Greater Khorasan.

Parthian was the language of state of the Arsacid Parthians (248 BC-224 AD).

Classification

Parthian was a Western Middle Iranian language that, through language contact, also had some features of the Eastern Iranian language group, the influence of which is attested primarily in loan words. Some traces of Eastern influence survives in Parthian loan words in the Armenian language.citation|chapter=Aparna|title=Encyclopedia Iranica|chapter-url=http://www.iranica.com/newsite/articles/v2f2/v2f2a023.html|volume=1|year=1983|location=Costa Mesa|publisher=Mazda Pub|last=Lecoq|first=Pierre]

Taxonomically, Parthian belongs to the Northwestern Iranian language group, while its close relative, Middle Persian, belongs to the Southwestern Iranian language group.

Written Parthian

The Parthian language was rendered using the Pahlavi writing system, which had two essential characteristics: First, its script derived from Aramaic, the script (and language) of the Achaemenid chancellery (i.e. Imperial Aramaic). Second, it had a high incidence of Aramaic words, rendered as ideograms or logograms, that is, they were written Aramaic words but understood as Parthian ones (See Arsacid Pahlavi for details).

The Parthian language was the language of the old Satrapy of Parthia and was used in the Arsacids courts. The main sources for Parthian are the few remaining inscriptions from Nisa and Hecatompolis, Manichean texts, Sasanian multi-lingual inscriptions, and remains of Parthian literature in the succeeding Middle Persian. Among these, the Manichean texts, composed shortly after the demise of the Parthian power, play an important role for reconstructing the Parthian language [Josef Wiesehfer, "Ancient Persia: From 550 Bc to 650 A.D.", translated by Azizeh Azado, I.B. Tauris, 2001. pg 118.] .

Extinction

In 224 AD, Ardashir I, the local ruler of Pars, deposed and replaced Artabanus IV, the last Parthian Emperor, and founded the fourth Iranian dynasty, and the second Persian dynasty, the Sassanian Empire. Parthian was then succeeded by Middle Persian, which when written is known as Sasanian Pahlavi. Parthian did not die out immediately, but remains attested in a few bi-lingual inscriptions from the Sasanian era.

ee also

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References

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* cite encyclopedia|title=Parthia|editor=Hugh Chisholm|encyclopedia=Encyclopaedia Britannica|year=1911|volume=20|pages=871|location=London|publisher=Cambridge University Press
url=http://encyclopedia.jrank.org/PAI_PAS/PARTHIA.html

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  • Parthian — I noun 1. a native or inhabitant of Parthia • Hypernyms: ↑Asian, ↑Asiatic • Member Holonyms: ↑Parthia 2. the Iranian language spoken in the Parthian kingdom (250 BC to AD 226) • Hypernyms: ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

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  • Parthian — ISO 639 3 Code : xpr ISO 639 2/B Code : ISO 639 2/T Code : ISO 639 1 Code : Scope : Individual Language Type : Ancient …   Names of Languages ISO 639-3

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