Dari

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Dari

 

or classical Dari, the literary language of the Western and Eastern Iranians (Persians, Tadzhiks, and so forth), widely used between the late ninth and early 16th centuries in the territories of Middle Asia, Iran, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, and northwestern India. The Persian and Tadzhik literary classicists, such as Rudagi, Firdausi, Hafiz, Omar Khayyam, and Nasir Khosrau, referred to the literary language in which they wrote by the term “Dari.” (Other names for this language are Farsi and Parsi.) Dari originated under the Samanids during the anti-Arab movement (in Middle Asia, Khurasan, and northern Afghanistan) and replaced the bookish Arabic language. Dari was also perfected and underwent refinements by non-Iranian nationalities, and it remained supertribal and international in nature over the course of almost seven centuries. The differentiation of literary Dari began to occur in the second half of the 15th century as a result of political and other causes. In the 20th century it exists in three varieties: the Persian literary language in Iran, the Tadzhik literary language in Tadzhikistan, and the literary Dari in Afghanistan. (The term “Dari” is currently accepted as the official name of one of the two state and literary languages; this language was previously called the Persian language of Afghanistan or the Farsi-Kabuli language.)

REFERENCES

Bertel’s. E. E. “Persidskii-dari-tadzhikskii.” Sovetskaia etnografiia, 1950, no. 4.
Oranskii, I. M. Vvedenie ν iranskuiu filologiiu. Moscow, 1960.
Peisikov, L. S. “Problema iazyka dari ν trudakh sovremennykh iranskikh uchenykh.” Voprosy iazykoznaniia, 1960, no. 2.
Lazard, G. La Langue des plus anciens monuments de la prosepersane. Paris. 1963.

L. S. PEISIKOV


Dari

 

(Farsi-Kabuli), one of the two official national and literary languages of Afghanistan; the term “Dari” was officially adopted in 1965. Dari, together with its related dialects and subdialects, is mainly spoken in the central and northern regions of Afghanistan, but it is also used in several other regions of the country. Speakers of Dari include Tadzhiks in Kabul, Herat, Parwan, and other provinces, as well as many Afghans and members of many nationalities of Afghanistan, such as the Hasara, the Parsiwans, and the Chahar Aimak tribes. Dari and its dialects are spoken by approximately 4 million people (1975, estimate). It belongs to the Southwestern group of the Iranian branch of the Indo-European family of languages. Dari is closely related in lexicon and structure to the Tadzhik language of Tadzhikistan and the Persian language of Iran; all three languages share common ancient texts and a common history.

It has been traditionally held that the modern forms of Dari, Tadzhik, and Persian developed, beginning in the 16th century, from classical Dari, the language in which the Persian and Tadzhik literatures of the eighth to 15th centuries were written. However, the study of historical texts and léxica has revealed an areal variation in the linguistic norms of the classical literature, pointing to the existence at that time of local dialects that influenced the written language. These dialects helped differentiate and form three independent national languages. Literary and written Dari developed from the standard colloquial speech of Kabul and its environs.

The phonetics of Dari show archaic vocalism, seen in eight monophthongs (including the majgul [ê] and [ô]) and two ancient diphthongs; there are 23 consonants, including the uvular obstruent [q], the fricative [y], and the bilabial [w]. Morphology is marked by the absence of inflections for the case and gender of nouns, the expression of syntactical relations by means of prepositions and postpositions, the use of a unique system of personal pronouns, and the wide use of special analytical constructions and forms with the auxiliary verbs raftan (“to go”) and budan (“to be”) and with various modifying verbs. These special forms give the language its characteristic system of verbal aspects and tenses. The word formation of verbs embraces a large number of compound nominal verbs of the type nawe’sta kardan (“to write”) and porsân kardan (“to ask”).

The syntax of Dari shows a more highly developed system of infinitive expressions than that of Persian and the sporadic use of constructions with the verbal participal in -gi.

The Dari lexicon draws on the Iranian word stock common to Dari, Tadzhik, and Persian, but words of common derivation show a number of semantic deviations, especially those derived from Arabic. The lexicon contains many loan words from Pashto, the languages of India, and other languages. Dari is written in Arabic script.

REFERENCES

Dorofeeva, L. N. Iazyk farsi-kabuli. Moscow, 1960.
Oranskii, I. M. Vvedenie v iranskuiu filologiiu. Moscow, 1960.
Kiseleva, L. N. Ocherki po leksikologii iazyka dari. Moscow, 1973. (Contains bibliography.)
Farhâdi A. Razgovornyi farsi v Afganistane. Moscow, 1974. (Translated from French.)

V. A. EFIMOV

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