The Komisenian Dialect of Aftar

Borjian, Habib

A Northwest Iranian dialect, Aftari, is grouped both diachronically and typologically together with the other dialects spoken around the town of Semnān, east of Tehran. For this group the designation “Komisenian”, after the old name of the province, is proposed in the article. As is the case with the neighboring Caspian dialects to the north, Aftari is the language of postpositions, and it has a relatively elaborate system of personal and demonstrative pronouns. Aftari shares with Tabari the element -enn- in the present indicative, a remnant of the Old Iranian present participle *-ant-. In terms of ergativity, Aftari holds a position somewhere between Tabari, which has none, and the Central Plateau Dialects which have preserved the system. Remnants of the Middle Iranian ergativity remain in Aftari as a distinct set of personal endings for the past transitive; in the past, these acted as agents of transitive verbs. Thus, transitivity still plays a role in the past conjugation, but there are indications that the difference is fading away, most notably in 3rd person singular forms. The intransitive past tenses are marked by -št- preceding the personal endings, except for the 3rd person singular, which has neither. The perfect tense has various constructions, often merging with the preterit, and thus may not be authentic to Aftari.

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Academic Units
Center for Iranian Studies
Published Here
January 10, 2018