The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(also Khwarezmian), the language of ancient Khwarazm. Khwarazmian belongs to the eastern subgroup of the Iranian languages. It is attested mainly by words and phrases, written in Arabic script with additional signs, that appear in Arabic literature of the tenth to 13th centuries. Khwarazmian is also attested by inscriptions on vessels (fourth and third centuries B.C.) and coins and by documents inscribed on wood and leather (third and fourth centuries A.D.), all written in the Aramaic alphabet.

Khwarazmian has two series of affricates—t∫, dƷ and ts, dz—and the fricatives θ and ð. The nominal paradigm exhibits three cases (four in some subsystems), two genders, two numbers, and articles. Verbs take an archaic inflected form of the past tense, with augmentative elements appearing in some verbs, and an innovative analytic construction of the perfect tense, pluperfect tense and future tenses, as well as of a number of modal forms. The syntax of Khwarazmian is characterized by the use of attributes in preposition and by the tendency of the verb to appear at the end of the sentence.


Freiman, A. A. Khorezmiiskii iazyk, [part] 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1951.
Bogoliubov, M. N. “Mestoimeniia v khorezmiiskom iazyke.” Kratkie soobshcheniia In-ta narodov Azii, 1963, issue 67.
Henning, W. B. “The Structure of the Khwarezmian Verb.” Asia Minor, new series, 1955, vol. 5, p. 1.
Humbach, H. “Neue chwaresmologische Arbeiten.” Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft, 1973, vol. 123, issue 1.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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