Persian diphthongs

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alijsh
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Persian diphthongs

Postby alijsh » 2009-02-02, 5:25

Split from topic remodification of the Perso-Arabic alphabet

***
arsham wrote:The diphthongs ow and ei

ey/ei is not a diphthong. "ey" composes of phonemes "e" and "y". It is easy to prove it: if you replace "y" with another phoneme, you get a new word: mey -> mes, meh. Although it is my personal opinion but I have also seen such an opinion from well-versed people like Mr. Yadollâh e Samare in his book "Âvâshenâsi ye zabân e Fârsi".

If you want to consider "ey" as a diphthong, you must also do so for other "vowel+y" combinations: juy, xoy, jây.

I think you are taking "ei" from Spanish. Am I right?

Persian has only one diphthong, which is "ow" (I'll write it with ô in the following examples). However some say that "ow" is not actually a diphthong and it comprises of "o" and "v" (like Mr. Samare). Anyway, I personally think that it is a diphthong because it has a phonemic value: replace "ow" with another phoneme and you get a new word:

jô -> ju (cf. jostan), jâ
dô (cf. davidan) -> do (2), di (yesterday)

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Re: remodification of the Perso-Arabic alphabet

Postby arsham » 2009-02-02, 11:00

I have not read this book, so I was not aware of his proposals in this regard!

As for the diphthongs, I follow Natel-Xanlari's approach. The argument for ei being a diphthong is that this combination is stable in the language. In other words, you can't dissociate it, while aay and uy/oy are readily contracted to aa and u quite regulary even in Classical Persian, e.g.
xodaay-->xodaa; juy-->ju(b) etc, but you can not do this with ei, so for example there's no such a word as me that would be the contracted form of mei!!
As for ow, in contemporary Persian, as pointed out by Xanlari, it's a diphthong, because we don't have the semi-vowel w as an independent phonem (v is a fricative and it's a completely different sound!).However, Mr. Samere's reasoning would be applicable to Classical Persian where و was pronounced w in Khorasan, but in the south and outh west it was pronounced v or perhaps even like a spanish b, as it was the case with late Middle Persian in Fars and neighbouring areas. Even today, most Afghan dialects and Iranian Khorasani dialects like sabzevaari have w not v, while all south western or Perside dialects (Fars, laari, lori, baxtiari, dezfuli/shushtari etc dialects) have only v. But in Standard contemporary Persian, there's only v, so ow can't be dissociated and moreover it's stable!
As for ei, it's also used in English (but you're right, that's the general way of writing diphthongs in Spanish!)

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Re: remodification of the Perso-Arabic alphabet

Postby alijsh » 2009-02-02, 12:47

arsham wrote:As for the diphthongs, I follow Natel-Xanlari's approach. The argument for ei being a diphthong is that this combination is stable in the language. In other words, you can't dissociate it, while aay and uy/oy are readily contracted to aa and u quite regulary even in Classical Persian, e.g.
xodaay-->xodaa; juy-->ju(b) etc, but you can not do this with ei, so for example there's no such a word as me that would be the contracted form of mei!!

You are only considering word final cases. How about words like تایباد tây.bâd, تایوان tây.vân. Or even چای çây. We can't convert ây to â. By the way, what do you have to void my phonemic test:

mey -> mes, meh
heyrân -> hejrân

Isn't it an instance of dissociation? "y" is a separate phoneme, isn't it?

***
for uy: ruydâd, juybâr
for oy: xoy (عرق؛ همچنین، نام شهری). You can't convert "oy" to "o".

I don't see any reason for differentiating "e+y" from other "vowel+y" combinations. They are the same.

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Re: Persian diphthongs

Postby arsham » 2009-02-02, 19:27

In median position the dissociation is often achieved through insertion of a short vowel, for example most people in normal conversation would say aayene and taayebaad rather than aayne and taaybaad and chaay is often pronounced chaayi. As for xoy in the sense of sweat or perspiration ('araq), it was pronounced xwai with short a. I have come across few verses in Shahnaameh where xway is rhyming with mei (pronounced mai in classical Pers.), so if I am to revive it I'd say xei in order to keep those rhymes! Another thing is that here we're interested in the stability not systematicity! In few cases there may be no contraction or dissociation through a short vowel, but that does not change the fact that these dissociations never happen to ei, no one says seyed instead of seid! That's what I mean by stability!

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Re: Persian diphthongs

Postby arsham » 2009-02-03, 1:10

Here are few verses from loghatnaameh

پیش دهستان سوی ری کشید -- اسبان به رنج و به تگ خوی کشید

به رخ بر سرشته شد گرد و خوی -- چو بر لاله آمیخته مشک و می

همی یخ شد از بوی کافور خوی -- بر انگیخت از مغز سرمای دی

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Re: Persian diphthongs

Postby alijsh » 2009-02-03, 3:39

xwa cluster becomes xo. Example:

xwardan -> xordan
xwaş -> xoş
xwaftan -> xoftan

So, xway becomes xoy. I know it is pronounced xoy. I have heard it. xway and may were in rhyme.It's a matter of classic pronunciation.

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Re: Persian diphthongs

Postby arsham » 2009-02-03, 3:46

xoftan was xuftan in both Classical Persian and Middle Persian,its present stem is xufs- in Middle Persian and xosp- or xosb- in New Persian,hence the secondary infinitives xospidan/xosbidan. xwaabidan is a denominative infinitive from the noun xwaab! (in Middle Persian xwaab and xwamn were only nouns)!

Loghatnaameh gives both xei and xoi in the following order: xai, xei, xoi!

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Re: Persian diphthongs

Postby alijsh » 2009-02-03, 4:10

I thought you realize that I have omitted the intervening pronunciation and have directly gone to "oy". It is actually: xwaftan -> xuftan -> xoftan. By the way, xwa -> xwo is a received change. You can find it in the books dealing with historical phonology of Persian. The Middle Persian pronunciation is xwaftan. I have also seen xuftan but the older pronunciation is certainly xwaftan. Etymology of xwaft-: Old Iranian xwaf-ta from root xwap; p before t becomes f. xufs- is also from the same root: xwaf-s-a (s makes an inchoative stem).

We have "oy" in Persian anyway. We even use it in foreign names e.g. Feroyd (Sigmund Freud).

EDIT:

xey is not a valid pronunciation of xway/xu/xoy. It is probably under the influence of rhyme with mey. I remember that our literature teacher made us read خوش as xaş (xwaş/xuş/xoş) in some old poetry to keep the rhyme of the verse. As you know, mey was pronounced may (and still is in many dicalects). So, xway has been in rhyme with may.

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Re: Persian diphthongs

Postby alijsh » 2009-02-03, 4:47

arsham wrote:That's what I mean by stability!

"ey" breaks and goes with the next syllable. So, it isn't stable and proves that it comprises of phonemes "e" and "y" e.g. peyambar: pe.yam.bar NOT pey.?am.bar (I mean glottal stop from "?"). Also, at word final with for example, the genitive enclitic: me.ye nu.şin (می نوشین) NOT mey.?e nu.şin.


EDIT:

OK. I typed the relevant part for you from Dr. Samare's book:

اما در مورد ey و oy وضع چنین نیست زیرا در صورت حذف جزء دوم آنها اختلال در معنی واژه پدید می‌آید. ولی از سوی دیگر، می‌بینیم که این جزء هنگام اضافه شدن یک واکه، از جزء اول جدا شده و در جایگاه همخوان آغازی هجای بعد قرار می‌گیرد. این وضع در مورد ây و uy نیز صادق است. مثال‌های زیر را با هم مقایسه کنید:


ney + e -> neye
xoy + e -> xoye
pây + e -> pâye
muy + e -> muye
sar + e -> sare
miz + e -> mize ...

این بدان معنی است که این جزء دوم همانند r و z و غیره نقش همخوانی به عهده دارد و بنا بر این نمی‌توان آن را جزئی از واکه‌ی مرکزی دانست. از این جهت آواهای مذکور را باید مجموعه‌هایی مرکب از واکه و همخوان، یعنی / e + y و o + y/ به حساب آورد.

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Re: Persian diphthongs

Postby arsham » 2009-02-03, 5:29

alijsh wrote:I thought you realize that I have omitted the intervening pronunciation and have directly gone to "oy". It is actually: xwaftan -> xuftan -> xoftan. By the way, xwa -> xwo is a received change. You can find it in the books dealing with historical phonology of Persian. The Middle Persian pronunciation is xwaftan. I have also seen xuftan but the older pronunciation is certainly xwaftan. Etymology of xwaft-: Old Iranian xwaf-ta from root xwap; p before t becomes f. xufs- is also from the same root: xwaf-s-a (s makes an inchoative stem).

We have "oy" in Persian anyway. We even use it in foreign names e.g. Feroyd (Sigmund Freud).

EDIT:

xey is not a valid pronunciation of xway/xu/xoy. It is probably under the influence of rhyme with mey. I remember that our literature teacher made us read خوش as xaş (xwaş/xuş/xoş) in some old poetry to keep the rhyme of the verse. As you know, mey was pronounced may (and still is in many dicalects). So, xway has been in rhyme with may.


I checked MacKenzie's Pahlavi dictionary, it has only xuftan. I've also a copy of Philippe Gignoux's glossary of Arda-viraf/z naamag and there also it's only xuft! It's the same thing with minuye xerad! The only place where I found xwaftan as Middle Persian (and not old Iranian as you very well explained) is in Jackson's Avesta reader, where he gives both xwaftan and xuftan under xvap-, but this does not seem to be reliable because he does that with most of xv- words; so in his etymology for xvar- (to eat) he lists both xvardan and xurdan as Middle Persian, on the same page, he does this again and gives both xvar and xur/hur as Middle Persian forms of xvar- (sun)! while in Mackenzie's, there's only xvardan and xvar as in Gignoux's glossary. So I've doubts about xwaftan being an actual Middle Persian word. Where did you see xwaftan labelled Middle Persian? I don't have a copy of Farahvashi's dictionary, but based on a short discussion with some one who had a copy of it, it seems he mingles historical spelling of the Middle Pers. words with their pronunciations!
Last edited by arsham on 2009-02-03, 5:36, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Persian diphthongs

Postby arsham » 2009-02-03, 5:35

alijsh wrote:
arsham wrote:That's what I mean by stability!

"ey" breaks and goes with the next syllable. So, it isn't stable and proves that it comprises of phonemes "e" and "y" e.g. peyambar: pe.yam.bar NOT pey.?am.bar (I mean glottal stop from "?"). Also, at word final with for example, the genitive enclitic: me.ye nu.şin (می نوشین) NOT mey.?e nu.şin.


EDIT:

OK. I typed the relevant part for you from Dr. Samare's book:

اما در مورد ey و oy وضع چنین نیست زیرا در صورت حذف جزء دوم آنها اختلال در معنی واژه پدید می‌آید. ولی از سوی دیگر، می‌بینیم که این جزء هنگام اضافه شدن یک واکه، از جزء اول جدا شده و در جایگاه همخوان آغازی هجای بعد قرار می‌گیرد. این وضع در مورد ây و uy نیز صادق است. مثال‌های زیر را با هم مقایسه کنید:


ney + e -> neye
xoy + e -> xoye
pây + e -> pâye
muy + e -> muye
sar + e -> sare
miz + e -> mize ...

این بدان معنی است که این جزء دوم همانند r و z و غیره نقش همخوانی به عهده دارد و بنا بر این نمی‌توان آن را جزئی از واکه‌ی مرکزی دانست. از این جهت آواهای مذکور را باید مجموعه‌هایی مرکب از واکه و همخوان، یعنی / e + y و o + y/ به حساب آورد.


Ok! hands off!

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Re: Persian diphthongs

Postby alijsh » 2009-02-03, 13:01

arsham wrote:So I've doubts about xwaftan being an actual Middle Persian word. Where did you see xwaftan labelled Middle Persian?

I have it in "واج‌شناسی تاریخی زبان فارسی" by Dr. Mehri ye Bâqeri. It is a very good book. I just looked at "فرهنگ هزوارش‌های دبیره‌ی پهلوی" of Ostâd Fereydun e Joneydi, which is the best source for huzvâresh (it is more reliable and comprehensive than MacKenzie's and Junker's). He has also written "xvaftan". Farahvashi has also written it as xvaftan. I'm sure that it has been so in Middle Persian (MP) and xuftan belongs to new Persian. Or, at most, it has become xuftan in MP at its late period.

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Re: Persian diphthongs

Postby arsham » 2009-02-03, 16:16

alijsh wrote:
arsham wrote:So I've doubts about xwaftan being an actual Middle Persian word. Where did you see xwaftan labelled Middle Persian?

I have it in "واج‌شناسی تاریخی زبان فارسی" by Dr. Mehri ye Bâqeri. It is a very good book. I just looked at "فرهنگ هزوارش‌های دبیره‌ی پهلوی" of Ostâd Fereydun e Joneydi, which is the best source for huzvâresh (it is more reliable and comprehensive than MacKenzie's and Junker's). He has also written "xvaftan". Farahvashi has also written it as xvaftan. I'm sure that it has been so in Middle Persian (MP) and xuftan belongs to new Persian. Or, at most, it has become xuftan in MP at its late period.

thanks for the info!


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