ARMENIA AND IRAN iv. Iranian influences in Armenian Language

attested in written sources since the 5th century A.D. and characterized from the very beginning of the literary documentation by a large number of Iranian loanwords.



iv. Iranian Influences in Armenian

i. General

ARMENIAN, the language of the Armenians, which is attested in written sources since the 5th century A.D. (after the invention of the Armenian alphabet by St. Mesrop Maštocʿ) and which is characterized from the very beginning of the literary documentation by a large number of Iranian loanwords. Only this aspect of the history of the Arm. language is treated in this article. The Arm. letters are here transliterated according to the system proposed by Schmitt, 1972: a b g d e z ê ə ṭʿ ž i l x c k h j ł č m y n š o čʿ p ǰ ṟ s v t r cʿ w pʿ kʿ ô f, and the digraph ow for [u].

  1. Historical background.

  2. History of the problem.

  3. Layers of Iranian borrowings.

  4. Classified list of selected loanwords.

  5. Linguistic analysis.

  6. Proper names.

1. Historical background. In ancient times the name “Armenia” designated the entire highland, which in spite of all political and historical changes in the course of time such as the temporary separation of certain districts or even the complete disintegration of the country, was defined by the Taurus mountains in the south, the upper Euphrates River in the west, the Caucasus mountains in the north, and Media Atropatene, the modern Azerbaijan in the east. In some parts of the area the Armenians constituted the majority of the population, in others only its upper classes, but they were everywhere the unifying element that maintained the culture and language of the whole region. Since these Armenian highlands had been subdued by Cyaxares about 600 B.C. and so had become part of the Median Empire, the conditions had been provided for the intensive influence of Iranian culture and customs on the Armenians and their language. Apart from interruptions of varying duration Armenian was to bear the yoke of the respective Iranian leading power for more than a thousand years, for after the Medes followed the Persian Achaemenids (550-330 B.C.; we find the first attestation of the name of the country in OPers. Armina “Armenia” in 520 B.C. (see above)), then Alexander and the Seleucids. The independence of Armenia from the Seleucids was not gained until 189 B.C.—by Artaxias and Zariadres.

The Armenian kingdom, whose power and size had been enlarged considerably in particular by king Tigranes I called the Great (ca. 94-54 B.C.), had become a bone of contention between the Parthians and the Roman Empire (see Chaumont, 1976) ever since L. Licinius Lucullus had marched against Tigranes during the third Mithridatian War and this king had submitted himself to Pompeius in 66 B.C. The Roman protectorate was followed by the rule of a younger line of the Parthian Arsacids (Arm. Aršakowni-kʿ) over Armenia from 53 (or 66) A.D. to 428 A.D., again except the short period of Roman occupation under Trajan. For the Parthian king Vologaeses I had in 53 A.D. simply placed on the Armenian throne his younger brother Tiridates (Trdat) I, who had been acknowledged by the Romans in the treaty of Rhandeia in 63 and who had finally been crowned by Emperor Nero himself in 66 A.D. For several centuries thereafter Armenia was ruled by a Parthian aristocracy, who exerted considerable influence. Indeed, the Parthian aristocracy was emulated by the Armenians, especially the upper classes, who necessarily had a command of both Parthian and Armenian, and who even tried to join through marriage with the new true masters of their country.

Though the Christianization of Armenia in the third century and its rise to Armenian official religion shortly after 300 A.D. loosened the close ties between Iranians and Armenians, ties that had until then been close even in matters of creed, little changed in the political situation even under the Sasanians (who ruled over Iran from 224 A.D.), until the Armenian apple of discord was finally divided between Romans and Sasanians in 387 A.D.: Western Armenia came under the rule of the Romans and later the Byzantines, whereas the far greater eastern part of the country, the so-called “Great Armenia” or the “Persarmenia” of the Byzantine historiographers, came under Persian control and was fully annexed by Bahrām V Gōr some years later, in 428 A.D., and from then governed only by Sasanian margraves.

Even this brief sketch of the historical background shows that the relations between Armenia and Iran were often very strained, especially during the golden ages of Iran under the Achaemenid and Sasanian dynasties. Moreover, it shows that conditions favorable to a fruitful cultural interchange between Armenians and Iranians existed almost exclusively during the rule of the Arsacids over Armenia before the Christianization of Armenia. During that period the culture of the Parthian feudal aristocracy, being superior to that of the Armenians, exerted profound influence on them. Accordingly, most of the linguistic borrowings came into Armenian from the Northwest Iranian language of the Parthians in a way comparable to the overwhelming French influence on English after the Norman conquest. Furthermore, it should be emphasized that these borrowings were not limited to the vocabulary but also involve derivational suffixes, phraseology, and all kinds of names, and that they are from the beginning of the Armenian literary tradition inextricably mixed with the inherited vocabulary of IE. stock. (For the political, social, cultural, and religious contacts between Iran, Armenia, and Georgia see most recently Lang, 1983.)

2. History of the problem. Armenian word forms are close to or even identical with Iranian and especially NPers. forms in so many cases that the particular connection between the two languages could not escape the notice of scholars even at the beginning of modern Armenological studies. However, such words were not at first recognized as borrowings, and as a result, in the mid-19th century experts both in Armenian and in Iranian, foremost among whom were Paul de Lagarde and F. Müller, concluded that Armenian belongs to the Iranian group of languages. That opinion prevailed until 1875, when H. Hübschmann proved that Armenian is an independent branch of the IE. family of languages. The revolutionary element in Hübschmann’s procedure was that according to him Arm. words fully or largely agreeing with Ir. forms in phonetic shape were suspect of being loanwords and could therefore not safely be regarded as genuine Arm. words. It was due to this methodological principle, which only gradually gained universal acceptance, that Hübschmann became the significant pioneer in the study of Ir. borrowings in Armenian (see details in Schmitt, 1975). Still today we are indebted to the one volume that was published of his Armenische Grammatik (Hübschmann, 1897, pp. 9-259) for the most comprehensive compilation of those borrowings. It contains 686 items concerning Iranian loanwords, aside from the borrowings from NPers., and 217 names.

These lists represent a milestone in Armeno-Iranian scholarship and still today are of fundamental importance, but they are far from complete. Indeed, completion could not have been attained at that time since relatively little was then known about OIr. and even less about Mid. Ir. The subsequent investigation of these problems is accordingly closely connected with the advances made in Iranian studies that have to a large extent followed upon the well-known extensive archeological discoveries. In particular, the discovery of many new texts in several Mid. Ir. languages, and thus also the understanding of the vocabularies of those languages, has made it possible to recognize many more Arm. words as borrowings from Ir. and to define more exactly the material already known. Thus, Considine, 1979, p. 213, has called attention to the fact that Hübschmann was unable to provide Mid. Ir. evidence for more than forty percent of those words which he himself regarded as Ir. loanwords in Armenian. Of particular importance here are the new findings in the field of Ir. historical dialectology, which made it possible for the first time to discover the exact Ir. source language of the majority of those Arm. loanwords that came to Arm. from Southwest and Northwest Iranian. The first to prove that Parthian was the source of many Arm. borrowings was A. Meillet (see Meillet, 191 l/12). On that broader basis scholars like E. Benveniste, G. Bolognesi, and many others (see the articles cited in the select bibliography) have proved by means of Ir. evidence the Ir. origin of numerous Arm. words that had previously been unexplained or regarded as IE. heritage. The need for a comprehensive collection of the Ir. loanwords in Arm. reflecting the enormous progress that has been made since the turn of the century has become more and more pressing for both disciplines concerned, especially since H. H. Ačaṟyan, Hayeren armatakan barāran (Armenian etymological dictionary) 4 vols., Erevan, 1971-1979 (first mimeographed edition 1926-1935), is unreliable as far as the Iranian evidence is concerned. As for the prospects of realizing such a project see Considine, 1979, pp. 2l4f.

Later research has in many cases confirmed the Iranian origin of Arm. words which Hübschmann could only suspect on the basis of their sound of being of Iranian origin (see Bolognesi, 1966, pp. 575f.); ašxat “trouble, labor,” cf. Mid. Pers. axšādīh “trouble, pain;” bazmak “candle, lamp” from Parth. bazmag; ham(a)harz “adjutant, attendant” from Parth. hāmhirz; vin “lute” from Mid. Pers. win, etc. Moreover, a number of words that Hübschmann had regarded as inherited IE. words in Armenian, have in the meantime been identified, or at least claimed as Iranian loanwords (see Bolognesi, 1966, pp. 580f.; 1980, pp. 27f.), even if the last word has not yet been said in some cases: gan “beat, blows,” dag “pressing,” dêz “heap,” hasak “age,” ma(r)h “death,” mêg “mist,” mêz “urine,” yargem “I respect, honor,” sami-kʿ (plur.) “yoke,” sast “scolding,” sowg “sorrow, grief,” vasn “on account (of), because (of),” tar “distant.” Here the important point is that where the phonological development is parallel in both Parthian (or Iranian) and Armenian, it is not always possible to be certain whether a word is borrowed or inherited. The difficulty was already illustrated by Hübschmann (1897, pp. 16f., see most recently Schmitt, 1980, pp. 415f.), in his discussion of naw “ship.” Doubts may sometimes be removed by more detailed argumentation. Thus, Benveniste, 1957/58, pp. 60 and 60f. stressed that the morphological type represented by mêg and mêz is attested for the roots in question otherwise only in Indo-Iranian and is found very often in Irano-Armenian borrowings. In addition, he pointed out that gan appears in the phrase gan harkanel “to strike blows,” which belongs to legal terminology and that gan thus is part of a system. In all these cases the interpretation as a loanword accordingly gains much probability. Benveniste, 1964, p. 2 also introduced a dialectological argument by pointing to the improbability of the existence of isoglosses exclusive to Armenian and Indo-Iranian. Thus, a word like sowrb “pure, holy,” which corresponds exactly to Vedic śubhrá- “neat, smart,” but has no counterpart in other IE. languages, could be assumed to be a loanword from Iranian even if no Iranian evidence for such a word were found. However, in this case the Iranian evidence may be provided by Khotanese since, as R. E. Emmerick has pointed out, Khotanese suraa- “pure, clean” is probably to be derived from *subra-ka- rather than from *suxra-ka-. Similar problems arise in connection with a number of words that have been lost in Iranian and preserved only in Armenian (see Bolognesi, 1977, pp. 534ff.) because an argument often advanced is that since the model assumed is not attested in Iranian, the derivation from Iranian is based upon an argument ad silentio. Nevertheless, there are cases where the rules of historical phonology allow not even the slightest doubt, as e.g. in the case of nirh “sleepiness” or parawand “fetter.” This fact is of course most important from the point of view of methodology and shows clearly that a residue of unsolved problems may always remain.

3. Layers of Iranian borrowings. That not all Arm. borrowings from Ir. belong to one and the same layer is to be expected a priori because of the long period of Ir.-Arm. interrelations, and is, as always in such cases, exemplified clearly by double borrowings like Arikʿ (ew Anarikʿ) “Aryans (and non-Aryans)” beside Eran (ew Aneran) “idem,” mogpet beside movpet as the title of the Zoroastrian high priests, or aspar “shield” beside sar-kʿ (plur.) “weapons.” The last two pairs can be explained as reflecting a Northwest-Ir. and a Southwest-Ir. dialect respectively. For mog- beside mov compare Man. Mid. Parth. muṛγ “bird” beside Man. Mid. Pers. murw. Clearly, these pairs result from borrowings from Parth. in the Arsacid and from Mid. Pers. in the Sasanian period respectively. Another explanation is required to account for Arm. Arikʿ beside Eran, since both Inscr. Mid. Pers. Ērān and Inscr. Parth. Aryān have an ending -ān which is not present in Arm. Arikʿ.

In general the Arm. forms of the loanwords indicate that they were borrowed after the OIr. period, although this does not mean that it is possible to date each borrowing precisely. However, the earliest influences upon the Arm. vocabulary, even though they are attested by only a few words, seem to belong to the time before Macedonian and Seleucid rule over Iran, i. e. chiefly to Achaemenid times, when Armenia was under Iranian domination but not yet thoroughly Iranianized (see Meillet, 1911/12, pp. 246f. = 1977, pp. 149f). It has been suggested that the first borrowing may have been that very form Ari-kʿ (-kʿ is the plural-marker), whose -ea-inflection Arikʿ, gen. Areacʿ, etc., is in accordance with that of the inherited IE. *--stems and so suggests that the Iranian word was borrowed at a time when it still had the ending -ya- intact, as in Old Pers. Ariya-, Av. Airiia- ṭʿšnami “enemy,” borrowed from OIr. *duš-manyu-, attested by Av. dušmainiiu- “hostile,” may also be one of the earliest borrowings (see most recently Schmitt, 1980, pp. 422f.). Early borrowing was assumed by Meillet (1911/12, p. 250 = 1977, p. 150) for Arm. partêz “garden,” which with its t from *d still shows the effect of the Arm. consonant shift. For other Ir. loanwords from before the Arm. consonant shift and the problems involved see especially de Lamberterie, 1978, pp. 246ff. In view of the important role played by “paradises” in Achaemenid Iran (note Gk. parádeisos, Hebrew pardēs and also Av. pairidaēza- “enclosure”), such a borrowing is in fact easily understandable, even though in view of the phonological difficulties presented by the word it may be preferable to regard it as an indirect borrowing. Finally, Arm. gowšak “informer, denouncer” from Old Pers. *gaušaka-, is a typical term of the Achaemenid administration attested only by Aram. gwšk.

On the other hand the existence of ancient borrowings dating back as far as the time of the Median Empire, as assumed by Frye, 1969, pp. 84f. = 1976, pp. 155f. seems highly doubtful. Certainly, the proper name Pʿārnawaz (name of an Iberian king) reflects the Gk. form Farnābazos and not a “Median” form with *farnah-.

The number of Ir. loanwords in Armenian apparently increased during the Arsacid period, since their Northwest-Ir. dialectological characteristics show the majority of the Arm. borrowings to have come through Parthian (see especially Benveniste, 1957/58 and 1964 and Bolognesi, 1960). These Arsacid borrowings are not only more numerous and of course more archaic in form than the Sasanian ones (and sometimes even more archaic than the forms found in the Parth. texts themselves) but above all they penetrated Arm. much more deeply and became a living part of it. (On the archaic character of such borrowings see Bolognesi, 1977, pp. 528ff.) It is thus clear that a merely quantitative and statistical assessment of the loanwords is inadequate. The Parth. and Mid. Pers. materials can not be compared on an equal basis. They must be examined more closely and the following points must be taken into account:

a) Among the Arsacid loans there are words belonging to the basic vocabulary of everyday life in all its aspects including many adjectives, such as vat “bad,” veh “better,” and others denoting colors, even though adjectives are not usually borrowed as readily as substantives. On the other hand the Sasanian Mid. Pers. layer of loanwords contains mainly technical terms of the military and administration, of jurisdiction and trade, titles or professional designations, and names of all kinds. On the whole it can be said that the Sasanian Mid. Pers. loanwords were often borrowed into other neighboring languages, such as Syriac and Arabic, as well. b) The Arsacid loanwords are usually well attested both in the oldest texts (the Bible translation) and later throughout all literary genres, whereas the Sasanian loanwords are mostly isolated hapax legomena confined to certain authors and often occur in a typically Persian context. c) Only the Arsacid borrowings were still productive in Armenian so that new words, derivatives as well as compounds, could be formed from them. This difference, seen most clearly in those cases where both the Arsacid and Sasanian forms are attested in Armenian, obviously reflects the different relationships between the Armenians and Arsacid and Sasanian masters, namely peaceful co-existence under Arsacid rule, but stubborn resistance against the Sasanians, who had brought political and religious bondage to the land.

The bulk of the pre-Sasanian Arm. borrowings from Mid. Ir. languages, in particular all the Arsacid Parthian loans, can not be assigned to one single homogeneous stratum. This was proved definitively by Bolognesi, 1951, who was able to advance beyond the work of Hübschmann by postulating on the basis of different phonological representations (such as Arm. er- beside for Ir. r-, or Arm. oy beside o for Ir. ō) two successive phases in the development of Parthian, which he called (p. 162) rather inappropriately “paleopartico” and “neopartico” (“Old Parthian” and “New Parthian”). Though our knowledge of the Parth. language throughout the different periods of its history has been greatly enlarged as a result of the discovery of the Nisa ostraca, the Manichean texts from Turfan, and the Sasanian inscriptions, more precise dates within that long period of time cannot be determined. The majority of these Parthian loanwords were, however, undoubtedly borrowed in a “Late Old Parthian” or rather an “Early Middle Parthian” period.

Because little was known in his time about Mid. Ir. languages, in 1897 Hübschmann was rarely able to detect dialectal differences in the Ir. originals of Arm. loanwords. But already in 1911/12 Meillet clearly described the dialectological characteristics of the Northwest Ir. ( = NW), Parth. language within the Arm. borrowings as follows: 1. NW s in Arm. vnas “damage” beside Southwest Ir. ( = SW) h as in Man. Mid. Pers. wināh, NPers. gonāh; 2. NW z in Arm. yazem “I worship” (from Man. Parth. yaz-) beside SW d as in Old Pers. yad-; 3. NW ‘ (whence Arm. r) in Arm. xoyr “headgear, diadem” (from Man. Parth. xō’ “helmet”) beside SW y as in Man. Mid. Pers. xōy (from Old Pers. xauda-); 4. NW rd in Arm. vard “rose” (as also in the Aram. loanword wrdʾ) beside SW l as in Zoroastrian Mid. Pers. gul “flower;” 5. NW hr (whence Arm. rh or h) in Arm. parh/pah “guard” (from Man. Parth. pāhr) beside SW s as in Mid. Pers., NPers. pās; 6. NW b- in bar- “door” (attested in barapan “door-keeper”) from Man. Parth. bar beside SW d- as in Mid. Pers., NPers. dar. (N.B. Statements like “Arm. yazem from Man. Parth. yaz-,” as above, do not mean that the Arm. word can only be derived from the Manichean Parthian form, but that within Parthian the only or the best evidence is provided by the Manichean texts, which in some cases actually have forms showing later phonetic developments.)

Subsequent research in the field of Ir. dialectology has increased the number of these distinctive features substantially. Some special features reflected in the Arm. material and characteristic of the Northwest-Ir. dialect group, which is on the whole the more conservative one, are the following: 1. NW sp in Arm. asp- “horse” (attested in some compounds) from Parth. asp (compare Av. aspa-) beside SW s as in Old Pers. asa-, Mid. Pers as- (in aswār “horseman”); 2. NW ž in Arm. žaman-ak “time” (cf. Man. Parth. žamān, written, jmʾn) beside SW z as in Man. Mid. Pers. zamān; 3. NW g in Arm. mogpet “(Zoroastrian) high priest” (from Man. Parth. maγbed, written mgbyd) beside SW w as in NPers. mowbad or the borrowed Arm. movpet, Syr. mvpṭʾ; 4. NW nd in Arm. band “prison” (from Man. Parth band) beside SW nn as in Man. Mid. Pers. bann.

Characteristic features of the Arm. borrowings from Northwest-Ir. dialects are, in addition, the metatheses of hr to rh (see above) and of the initial group - (which had at first remained unchanged) to (a)šx- as in ašxarh “land, world” from *xšahr from Proto-Iranian *xšaθra-. The latter feature proves that forms like Arm. šah “king” and šahanšah “king of kings” with their reduced initial š- from original - must be regarded as Sasanian borrowings from Mid. Pers. šāh, šāhān šāh (from OPers. xšāyaθiya-). Another significant Northwest-Ir. feature is the lack of contraction in cases like Man. Parth. zāwar (written zʾwr) “strength, power” (whence Arm. zawr “army”) beside Man. Mid. Pers. zōr.

On the other hand there are also words in Armenian that are marked by dialectological features characteristic of the Southwest-Ir. Mid. Pers. language (the above criteria in reverse order): 1. SW h in Arm. akah “knowing” (from Zor. Mid. Pers. ākāh, Man. Mid. Pers. āgāh) beside NW s as in Man. Parth. āgas; 2. SW d in Arm. dast- “hand” (attested in dastak “wrist,” dastakert “possession, property;” dastarāk “towel”) from Mid. Pers. dast beside NW z as in Av. zasta-; 3. SW y in Arm. dastiarak “teacher” (also with dast- as first element), cf. NPers. dastyār “assistant,” beside NW as in Man. Parth. dast’ār from Proto-Ir. *dasta-dāra-; 4. SW l (whence Arm. l or ł in Arm. sałar “leader, chief” (from Mid. Pers. sālār) beside NW rd as in Inscr. Mid. Pers. sardār (with historical writing); 5. SW d- in Arm. dar- (attested in darapan “door-keeper”) beside NW b- as in the other borrowings, bar-, barapan (see above); 6. SW s in Arm. sar-kʿ (plur.) “weapons” beside NW sp as in Arm. aspar “shield,” Mid Pers. spar, both borrowings from a Northwest-Ir. dialect.

Note also the following two points: 1. the adjective ṭʿšowaṟ “unfortunate, miserable” from an unattested Mid. Pers. *dušuvarr (contrast Man. Parth. dušfarr, Av. dušxᵛ arənah-) with the typically Pers. development of Proto-Ir. *hṷ- to old Pers. uv- as opposed to Med. f-, Av. xᵛ- (see Hübschmann, 1897, p. 155; Schmitt, 1980, p. 422); 2. the compounds with first element Proto-Ir. *pati-, whence Mid. Ir. pat-, pad-, but especially also Mid. Pers. pay-, as it is found e.g. in the Arm. borrowings payman “measure, statute,” etc., from Man. Mid. Pers. paymān (as opposed to Man. Parth. padmān) and paykʿar “fight, struggle” from Mid. Pers. paykār (Man. Mid. Pers. pahikār), NPers. peykār (as opposed to Man. Parth. padkār- “to fight”). The different Northwest- and Southwest-Ir. dialectological characteristics, as far as they are reflected in Arm. loanwords, have been studied most systematically by G. Bolognesi in his monograph Le fonti dialettali degli imprestiti iranici in armeno (Milan, 1960).

But the study of the Armenian loans from Iranian is of vital importance for solving problems of Old, Middle, and New Iranian linguistics, as well. 1. They help determine the exact phonetic shape of the (Middle) Iranian words, which in the Iranian texts is often obscured by the consonantal writing systems. The Arm. alphabet, however, is fully vocalized, though it does not show the original vowel quantity. 2. They enable us to establish the exact meaning of the Ir. words. 3. They shed light on the phonetic developments that took place in the Ir. languages and thus aid in reconstructing linguistic stages not known or not sufficiently known from the Ir. evidence itself. 4. They provide evidence relating to Ir., and especially Mid. Ir. dialectological problems. Finally, the Arm. language is also an important source for Ir. lexicology and lexicography as it contains many words, some of which survive right down to the present day, not attested in the Ir. languages themselves, e.g.: erašx “guarantee, security” from Proto-Ir. *raxši- (cognate with OInd. rakṣ “to protect;” see Benveniste, 1945, p. 71 ), hraparak “place” from Proto-Ir. *frapādaka- (compare the Syr. loanword hrpdq; see Benveniste, 1957/58, pp. 62f.), nirh “sleepiness” from Proto -Ir. *nidrā- (corresponding to Vedic nidrāˊ-; see Benveniste, 1964, p. 2), and parawand “fetter” from Proto-Ir. *pādabanda- (corresponding to OInd. pādabandha-; see Benveniste, 1957/58, pp. 63f.). In every investigation of these questions one must bear in mind, however, that individual cases either may not be so clearcut on the Iranian side because the Ir. transmission is in parts very fragmentary, or on the whole be more complicated because of borrowings between different Iranian dialects. As is well known, there are in the basically Southwest-Ir. Persian language numerous Northwest-Ir. elements, incorporated mainly in Arsacid times, and on the other hand also a certain number of Southwest-Ir. (Persian) influences on the Northwest-Ir. dialects from Sasanian times, as in the case of Man. Parth. dast “hand” with SW (and common Middle and modern Iranian dast, etc.) d instead of NW z. This complication of the Iranian situation calls for a more comprehensive view in order to assess the Armenian borrowings, which means that one must take into account all available data rather than discuss specific criteria in isolation. In this respect the book by Bolognesi, 1960, where all the most important dialectological features reflected in Armenian are discussed in great detail, is in every way a model.

Among the many questions that have not yet received an answer are the following: 1. In addition to the adjective seaw, “black,” which is in accordance with Man. Parth. syāw, Av. siiāuua- and therefore is a Northwest-Ir. borrowing, Armenian has forms showing a change of *sḭ to š, namely šaw- in the proper names Šaw-asp and Šaw-arš comparable to Av. Siiāuuāspi- (patronymic to *Siiāuuāspa-) and Siiāuuaršan-. However, we do not know to which Iranian dialect that change of *sḭ to š is due. Thus, whereas Bolognesi, 1960, p. 24 established a connection of this phenomenon with the Iranian southwest, Benveniste, 1964, p. 3 objected strongly to that view and instead regarded these names as belonging to a particular epic tradition, which he considered to be Northeast-Ir. because of BSogd. šāw and especially Chor. šāuš (from Proto-Ir. *Syāvaršā), etc. A third position was adopted by Périkhanian, 1968, pp. 24f., who, arguing from analogous cases, thought of traditional Median names taken over by the Armenians from the “Middle Median” language of Northwest Iran, which, however, is not attested in an authentic source. 2. As the regular continuants of Proto-Ir. *d in originally intervocalic position (old Pers. d, old Av. d) we find Northwest-Ir. (Parth.) ‘ (Arm. r; see above), but Southwest-Ir. (Mid. Pers.) y. Apart from these regular developments, both these Ir. dialects also show forms with h from Proto-Ir. *d, which are to be attributed to a third dialect said to have been spoken in an area between the other two. However, the postulated intermediate dialect remains a rather vague entity. Such forms with h from Proto-Ir. *d are attested also in Armenian: e.g. zrah-kʿ (plur.) “cuirass” (with various derivatives) belonging to the likewise borrowed Aram. zardā (written zrdʾ), the younger Arm. form zreh, and Zor. Mid. Pers. zrēh, NPers. zereh (compare Young Av. zrāδa-); and srah “hall, (court)yard,” which is connected with JPers. srāh “outer court,” the Mandaic loanword srʾdq, and Zoroastrian Mid. Pers. srād or srāy, all deriving from Proto-Ir. *srāda-. In the case of such Armenian borrowings the immediate Ir. source dialect can not usually be determined since Parthian or Middle Persian with their (borrowed?) h- forms are potential candidates just as well as the postulated h- dialect itself. A particularly odd situation is to be observed in the case of the Armenian reflexes of Proto-Ir. *spāda- “army” Old Pers., Old Av. spāda-, Young Av. spāδa-), where we find side by side Arm. spah (as in Zor. Mid. Pers. spāh, NPers. sepāh), spay (with the genuine Mid. Pers. development), and *spar (from Parth. *spāδ, Man. Parth. ispāδ written ʿspʾd) implied by the compound sparapet “commander-in-chief,” a title which is to be compared with Inscr. Parth. (a)spāδpat, Mid. Pers. spāhpat, NPers. sepahbad, and the borrowed proper name Arm. Aspahapet (all from Proto-Ir. *spāda-pati-).

The confusion described above is compounded by additional factors. Thus, the Parthians came into close contact with the Armenians only after having spread over Northwest Iran in the second half of the second century B.C. They thus contributed much to the extinction of the old “Median” or “Atropatenian” dialect spoken there, a dialect apparently closely related to their own language. This “Middle Median” dialect (see above), whose country bordered on that of Armenian, is virtually unknown. Périkhanian (1966, especially pp. 21f. n. 7; 1968, especially pp. 25-29) thought she had found the key to its characterization in older Aramaic inscriptions from the region, particularly in that of King Artašês/Artaxias (189-160 B.C.) from Zangezowr. Her main shibboleths “Mid. Med.” hr from Proto-Ir. *θr and “Mid. Med.” prothetic vowel before initial sp- and xš- (whence Arm. šx) rested chiefly upon one single piece of evidence, namely the proper name Axšahrsart (written as Aram. ʿḥštrsrt) containing “Mid. Med.” *axšahr as first element (by contrast with Parth. xšahr “country, empire”). Moreover, Périkhanian considered that many of the Northwest-Ir. loanwords in Armenian that are usually regarded as being from Parthian, are to be attributed in fact to an older stratum, a “Middle Median,” layer, although these words presented none of those peculiarly Med. characteristics of which a limited number can be established for the Old Iranian period (see Périkhanian herself, 1966, p. 21 n. 7). This line of approach had been anticipated by W. B. Henning, who in 1963 had assigned those words containing the group nj instead of Parth. (like Arm. brinj “rice” beside NPers. berenǰ or Arm. ganj “treasure” as Man. Mid. Pers. ganz beside Man. Parth. gazn, NPers. ganǰ) to Median. This approach appears to be correct in principle but it is difficult to work out the details because of the scanty evidence available for the older Iranian dialects.

Similar problems are presented by the connections between Armenian and East Iranian languages, which have been remarked on repeatedly since Gauthiot 1916. Most striking is the fact that a number of words known only from Sogdian were borrowed into Armenian (see Bolognesi, 1966, pp. 574f. n. 18): e.g. margarê “magician, sorcerer” (like BSogd. mārkarē rather than Man. Parth. mārēgar), kari “very” (like BSogd. kʾ’y), baw “enough” (like BSogd. βāw “satiety”). Since there were never direct connections between Armenians and Sogdians it is impossible to envisage Sogdian loanwords in Armenian. The most likely explanation seems to be Henning’s proposal (1958, p. 93) that we have to do here with elements of the so-called “Parnian” language, the virtually unknown language of the East Iranian conquerors of Parthia, which was brought to Parthia by the Parni but abandoned in favor of Parthian after it had been enriched by East Iranian elements. No definitive proof has been found but it is plausible to assume that the words in question may have been East Iranian words that entered Armenian via Parthian.

That Parthian played the part of such an intermediary must be assumed also in other instances. Most obvious is the case of Indian or Aramaic/Syriac words. Of Indian provenance are e.g. Arm. kapik “ape” (as Zor. Mid. Pers. kabīg, NPers. kabī from OInd. kapi-, šakʿar “sugar” (as Mid. Pers., NPers. šakar) from Niya Prakrit śakara, or vagr “tiger” from Niya Prakrit vyagra. On the other hand the plant name bowcin “verbascum,” which corresponds to Syr. būṣīnā from Mid. Pers. būčīnā, appears to be an indirect Ir. borrowing in Armenian by way of Syriac (see Hübschmann, 1897, p. 301) because of its -c- (suitable to Syr. ) instead of -č- (corresponding to Ir. č). But matters are clearest in the case of some borrowings from Greek, in particular with the older ones, which were taken over in the period before the complete Christianization of Armenia. Even the general historical situation would lead us to expect that Greek words would have come to Armenia through the Parthian empire since Greek was the cultural language of the Parthians, who were Hellenized to some extent at least in their upper classes. Such indirect borrowing of Greek words via Parthian often can not be established unambiguously (as e.g. also in the case of Hrōm/Hrōvm, the name of Rome and Byzantium), but occasionally such an intermediate stage is revealed by phonological criteria, as when Greek , i.e. [d] becomes Parth. , i.e. [] in intervocalic position and is replaced by Arm. r: Arm. lampar (with variants lambar and łampar/łambar) “torch” from Gk. lampás, stem lampád- (in contrast to the hapax legomenon Arm. lambat-kʿ (plur.), which was later borrowed directly from Gk. lampádes), or Arm. kałapar “model, form, pattern” from Gk. kalopódion “(shoe) last, model.” Certainty can be obtained also where one and the same word was borrowed twice; once directly from Greek in a form corresponding to the Greek original, and a second time indirectly, after passing through Parthian and attested in another form similar to that known in Iranian. Thus, we find side by side the learned “book word” drakʿmê “drachm” borrowed directly from Gk. drachmḗ and the more commonly used dram (attested already in the Bible translation) from Man. Mid. Pers. drahm, NPers. deram (with the Ir. change of xm to hm and m), or yakinṭʿ “jacinth (stone)” from Gk. hyákinthos, and yakownṭʿ, which is closer to Parth. yākund.

Armenian played a similar role in connection with the neighboring languages in the north, especially Georgian. Many Ir. loanwords occur in Old Georgian literature from the fifth century A.D. onwards although the Ir. loanwords in Georgian are nowhere nearly as important as those in Armenian. They were borrowed either directly from Ir. languages or dialects, as seems to have been the case in Arsacid times, or by way of Armenian, as can sometimes be proved on phonological grounds. Clear evidence is afforded by the typical Arm. r for Ir. *d or Parth. : Georgian ambori “kiss” from Arm. hamboyr “kiss, affection, love” from Parth. *hambō’ (compare Man. Parth. ambōyād “he kissed”); Georgian xoiri “headgear” from Arm. xoyr “headgear, diadem” (see above) from Man. Parth. xō’ “helmet;” Georgian čʾešmaritʾi “true” from Arm. čšmarit “true” from Mid. Pers. čašmdīd “evident, apparent (lit. seen with (one’s own) eyes);” the Georgian proper name Bagratʾi from Arm. Bagrat (beside Bagarat) from Ir. *Bagadāta “given by god(s).” But equally certain are some borrowings from Ir. into Georgian without the intervention of Arm., mainly when Arm. has borrowed from a different source. Such are: Georgian pʿarmani “permit, license” from Parth., Mid. Pers. framān as opposed to Arm. hraman “order;” Georgian pʿarsaxi “parasang” from Parth. *frasax (implied by the Syr. loanword prsḥʾ) as opposed to Arm. hrasax, or, because of the absence of metathesis, Georgian pʾitʾiaxši “governor, viceroy” as opposed to Arm. bdeašx “idem.” Thus M. Andronikʾašvili was justified in warning against the overready assumption of Arm. mediation in the case of Georgian borrowings from Ir.: see her book Narkʾvevehi iranul-kartuli enobrivi urliertobidan (Studies in Iranian-Georgian linguistic contacts) I, Tbilisi, 1966.

After the fall of the Sasanian empire in the middle of the seventh century A.D. the Armenians came for a long period under the influence of Islamic masters (Arabs, Saljuqs, Mongols, and Ottomans), but that foreign rule did not greatly affect Armenian culture and language since the Armenians remained firmly Christian. We accordingly find only a few loanwords, especially among technical and learned vocabulary, from Arabic and New Persian (see Hübschmann 1897, pp. 14f. and 259-280). In general they are limited to later, specialized or technical literature that has in many cases been translated from the donor languages. In part they are distinguished by showing the changes of the second Arm. consonant shift, as in the case of Arm. gos “drum” from NPers. kōs or satap “rue” from NPers. sadāb. That is why Hübschmann (1897, p. 15) assigned these borrowings to the period after the eleventh century. In other cases a more exact chronological classification is difficult or impossible because of the lack of decisive evidence. However, Hübschmann was in error in thinking that Arm. z must have been from “NPers.” z from “Mid. Pers.” č, e.g. in the case of ṭʿazem “I run” from NPers. tāzam according to Hübschmann, 1897, p. 265, since it is now known from the phonetically more exact writings of the Man. Mid. Pers. Turfan texts that the development of č to z is much older and occurred during the Middle Persian period. To this group of loanwords belong also the arabicized forms so characteristic of NPers. e.g. the names of orange and lemon, Arm. nārinǰ from NPers. nārang, arabicized nāranǰ (from OInd. nāraṅga- “orange tree”) and Arm. patrinǰ from NPers. bādrang, arabicized *bādranǰ (not attested) from Zor. Mid. Pers. wādrang.

4. Classified list of selected loanwords: a brief analysis of the loanwords with respect to their cultural context. This analysis is restricted to a semantic classification of the most important and best attested Ir. loanwords, namely those found in the Bible translation. No attempt is made here to present a complete or even a comprehensive catalogue of the Iranian elements in Armenian. Note also that any such classification is to some extent arbitrary. The order followed is that of the Armenian alphabet.

a) Government, administration, social order, and law. Direct evidence of the Arsacid and Sasanian rule over Armenia is provided by those loanwords that can be classified under this heading. Examples: azat “free, noble” from Parth., Mid. Pers. āzād; azd “information” from Parth., Mid. Pers. azd “known;” ambox “crowd, people” from Parth. *ambōx (cf. NPers. anbūh); ašxarh “world, country” from Parth., Mid. Pers. šahr; aparankʿ (plur.) “house, palace” from Parth. apa’an; awan “village” from Mid. Pers. āwahan, Old Pers. āvahana-; awrên (-kʿ) “law, right, custom” from Parth. aβ’ēn; band “prison” from Parth., Mid. Pers. band; gah “throne” from Parth., Mid. Pers. gāh; ganj “treasure” from Mid. Pers. ganz/ganǰ, Parth. gazn; dašt “field, plain” from Parth., Mid. Pers. dašt; dastakert “village, estate” from Parth., Mid. Pers. dast(a)gird; dat “justice, verdict” from Mid. Pers. dād, Old Pers. dāta-; dar-a-pan “doorkeeper,” loan translation on the basis of Mid. Pers. darbān; diwan “chancellery” from Mid. Pers. dēwān (cf. NPers. dīvān); dpir “scribe, secretary” from Parth., Mid. Pers., dibīr; ṭʿag “crown” from Mid. Pers. tāg (cf. the loanwords, Syr. tāγā, Arab. tāǰ; išxan “prince, ruler” from Ir. *xšāna- (cf. Sogd. axšāwan “king”); hazarapet “chiliarch, manager” from Parth. hazārpat (Mid. Pers. hazāruft; from proto-Ir. *hazahrapati-); hramayem “I order” from Parth., Mid. Pers. framāy-; hraman “order” from Parth., Mid. Pers. framān; hramatar “ruler” from Parth., Mid. Pers. framādār; hrovartak “letter, decree” from Parth., Mid. Pers. frawardag; marz “frontier, province” from Parth., Mid. Pers. marz; mowrh-ak “(sealed) deed” from Parth., Mid. Pers. muhr “seal;” namak “letter, writing” from Mid. Pers. nāmag (cf. NPers. nāma); nždeh “foreigner” from Ir. *niždahyu- (cf. Parth. izdeh, Mid. Pers. uzdeh “exiled, foreign”); šahap “satrap, governor” from Parth., Mid. Pers. šahrab; šên “village” from Parth. *šēn (cf. Av. -šaiiana-); owxt “pact, treaty” from Parth. *uxt (cf. Av. -uxti-); payman “condition, stipulation” from Mid. Pers. paymān (cf. Parth. padmān); partêz “garden” from OIr. *paridaiza- (cf. Av. pairidaēza-, Gk. parádeisos; see section 3 above); pet “chief” from Parth., Mid. Pers. -bed; psak “crown, diadem” from Parth., Mid. Pers. pusag (cf. Av. pusā-); rām “common people” from Parth., Mid. Pers. ram “herd, flock;” spas “service” from Parth. ispas- (cf. ispasag “servant,” etc.); vkay “witness” from Parth. *wikāy (cf. Mid Pers. gugāy, Av. vīkaiia-); včiṟ “decision, judgment” from Mid. Pers. wizīr.

b) War, battle, and armament. ašteay “lance” from Parth. *aršti- (cf. Old Pers. ṛšti-, Av. aršti-); aspar “shield” from Parth., Mid. Pers. ispar; awar “booty” from Parth. āwār; gownd “troops” from Parth., Mid. Pers. gund; dašnak “dagger” from Mid. Pers. dašnag (cf. NPers. dašna); drawš “banner, flag, standard” from Parth., Mid. Pers. drafš; zangapan “greaves” from proto-Ir. *zanga-pāna- (cf. Mid. Pers. zang “shank”); zawr “army” from Parth. zāwar “power, strength” (cf. Mid. Pers. zōr); zên “weapon, armament” from Parth., Mid. Pers. zēn; zrah-kʿ (plur.) “cuirass” from Parth. *zrad (cf. the Aramaic loanword zardā; see section 3 above); ṭʿšnami “enemy” from OIr. *dušmanyu- (cf. Av. dušmainiiu-, Parth., Mid. Pers. dušmen); hên “army of marauders” from Mid. Pers. hēn (cf. Old Pers. hainā-); jerb-a-kal “prisoner” (lit. “held with the hands”), loan translation based on Parth., Mid. Pers. dast-graw; nizak “lance, spear” from Parth., Mid. Pers. nēzag; pah(ak) “guard” from Parth., Mid. Pers. pāhr(ag) “guard;” paterazm “war, battle, fight” from Parth. pādrazm; rāzm “battle” from Parth., Mid. Pers. razm; saławart “helmet” from Parth. *sārwart (cf. the Syr. loanword sanvartā, Mid. Pers. sārwār); sałar “general, leader” from Parth., Mid. Pres. sālār “leader;” spah, spay “army” from Mid. Pers. spāh (cf. Parth. ispāδ); spar-a-pet “army leader,” loan translation based on Parth. spāδ-pat (cf. Mid. Pers. spāh-bed); têg “lance” from Parth. *tēg (cf. Mid. Pers. tēx, NPers. tīγ “sword, edge”).

c) Equitation and horses. In this sphere, Ir. influence was very strong, although the word for horse itself, ji, is not Iranian. Examples: axōr “stable” from Parth., Mid. Pers. āxwarr (cf. NPers. āxor); aspastan “stable (for horses)” from Mid. Pers. aspastān (cf. Av. aspo@stāna-); asp-a-rês “horse race, racecourse,” loan translation based on Mid. Pers. asp-rēs; aspet “knight” from *aspapet from Parth., Mid. Pers. asppat; smb-ak “hoof” from Mid. Pers. sumb (cf. NPers. sonb, Arab. loanword sonbak). In particular several of the numerous color terms borrowed from Iranian may have been taken over in connection with their use as epithets of horses: ašxêt “reddish, sorrel horse” from Mid. Pers. šēd (cf. Av. xšaēta-); erašx “reddish(-brown), sorrel horse” from Parth. *raxš (cf. NPers. raxš “red”); karmir “red” from Mid. Pers. karmīr (cf. the Hebrew loanword karmīl; čartowk “grey (horse)” from Parth. *čartuk (cf. NPers. čarda “dun horse”); čermak “white horse” from Parth. *čarmak (cf. NPers. čarma); seaw “black” from Parth. syāw (cf. Mid. Pers. syā); spitak “white” from Mid. Pers. spēdag (cf. Parth. ispēd).

d) Trade and economy. ambar, hambar “storehouse” from Mid. Pers. hambār (cf. NPers. anbār); anapak “unmixed, pure (wine)” from Parth. *anāpak (cf. Av. anāpa- “without water”); anoyš “sweet(-scented)” from Parth. *anōš (cf. anōšēn); ardow, a measure of capacity (“artabe”) from Parth. *ardab (cf. the loanwords Gk. artábē, Aram. ardab); aržān “worthy, proper,” aržê “it is worth” from Parth. aržān, Mid. Pers. arzān, arz; aroyr “brass” from Parth. *ro’ (cf. Mid. Pers. rōy “copper, brass”); baž “tribute, duty” from Parth. bāz, Mid. Pers. bāǰ (cf. Old Pers. bāǰi-); biwr “ten thousand” from Parth., Mid. Pers. bēwar; graw “pledge, security” from Mid. Pers. graw, (cf. NPers. gerow); griw, a grain measure, from Parth., Mid. Pers. grīw; ṭʿakoyk “vessel, jar” from Mid. Pers. takōk (cf. NPers. takūk); ṭʿošak “provisions, wages” from Mid. Pers. tōšag (cf. NPers. tūša); kapič, a grain measure, from Mid. Pers. kabīz (cf NPers. kavīz and the Gk. loanword kapíthē); kndrowk “frankincense” from Mid. Pers. kundur (cf. NPers. kondor); kowž “pitcher, jug” from Parth. *kūž (cf. the Ar. loanword kūz); hazar “thousand” from Parth., Mid. Pers. hazār; hark “tribute, duty, service” from Mid. Pers. harg (cf. the Ar. loanword xarǰ; mar, a liquid measure, from Parth. mar; naw “ship” from Parth., Mid. Pers. nāw; nawt “naphtha” from Mid. Pers. naft (cf. the Gk. loanword náphtha); vačār “trade, market” from Parth. wāžār (in the derivative wāžārgān “dealer, merchant,” cf. Mid. Pers. wāzār).

e) Handicrafts, techniques, and workmanship. goyn “color” from Mid. Pers. gōn (cf. NPers. gūn); žir “active, busy, clever” from Parth. žīr, Mid. Pers. zīr; črag “lamp” from Parth., Mid. Pers. čarāγ; nkar “painting, picture” from Mid. Pers. nigār (cf. Parth., Mid. Pers. nigār- “to draw, paint”); šiš “bottle” from Parth. *šīš (cf. the Syr. loanword šīšā, Mid. Pers. šīšag); patker “image, portrait” from Parth., Mid. Pers. patkar; patowhan “window” from proto-Ir. *patifrānā-; varagoyr “curtain” from Parth. bar(a)γō’; vran “tent” from Parth. wi’ān, Mid. Pers. wiyān; taxtak “tablet, board, plank” from Mid. Pers. taxtag (cf. NPers. taxta); taławar “tent, hut” from Parth. talawār; tašem “I cut, hew” from Mid. Pers. tāš- (cf. Av. taš-); tašt “cup, bowl” from Mid. Pers. tašt (cf. Av. tašta-); tapak “frying-pan” from Mid. Pers. tābag (cf. NPers. tāba); tapar “hatchet, axe” from Mid. Pers. tabar (cf. NPers. tabar); kʿandak “chisel, carving” from Parth. *kandak (cf. Mid. Pers. kan- “to dig”).

f) Costume, jewelry, and ornament. aparanǰan “bracelet” from Parth. *aparanǰan (cf. NPers. abranǰan); bowrwaṟ “scent bottle, censer” from Parth. *bō’warn (cf. Sogd. βwḍβrn); gês “hair” from Mid. Pers. gēs (cf. Av. gaēsa-); dipak “brocade” from Mid. Pers. dēbāg (cf. NPers. dībā); erang “color, dye” from Mid. Pers. rang (cf. NPers. rang); xoyr “headgear, diadem” from Parth. xōδ “helmet,” Mid. Pers. xōy (cf. Old Pers. xauda “cap”); kerp- “form, shape, appearance” from Mid. Pers. kirb (cf. Av. kəhrp-); mahik “crescent, lunette, crescent-shaped ornament” from Parth. *māhīk (cf. Parth., Mid. Pers. māh “moon”); šapik “shirt” from Mid. Pers. šabīg “(Mazdean’s ritual) undershirt” (cf. NPers. šabī “nightshirt”); patmowčna “garment, dress” from Parth. padmōžan, Mid. Pers. paymōžan; paregawtkʿ “cloth, coat” from OIr. *parigauda- (cf. Gk. paragṓdas = khitōžn parà Párthois; see R. Schmitt, Glotta 49, 1971, pp. 107-10); vars “hair” from Mid. Pers. wars (cf. Av. varəsa-).

g) Nature and food. bown “root, stock, foundation” from Parth., Mid. Pers. bun; gomêš “buffalo” from Mid. Pers. gāwmēš (cf. NPers. (v)mīš; xortik-kʿ (plur.) “food, dish” from Mid. Pers. xwardīg (cf. Av. xᵛarəti-); čarak “pasture, food” from Parth., Mid. Pers. čarag; čarp “grease, fat, oil” from Parth. *čarp (cf. Mid. Pers., NPers. čarb “fatty, oily”); marax “locust” from Parth. *ma’ax (cf. Av. ma’axa-, NPers. malax, but Mid. Pers. mayg); marg “meadow” from Parth. maṛγ (cf. Av. marəγā-); nkan “bread, loaf” from proto-Ir. *nikāna- “ash bread” (lit. “(bread) dug in (ash);” cf. Mid. Pers. nigān “buried”); rōčik “sustenance, daily bread” from Mid. Pers. rōzīg (cf. NPers. rūzī “idem,” lit. “daily (bread)”); rōt “river” from Parth., Mid. Pers. rōd (cf. Old Pers. rautah-); vard “rose“ from Parth. *ward (cf. Mid. Pers. gul, Av. varəδa-, Aram. loanword wrdʾ); vêm “stone, rock” from Parth., Mid. Pers. wēm; tap “heat” from Mid. Pers. tab “fever” (cf. NPers. tab “idem”); tawṭʿ “heat” from Parth. *taft (cf. NPers. taft); pʿowt “rottenness; rotten, spoiled” from Parth. *pūt (cf. Av. pūiti- “rottenness,” Mid. Pers. pūdag “foul, rotten”).

h) Family and society. apaharzan “divorce” from Ir. *apa-harzana- (cf. OInd. apa-sarjana- “abandonment”); aspanǰakan “hospitable” from Parth. ispinǰ, Mid. Pers. aspinǰ “hospitality, inn;” bazmim “I sit down (to dinner)” from Parth., Mid. Pers. bazm “meal, feast;” bžišk “physician, doctor” from Parth., Mid. Pers. bizešk; kapên-kʿ (plur.) “price (of prostitution)” from Mid. Pers. kābēn “dowry” (cf. NPers. kābīn); harazat “legitimate, related brother” from Parth. *ha’azat (cf. Av. haδō.zāta-); parāw “old woman” from Parth. *parnāw (cf. the Syr. loanword parnuš, NPers. pārāw); tohm “family, tribe, line” from Mid. Pers. tōhm, Parth. tōxm; kʿên “hate, revenge” from Parth., Mid. Pers. kēn.

i) Man, his body and qualities. axt “illness, disease” from Parth. *axt (cf. Av. axti-); ah “fear” from Parth. *āh (cf. Av. āiθti- “fear”); andam “member, limb” from Parth., Mid. Pers. handām; bazowk “arm” from Mid. Pers. bāzūg (cf. Av. bāzu-, NPers. bāzū); daštan “menses, menstruation” from Mid. Pers. daštān (cf. Av. daxšta-); eran-kʿ (plur.) “loins, hip, thigh” from Mid. Pers. rān (cf. Av. rāna-); xrat “wisdom, reason, admonition” from Parth., Mid. Pers. xrad; kam “desire, will” from Parth., Mid. Pers. kām; koyr “blind” from Mid. Pers. kōr (cf. NPers. kūr); kowšt “belly, flank, side” from Parth. *kušt (cf. NPers. košt); čakat “forehead” from Mid. Pers. čagād “peak, summit” (cf. NPers. čakād); mah, marh “death” from Parth. *marh (cf. Parth. murd, Av. mərəθiiu- and see in detail Bolognesi, 1960, pp. 17-19); oyž “force, strength” from Parth. *ōž, Mid. Pers. ōz (cf. Av. aoǰah-); owš “mind, sense, intelligence” from Parth. (cf. Av. uši-, Mid. Pers. ōš; veh “superior, better, good, high” from Mid. Pers. weh (cf. Old Pers. vahyah-, camparative); vzowrk “great” from Parth., Mid. Pers. wuzurg (cf. Old Pers. vazṛka-).

j) Everyday life. ahok “fault, blame” from Mid. Pers. āhōg (cf. NPers. āhū); apastan “refuge” from Mid. Pers. abestān; arāt “abundant, rich, liberal” from Parth., Mid. Pers. rād; dep-kʿ (plur.) “accident, case” from Parth., Mid. Pers. dēb “fate, fortune;” džowar “difficult” from Mid. Pers. dušwār (cf. NPers. došvār); dsrov “blamed” from Mid. Pers. dusraw; zowr “futile, vain, false” from Parth., Mid. Pers. zūr; ṭʿšowaṟ “unfortunate, miserable” from OIr. *duš(h)uvarna- (see section 3 above, cf. Parth. dušfarr, Av. dušxᵛarənah-); žaman-ak “time, age” from Parth. žamān, Mid. Pers. zamān(ag); xortak-em “I break into small pieces” from Mid. Pers. xurdag “small” (cf. NPers. xorda); katak “jesting, joke” from Mid. Pers. kādag; čšmarit “true” from Mid. Pers. čašm-dīd “obvious” (see section 3 above); mštik “bundle” from Mid. Pers. mušt “first” (cf. Av. mušti-); yawêt “always, eternal” from Parth. yāwēd (cf. Av. yauuaētāt- “eternity,” Mid. Pers. ǰāwēd “eternal”); nirh “sleep(iness)” from proto-Ir. *nidrā- (cf. OInd. nidrāˊ-); nšan “sign, mark, miracle” from Parth., Mid. Pers. nīšān; patgam “message, sentence” from Parth. paḍγām, Mid. Pers. paygām; paṭčên “copy, duplicate” from Mid. Pers. pač(č)ēn; vasn “on account (of), because (of)” from Parth. *wasn in wasnāδ (cf. Old Pers. vašnā); vnas “injury, damage, harm, sin” from Mid. Pers. wināh (cf. NPers. gonāh); pʿaṟ-kʿ (plur.) “glory, splendor, fame” from Parth., Mid. Pers. farrah (cf. Av. xᵛarənah-).

k) Religion. The Ir. elements in the common vocabulary, numerous as they are, seem nevertheless to be outnumbered by those pertaining to religion. See especially G. Boccali, “Influenze della religione iranica sulla cultura armena,” Atti del Primo Simposio Internazionale di Arte Armena, San Lazzaro/Venezia, 1978, pp. 25-33. Examples: anowšak “immortal” from Parth., Mid. Pers. anōšag; ašakert “disciple, pupil, student” from Mid. Pers. hašāgird (cf. NPers. šāgerd); awrhnem “I bless, praise, offer” from Parth., Mid. Pers. āfrīn-; bag- “god” (in proper names) from Parth. baγ, Mid. Pers. bay; baxt “fate, fortune, luck” from Mid. Pers. baxt (cf. Av. baxta-); den “religion, faith” from Parth., Mid. Pers. dēn; dêw “demon, devil” from Parth., Mid. Pers. dēw; džox-kʿ (plur.) “hell” from Mid. Pers. dušox (cf. Parth. dōžax); zoh “sacrifice, offering” from Mid. Pers. zōhr (cf. Av. zaoθra-); kaxard “sorcerer, magician” from Av. kaxᵛarəδa-; hreštak “ambassador, messenger, angel” from Parth. frēštag, Mid. Pers. frēstag; mog “magician, (Mazdean) priest” from Mid. Pers. moγ (cf. Old Pers. magu-); yazem “I worship, offer, sacrifice” from Parth., Mid. Pers. yaz; yašt “sacrifice, worship” from Mid. Pers. yašt (cf. Av. yašti-); šnorh “grace, gratitude” from Mid. Pers. šnōhr (cf. Parth. išnōhr); tačar “temple” from Parth. tažar “palace” (cf. Old Pers. tačara-).

These borrowings from the Iranian religious vocabulary did not occur as a result of the close Irano-Armenian symbiosis during the Arsacid period. The terminology involved is not connected with any particular religious ideas such as those of Zoroastrianism but reflects the religious notions current among the people at large as is revealed by the fact that in the Bible translation even the disciples of Christ and the angels were designated by two terms of Iranian provenance: ašakert and hreštak. Hence it should cause no surprise that even the great gods of the Iranians are known to the Armenians: Aramazd (beside the rarer Ormizd as “learned” form in Yeznik) from Old Pers. Aurumazdā-. Aramazd is presumably an old borrowing since the vowel between r and m is preserved, and it was borrowed from Old Pers. as the absence of h in Ara- from Aura- indicates; Anahit from Av. Anāhitā-, Mid. Pers. Anāhīd; Mihr from Av. Miθra-, Parth., Mid. Pers. Mihr; Spandaramet from Av. spənta@ Ārmaitiš, Mid. Pers. Spandarmat with sp-, the Northwest-Ir. form corresponding to the Southwest Ir.-form with s- that survives only in Arm. sandaramet-kʿ “nether world;” Vahagn from Av. Vərəθraγna- (cf. Inscr. Mid. Pers. proper name Wrtgnpt = Inscr. Parth. Wrtrgnpt), Mid. Pers. Wahrām (see section 6 below).

5. Linguistic analysis. A linguistic analysis of these Iranian elements in Armenian, which we see touch all parts of speech, from substantives to adjectives, verbs (trans. -em, intr. -im), and even numerals, adverbs, and other indeclinables, may be carried out in different ways. On the one hand the phonetic shape of the Armenian words sheds light on the sounds the Iranian words must have had at the time when they came into Armenian, and on the other hand, one may also observe their adaptation and their morphological and/or lexical integration into Armenian.

Phonology. Some Arm. phonemes, chiefly p and č, but also š, ž, and x, appear only exceptionally in words inherited from IE. but commonly in Ir. loanwords. This means that the words containing those phonemes can be assumed to be loanwords even if the original Ir. forms are not directly attested. Likewise characteristic of Iranian loanwords are special final consonant combinations, in particular -zd, -zm, -xt, -nd, -nj, -šx, -šk, -št, -sp, -st, -rd, -rz, -rk, -rh, and -rt.

A list of the phonetic correspondences between Armenian and the Ir. source languages must contain at least the following (for parts of the consonant system see also the list in R. Godel, An Introduction to the Study of Classical Armenian, Wiesbaden, 1975, p. 91):

Armenian Parthian, Middle Persian
a ā (not the prothetic a-)
b b
g g, γ
d d
e e, ê (not the prothetic e-)
e in pretonic syllables for older ea from *ya
ə or zero in pretonic syllables for i, u from *i/ī, *u/ū
tʿ t (or d when assimilated to a following voiceless consonant)
ž Parth. ž ( = Mid. Pers. z) or ǰ
i i, ī (not the prothetic i-)
l l
x x, xw
c no correspondence!
k k
h h
hr- fr- (see below)
j z (after n, r )
ł l
č č
m m
y y
n n
š š
o o, ō (sporadically, a near a labial)
čʿ no correspondence!
p p
ǰ ǰ
r (especially initially), rr (from rn)
s s
v w, b
t t (sporadically d: partêz)
r r and δ (Parth.), which does not occur in Arm.
cʿ no correspondence!
w w, β, f
pʿ f, p
kʿ k
ea ya,
oy ō
ow u, ū
ow in pretonic syllables for older oy from *ō
zero Parth. zero from Ir. *h-

Some items call for further comment. The Arm. loanwords show the Ir. intervocalic voiceless stops k, p, t and the affricate č, throughout preserved without any change and not the voiced counterparts g, b, d, and, ǰ or ž, which we find in the orthographically least ambiguous Mid. Ir. texts, i.e. the Man. Parth. and Mid. Pers. texts. Thus they can be assumed to reflect faithfully the phonetic values of Arsacid Parthian. A chronological difference lies behind the divergent treatment of Ir. initial *r-, which is in part rendered with a prothetic vowel as ar- or er- as in the inherited vocabulary, but in part appears as - as in the case of borrowings in later times and from other sources. Whereas consonant groups of stop plus r (with maintenance of the stop as such) underwent metathesis in inherited words (e.g. Arm. rt from IE. *dr), Ir. clusters like dr or gr are kept unchanged. On the other hand, metathesis is regular in the Ir. clusters and hr, for which Arm. has šx and rh as in ašxarh, ašxêt, erašx, etc. The earlier view that h is an Arm. phonetic substitute for the Ir. spirant [f], which does not occur in the Arm. system, must be abandoned because forms with hr- in Ir. itself (like Mid. Pers. hrēstag “messenger” equal to Arm. hreštak) or in other collateral traditions of Ir. (like Aramaic hrmnʾ “order” like Arm. hraman) make it quite certain that Arm. in such cases reflects the phonetic state of some Western Mid. Ir. dialect.

Later, internal Arm. changes are the weakening of certain vowels and diphthongs in pretonic syllables: Iranian i/ī and u/ū appear generally as i, ow (i.e. [u]) in stressed, but as zero in pretonic syllables in the older layer of loanwords from Arsacid times, whereas in later borrowings such a different treatment is no longer found. Correspondingly, Arm. ê, oy, ea alternate with i, u (written ow), and e in older borrowings when rendering Ir. ē, ō, and ya/ respectively. In loanwords from a later time beginning at some date not yet determined exactly, but in all probability quite early in the Arsacid period (see in detail Bolognesi, 1951), Mid. Ir. ē and ō (usually from older Ir. *ai and *au) are regularly represented by Arm. e and o. Hence, in such cases the characteristic Arm. “vowel alternations” are not found. Thus, we have side by side: zên “weapon” (with gen. zinow) from (Arsacid) Mid. Ir. *zēn, but den “religion” (with gen. den-i) from Mid. Ir. *dēn, and ṭʿakoyk “vessel” (with gen. ṭʿakowk-oy) from (Arsacid) Mid. Ir. *takōk, but ambox “crowd” (with gen. ambox-i) from Mid. Ir. *ambōx.

Morphology. Here, it must be stressed, the Ir. influence is limited to the formation of words while the morphology in the narrower sense of the word (that is, the formation of case forms, etc.) shows no Ir. influence at all. A certain peculiarity is noticeable, however, with regard to the integration of the Ir. loanwords into the various classes of the Arm. noun declension. It is possible to distinguish three groups: 1. those instances where the Arm. stem class matches the original OIr. one, (e.g. Arm. xrat “wisdom,” u-stem, from Mid. Ir. *xrat from OIr. *xratu-, u-stem); 2. those cases where there is a difference (e.g. Arm. dat “justice,” i-stem, from Mid. Ir. *dāt from OIr. *dāta-, a-stem); 3. cases characterized by the co-existence of different types caused by the fact that the nom.-acc. sing. forms have no ending (e.g. Arm. mog “(Zoroastrian) priest,” u- or a-stem, from Mid. Ir. *mog from OIr. *magu-, u-stem).

Formerly it was thought that the borrowings in the first group go back to a period when the original final syllables had not yet disappeared. This view seems to have been first expounded by Meillet, 1911/12, p. 249 = 1977, p. 149, and it was repeated subsequently in several manuals although it was never based on a close investigation of the problem, relying mainly on certain cases of agreement between Arm. and Ir. a-, i- or u-stems, like azat from āzāta-, ašxarh from xšaθra-, dêw from daiva-, eran from rāna-, hreštak from *fraištaka-, tačar from tačara-, etc.; axt from axti-, baž from bāǰi-, owxt from uxti-, etc.; gah from gāθu-, xrat from xratu-, mah from *mṛθyu-, etc. Such an assumption would entail that the so-called (older) Arm. “Law of final syllables,” according to which the vowel of the originally final syllable of a word and this syllable itself disappear, would have operated only in the Arsacid period at roughly the same time as the analogous phenomenon in Western Mid. Ir. It is true that a number of such correspondences are found but they can not be considered apart from the many seemingly archaic borrowings whose antiquity is guaranteed by phonological features (e.g. by Arm. ê, oy for Mid. Ir. ē, ō; see Bolognesi, 1954, p. 124) but which do not belong to the same stem class as the Ir. source word (group 2 above): e.g. Arm. i-stems from Ir. a- or ā-stems (dat from dāta-, xoyr from xauda-, hên from hainā-, spah/spay from spāda-, vars from *varsa-), Arm. u-stems from Ir. a- or ā-stems (zên from *zaina-, pah from *pāθra-, kʿên from *kainā-), the Arm. o-stem pʿowt from the Ir. i-stem pūti or the Arm. a-stem pet (together with its compounds) from the Ir. i-stem pati-.

A chronological dilemma is brought about by treating as morphologically late such group 2 forms which phonological criteria prove to be archaic borrowings. The only way out of the dilemma seems to be the one proposed by Bolognesi, 1954, p. 124, that these cases of coincidence between the Arm. and the Ir. stem classes are to be explained as restored from derivatives or compounds in which the stem vowel could have been readily preserved. That means that Arm. borrowed those forms when their final syllables had already been shortened in Ir., that is, in their typically Mid. Ir. form, and that the loss of the final syllables seen in the Arm. borrowings from Ir. (when compared with the OIr. or even Indo-Ir. data) has nothing to do with the Arm. “Law of final syllables.”

The nominal compounds of Ir. have strongly affected the Arm. formation of compounds. Sometimes a long series of compounds of the same kind was borrowed and through imitation of such models (analogy) certain first or second compositional elements were reduced to the status of mere prefixes or suffixes, which could be attached to inherited as well as to borrowed words. Having thus become grammaticalized, they became productive. Such words or compositional elements are partly also in independent use in Arm., as is the case with goyn “color” (from Mid. Pers. gōn, OIr. *gauna-), which is used both in “true” compounds (like ariwn-a-goyn “of blood color”) and grammaticalized as the usual suffix of the comparative or with pês “manner, way” (from Ir. *paisah-; cf. Av. paēsa(h)-), which is a current adverbial suffix as well as used independently in the iterative compound pêspês “(in) various (ways).” It should also be noted that Ir. compounds were sometimes to some extent “armenianized” by inserting the compositional vowel -a-. Strictly speaking we must accordingly regard them as loan translations: compare e.g. marz-pan “margrave” corresponding to Parth., Mid. Pers. marz-bān, but dar-a-pan “doorkeeper” and spar-a-pet “army leader” as opposed to Mid. Pers. dar-bān and Parth. dar-bān and Parth. spāδ-pat.

The following suffixes are of Ir. origin:

-astan in nouns denoting places, especially in names of countries: asp-astan “stable of horses” (from morphology asp “horse”); dar-astan “garden” (from dar “tree”); ay-astan “Armenia” (from Hay “Armenian”); Xuž-astan “Susiana;” Asorestan “Syria” (from Asori “Syrian”), etc.; from Ir. *-stāna-, cf. Parth., Mid. Pers. stān (Parth. Xūžistān).

-aran in nouns denoting places: ganj-aran “treasury” (from ganj “treasure”); zoh-aran “sacrificial altar” (from zoh “sacrifice”); place name Bag-aran; from Ir. *dāna- “receptacle,” cf. Parth. -’ān (Old Pers. daivadāna- “temple of daivas”).

-arên in adjectives and adverbs denoting languages: yown-arên “Greek” (from Yoyn “Greek”); asorarên “Syriac” (from Asori), etc. from Ir. *-ādayana- “manner, way,” cf. Parth. *āδēn, NPers. āyīn “norm, manner” (cf. Leroy, 964).

-kar “doing, making”: awgt-a-kar “profitable” (from awgowt “profit”); vnas-a-kar “hurtful” (from vnas “damage”), etc.; from Ir. *-kara-/-kāra, cf. Parth., Mid. Pers. -gar/-gār (Old Pers. zūrakara- “evildoer,” Mid. Pers. wināhgār “sinner”).

-kert “made, done”: dast-a-kert “building, village” (lit. “handmade” from dast “hand”); jeṟ-a-kert “manufacture” (from jeṟn “hand”); place name Tigran-a-kert (lit. “founded by Tigran”), etc.; from Ir. *-kṛta “made, done,” cf. Parth., Mid. Pers. -kirt, -gird (Old Pers. duškṛta “ill-done,” Parth., Mid. Pers. yazdegird “made by god,” also as a proper name).

-ow(r)hi in feminines, starting from a single loanword, ṭʿag-ow(r)hi “queen” from Ir. *tāga-bṛθryā (fem. to ṭʿag-a-wor “king,” lit. “bearing the crown”), where -ow(r)hi, no longer understood, became isolated by separating ṭʿag “crown” and having thus become independent was finally generalized (cf. Benveniste, 1945, p. 74).

-pan “protecting”: marz-pan “margrave, protecting the frontiers” (from marz “frontier”); bar-a-pan/dar-a-pan “doorkeeper” (from bar- and dar- “door”), etc.; from Ir. *-pāna-, cf. Parth., Mid. Pers. -pān, -bān, NPers. -bān (Mid. Pers. marz-bān “margrave,” NPers. šobān, čūpān “shepherd”).

-pet “chief,” first in numerous titles borrowed from Ir. (spar-a-pet “army leader,” dpr-a-pet “secretary-in-chief”, etc.), then in Arm. neologisms. It became especially productive to render Gk. compounds with arkhi-, -árkhēs, -arkhos (hayr-a pet “patriarch,” tasn-a-pet “decurion,” etc.); from Ir. *pati- “lord, chief.” The extremely large number of these formations (collected, classified, and interpreted in detail by Leroy, 1960 and Benveniste, 1961 ) is clear evidence of the profound influence of the Arsacid and Sasanian feudal aristocracy and military on Armenia.

Prefixes that are of frequent occurrence and thus often allow a borrowing to be identified by way of cumulative evidence are:

apa- from Ir. *apa- or *upa-: cf. Leroy, 1975.

aw- from Ir. *abi-: awtar “foreign” from Ir. *abitara cf. Av. aiβitara-); awrên-kʿ (plur.) “law” from Parth. aβ’ēn, etc.

- or ṭʿš- “dis-, mis-, un-” from Ir. *duš-.

ham- “same” from Ir. *hama-: ham-a-mayr “of the same mother,” etc.

pat- from Ir. *pati-: no longer productive in Arm. according to Belardi, 1962.

Ir. suffixes that were true suffixes from the beginning and have gained great vitality and productivity in Arm. are, among many others, the following:


-ak in diminutives (from substantives or adjectives): nawak “boat” from naw “ship;” kapowt-ak “bluish” from kapoyt “blue;” from Ir. *-aka-, cf. Parth., Mid. Pers. -ak, -ag; common is also -eak from Ir. *-ya-ka-.

-akan in adjectives (“belonging to”): ašxarh-akan “worldly” from ašxarh “world;” mayr-akan “maternal” from mayr “mother;” vačaṟ-akan “merchant” from vačaṟ “trade, commerce;” from Ir. *-akāna-, cf. Parth., Mid. Pers. -(a)kān, -(a)gān. This is one of the commonest Arm. suffixes.

-ean in adjectives (“belonging to”), particularly in proper names and patronymics: arewel-ean “eastern” from arewel-kʿ, plur. “east;” Aram-ean “son/descendant of Aram,” etc.; from Ir. *iḭāna- or gen. plur. *-iḭānām.

-ik in diminutives (from substantives or adjectives): hayr-ik “daddy” from hayr “father;” pʿokʿr-ik “very little” from pʿokʿr “little;” from Ir. *-ika-.


The so-called eżāfa-formations so characteristic of some of the younger Ir. languages, especially Mid. and NPers., were introduced into Arm. only in late and sporadic borrowings. These are mostly technical terms from geographical and botanical literature, as daričenik “cinnamon” from Mid. Pers. *dār ī čēnīk “Chinese wood.” Clearly this was merely a lexical process and the construction as such has no morphological function in Armenian.

Conclusive evidence of the strong influence of the foreign Iranian culture and languages on Armenia and Armenian is also afforded by the loan translations, of which a steadily increasing number has been identified. Many phrases composed only of Armenian words were in fact modeled on Iranian expressions. This process depended for its success on widespread bilingualism. Instances of this kind of Ir. influence have been brought to light only in recent times, mainly by Bolognesi (see Bolognesi, 1961; 1962a; 1966, pp. 577f.) but also by Benveniste, 1964, pp. 35ff. It is of course much more difficult to detect instances of loan translation than loanwords so that there remains much scope for future research in this field.

Most numerous are phrases with the auxiliaries aṟnel “to do,” linel “to be,” harkanel “to beat,” ownel “to have,” and tal “to give,” some of which occur in a large number of expressions (e.g. locutions with aṟnel or harkanel with Persian equivalents with kardan “to do” or zadan “to beat”). Examples of phrases with the structure substantive plus auxiliary (often paralleled by synonymous denominative verbs) are:

With aṟnel “to do”: azat aṟnel “to make free, i.e. liberate,” cf. NPers. āzād kardan; azd aṟnel “to make known, i.e. publish,” cf. Parth., Mid. Pers. azdegar “messenger;” dat arnel “to do justice, i.e. to judge,” cf. NPers. dād kardan; całr aṟnel “to make laugh, i.e. to laugh,” cf. NPers rīšxand kardan; herī aṟnel “to make remote, i.e. to remove,” cf. Parth. dūr kar-, NPers. dūr kardan; yišowmn aṟnel “to make memory, i.e. to remember,” cf. Parth. aβyād kar-, NPers. yād kardan; awłił aṟnel “to do right, i.e. to judge,” cf. Parth. razwar kar-, NPers. rāst kardan; vnas aṟnel “to do damage, i.e. to damage,” cf. NPers. gunāh kardan.

With harkanel “to beat”: banak harkanel “to strike a camp, i.e. to encamp,” cf. NPers. ordū zadan; xoran harkanel “to strike a tent, i.e. to camp,” cf. NPers. čādor zadan; howr harkanel “to strike fire, i.e. to inflame,” cf. NPers. ātaš zadan; pʿoł harkanel “to strike the trumpet, i.e. to sound the trumpet,” cf. MPers. nāy pazd-; as a compound sanj-a-harel “to strike the bridle, i.e. to bridle,” cf. NPers. afsār zadan.

With ownel “to have”: akn ownel (and as compound akn-kalel with the suppletive aorist stem) “to have an eye, i.e. to expect, to hope,” cf. NPers. čašm dāštan; pah ownel “to keep watch, i.e. to watch,” cf. NPers. pās dāštan.

With tal “to give”: hraman tal “to give order, i.e. to command,” cf. NPers. farmān dādan; patasxani tal “ to give answer, i.e. to answer,” cf. NPers. pāsoḵ dādan.

Note also the following constructions: i kʿown erṭʿal “to go to sleep, i.e. to sleep,” cf. NPers. ba-ḵᵛāb raftan; erkṇčʿel i plus abl. “to be afraid of,” cf. Old Pers. tṛs hača @ plus abl., Parth., Mid. Pers. tirs až/az, NPers. tarsīdan az. It is hardly surprising to find such loan translations in the case of typically Ir. titles such as “king of kings” (Mid. Pers. šāhān šāh) rendered by Yeznik as arkʿayicʿ arkʿay or its fem. counterpart occurring in the book of Esther and in Sebêos as tiknancʿ tikin “mistress of mistresses” (Inscr. Mid. Pers. bānbišnān bānbišn).

Loan translations of Ir. compounds are: ašxarh-a-kal “holding the world, i.e. ruler of the world” from Parth. šahr-’ār, Mid. Pers. šahr-yār; jerb-a-kal “prisoner” (lit. “held with the hands,” cf. Parth., Mid. Pers. dast-graw: Benveniste, 1945, pp. 77), which shows the passive use of the same verbal stem -kal; ṭʿag-a-wor “king” (lit. “bearing the crown”) from Mid. Pers. *tāg-bar but with Arm. -wor (from IE. *-bhoros) substituted for the Ir. second element; arew-el-kʿ (plur.) “east” (lit. “sunrise,” cf. Parth., Mid. Pers. Xwar-āsān also meaning originally “sunrise”).

6. Proper names. In Armenian literature we find from the very beginning in the fifth century A.D. a very large number of Iranian proper names, especially personal names. According to Nalbandyan, 1971, p. 4, roughly one quarter of all Arm. personal names were taken over from Ir. languages. The vast extent of this borrowing process reflects once again the fact that there were over the ages often very close historical and cultural contacts between these two countries and peoples.;Modern research in this field began with Hübschmann, who compiled a list of 217 entries concerned with Iranian names found in Armenian sources: see the first section of his grammar, 1897, pp. 17-91. His list was necessarily far from complete and his interpretations are by no means final but his work has had a kind of monopoly until the present day. In Hübschmann’s list as well as in Ačaṟyan’s onomasticon (Ačaṟyan, 1942-1962) and in Nalbandyan’s dissertation, no distinction is made between two groups of names which should in fact have been kept separate. On the one hand we find a great many names of Arsacid or Sasanian kings and queens, princes and princesses, generals and notables of various kinds which refer exclusively to Iran proper and to Iranian matters but just happen to occur in Armenian texts and are therefore virtually on the same level as the Ir. collateral tradition in Greek, Aramaic, Elamite sources, etc. On the other hand, however, there are those names of Ir. origin that really were taken over by the Armenians, were borne by Armenian people and remained in use among them, partly till today. These names are of importance not only for Ir. studies but for Arm. studies as well, since they have become fully integrated within the Arm. language.

The borrowing of personal names of foreign origin from other peoples is always conditioned by cultural matters and based upon something like an onomastic fashion. The situation may be compared with that obtaining in the feudal societies of the European Middle Ages. There foreign names were often adopted first by the nobles because of the splendor and pomp attaching to them and only afterwards by the common people imitating them. The Arsacids ruling in Armenia of course never abandoned their onomastic tradition, not even after becoming Christians. They carried on using their old names like Aršak, Trdat, Tiran, Pap, Xosrov, Varazdat, etc., or the feminines Ašxên, Bambišn, Varazdowxt, Xosrovidowxt, and the like. In that period of Arsacid rule the Parthian nobles who had entered the land in their wake and the local Armenian aristocracy, families such as the Artsrunians, Mamikonians, or Bagratids, followed the same customs. It is perhaps surprising to find markedly Zoroastrian and by the same token non-Christian names like Vahagn or Vahan (from Av. Vərəθraγna-) or Nerseh or Nersês (from Mid. Pers. Nar(i)sah, Av. Nairiiō.saŋha-) used by Christian people or even monks.

When proper names are borrowed they do not usually undergo any change of form but if they do it is usually a slight change that remains fixed. This fact often makes it easy to date the borrowings, especially if it is possible to obtain additional evidence from typical features of the historical phonology such as the characteristic Arm. substitution of r for Parth. from Ir. *d as in Bagarat. Still clearer evidence is afforded by cases where the same name was borrowed twice at different dates: Spandarat from Parth. *Spandaδāt but later Spandiat from Mid. Pers. Spandyāt (cf. Av. Spəṇtō’āta- etc. from Ir. *Spanta-dāta-) or Vrkên from Parth. *Vurkēn as opposed to later Gowrgên from Mid. Pers. Gurgēn (both from the hypocoristic form Ir. * Vṛkaina-). The most telling example of this kind is Vahagn from *Varhagn (with h from rh), which is derived by dissimilation from Parth. Varhragn (as attested at Nisa by wrtrgn) from OIr. *Varθragna- (or perhaps Vṛθragna- like Av. Vərəθraγna-), which contrasts with Vahan from the by-form Inscr. Parth. and Mid. Pers. Warhrān as against Vahram from Zor. Mid. Pers. Wahrām, a dissimilated form of Warhrām with secondary m (perhaps a sandhi variant) from n, or Vrām, which is the commonest Arm. form of this Sasanian royal name and is shortened from Vahram but appears to be from a form with a zero-grade initial, i.e. from *Vurram, * Vurhrām, *Vurhrān, and ultimately proto-Ir. *Vṛθragna-. Sometimes there is reason to think that a name was not borrowed directly. Thus, the name of the Persian king Kiwros, attested in the Bible translation and in Moses of Khorene, is not a direct reflex of Old Pers. Kuruš but simply the exact rendering of Gk. KÅɨros.

In various studies (especially 1971), Nalbandyan has tried to distinguish between OIr. loans (Median and Old Pers. names, those from the Zoroastrian pantheon, and Scythian names), Mid. Ir. loans (“Mid. Median,” Mid. Parth., and Mid. Pers. names), and New Ir. loans, especially names from the Ir. national epic. However, Nalbandyan’s work not only confuses the name of Iranians in Armenian sources with Ir. names of Armenians, but also suffers from several inconsistencies, the most serious of which is that he has in mind in each case primarily the linguistic stage of Ir. for which the name concerned is attested for the first time even when the Arm. form shows clear traces of a later or an indirect borrowing: see above on Kiwros and Bagarat. Bagarat can not have been borrowed in Median times even though the first attestation of a form *Bagadāta- is from the eighth century B.C.

A typological investigation of these Irano-Armenian personal names with respect to morphology shows (see Schmitt, 1983) that all the various types of names attested in Parthian or Middle Persian have found their way into Armenian. This holds true for the two-stem compounds inherited, as a type, from IE. (with several subdivisions according to the syntactical relations between the two elements of the compound) and the new formations derived from those names by the addition of special hypocoristic suffixes to mutilated parts of them. It applies equally to the likewise inherited one-stem names, which had only one word stem originally. Armenian also reflects Parth. and Mid. Pers. forms that arose only in Mid. Ir. times such as the three-stem formations based upon secondary composition or the “theophoric dummy dvandvas” of the Atrormizd-type (cf. Mid. Pers. Ādur-Ohrmazd), which resulted from the secondary juxtaposition of two divine names. Finally there are names that were originally patronymics, which became productive in Middle Iranian as well as in Armenian, especially names of women.

In Arm. toponymy Ir. influence is equally noticeable (see Leroy, 1961). Some of the old pre-Armenian geographical names (toponyms, hydronyms, oronyms, etc.) were apparently replaced by modern names in the course of time. As a result of the extensive borrowing of Ir. words into Armenian from the Arsacid period on, many of the geographical names newly created by the Armenians also contain Ir. word stems or suffixes or are even wholly Iranian. See above for names ending in -(a)stan, -(a)ran, and -kert, denoting places. The suffix -kert is found in various kinds of place names, the most important of which is the kind with a personal name as first element: Tigran-a-kert, Xosrov-a-kert “founded by Tigran/Khosrov.” Genuine Ir. compounds of a type that was likewise fully productive are the toponyms in -apat like Vałarš-apat or Peroz-a-pat, where apat “inhabited place” represents proto-Ir. *-āpāta- “protected (by)” found in Parth., Mid. Pers. ābād; in -awan like Bagawan, Zareh-awan with awan “village” from Mid. Pers. āwahan; or in -šat like Art-a-šat, Erowand-a-šat, with sat “happy; happiness” from Parth., Mid. Pers. šād “happy, joyful” from Old Pers. šiyāta-. In the case of place names in -apat, -kert, and -šat we have to do with settlements founded by the persons mentioned, mainly kings, so that the use of an Ir. rather than an Arm. name need cause no surprise.



H. Hübschmann, Armenische Grammatik I: Armenische Etymologie, Leipzig, 1897 (Hildesheim, 21962, Hildesheim and New York, 31972).

A. Meillet, “Sur les mots iraniens empruntés par l’arménien,” MSL 17, 1911/12, pp. 242-50 (repr. in: Ētudes de linguistique et de philologie arméniennes II, Louvain, 1977, pp. 142-50).

R. Gauthiot, “Iranica,” MSL 19, 1916, pp. 125-32.

E. Benveniste, “Titres iraniens en arménien,” REArm ( = Revue des études arméniennes) 9, 1929, pp. 5-10.

H. Ačaṟyan, Hayocʿ anjnanownneri barāran (Lexicon of Armenian personal names), 5 vols., Yerevan, 1942-1962 (repr. Beirut, 1972).

E. Benveniste, “Ētudes iraniennes,” TPS, 1945, pp. 39-78.

G. Bolognesi, “Sul vocalismo degli imprestiti iranici in armeno,” Ricerche Linguistiche 2, 1951, pp. 141-62.

Idem, “Ricerche sulla fonetica armena,” Ricerche Linguistiche 3, 1954, pp. 123-54.

E. Benveniste, “Mots d’emprunt iraniens en arménien,” BSL 53, 1957-1958, pp. 55-71.

W. B. Henning, “Mitteliranisch,” 1958, pp. 20-130.

G. Bolognesi, Le fonti dialettali degli imprestiti iranici in armeno, Milan, 1960.

M. Leroy, “Les composés armeniens en -pet,” AnnIPhO 15, 1958-60 (1960), pp. 109-28.

Idem, “Suffixes d’origine iranienne dans la toponymie arménienne,” Studia Onomastica Monacensia 4, 1961, pp. 517-21.

E. Benveniste, “Remarques sur les composés arméniens en -pet,” Handes Amsorya 75, 1961, cols. 631-40.

G. Bolognesi, “Nuovi aspetti dell’influsso iranico in armeno,” ibid., cols. 657-84.

Idem, “Rapporti lessicali tra l’armeno e l’iranico,” Rend. Istituto Lombardo 96, 1962, pp. 235-58 (= 1962a).

Idem, “Studi armeni,” Ricerche Linguistiche 5, 1962, pp. 105-47 (= 1962b).

W. Belardi, “Sull’origine delle voci armene antiche composte con pat,” ibid., pp. 149-69.

W. B. Henning, “Coriander,” Asia Major, N.S. 10, 1963, pp. 195-99 (repr. in: Selected Papers II = Acta Iranica 15, 1977, pp. 583-87).

E. Benveniste, “Ēléments parthes en arménien,” REArm, N.S. 1, 1964, pp. 1-39.

M. Leroy, “Les mots arméniens en -arēn,” in: Ēcole des Langues Orientales Anciennes de l’Institut Catholique de Paris. Mémorial du cinquantenaire 1914-1964, Paris, 1964, pp. 131-33.

G. Bolognesi, “La tradizione culturale armena nelle sue relazioni col mondo persiano e col mondo greco-romano,” in: Convegno internazionale sul tema: “La Persia e il mondo greco-romano,” Roma, 1966, pp. 569-603.

A. Périkhanian, “Une inscription araméenne du roi Artašēs trouvée a Zanguézour (Siwnikʿ),” REArm, N.S. 3, 1966, pp. 17-29.

Idem, “Notes sur le lexique iranien et arménien,” REArm, N.S. 5, 1968, pp. 9-30.

R. N. Frye, “Continuing Iranian influence on Armenian,” Yād-nāma-ye Īrānī-e Minorskī, Tehran, 1969, pp. 80-89 (repr. in: Opera Minora I, Shiraz, 1976, pp. 150-60).

G. M. Nalbandyan, Armyanskie lichnye imena iranskogo proiskhozhdeniya (kul’turno-istoricheskoe, ètimologicheskoe issledovanie) (Armenian personal names of Iranian origin, cultural-historical, etymological studies), Avtoreferat dissertatsii, Tbilisi, 1971.

R. Schmitt, “Empfehlungen zur Transliteration der armenischen Schrift,” ZVS 86, 1972, pp. 296-306.

M. Leroy, “Les composés arméniens à premier terme apa-,” Mélanges linguistiques offerts à Ēmile Benveniste, Paris, 1975, pp. 367-73.

R. Schmitt, “Von Bopp bis Hübschmann: Das Armenische als indogermanische Sprache,” ZVS 89, 1975, pp. 3-30.

M. L. Chaumont, “L’Arménie entre Rome et l’Iran. I. De l’avènement d’Auguste à l’avènement de Dioclétien,” in: Aufstieg und Niedergang der Romischen Welt. II: Principat, vol. 9, Berlin and New York, 1976, pp. 71-194.

G. Bolognesi, “Problemi di geografia linguistica relativi all’area iranica e armena,” Actas del V Congreso Internacional de Estudios Lingüísticos del Mediterráneo, Madrid, 1977, pp. 527-40.

Ch. de Lamberterie, “Armeniaca I-VIII: études lexicales,” BSL 73, 1978, pp. 243-85.

P. Considine, “A Semantic Approach to the Identification of Iranian Loanwords in Armenian,” in: Studies in Diachronic, Synchronic, and Typological Linguistics. Festschrift for Oswald Szemerènyi, Amsterdam, 1979, pp. 213-28.

G. Bolognesi, “L’Armenia tra Oriente e Occidente: Incontro di tradizioni linguistiche nei secoli che precedono e seguono la prima documentazione scritta,” Transcaucasica II, Venice, 1980, pp. 26-42.

R. Schmitt, “Die Lautgeschichte und ihre Abhängigkeit von der Etymologie, am Beispiel des Armenischen,” in: Lautgeschichte und Etymologie. Akten der VI. Fachtagung der Indogermanischen Gesellschaft, Wiesbaden, 1980, pp. 412-30.

D. M. Lang, “Iran, Armenia and Georgia,” Camb. Hist. Iran III, 1983, pp. 505-36.

R. Schmitt, “Iranisches Lehngut im Armenischen,” REArm, N.S. 17, 1983, pp. 73-112.

M. Leroy, “Emprunts iraniens dans la composition nominale en arménien classique,” ibid., pp. 51-72.

R. Schmitt, “Iranische Namenschichten und Namentypen bei altarmenischen Historikern,” Beiträge zur Namenforschung, N. F. 19, 1984, pp. 317-31.

(R. Schmitt)


iv. Iranian Influences in Armenian

2. Iranian Loanwords in Armenian

The Iranian loanwords in early Armenian are either fully integrated into the language or, at times, cited as foreign words. For Iranian studies both are equally important. The words can be traced from Achaemenian times through Parthian and Sasanian to the intrusion of the Muslim technical terms into Iran.

A selection of these early Iranian words in Armenian is organized in groups to indicate the Iranian penetration.

Intellect and senses: angarem “reckon” (Pahl. hangār-), andačem “test” (Pahl. handāč-), andarj, handerj “testament” (Pahl. handarz), arg-, yargem “honor,” argoy “important” (from arg-, Oss. aṛγ “value,” Man. Parth. ʾrgʾw “fine, noble”), aržem, aržan “be worth, worthy” (Pahl. arž-, arzān), handēs “show,” haṇčar “intellect” (ham- with kar- “to think”), ouš “wits,” apouš “foolish,” apšim “be surprised,” yišem “remember,” yišatak “memory” (Man. Mid. Pers. ʾwšy “memory,” ʾbyʾwš “senseless,” Sogd. ʾšyh “memory,” Khot. uviʾ “wits”), xorh, xoh “thought” (*hvarθa-, base hvar- “to grasp in mind,” Khot. hvarāka- = nāsāka- “grasping,” like the use of grab- “grasp” in Sogd. γṛβ “understand,” Yagh. γriv- “know, understand,” Chor. γiβ- “grasp, think”), niš, nšan “mark, sign” (*ni-īš “look into,” Man. Mid. Pers. nyyš-, Georgian niš-i, Man. Parth. nyšʾn, Pahl., NPers. nišān), piš- “look, gaze,” miapiš “gazed at by all,” pšnoum, pšnem “gaze” (*pi-īš- “look, gaze,” Av. piš- “look,” apišman- “not seeing”), govem, govest “praise” (Old Pers. gaub- “speak,” Sogd. γwβ- “praise”), drouat “praise” (Pahl. drūt, NPers. dorūd, Man. Mid. Pers., Parth. drwd “health,” Sogd. drwtʾth, Av. drvatāt-), patiu “honor” (Sogd. pṭβyw-), kʿēn “hate” (Av. kaēna-, Pahl. kēn, Oss. xinä “evil”), žmit, žpit “smile,” žpirh “bold,” žprhim “to dare” (žm-, žp- from šm- as in Khot. śmī- of haśmīśtä “is surprised,” to two bases IE. smei- “smile, wonder,” and (s)mei- “dare” in Oslav. sŭ-mei- “dare”), nazim “be ceremonious,” nazeli “gracious” (NPers. nāz-, Khot. nāys, nāśa-), pargeu “gift, favor” (Man. Parth. prgʾw- “desire,” Khot. hagav- “desire,” gau- in Latin gaudeo), zbōsnoum, zbōsanam “jest” (Khot. būsä “jest”), tagnap “haste, anxiety” (Man. Parth. tgnbnd, from *tagnapanta, with tang- “be tense” and pa- “cause”), patouēr “command” (Sogd. pṭβγ’- from OIr. patibaudaya-), arouest, arhest “art, ingenuity” (Old Pers. aruvastam “ability,” Parth. ʾrwst = Gk. nikē “success,” -rv- replaced by -rf, whence Arm. -rh-), azd “influence,” ah, aha-vir-kʿ “fear” (Av. āiθi-, and *bīra- from bai- “fear”), erk “work” (Sogd. ʾrkh, Pahl. arg, Yagh. ark “work”), datark “idle” (from dāta- “ceased,” arka- “work”), parap “leisure, idleness” (from parā- “beyond,” apah- “work”), dipah “anger” (Pahl. dyphl, i.e. dēpahr, Man. Parth. dybhr, tybhr “anger,” dybhrg, tybhrg “under anger,” NPers. dyfhry, dfhry, i.e., difahrī).

Moralia: xem “character” (Pahl. xēm), hrahang-kʿ “instruction (plur.)” (Pahl. frahang “education, knowledge,” NPers. farhang, with hra-, as in many modern northwest-Iranian dialects), čšmarit “true” (Pahl. čašmadīt), patir “cheat” (Sogd. ptʾy’-), čartar “clever,” with agent suffix -tar-), pandoyr, pandoṙ “foolish” (cf. Khot. pandara- “foolish”), erašx “pledge” (base raxš- “protect”), dat “law” (Old Pers. dāta, Pahl. dāt), dašn, gen. sing. dašin “agreement, harmony” (cf. Pahl. dašn “right hand,” Inscr. Mid. Pers. dšny “pledge” [NPi]), patouhas “penalty” (Pahl. pātufrās), ir “thing,” adj. irakan, irau “true” (Man. Parth. ʿyr, tr. Gk. khreia “affair,” Man. Mid. Pers. xyr, Pahl. ʾyl, hyl, i.e., (h)ī “thing,” Pahl. heterogram ṢBW, Aram. “thing,” Pazend hīr, haēr, Khot. hira- “thing, wealth, element (dharma),” vauer “trustworthy,” vauerakan “genuine, reliable” (Man. Parth. wʾwr, wʾwryft “belief,” Man. Mid. Pers. wʾbrygʾn “true,” Pahl. vāβar, vāβarīkān, NPers. bāvar “belief),” from reduplicated vā-var-, var “to assert,” Arm. -er from Ir. -ar), zgam “feel” (cf. Av. vohuna-zga- “cleaving to blood”), hambau “news” (Georgian ambav-i “tale,” Khot. haṃbvakyā- “abuse”), erdnoum “swear” (possibly to Oss. ārd “oath”), šogmog “tale-bearing, slandering,” šogmogem “to slander” (dialectal š- to base sauk- “to call,” Khot. sūch-, sūṃjs “call,” Oss. soxtä “caller to prayer, muezzin,” with mau- “to speak,” Khot. mura- “speech,” Yid. sūgo “tale”).

Religion: aramazd, later ormizd “Ahura Mazdā” (Pahl. Ohrmazd), mazdezn “worshipping Mazdā” (Av. māzdayasni-, Pahl. mazdēsn), vahagn (vṛθragna- “victor”), kʿrtikar “creator” (Man. Mid. Pers. kyrdgʾr, Pahl. kardagār), zrouan “time (as creator)” zrouanean “son of Kronos” (Av. zrvan-, Pahl. zurvān, Sogd. (ʾ)zrwʾ “Brahmā,” but zrwyh “old age,” Oss. zäruä), spandaramet “Dionysus of the underworld,” sandaramet-kʿ “underworld” (Khot. śśandrāmatā- “Śrī” [see Ārmaiti], bag “god” (Old Pers. baga- [tr. Akkad. ilu], Av. baγa-), bak- in hour-bak for the farn-baγ fire, bak-our “son of gods,” NPers. from Sogd. faγr-fūr, Greco-Persian (Surkh Kotal) bagapouro from *bagapuθra-), pʿaṙ-kʿ “fortune” and tr. Christian Gk. dóxa “opinion, glory,” pʿaṙauor “fortunate” (Old Pers. *farnah-, Av. xarənah-, Pahl. farr, xvarrah, xvarr, NPers. farr, farrox, Oss. fārnä, fārngun), aṭʿaš “fire” in the name aṭʿaš-xoday, beside atr- (Av. ātarš, Pahl. ātaxš, NPers. āteš and Pahl. ātur, NPers. āḏar), zoh “offering,” zoharan “altar” (Av. zaoθra-, Pahl. zōhr; and OIr. *zauθradāna-), boyr “perfume” (Av. baoi’i-, Oss. bodä, Pahl. bōd, NPers. bōy), bourouaṙ “censer” (Sogd. βw’-/βrn, from *baudabarana- “censer”), barsman- “bundle of twigs” (Av. barəsman-, Pahl. barsom), gomēz “bovine water” (Av. gao-maēza-, Pahl. gō-mēz), atroušan “fire-temple” (from ātr- and *aušana- “burning-place”), haraman, xaraman, arhmn (Av. aŋrō mainyuš, Pahl. ahraman, Sogd. šimnu), deu “demon” (Av. daēva-, Pahl., NPers. dēv, Oss. deu, Greco-Pers. Asmodaios, Sogd. δyw), čokan “crozier,” Pahl. čōpakān, NPers. čōγān “polo stick”), dahaman “offering” (cf. Man. Parth. dʾhwʾn “gift”), nouēr “offering” (cf. Av. nivaē’aya-, Inscr. Parth. nywdpty, Sogd. nwy’- “invite”), xost, xostovan, xostouk “confessing” (cf. Man. Parth. xvāstavānīft), zouarak “sacrifical steer” (Georgian azaver-, azavir-i “ox for carrying”), yazem, yašt “worship” (Av. yaz-, Old Persian yad-, Av. yašti-, yašta-, Pahl. yaz-, yašt, Khot. gyays-, gyaṣṭa-), patgamauor “messenger, prophet” (Pahl. paygāmbar, cf. Man. Parth. pdgʾm), erani “happy” (Av. rānya-), erǰanik “fortunate” (Pahl. aržānīk “getting”), apizar “separated” (Pahl. apēzār “separated, freed”), apauēn “refuge” (*upa-vayana- “place to run to”?), hreštak “messenger, angel” (Man. Parth. fryštg “apostle, angel,” NPers. ferešta “angel”), anoušak “immortal” (Pahl. anōšak “immortal”), hraš “astonished,” hraš-kʿ “wonder, marvel,” hrašakert “wonderful” (Old Pers. fraša = Akkad. bunū, Av. fraša-, Pahl. fraš “conspicuous,” Man. Parth. fršygyrdyg), mihr, mirh, mrhakan, meh-, merh- “Mithra” (Av. miθra-, Pahl. mihr, Kušan mihira-), mehean “Mithra-temple,” mehekani (gen. sing.) “of the 7th month Mehekan” (Greco-Pers. Mithrakana, Pahl. mtrʾgʾn, i.e., *mihrakān, NPers. mehragān, Georgian Mihrakʾan-i), tačar “temple” (Old Pers. tacara-), draxt “garden, paradise” (Pahl. draxt, NPers. deraḵt “tree”), partēz “garden” (paridaiza-, Av. pairi.daēza- “enclosed place,” Syr. prdys-ʾ, NPers. pālēz, Greco-Pers. Paradeisos), džox-kʿ “hell” (Av. daožaŋhva-, Pahl. dōšaxv, NPers. dōzax, Man. Parth. dwjx, Man. Mid. Pers. dwšwx, Georgian ǰoǰoxeṭʿ-i), pʿaṭʿerak “calamity” (Pahl. patyārak), boz-payit, baz-payit “confession of sin” (cf. Pahl. bazak, Man. Parth. bzg, NPers. baza, Khot. baśdaa@- “evil, sin” and Av. paitita-, Pahl. patīt “penance”), hroti-cʿ “of the month of Fravartīn” (from fravarti-, Av. fravaši-, Pahl. fravart, fravahr), mog, mogpet, mog-petan mog-pet, movan-pet “magus, magian, chief magian” (Av. magu- [once in gen. sing. magəˊuš], moγu-, Old Pers. maguš, Gk. mágos, Lat. magus, Pahl. maγūk-mart, maγupāt, NPers. mōbad), šahri < k > - “priest of Zābul” (Pahl. šahrīc to šahr), ouxt “oath” (Av. uxti-, Pahl. -uxt from uxta-), ašakert “qualified pupil” (*hašyā-kṛta-, Pahl. ašākart, Man. Mid. Pers. hšʾgyrd, NPers. šāgerd), vardapet “teacher” (Inscr. Parth. wrdpt, wrdptykn, Inscr. Mid. Pers. wldpt, wldptkn, Greco-Pers. goulbad, goulibēgan, with -rd, not -rt- nor -rz-), mkrta-, mkrtem “to wash (hands), immerse in baptism” (base mak- “to immerse, moisten,” in the Kartēr inscription on the Kaʿba-ye Zardošt 10 mktky, from OIr.*makata-ka- “baptist,” Slav. mok- “to make wet,” Baltic mak-; Arm. mkrt- from *makṛta- with suffix of agent -ṛta- beside makata-; mkrtaran “baptistery”), margarē “seer, prophet” (Sogd. mʾrkrʾk “sorcerer, possessor of manθra,” with -ē as in later Sogdian -yy from OIr. -aka-), hešmaka-pašt “serving demons,” (Georgian ešmakʾ-i, ešma, “demon,” Av. aēšma-, Pahl. ēšm, NPers. xešm, with pašt from *pari-štā- “to stand around,” cf. Pahl. parist- “to serve”), kaxard “wizard” (Av. kaxᵛarəδa-, kaxᵛarəδī “witch,” Buddhist Sanskrit kākhorda-), vhouk “ventriloquist” (Av. vīθuš , base vaēθ-), hmay-kʿ, hmayeak “augury” (NPers. homāy “bird of augury,” homāyūn “fortunate”), ǰatouk “magician” (Pahl. yātūk, Av. yātu-, NPers. ǰādū) pʿargast “absit omen” (Pahl. pargast, possibly fron pari-kas-, Oss. fälgäsun “survey”), višap “monster” (Georgian vešapʿ-i, Av. vīšāpa-, possibly Khot. gukṣapa-), youška-parik “ass-centaur” (Khot. jūṣḍa-, Waxī yukš “wild goat,” NPers. vošk “ass” with parik, Pahl. parīk, Av. pairikā- “witch,” NPers. parī “fairy,” Sogd. pṛʿyk- “female demoness”), nhang “sea-monster” (Pahl. nihang, NPers. nahang “crocodile”).

From nature there are: gah, gahinkʿ “precipice” (Av vī-gāh), gauaṙ “province” (Av. gava- “district,” Oss. ārān “boundary”), kiṛč “pass, defile” (Khot. keʾca- “cleft,” from *kart-čā-, base kart- “cut, cleave”), čarak “pasture” (Pahl. čarak), dašt “plain” (Pahl. dašt, Sogd. δʾxšt- to Av. daγa- “bare”), koh “mountain” in kap-koh “Caucasus” (Old Pers. kaufa-, Pahl. kōf, NPers. kōh Khot. kūvaa- “heap”), auan “village” (*ā-vāna-, Syr. ʾwʾn-ʾ, base van- “cover”), van-kʿ “monastery” (Khot. vāna- “temple,” base van-, Av. nivānənti “they cover”) šatrouan “fountain” (Pahl. šāturvān), ṙah “road” (Pahl. rās, NPers. rāh), ṙot “river” (Old Pers. rautah-, Av. θraotah-, Pahl. rōt, NPers. rōd), ṙotstak, əṙotastak “district” (Pahl. rōtastāk, rōstāk, Inscr. Mid. Pers lwtstʾk, Man. Parth. rwdystʾg, NPers. rōstāk, rostāq, rūstā), deh “region,” dehapet “chief of district,” nždeh “exile,” dehkan “governor” (Av. dahyu-, Old Pers dahyu-, Pahl. dēh, Man. Mid. Pers. dyḫ, Sogd. ʾztyw, i.e. uzdayu “exile”), vēm “rock” (Khot. bīma-, Inscr. Parth, wym, Av. vaēma-), vtak “stream” (tak- “to flow,” cf. Khot. nätāa-, from OIr. *nitāka-), koys “side” (Sogd. kws “side,” Pahl. pātkōs, Man. Parth. pʾdgws, Man. Mid. Pers. pʾdgws, pʾygws), kʿoust “side” (Pahl. kušt, Khot. kuvāʾysa- “side”), Sogd. qwšy “side of body,” from two bases kaus- and kauš-), sahman “boundary” (Pahl. shmʾn, NPers. sāmān), astouč, aštouč, “dry” (Khot. astauca- “dry land,” base as- “to dry”).

Animals: asp “horse” (Av. aspa-, Old Pers. as(s)a-, Khot. aśśa-, Waxī yaš) in aspastan “horse stall” (Av. aspō.stānā, Pahl. aspastān), aspatak “incursion (with horse)” (Pahl. aspatāk), aspazēn “horse-armor,” aspet “horseman” (from asa-pati- to Old Pers. àsa- beside Inscr. Parth. ʾsp-pty, Pahl. ʾswbʾl, i.e. asuβār, ʾspwʾl, i.e. aspaβār, NPers. savār), gomēš “buffalo” (NPers. gāv-mēš, kapik “monkey” (Pahl. kapīk, OInd. kapi-), kʿouṙak “foal” (Pahl. kurrak, NPers. korra, korraǰ), marax “locust” (Av. ma’axa-, Pahl. myg, i.e. mayig, NPers. meyg, malax, Oss. mätix), moušk “musk,” moušk erē “musk deer,” napʾak “musk bag” (Pahl. mušk, NPers. mošk, nāfa), palang “leopard” in štrpalang “giraffe” (NPers. šotor-palang), pʿił “elephant” (Old Pers. piru-, Pahl. pīl, NPers. fīl), samoyr “sabel” (Pahl. samōr), gurg “wolf” in gurgasar “wolf headed,” Georgian gorgasal, Av. vəhrka-, Pahl., NPers. gurg, Sogd. wyrky, Khot. birgga-, Sanglēčī wurk, Yazg. warǵ), vagr “tiger” (OInd. vyāghra-, Pahl. b(w)pl, i.e. baβr, NPers. babr), štr, ištr “camel” (Pahl. uštur, Av. uštra-, NPers. oštor, šotor), yauanak, yovanak “young animal” (Oss. iuonug, Iron uänig “young steer,” Av. yvan- “young,” OInd. yuvan-), yauaz, yovaz “panther” (NPers. yōz, (Georgian avaza, Pahl. ywč, i.e. yavaz), karič “scorpion” may be from the word kar- (Pahl. kaṛčang “crab,” NPers. ḵaṛčang, Man. Mid. Pers. qyrzng) or from the fuller form kaṛč- (from the base IE. (s)kerp-, Gk. skórpios), inj, inc (u-stem) “leopard” (possibly from Iran. *hinzu- “pouncer,”with OInd. siṃha′- “lion” as “pouncer,” from the Ir. base haiz-, hiz- “to mount,” OInd. *seh-, siṃh-.

Birds: marg “bird” in sira-marg “peacock” and lor, lora-marg “quail” (North Iranian as in Oss. māṛγ “bird”) besides mouł in ištr-mouł “ostrich,” NPers. šotor-moṛγ with Man. Parth. mwrg, Man. Mid. Pers. mwrw, NPers. moṛγ), bazē, bazay “falcon” (Pahl., NPers. bāz, base baz- “to extend the wings”), čouṙak “falcon” (Npers. ǰorra), gauaz “falcon,” Georgian gavaz-i (likely to be Iranian), sareak, sarik “starling,” NPers. sār, sārak, sāraǰ, sārī), soxak “water bird, nightingale” (possibly to base sauk- “to call” like OInd. śuka “parrot”), kakʿau “partridge” (similar to Pahl. kpg, i.e. kaβg, NPers. kabk “quail,” Gk. kakkábē, Khot. kakva), paskouč “griffin,” Gk. grips = koṛč “griffin” (folkloric Aramaic pwšqnṣ, Pahl. baškuč, Man. Mid. Pers. pškwč, Georgian pʾaskʾunǰ-i, pʿaskʿuǰ-i, pʿaskʾunǰi, Oss. pākʾondzi, pāgŭndzä, paskʾondi, Swan pʿaysguǰ, from *pati-škuvaṇči- “swooping down upon”).

For people at work we find: dēt, parēt, paret “observer” (from *daitar- agent to dai- “see,” nom. sing. - > -t, as Old Pers. dauštar-, to NPers. dōst “friend;” *patidaitar-, like Av. paitidaya- “surveying”), špet “herdsman” (from *fšu-pati-, beside Pahl. špʾn, šupān, NPers. šobān), goušak “observer, informer,” Sogd. γwšk- “spy,” Georgian gušag-i “sentinel,” Arameo-Pers. gwšk- “listener”), mšak “farmer;” Georgian mušakʾ-i (with Khot. miṣṣa- “field,” later muṣa-, base maiz- “to cultivate”), nauaz “boatman” (Av. navāza-, Man. Parth. nʾwʾz), satar “artisan” (Av. sātar- “controller”), bžišk “physician” (Pahl. bižišk, Man. Mid. Pers. bšyhk with Av. biš, bišaz-, Sogd. βyč, βyčʾnʾk “medical,” βyčyh “medicine”), dahič “executioner” (Syr. dhš-ʾ, base dah- “treat violently”), dastiarak “educator” (Man. Parth. dstdʾr, NPers. dastyār “helper”), datauor “judge” (dāta “law,” Pahl. dātaβar, Man. Parth. dʾdbr, NPers. dāvar), despan “envoy” (Pahl. baγ-dēspānīk, Ar. dosfān), gousan “singer” (Man. Parth. gōsān, Georgian mgosan-i, NPers. kwsʾn, i.e., gōsān, base *angaus-), derjak “tailor” (base darz- “sew,” NPers. darzī “tailor”), dpir “scribe” (from dipi- “document,” dipi-bara- “carrying documents,” Inscr. Mid. Pers. dipīvar, Pahl. dipīr, NPers. dabīr), xohaker “cook” (*hvarθa-kara-, Av. xᵛarəθa- “food”).

Minerals and metals: aroyr “copper” (Man. Mid. Pers. rwy, Sogd. rwδynʾk “of copper,” Pahl. rō’, NPers. rūy), aṛčič “lead, tin” (Pahl. aṛčīč, NPers. arzīz, base ark- “to shine”), apaki “crystal, glass” (Oss. āvgä, ävgutä, Pahl. āpakēnak, NPers. ābgīna “crystal”), anoušatr “sal ammoniac” (NPers. nūšādor), dahanak “dark green emerald” (NPers. dahā/ănak), gač “gypsum” (Khot. gatsä, Pahl., NPers. gačʾ), karkehan “chalcedony” (Pahl. karkēhan, Gk. khalkēdōn), kir “chalk” (Oss. kʾirä, Georgian kʾir-i, Aramaic gir), lazouarṭʿ “lapis lazuli” (NPers. lāzavard, (OInd. rājavarta- from “blue stone”), navṭʿ “naphtha” (NPers naft), płinj “copper” (NPers. berenǰ, pereng), połopat, połovat “steel” (Pahl. pōlāpat, NPers. pūlād, fūlād), zaṙik “yellow arsenic” (Pahl. zarnīc, Khot. ysirai, beside ysīrā “red arsenic”), zaṙna- “gold” in zaṙna-uouxt “gold-woven” (*zaranya-vafta-, to Av. zaranya-, Old Pers. daranya-, Khot. ysīrra-, Man. Parth. zrnyn “golden”), mardasang, mercʿank “vitriol” (NPers. murdā-sang, Khot. muḍā-saṃga-), šauar “pearl” (NPers. šāhvār, Man. Parth. šʾhwʾr “royal”), zmrouxt “emerald” (Pahl. ʾwzmbwrt, NPers. zumurrud, OInd. marakata-, Gk. smáragdos), sngoyr “cinnabar, rouge”(with different suffixes NPers. šangarf, Kroraina Prakrit sā/ănapru, Old Pers. sinkabruš, žang “rust” (NPers. žang, zang, Oss. izgä), žangaṙ “verdigris” (NPers. žangār), gočazm “blue stone, both jade and turquoise” (from gau- “blue, green” and *azma- from *asma- “stone”), gohar “precious stone” (Pahl. gōhr “substance, growth,” NPers. gowhar, Ar. ǰawhar, Sogd. γwš “substance” with -š- from -θr-), ganj “treasure” (Old Pers. ganǰa-, Sogd. γzny, NPers. ganǰ, Oss. γäznug, γäzdug).

Food: xortik-kʿ “food” (Pahl. xvartīk, NPers. ḵᵛordī, Khot. hvaḍa-, hvīḍe), xoh, xah “food” (Av. xᵛarəθa-, Oss. xuälcä), nparak “provisions” (base par- “to feed,” Khot. pāra- “food,” aś-para- “lucerne as horse fodder”), ṙočik “food” (Pahl. ročīk, NPers. rōzī, from rauk- “to provide food” not from raučah- “day,” Khot. rūkīja “food”) with patroučak “sacrificial victims” (from *patiraučaka-), pih “food” (Av. piθwa-, Pahl. pyhw, Man. Mid. Pers. pwx, with -ux- from -ixv-, not axv), pax “sodden” (*paxva-, OInd. pakva-, Khot. paha- “cooked,” Pašto pox, plur. pāxə), apouxt “uncooked” (Pahl. puxt “cooked”), hroušak, xroušak “sweetmeat” (Pahl. plwšk, i.e., frōšak, NPers. farūša), pak “cooked food” (from *pāka-, Pahl. pāk, NPers. , -, -baǰ), dastapak “cakes,” amič “seasoned food” (Pahl. āmīč, Syr. āmiṣ, āmīṣ), bazmem “to sit at banquet,” bazmakan “guest” (NPers. bazm “banquet”), grtak “round loat” (NPers. gerda), čaš “repast” (Pahl. čāšt), moł “wine” (Sogd. mw’-, i.e., mol-, Av. maδu-), panir “cheese” (Pahl., NPers. panīr, Balōčī panēr, base nai- “to churn”), tošak, toršak “provisions; wages” (Pahl. tōšak, NPers. tūša), nkan, nkanak “bread” (from *nikana-, Khot. nāṃji, NPers. nān).

Clothing: kapay “monk’s gown” (Pahl. kapāh, Khot. khapa, Arabo-Pers. qabā), bob “cushion” (Pahl. pōb, bōb, NPers. bōp, from base pau- “to cover,” Khot. pvāna- “covering”), bazpan “clerical armlet” (NPers. bāzū “arm” with -pān), bahouand “woman’s ornament” (bāhū- from *bāδu@ = bāzū “arm,” and band- ), grapan “hole in garment for head” (NPers. gerībān “collar”), grīv-pān “helmet” (Av. grīvā- “neck”), dastaṙak “hand-towel” (NPers. dastār), grpan, grapanak “pocket,” kʿsak “purse” (NPers. kīsa, Balōčī kīsaγ), dipak “brocade” (Pahl. dēpāk, NPers. dībā), gdak “cap” (from base gaud- “cover,” Balōčī gud “cloth”), taškinak “cloth for sweat” (Pahl. tšknk, tškwk, i.e., taškanak “shirt,” Khot. ttaṣakana- “dress”), derǰan “thread” (base darz- “to sew”), draušak “hem” (base darb- “to sew”), pʿarouaz “seam, shirt” (NPers. parvaz “border, shirt,” base vaz-), xoyr “hat” (Old Pers. xauda-, Oss. xodä), arta-xoyr “hat” (Khot. haḍa- “dress,” Georgian ardag-i “cloak,” base ar- “to fit”), kamar “girdle” (Av. kamarā-, Pahl., NPers. kamar) kāpēn-kʿ “payment” (Pahl. kāpēn “dowry,” NPers. kābīn, OInd. kāpā-), kštapanak “armlet” (Pahl. kušt “side”), kaušik, kōšik “shoe” (Pahl. kafšak, NPers. kafš, Khot. khauṣa-), handerj “clothes” (base darz- “to sew”), čambar “man’s ornament” (NPers. čanbar “wheel”), goumartak “neck ornament” (*vi-mār- “to appoint”), mahik “crescent ornament” (Pahl., NPers. māh “moon”), meheuand “neckband, armlet” (Georgian melevand-i, melavand-i “armlet,” from mṛdu- = mṛzu- “neck,” Av. mərəzu-, Zāzā mil, with band-), mouštak “furred gown” (base mauxš- “to put on,” to mauk-, Khot. mūṣ- “to put on,” mūṣaka- “clothes,” Pahl. mōk, patmōk, with b- we have Khot. baucaʾ- “hat,” Gk. baûkis “shoe”), šapik “night-dress, shirt” (Pahl. šapīk), čitak “neck-ornament” (base kait-, Khot. cäte, kyite “ornaments,” Av. čiθra-), paregaut-kʿ “long dress” (parai-gauda-, gaud- “to cover”), varagoyr “veil” (from varah- “breast” and gaud- “to cover”), vaṙ “mantle” (Av. varənā-, Pahl. wl, i.e., varr), varapanak-kʿ “cloak, Gk. mandúas” (varah “breast” and pānak “protection”), varšamak “handkerchief, head-band, veil” (NPers. vāšāma, bāšāma, Georgian varšamang-i), zangapan “leggings” (Oss. zängä “leg,” zängoinä “leggings,” Pahl. zang “foot”), žapauēn “ribbons” (Khot. cāpaṇe, cāpine “fluttering parts of dress,” base kap-, kamp- “to shake,” Khot. caṃbula “shaking,” here with variation č- and ǰ-; for -p- note Khot. khapa “dress,” Pahl. kapāh, Arm. kapay).

Materials: aprišoum “silk” (Pahl. aprēšom), šar “silk” (NPers. šār) əstourak “stiff silk cloth” (Pahl. staβrak, Georgian stʾavra, Ar. estabraq), kerpas “fine linen or silk” (OInd. karpāsa- “cotton,” Khot. kapāysa-), kʿemouxt “fine leather” (NPers. kēmuxt; possibly northwestern Prakrit keme- designating some kind of cloth, Khot. kaimeja-, kamaiśka-).

Plants: partēz “garden” (NPers. pālēz), draxt, drast “garden” (Pahl. draxt, NPers. deraxt “tree”), darastan “garden” (from Pahl., NPers. dār “tree”), mirg “fruit” (from *mi’ga-, older migda-, Man. Parth. mygdg, adjective mgdyyn, Sogd. mγδʾk, Pahl. mywk, NPers. mīva), ananoux “mint” (NPers. nānūxa, Pahl. nānūk-spram), aprsam “balsam” (Syr. ʾpwrsm-ʾ, Gk. opobálsamon), armau “date,” armauastan “plantation of dates” (Pahl. (h)urmāk, NPers. xormā), brinj “rice” (Pahl. brinǰ, NPers. berenǰ, gorenǰ, Semnāni varinǰ, Khot. rrīysū, Yagh. riǰan), bēš “aconite” (Pahl. bēš, gaz “tamarisk” (NPers. gaz), gauars “millet” (Pahl., NPers. gāvars, Sogd. γwrstʾny, Khot. gauʾsä, Pašto γōṧt, Yid. γawarso), dar i płpeł płpił “pepper” (NPers. dār-e felfel, OInd. pippalī, Khot. pipalä, Uigur Turk. pitpidi), zartagoyn “crocus” (Pahl. zart “yellow,” gōn “color,” NPers. zaryūn “anemone”), kanapʿ, kanepʿ “hemp” (Pahl. kʾnb, Gk. kánnabis, NPers. kanab, kanav, Oss. gänä), kndrouk “incense” (NPers. kondor, OInd. kunduruka-), xiar, xiarouk “cucumber” (Pahl. xiyār, giyār, Buddhist Skt. guyara-, Khot. byāra-), xarbzak “melon” (Pahl. xarbuzak, NPers. xarbū¦za), kočak “bud,” parkouc “peri- carp” (Khot. kujsā- “bud”), kṇčiṭʿ “sesame” (Pahl. kṇčyt, NPers. konǰed, Khot. kuṃjsata-, Sogd. kwyštʾyč Balōčī kuṇčīθ, Pašto kunzala-, OInd. kuncita-), čanbak “scented flower” (OInd. campaka- “Michelia cham paka,“ Khot. caṃbaa-, Pahl. čampak, NPers. čanbā; čandan “sandal-wood” (Pahl. čandan, Khot. caṃdana-, cadana-, OInd. candana-, Ar. ṣandal), manoušak, manišak, “violet” (Pahl. vanafšak, NPers. banafša base van- “blue”), maš “bean” (NPers. māš, marzangoš “majorana” (Pahl., NPers. marzangūš, mexak “cloves” (NPers. mīxak to mīx “nail”), mourt “myrtle” (Pahl mūrt, NPers. mūrd), yazmik “jasmine” (Pahl., Npers. yāsmīn), nay “reed” (Pahl. na’, Man. Parth. nd, Man. Mid. Pers. nʾy, Av. na’a-, Yid. nəl, Hungarian Alan nád, with ā from -ă-, OInd. nada-, naḍa-), nargēs “narcissus” (Gk. nárkissos, NPers. narges), noč “pine” (NPers. nōǰ, nōz, Old Pers. adjective naučaina-) nouṙn, gen. sing nṙan “pomegranate” (connected with NPers. anār, Sogd. nʾrʾkh), šahdanak “hemp” (Npers. šāhdāna), čakndeł “beet” (NPers. čoḡondar, base čak- in Khot. cakurīka- “sorrel”), sngrouēł; snkrouil “ginger” (Pahl. sngypyl, NPers. zanǰabīl, Georgian ǰanǰpʿil-i, OInd. śrṅgavera-), sox “onion” (NPers. sūx, as the “bitter” fruit, to base sauk- “be pungent”), soči, šoč, šoči “fir, pine” (from base sauk- “burn, be white red,” as Russian sosná “pine,” from IE. kas “grey”), spanax “spinach” (NPers. espanāḵ), spram “flower,” hamaspram “lily,” šahspram “basil” (*spragma-, Pahl. sprahm, NPers. espram, separam Khot. spargga- “flashing,” haṣpalgy- “burst out,” Sogd. ʾspṛγmʾk “flower,” sprxs- “to bud,” Man Mid. Parth. ʿsprhmg “flower,” ʿsprhm-čʾr “flower garden,” Waxī spraγ “flower,” sprēž- “to blossom,” base sprag- “burst out, water, bud, light”), saroy “cypress” (NPers. sarv, Old Pers. θarmiš “cypress,” Georgian saro), vard “rose” (Av. varəδa- “plant,” Khot. vala, Ar. ward, NPers. gol, Sogd. wr’-, plur. wr’tyy, wr’-γwn “rose-colored,” possibly Akkadian amurdennu “a thorny plant”), varoung “cucumber” (possibly to Khot. vālaiga “citron,” OInd. mātulunga-, NPers. vārang, bālang, bādrang, Pahl. vātrang “citron”), varsak “oats” (vars- “hair,” “hairy plant”), kask “barley,” kaškēn “barley loaf” (NPers. kask, Yazg. kåsk, Khot. chaska-, as the “pointed plant”), kʿapʿour “camphor” (Pahl., NPers. kāfūr OInd. karpūra-), kʿounar (in the village namf Kʿounarastan) “lote-tree” (Pahl., NPers. kunār), ōšindr “wormwood” (Arabo-Pers. afsentīn, Gk. apsínthion), ōšnan “soap plant” (NPers. ošnānherba alcali ” from base snā- “to wash”), kʿrkʿoum “crocus” (Khot. kurkuma-, Syr. kwrkm-ʾ “saffron,” Sogd. kwrkwnph, Pahl. kwlkwm, i.e., kurkum, OInd. kunkuma-), mom “wax” (NPers. mūm).

Sport and war: ors “hunting,” orsord “hunter” (since Russian oxota “desire” and “hunting,” oxotnik “lover, hunter” can be identified, this Armenian word can be placed with Tumšuq āwursa-, Khot. aursa-, orsa- and aulsa-, olsa- “desire,” from older *ā-vars- and *ā-vars (variants like dalys- and drays- “to load up”), cognate with Oss. uārzun “to love,” Man. Parth. ʾwrzwg, i.e., *āvarzūg “desire,” Pahl. ārzūk, NPers. ārzū; the two bases IE. ṷerkĝ- (or ṷerĝ-sk) and ṷerĝ- beside Lat. uergō “to incline towards;” the ancient tribal name Aorsoi may belong here as the “Hunters,” rather than connected with Oss. ors “white” from aruša-), naxčir-kʿ, “slaughter,” Peroz-naxčer place name (Pahl. nḥčyl, i.e. naxčīr, NPers. naḵčīr “hunting,” Man. Mid. Pers. nḥčyhr, Sogd. ṇγšʾyr, Inscr. Parth. nhšyr-pty, Inscr. Mid. Pers. nḥčyr-pt, “master of the hunt,” OInd. naścīra-pati-, Kroraina Prakrit nacīra (c@ = śc), Qumran Hebrew nhšyr “carnage,” Aram. nhšyrkn, Syr. nahšīr-ā, naxšeratānā; modern dialects Yagh. naxšir, naxčir, Arabo-Pers. fayrūz-naḵǰīr, Yid. naxšīr “goat,” Waxī naxčīr “fox,” Orošorī naxčīr “goat,” Shugh. naxčīr, Caucasian Tabarsānī ničxir “bird;” the base is “slaughter, hunting,” hence to base skar- with naš- from older niš- implying “complete, great” replaced by nax- before - in *nišsčarya- or *nišsčrya- “great hunting;” for -šč- to - note Georgian duxčʿir-i “ugly” from duščihr). For “fight” are used ṙazm, paterazm (Av. rasman-, Pahl. razm, Khot. rraysman- “rank, array,” Pahl. pātrazm “fight”), vatṭʿarem “defeat,” (Pahl. vattar “worse”), partem “conquer” (Av. part- “fight,” Pahl. nipart, NPers. nabard “fight,”) without -t-, goupar “war” (vipar-), pešopay “vanguard” (Pahl. pēšōpāδ, NPers. pīšvā), payik “foot soldier” (Pahl. pyk, i. e., payik, NPers. peyg, Syr. pʾyg-ʾ, Ar. fayǰ, Khot. pāyai “pedestrian,” OInd. padika-), drauš “banner” (Av. drafša-, Man. Parth. drfš, NPers. derafš).

Equipment: three shields aspar (Pahl. spar), vahan (Oss. uārt), tapak (Pahl. tāpak “flat thing”), vert “armor” (*varti- to var- “protect,” varti-kʿ “trousers”), sałauart “helmet” (sāra-varti- like Av. sāravāra-, Man. Mid. Pers. sʾrwʾr), tēg “spear” (NPers. tīḡ), ašteay “spear” (Old. Pers. aršti-, Khot. hälsti-, Oss. āṛčä, NPers. ḵešt), varapanak “cuirass” (varah- “breast” and pānak “protection”), zrah-kʿ “cuirass” (Av. zrāδa-, Pahl. zrēh, NPers. zereh), nizak “spear” (Pahl. nēzak, NPers. neyza), nšauak “target” (šau-“move fast, shoot”), npatak “target” (pat-, paθ “eject, shoot,” Oss. fat “arrow,” Sogd. pʾ’’-, Khot. phāh- “eject”), vtauan, vteuan “bow-shot” (Inscr. Parth. wtʾwny, Pahl. vitāvan), vran “tent” (Man. Parth. wdʾn, NPers. gayān, Judeo-Pers. byʾn), maška-peṛčan “leather tent” (Man. Mid. Pers. mškbrzyn).

Army divisions: spah, spay “army,” spasalar “commander” (NPers. sepāhsālār), spayapet, spahapet, sparapet; goundapet, gndapet “captain of a gound division;” goumapet “captain of a goum division” (*guma- from gau- “to assemble”), vaštapet “major,” vašt “division” (base vaz- of army “movement”), drauš “division.” For the horse in war there are aspazēn “horse armor,” aspatak “incursion by horse-troop,” smbak “hoot” (Pahl. sumb, NPers. som, somm, sonb), barš, baš “mane” (Av. barəša-, Pahl., NPers. buš, Balōčī bušk, Pašto wražˊ, dmak “tail” (Av. duma-, Pahl. dum, dumb, dumbak, NPers. dom, domm, donb, donbak, Khot. dumaa-), aprdoum “crupper” (NPers. pārdom, Sogd. pʾr’wnph), erasan, erasanak, aparasan “reins, without reins” (Pahl., NPers. rasan “rupe, halter”), arȧsan “rope” (NPers. rasan), dandanauand “bridle” (Pahl. dandān “teeth,” with band-), varauand “breast strap” (Pahl. var “breast”), zēn “saddle” (*izaina- “leathern,” Av. izaēna-, Khot. īṃjīnai, Pašto žai “leather bag,” Yid. ize, Khot. häysa- “skin,” but Pahl. zēn “weapons,” Av. zaya- “tool,” Georgian zein-kʾal-i “armorer”), kohak “peak” (NPers. kūha “higher part of saddle,” Pahl. kōfak “hump”), pēš-aspik “courrier” (Pahl. pēš “before”), tačkinak “stroke of whip” (base tāč- “make to run,” NPers. tāzīāna).

Music: nouag “song” (Pahl. nivāk, nivāxtan, hunivākīh “music,” NPers. navā, navāḵtan; ḵūnyā Sogd. nwʾk, Khot. nvāka-, Georgian novag-i), vin “lute” (Pahl. vin, Arabo-Pers. wan, wanǰ, Sogd. wynʾk, wynʾ, Khot. bīnā-, OInd. bīṇā-), tauił “stringed instrument, cymbals” (Greco-Parthian tabēla, Syr. ṭbl-ʾ), dapʿdapʿem “to sound” (NPers. dap, Ar. daf “drum”), ṭʿmbouk “drum” (NPers. tonbak).

Abstract terms: beur, biur “myriad, ten thousand” (Av. baēvar-, Alan baior, Pahl., NPers. bēvar, Sogd. βrywr, Man. Mid. Pers., Parth. bywr, Georgian bevr-i “many,” Oss. beurä, berä, Iron birä, plur. beretä “many,” Khot. byūrra, byūrä), hazar “thousand” (Pahl., NPers. hazār, Khot. ysāra-, Sogd. zʾr, Oss. ärzä), kerp “form” (Av. kəhrpa-, Pahl. karp), taraz “form, way” (NPers. tarāz), arouest, arhest “art” (Old Pers. aruvastam “ability”).

Time: žam “hour” (Pahl. zaman, Sogd. zmn), žamanak “time,” žamanem “arrive” (base gam-, ǰam-, Pahl. zamān, zamānak “time,” NPers. zamān). The word nau-ṙouz occurs as a proper name (Pahl. navak-rōč, NPers. nau-rōz). For “year” sard is in nuva-sard “new year” (Kroraina nok-sari), erita-sard “youthful” (Pahl. rētak, NPers. rīdak “youth”), ausard “old woman” (*abi-sardā-; Av. sarəδa-, Old Pers. θard-, Oss. särdä “summer,” Khot. salī “year,” pasāla- “springtime,” Pahl., NPers. sāl “year,” NPers. absālān “spring,” Tumšuq Saka sāli-, gen. sing. sālye, Man. Mid. Pers. Parth. sʾr with r from rd).

Medicine: bžišk “physician” (Pahl. bižišk, Man. Mid. Pers. bšyhk with byšʾz- “to heal,” Av. biš-, bišaz-), bžiškapet “chief physician.” Georgian has kept dastakʿar-i “surgeon” as a direct calque on Gk. kheirourgós. Further axt “disease,” žand-axt “plague” (Pahl. zand, zandak “violent”), hiuand “ill” (Pahl. hywndkyh, i.e., hēvandakīh “illness,” Man. Mid. Pers. xyndg), darman “treatment” (Pahl., NPers. darman “remedy”).

Mankind: tohm “family” (Av. taoxman-, Pahl. tōxm, tōhm, tōm, *mart-tōhm, martōm “mankind,” Sogd. mrṭγmʾk, NPers. toxm, mardom, Khot. ttīman- “seed.” The people were ṙam “commoners,” as a group ṙamik with their chief ṙamkapet beside eram of both man and animals. The word nāfa- “navel” was developed to “people” and “family” as Sogd. nʾβ, nʾf, i.e., nāf, nʾβnʾmk, i.e., nāfnāmak “book of peoples,” in Arm. nahapet “patriarch, prince,” Northwest Prakrit ṇavhapati- (-vh- writes the sound f ). A crowd is groh, grox (Pahl. grōh). The “Sons of the Great House,” that is, “nobles” (Av. vīsō.puθra-, Khot. bisī-viraa-) are the sepouh, adjective sephakan, Georgian zepʾurni, adjective sazepʾuro, from *visas-puθra- whence -ai- from -az. Variant changes gave Northwest Prakrit guśuraka-, Ṣiṇā gušpur, Oss. guppur. Birth was stressed by azat “wellborn, free” (ā- with zan-, zāta-), azn “people,” azniu “noble” (Av. āzāta-, āsna-, Pahl. āzāt, āznāvar “noble,” Khot. āysāta-, āysñya-, Georgian aznaur-i eugenēs,” uazno dusgenēs.” Archaic is paṙau “old woman” (parā-with āyu- “age,” with Khot. myāñāva- “middle-aged,” Oss. āuä, ḭāuä, ḭāu “vitality, essence,” Av. āyu-, yvan-, OInd. āyu-, yuvan-, Lat. aeuom, iuuenis). The base vai- “be vigorous” gave vig “vigor” (Oss. uäḭug “strong, giant,” Lat. uis, OInd. vayas-). The Iranian puθra- “son” is kept in the pouh of sepouh and in the name Šapouh (Pahl. Šāhpuhr) and in bak-our, NPers. faγfūr “son of gods,” Kušan bago-pouro. Feminine titles are dšxoy “princess” from duxš- and bambišn “lady of the house, queen” (Av. nmānō.paθnī-, Pahl. bām-bišn).

Artefacts: aparanǰan “armlet” (NPers. abranǰan), aparauš “head-dress” (possibly rafš- from raxš- to rak- in NPers. raxt “dress”), grtanak “roller” (Pahl. gartānāk “board”), bazmak “lamp” (Man. Parth. bzmg), dašnak “dagger” (NPers. dašna, to base das- in Oss. dāsun “cut”), payousak, payouasik, apauasik “purse” (Pahl. patvāsīk, Georgian pʾavasakʾ-i “sack”), dēspak “carriage” (Pahl. byʾspk, bay- beside day- in dēspak), doyl “bucket” (Pahl., NPers. dōl), drauš “pillar, idol,” drošm “sculpture” (base drauš- “to cut,” Pahl. drōš “cutting”), zangak “bell,” aha-zang “alarm bell” (NPers. zang), ṭʿag “crown” (NPers. tāǰ, Khot. ttāva-), ṭʿakoyk “jar” (Pahl., NPers. takōk, Georgian tʾakʾukʾ-i), lakan, lekan “vessel” (NPers. lakan, legan, Khot. lakāna-, Gk. lekanē, xorg, kʿourj “sack” (Syr. kwrg-ʾ, Oss. xordzen, D. xurdzin), kah “furniture” (NPers. kāla, Khot. kāṭha-), kouž “jug” (NPers. kūz, Khot. kūysa-, with ž from z), čašak “cup” (OInd. caṣaka-, base kalś-), črag “lamp” (Pahl. clʾγ, i.e., čirāγ, NPers. čerāg@ Khot. cirau, Oss. cirāg, base kai- “to burn”), makoyk “boat” (NPers. makūk, Man. Mid. Pers. mkwg, Pahl. mtwkck, i.e., matōkčak [with -t- for -k-], base mak- “move fast, jump” whence also Yazg. magūd, Waxī mukt “frog” as the jumping animal, from makata-), mač “plough handle” (NPers. āmāǰ, matean “book” (Pahl. mātaγ’ān, Georgian matiane), moyk, moučak “shoe,” OInd. maucika- “shoemaker”), patmoučan “dress” (Pahl. patmōčan, base mauk-, Pahl. mōk, mōčak “shoe”), mourhak “scaled document” (Pahl. mu’r, muhr “seal,” NPers. mohr, OInd. mudrā, Khot. mūrā- “coin”), nau “ship,” nauaz “shipman” (Man. Parth. nʾw, nʾwʾz, Av. navāza-), nštir, nštrak “lancet” (NPers. nīštar, Khot. nauṣṭara-), takaṙ “cask, bowl” (NPers. tāgar, Georgian ṭʿaγar-i), kʿandouk “jar for grain” (NPers. kandū, kandūk, Oss. xändug, Greco-Pers. kóndu), šiš “glass, flask” (Syr. šyš-ʾ, NPers. šīša, Georgian šišag-i), patker “image” (Pahl. patkar, NPers. peykar), pʿas “wine jar” (Inscr. Parth. pʾs, i.e., pās “measure for wine,” Greco-Pers. passous, pasatas, with Khot. phaysdve), patroyk, patroyg “wick” (Pahl. pairōk “shining” from pati-rauka-), parauand “fetter” (*pāda-banda-), sapat, sapatak “box, basket” (NPers. sabad, Khot. savā-, base sap- “to contain”), skauaṙak “dish” (NPers. sokūra, OInd. cakoraka), patgarak “barrow, litter” (*pati-gāraka-, base gar- “to take up,” Old Pers. ʾbgrn- “indemnity”), kʿašt- in kʿašti “rudder,” kʿaštik “shipman” (NPers. kaštī “ship”), smpatak “touch-stone” (NPers. sombāda), staran “bed,” base star- “spread out,” starana-), tašt “bowl” (Av. tašta-, NPers. tašt, Man. Parth. tʾst with-s- not-š-), tapak “frying-pan” (Pahl. tāpak, NPers. tāba, tāva), tapar “axe” (Pahl. tapar, Balōčī tapar, Waxī təpār, NPers. tabar base tap- “to strike”), varz, vazr “stick club” (from two words: varz- “to work, make a tool,” Georgian varz-i “sharp tool,” Oss. gärzä, Gk. órganon, Av. vazra- “cutting club,” Georgian vazr-i, Pahl. vazr, NPers. gorz, OInd. vajra-, base possibly ṷaĝ- beside ṷak- in Oss. uäs “axe,” OInd. vāśī “axe, adze”), kʿandak “engraving” (Pahl. kandišn with burrišn “cutting”), with vkandem “destroy.”

Colors: ašxēt “red” (xšaita- “shining,” Av. xšaēta-. Pahl. šēt, hvar-xšēt, NPers. ḵᵛar-šēd “sun,” Oss. äxsed), erašx “red” (Pahl. raxš, NPers. raḵš “red” and Rustam’s horse, Khot. rrāṣa- “dark red,” Kurd. raš “black”), atragoyn “flame-colored” (ātra- and gōn “color”), čartouk “grey” (NPers. čarda “grey, reddish”), čermak “white” (NPers. čarma, Georgian čarmag-i “red”), kapoyt “blue” (Old Pers. kapauta-, Pahl. kapōt, Sogd. kpʾwt, Balōčī kapōt, Khot. kavūta- NPers. kabūd), karmīr “red” (Pahl. karmīr, Pāzand xarmēra, Sogd. krmʾyr, Buddhist Skt. kremeru), pisak “speckled” (Pahl. pēsak, NPers. pīsa), zartagoyn “yellow, saffron-colored” (Pahl. zart “reddish yellow” with gōn “color”), seau “black” (Av. syāva-, syāma-, sāma-, Khot. śāva- “copper-colored,” Oss. sau “black,” Pahl. syāh, NPers. sīāh), spitak “white” (Pahl. spēt, Av. spaēta-, NPers. safīd, Khot. śśīta-).

Original Armenian are dełin “yellow,” kanačʿ “green,” dalar “green,” gorš “grey.”

Titles are abundant, formed by the second component: -pan, -pet, -salar, -sar, -dar: barapan, darapan “door keeper” (dvar “door”), marzpan “frontier governor” (marz “boundary”), azgapet “leader of people” (azg “people,” Pahl. azg “branch”), axṙapet, xoṙapet “head of stables” (Pahl. āxvarr, NPers. ākor from *ā-hvarana-) (h)ambārapet “chief of stores” (Pahl. hanbār, NPers ambār), (a)sparapet, (a)spahapet “army commander” (spāda-, pati-, Pahl. spādapat, NPers. espāhbad), aspet “horseman” (*asa-pati-, Old Pers. asa-, Khot. aśśa-, Inscr. Parth. ʾsp-pty), bandapet “prison governor” (band- “to imprison”), barapet, darapet “janitor” (dvar “door”), dačapet “chief executioner” (dahič, Syr. dhš-ʾ), dehpet, dehapet “district chief” (Av. dahyu-, Pahl, deh, Sogd. ʾztyw, i.e., uzdayu, Arm. nždeh “exile” from *niždahyu-, Arabo-Pers. dahūfaḏ), denpet “religious head” (Av. daēnā-, Pahl. dēn), dprapet “chief scribe” (Inscr. Mid. Pers. dipīvar, Pahl. dipīr, NPers. dabīr, OInd. divirapati), gamapet “chief of troop” (gāma-, gam- “to hold together”), goumapet “chief of goum-division” (*guma-, gau- “to assemble”), gndapet, goundapet “captain of gound-division” (gound from *vṛnda-), (h)anderjapet “governor, steward” (Pahl. handarz), karapet “forerunner” (kāra- “mobile people,” Arm. karuuan, Pahl. kārvān, “caravan,” Pahl. kāradāk “traveler”), maypet, marzpet “chief of inner chambers,” mogpet “chief Magian,” naxararapet “head of nobles” (*nāfa-dāra-, Sogd. nʾβδʾr “prince”), nahapet “prince, patriarch” (Northwest Prakrit ṇavhapati- “prince,” Sogd. nʾβ, nʾf “family, people,” Hungarian Alan nép “people,” ē from ā), šahapet “chief of a šahr-district” (šahr from xšaθra-), šahr-ayean-pet “state master of ceremonies” (Pahl. āδēn, āyēn, aδvēn, NPers. āʾīn “ceremony”), špet “herdsman” (fšu-pati-, beside Pahl. šupān, NPers. šobān), ṙamkapet “head of commoners” (ṙam “people,” Pahl. ram “herd, crowd”), spaskapet “the head servant” (Pahl. spās “service”), vaštapet “army major” (vašt “division,” base vaz- “move”), vardapet “teacher,” Inscr. Mid. Pers., Parth. wrdpt, Greco-Pers. goulbad, Inscr. Mid. Pers. wldptkn, Inscr. Parth. wrdptykn, Greco-Pers. goulibēgan, with base vard-, not vart- nor varz-, possibly Oss. äuuärdun “to train”), takaṙapet “cupbearer” (Inscr. Parth. tkrpty, takaṙ “bowl”), pʿiłapet “elephant-keeper” (Old Pers. piru-, Pahl. pīl). This pet is also suffixed to Syr. kurmā “idol,” in kʿrmapet, and the Greek pandokheíon in pandokapet “keeper of an inn.”

For sardār (NPers. sālār), there are goundsałar and spasalar. The second component dār is in matakarar “steward” (Pahl. mātiyār), and in naxarar (Sogd. nʾβδʾr “prince”).

Buildings: aparan-kʿ “palace” (Old Pers. apadāna-, Aram. ʾpdn-ʾ, Ar. fdn, NPers. ayvān), gmbeṭʿ “dome” (Pahl. gumbat, NPers. gonbad, Georgian gumbaṭʿ-i, Syr. gbt-ʾ, base IE. geu- “to bend”), gauiṭʿ “forecourt” (possibly base kau-, gau- “to fence,” Oss. kāuä “fence”), dahlič “hall” (Old Pers. duvarθi-, Pahl. dʾhlyč, i.e., dahlīč, NPers. dahlīz), zndan “prison” (Pahl. zēndān, Man. Parth. zyndʾn, NPers. zendān, from zēn “watch” or zēn “weapons”), xonastan “audience-hall” (hvan- “to call, summon”), krpak “shop” (NPers. korba, kolba, Arabo-Pers. korbaǰ, korbaq), (h)ambartak “tower” (base par- “to build,” Pahl. hmʾpyl, i.e., hamāpēr, Man. Parth. hʾmʾbyr, Oss. āvārä “building,” Khot. pira­- “house”), šahastan “chief city” (xšaθra-, stāna), šēn “dwelling” (base šay- “live, dwell,” Georgian šen-i “settlement,” šeneba “to build,” Av. šayana-), patškanb “room” (base skamb-, Av. fraskəmba-, NPers. paškam), patouar “bulwark” (*pati-vāra- to Av. pairivāra-), patouhan “sluice” (*patifāna-, base fan- “move,” Yazg. fan- “descend,” Khot. phan- “move,” OInd. phan-), parisp “wall” (Pahl. parisp, Man. Mid. Pers. prysp, base spā- “to place”), parkēn “fence” (kan- “to put”), srah, srahak “hall” (Pahl. srāδ, NPers. sarāy) beside srahak “curtain” (Mandean sradqa, Ar. sorādeq), vačaṙ “market” (*vahā-čārana-, Pahl. vahāk “price, sale,” Oss. uäyä, NPers. bahā, with čārana- “place of business,” Pahl. vāčār, NPers. bāzār, Sogd. wʾčrn), vran “tent” JPers. byʾn, Man. Parth. wʾdn), patnēš “fort” (Georgian pʾatʾnez-i, base naiš- and naiz- “to build”), taxt “seat, throne” (Pahl., NPers. taxt) beside taxtak, tastak “table” (Pahl. taxtak “board,” NPers. taḵta).

Three adverbs deserve mention here: haziu “with difficulty” (Av. haz- “act violently”), hanapaz “always” from hama- “all” and pāz “section,” MSogd. pʾzyy “piece,” connected with base paz- in Khot. pāysa- “front, side” and Oss. fāzä, fäz, Lat. pāgus), and mišt “always,” with Pahl. hamēšak, NPers. hamīša, Man. Mid. Pers. hmys “together.”

Proper names of the Parthian and Sasanian periods: For Darius there is Dareh, Greek Dareiaios, and in the Arsacid period ari-kʿ eu anari-kʿ “Aryans and non-Aryans,” later Sasanian eran eut aneran and the old areacʿ ašxarh “land of the Aryans.” Some of the names are: Aršak, Artašēs, Artauazd, Artauan, Bagarat, Pap, Hrahat, Sanatrouk, Vołarš, Tigran, Tiran, Trdat, Pʿarsman, Ašxadar with his wife Ašxēn. Of the Sasanian period royal names: Artašir, Šapouh, Ormizd, Vṙam, Vahram, Nerseh, Yazkert, Peroz, Vałarš, Xosrov, Aprouēž Xosrov, Born (Bōrān). Other names are Zareh “Zariadris,” Karēn “Carenas,” Surin “Surenas,” Ałan in the name Ałanayozan.

Ethnic names: čen-kʿ “Chinese,” čenik, Čenastan hndouk, hndik “Indian,” hndkastan; Asorestan, Asori; Arouastan, Kʿoušan, Alan-kʿ.

Later than these older loanwords many of the more recent post-Sasanian and modern Persian words are found in the Armenian authors. Such words are however well known in later stages of Persian and are of less interest for the old Iranian vocabulary.

(H. W. Bailey)




(R. Schmitt, H. W. Bailey)

Originally Published: December 15, 1986

Last Updated: August 12, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. II, Fasc. 4-5, pp. 445-465