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Replacement of Iranians by Turks in Central Asia

Printed From: History Community ~ All Empires
Category: Regional History or Period History
Forum Name: Ethnic History of Central Asia
Forum Description: Discussions about the ethnic origins of Central Asian peoples. All topics related to ethnicity should go here.
URL: http://www.allempires.net/forum_posts.asp?TID=22458
Printed Date: 26-Sep-2018 at 16:19
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Topic: Replacement of Iranians by Turks in Central Asia
Posted By: calvo
Subject: Replacement of Iranians by Turks in Central Asia
Date Posted: 11-Nov-2007 at 09:25

One of the most important, yet least documented phenomenons of Central Asian history was the "replacement" of Iranian-speaking peoples by Turks between the 4th and 5th centuries.

At least back in the 2nd century and before, most of what is now Turkestan, Sinkiang, and Western Mongolia were populated by Iranian-speaking nomads. By the 6th century, however, most of this region was dominated by Turkic-speaking peoples.

Has anyone made a study as to when and how this transformation took place?

Was it a result of the Xiong-nu's western migration or the expansion of the Gokturk empire?

Did the Iranian peoples simply become absorbed by turks, or were they pushed further westwards?




Replies:
Posted By: xi_tujue
Date Posted: 11-Nov-2007 at 09:56
^to awnser this verry simply

it was both


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I rather be a nomadic barbarian than a sedentary savage


Posted By: Windemere
Date Posted: 11-Nov-2007 at 16:59
I suspect that you are right, that it was a process of both assimilation of the native Iranic Indoaryan population by the immigrating Turkics (Turanians), as well as pushing some of the Indoaryan population westward. Though some of them remain. The Tajiks are mostly of Indoaryan descent.
 
It would be interesting to see the results of a genetic analysis on the peoples of Turkestan. I think their would be a wide variety  of genetic types, including Turanian (Turkic) and Iranic (Indoaryan) as well as some Mongolic stranes. 


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Windemere


Posted By: Zagros
Date Posted: 11-Nov-2007 at 17:06
Sorry mate, Turks were never the Turanians.  By Avesta accounts Turanians and Iranians spoke the same language and ancient Turan was in Afghanistan - Nuristanis are probably their most direct descendants.  The Turkish claims to being Turanian are no older than the late 19th century (1870s) when an Ottoman consort of Hungarian origin put 2 + 2 together and got 7.

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Posted By: xi_tujue
Date Posted: 11-Nov-2007 at 17:08
You can see it in In East Turkestan/xiang jiang the more south you go there more "caucasian" the population gets.

the mixture of sogadian & tocharian is more in the south in cities like Kasghar and mostly hotan.

people tend to be more darker and have more caucasian futures than Uygurs in Turpan or rmqi


Turanian is so widley and falsely used imo




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I rather be a nomadic barbarian than a sedentary savage


Posted By: Bulldog
Date Posted: 11-Nov-2007 at 19:03
Quote Calvo
At least back in the 2nd century and before, most of what is now Turkestan, Sinkiang, and Western Mongolia were populated by Iranian-speaking nomads. By the 6th century, however, most of this region was dominated by Turkic-speaking peoples.
 
Eastern Turkistan and Western Mongolia was populated by Turkic speaking peoples way before the 2nd Century, the Xiongnu held sway in that region for centuries before and their ancestors before them.
 
There is no evidence of the whole of the steppe being inhabitted by only Iranic speakers.
 
Many Iranic speakers in Western and Southern Turkistan became assimilated into Turks or driven West. However, some retained their identity like the Tajiks.


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      What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal.
Albert Pine



Posted By: Sarmat
Date Posted: 11-Nov-2007 at 19:31
Originally posted by calvo calvo wrote:

One of the most important, yet least documented phenomenons of Central Asian history was the "replacement" of Iranian-speaking peoples by Turks between the 4th and 5th centuries.

At least back in the 2nd century and before, most of what is now Turkestan, Sinkiang, and Western Mongolia were populated by Iranian-speaking nomads. By the 6th century, however, most of this region was dominated by Turkic-speaking peoples.

Has anyone made a study as to when and how this transformation took place?

Was it a result of the Xiong-nu's western migration or the expansion of the Gokturk empire?

Did the Iranian peoples simply become absorbed by turks, or were they pushed further westwards?

 
Of course these studies have been made. And you are totally correct when you say that the process started with Xiongnu migration.
 
Basically some of the Iranics were pushed out like Alans or Hephtalites, but it's most likely that most of them just adopted Turkic languages and stayed where they were before. As about Nomadic customs and culture. it's really hard to identify nowdays whether their origins are Turkic or Iranic.


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Σαυρομάτης


Posted By: Sarmat
Date Posted: 11-Nov-2007 at 19:36
Originally posted by Zagros Zagros wrote:

Sorry mate, Turks were never the Turanians.  By Avesta accounts Turanians and Iranians spoke the same language and ancient Turan was in Afghanistan - Nuristanis are probably their most direct descendants.  The Turkish claims to being Turanian are no older than the late 19th century (1870s) when an Ottoman consort of Hungarian origin put 2 + 2 together and got 7.
 
I actually thought that Turanians of Avesta and Shakh nama were Nomadic Sakas. However, the association of Turan and the realm of Turks started already in the Middle Ages. Many Turkic historians tried to attribute their origins to Turanians and particularly Afrosiab.
 
The theory which apperaed in the 19th century was so called "Panturkism," the associations of Turanians with Turks, however, had been made much earlier as I mentioned.
 
 


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Σαυρομάτης


Posted By: Afghanan
Date Posted: 18-Nov-2007 at 17:56
What most likely happenned is when the established civilizations in Southwest Asia fell, the predominant nomadic groups settled in.  This vacuum in the Steppes allowed other nomadic groups from the East to settle in their older territories where they amalgamated with the remnants of those nomadic Iranic tribes.  Which is why all the Genographic studies in Central Asia have shown Indo-European haplogroups prevalent among Turks in Central Asia.
 
Turkic and Iranic speakers can sometimes rarely be told apart.  Especially between Tajiks and Uzbeks and Chinese Tajiks with Qyrghiz and other Uighir Turkics in Xinjiang Province.
 
 
 


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The perceptive man is he who knows about himself, for in self-knowledge and insight lays knowledge of the holiest.
~ Khushal Khan Khattak


Posted By: Aaqtaash
Date Posted: 05-Feb-2008 at 19:11
Uzbeks and Tajiks are the mixture of Turkic, Tokharian and probably Soghdian people with the difference Uzbeks speak a Turkic and Tajiks speak an Indo-european language.


Posted By: Zagros
Date Posted: 05-Feb-2008 at 19:23
Yes, you're right Tajiks speak Persian, an Indo-European language and have the same national heroes and figures as Iranians such as Rudaki, Ferdowsi et al.

It's amazing because ancient (old Persian) was deciphered by examining the modern Persian language.  According to Arab historians there were 5 Iranic dialects in Iran upon its conquest and some of them seem to be more class based than regional.

There were three royal/noble languages: Dabarian (Dari), Pahlavi (probably Parthian Pahlavi) and Khuzi.  Dari was also spoken in Khorasan and Balkh. Parthian was spoken in Azarbaijan and what is today's Iranian Kurdistan and Khuzi was Khuzistani.
There was the priest language described as Farsi (like Sassanid Avesta Pahlavi), this was regional to Central and Southern Iran.
Regional was Soriani ancestor of Kermanji and Sorani Kurdish. Regional to NW Iran, outside of modern Iranian territory.

The differences were only accent/dialectal - For example Kalhori/Feyli and Sorani/Kermanji are both considered Kurdish today however, Sorani and Kermanji obviously descend from Soriani whereas Feyli was Parthian Pahlavi.


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Posted By: Balkh-Aryan
Date Posted: 19-Mar-2008 at 19:11
Hi, Zagros!
I'd like to discuss with You some problems about the ancient and early medieval history of Central Asia - "Turan", which is not a turkish toponim, of course. I am bulgarian and i researching the roots of my people more than 20 years. all the available sources lead me to the ancient Baktria and to referred in ancient indian sources (Mahabharata, the Vedas, Ramayana, the Puranas...) state Balhika/Bahlika/Balhara. It was between 13th and 8th century B.C. Because this country was a part of persian Achaemenid Empire for a 3 century You should know something about it. I have find a tocharo - english dictionary and i see a very big relations of tocharian language with the bulgarian one, even more than 1500 later. The tocharian language, as You probably know is an indo-european language, related with a lot of aryan languages, but not so much as with bulgarian. If You are intresting to discuss this You can write to me to this forum or to my e-mail: gomer_bg@yahoo.com
Of course, anyone can write to me. I expect that. Wish You well!
Todor Panayotov/Balkh-Aryan



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UPDATE YOUR KNOWLEDGE


Posted By: Conservative
Date Posted: 29-Mar-2008 at 16:18
Originally posted by Windemere Windemere wrote:

I suspect that you are right, that it was a process of both assimilation of the native Iranic Indoaryan population by the immigrating Turkics (Turanians), as well as pushing some of the Indoaryan population westward. Though some of them remain. The Tajiks are mostly of Indoaryan descent.
 
It would be interesting to see the results of a genetic analysis on the peoples of Turkestan. I think their would be a wide variety  of genetic types, including Turanian (Turkic) and Iranic (Indoaryan) as well as some Mongolic stranes. 
 
Just want to point out that the term "Indo-Aryan" is a linguistic term, not a category for ethnic/racial groups. The term "Indo-Aryan" also is not applicable to Iranic or Iranian peoples.
 
The invasions of Genghis Khan and perhaps to a lesser extent those of Tamerlane were also significant turning points in the demographic history of Central Asia during which the population of Iranic peoples was greatly reduced.


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ایران‌ زمین


Posted By: Windemere
Date Posted: 31-Mar-2008 at 01:18
I've always considered "Indo-European" to be a linguistic term referring to the language family by that name, and "Indo-Aryan" to be a racial term referring to the original populations of south-central Asia. These terms are often used interchangeably though, and mean different things to different people. The term "Aryan" especially is controversial nowadays. Maybe "Indo-Iranic" would be a better alternative.

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Windemere


Posted By: Temujin
Date Posted: 31-Mar-2008 at 20:59
actually none of those terms are used racially other than "Aryan", at least they are not meant to be.


Posted By: Sukhbaatar
Date Posted: 08-Jun-2008 at 20:58
Quote
actually none of those terms are used racially other than "Aryan", at least they are not meant to be.
 
Thank Hitler for that, screwing the word up.


Posted By: Asawar Hazaraspa
Date Posted: 12-Sep-2008 at 23:20

"Eastern Turkistan and Western Mongolia was populated by Turkic speaking peoples way before the 2nd Century, the Xiongnu held sway in that region for centuries before and their ancestors before them."

total fictional! as the the evidences available testimony that these areas was surely populated by the Iranics and the pan-turkists claim that there were yet altaic groups back in the days even before the indo-iranians inhabit the region, which is actually a theory lacking evidences.



Posted By: Sarmat
Date Posted: 12-Sep-2008 at 23:26
Why do you think it's fictional? 
 
That's based on Chinese sources and accepted by the mainstream historical science. Have you heard the name Xiongnu for example?


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Σαυρομάτης


Posted By: Asawar Hazaraspa
Date Posted: 13-Sep-2008 at 00:01

"Eastern Turkistan and Western Mongolia was populated by Turkic speaking peoples way before the 2nd Century, the Xiongnu held sway in that region for centuries before and their ancestors before them."

Yes. I say again fictional. Before the second century BC even considering the obscurity in sources no evidence the land of ET and the whole Mongolia belonged to them and their ancestors.

The Xiongnu was mentioned in chinese sources somewhere north of the great wall and their first appearance was probably around 3rd century in these sources. And they migrated more westward likely pursuing the Yuezhi. that's not related I said the theory backed by Turkist scholars tries to expand it even before the 3rd century and alike before the indo-iranian recorded presence in eastern turkestan or some parts of mongolia, the area belonged to the proto-altaics, this lacking evidences to a great degree. 



Posted By: Sarmat
Date Posted: 13-Sep-2008 at 00:21
Not at all. Their appearance according to the Chinese sources was somewhere around 10-8 BC. Both historical records of Zhou dynasty and Sima Qian's "Historical records" descibe Xiongnu.
 
And it also was pointed correctly that they lived in the Western Mongolia and Xinjiang (Eastern Turkestan), Eastern Mongolia was inhabited by Donghu-proto Mongols.
 
In fact, Chinese records describe the history of Xiongnu much more detailed than Greeks describe Scythians. And as I said, the location of Xiongnu and proto-Xiongnu tribes is accepted by the mainstream of historians.  If you're saying it's fictional, you actually are agitating against the facts that are more or less agreed upon.
 
Also Uezhi, were not Indo-Iranians, but Tocharians. Tocharian language although Indo-European was very different from Indo-Iranian languages.


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Σαυρομάτης


Posted By: Asawar Hazaraspa
Date Posted: 13-Sep-2008 at 11:45

Cite the chinese sources you mean (10-8 BC?! it's a new on my sundae). in most of the books refering to the chinese documents including Xiongu's it was as early as about 3rd century BC. Ok can't wait to see the  so-called AGREED UPON sources.

The Yuezhi settled, after their migration in Tocharia nut yeah the language is believed to be a Centum rather than Satem.



Posted By: Ardashir
Date Posted: 13-Sep-2008 at 12:31
i don't think iranic tribes might have penetrated further than current kyrqizistan

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http://khakokhoon.blogfa.com


Posted By: Asawar Hazaraspa
Date Posted: 13-Sep-2008 at 12:53
it is kind of disputed that it was a penetration. although both theories of iranian or altaic early homeland is surrounded by obscurities but the evidence so far found are leaning more than the first. and it is etimated that it was altaic penetration in Iranian lands, which though vague in those years is well recored by the presence of the Huns.


Posted By: Sarmat
Date Posted: 13-Sep-2008 at 16:26
Originally posted by Asawar Hazaraspa Asawar Hazaraspa wrote:

Cite the chinese sources you mean (10-8 BC?! it's a new on my sundae). in most of the books refering to the chinese documents including Xiongu's it was as early as about 3rd century BC. Ok can't wait to see the  so-called AGREED UPON sources.

 
Well, the earliest Chinese chronicles are "Annals of history" (Shujing) and Annals of Spring and Autumn. Which are centuries earlier than 3BC and for sure predate any account by Herodotus.
 
Also, according to traditional Chinese historiography as expressed by Sima Qian, Xiongnu originate from Chun Wei the son of the last empreror of Xia dynasty, Jie. And if it's true, it actually places the origins of Xiongnu history in the second millenium BC.
 
As about the fact that are agreed, it's that the ancestors of Xiongnu and Xiongnu proper, call them Proto-Turks if you will, definitely inhabited the lands of Modern Western Mongolia and Xinjiang before 2 century BC.
 
 
Originally posted by Asawar Hazaraspa Asawar Hazaraspa wrote:

The Yuezhi settled, after their migration in Tocharia nut yeah the language is believed to be a Centum rather than Satem.
 
I actually don't understand what you want to say here. Tocharian language actually poses a challenge for Satem/Centum theory but it was not Iranic.


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Σαυρομάτης


Posted By: Temujin
Date Posted: 13-Sep-2008 at 19:37
Originally posted by Sarmat12 Sarmat12 wrote:

In fact, Chinese records describe the history of Xiongnu much more detailed than Greeks describe Scythians.


like what? Herodotus actually lived together with Scythians (European Sakas), no Chinese scholar ever did live with Nomads and told about that.
 
Quote Also Uezhi, were not Indo-Iranians, but Tocharians. Tocharian language although Indo-European was very different from Indo-Iranian languages.


irregardless if they were not Iranic, they weren't turkic either but they were the inhabitants of the Tarim Bassin before the XiongNu. also they found a Saka lord's Kurgan in Eastern Altai (Western Mongolia) so whether or not that region was Iranic, it was at least ruled by a Saka elite.


Posted By: Bulldog
Date Posted: 13-Sep-2008 at 20:32
Herodotus's Scythians referred to most Nomads from the East, it was a collective name.
 
The tombs in Altai belong to the Pazyryk culture, there culture appears to have been similar to the Scythians. Recent studies have raised the possibility that the inhabitants of Altai region are descendants of the Pazyryk culture. There is no evidence of them being ruled by a Scythian elite, our knowledge of the Scythians themselves are limited.
 


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      What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world remains and is immortal.
Albert Pine



Posted By: Sarmat
Date Posted: 13-Sep-2008 at 21:49
Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

Originally posted by Sarmat12 Sarmat12 wrote:

In fact, Chinese records describe the history of Xiongnu much more detailed than Greeks describe Scythians.


like what? Herodotus actually lived together with Scythians (European Sakas), no Chinese scholar ever did live with Nomads and told about that.

 
Chinese have regular communications with Xiongnu. A lot of Xiongnu actually lived in China as well as there were many Chinese traders living on the territories controled by Xiongnu.
 
Some Chinese, like Ban Chao, for example, spent decades among Xiongnu and later his notes were used by the Chinese historians.
 
Chinese historians definitely have first hand experience while writing about them.
 
In any case, Chinese history accounts about Nomades are much more volumenous, detailed and informative than Greek ones.
 
Originally posted by Temujin Temujin wrote:

 
Quote Also Uezhi, were not Indo-Iranians, but Tocharians. Tocharian language although Indo-European was very different from Indo-Iranian languages.


irregardless if they were not Iranic, they weren't turkic either but they were the inhabitants of the Tarim Bassin before the XiongNu. also they found a Saka lord's Kurgan in Eastern Altai (Western Mongolia) so whether or not that region was Iranic, it was at least ruled by a Saka elite.
 
Hmmm... Did I say they were Turkic?
 
The whole argument is about whether Proto-Turks lived in Eastern Turkestan and Western Mongolia before 2 BC. For sure they lived there and it doesn't relate to the language which was spoken by Yuezhi. And how can you prove that there were no Xiongnu in Eastern Turkestan at the same time when there were Yuezhi?  They simply lived there next to each other. Xiongnu were in the Eastern part, Yuezhi and some Saka in the Western.
 
Also about Saka lord found in Altai. It's really wery hard to make the definite conclusion that he really was an Iranian speaking Saka. The main argument which supports the idea that he was the one is that the artefacts found in the kurgan resemble the Scythian "beast style."
The "beast style" art however was spread among Turkic and Mongolic nomades as well. It's really hard to make such conclusions based on this argument only.


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Σαυρομάτης


Posted By: Asawar Hazaraspa
Date Posted: 01-Oct-2008 at 13:28

That would be intersting 10- 8 Centuries BC. I know that they were described Xiongnu. but they most of the times mentioned north of the Great wall! And the time they mentioned in xinjiang and Eastern Turkestan is about 3rd century BC. 


"In fact, Chinese records describe the history of Xiongnu much more detailed than Greeks describe Scythians. And as I said, the location of Xiongnu and proto-Xiongnu tribes is accepted by the mainstream of historians. If you're saying it's fictional, you actually are agitating against the facts that are more or less agreed upon."

Of course no denying of it also chinese gave account of Iranics and Yuechi probably well enough comparing to Greeks.

The Yuechi not being Iranic at all show the Indo-european presence in north of Great Wall (where today is considered eastern Mongolia) as well.



Posted By: Sarmat
Date Posted: 01-Oct-2008 at 17:19
Xinjiang is actually a very huge place.
 
Check the map it's highlighted in red. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:China_Xinjiang.svg - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:China_Xinjiang.svg
 
So, what I'm saying is that Xiongnu were in the Eastern part of Xinjiang and Indoeuropean nomades were in the Western. There is nothing strange in it.
 
In fact, Xiongnu expanded to the territory north to the main body Great Wall by the end of the second half of first millenium BC. Before those lands were mainly occupied by Donghu (Proto-Mongols).


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Σαυρομάτης


Posted By: Asawar Hazaraspa
Date Posted: 02-Oct-2008 at 10:31

That's correct, but in which period if it's a discussion about who were the earliest to Inhabit the lands even further east than Xinjiang. 

You were telling me about the 10-9 centuries BC records of the Xiong Nu, I'd like to know the exact source of that in chinese annals or records?! 



Posted By: Sarmat
Date Posted: 02-Oct-2008 at 16:25

I think the whole argument started because you didn't agree that Proto-Turks were in Xinjiang before 2d century BC, while they definitely already were there at that time.

 I also have already provided  the Chinese sources above.
 


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Σαυρομάτης


Posted By: Asawar Hazaraspa
Date Posted: 02-Oct-2008 at 19:08
The accounts of the history of the Zhou gives scattered mention of them and it may not go furthre than 5th century BC. But the claim still remains that the Xiongnu ( I think Xiongnu as a major proto-Turkic confederation is undisputed) or other Turkics were really the first inhabitants, is challenged mostly by archaelogical excavations like Tarim mummies, Bronze age skulls found in Mongolia and also the frozen mummy which according to evidences so far is believed to be Scythian iMonglia dating back to about 5th century BC.


Posted By: Sarmat
Date Posted: 02-Oct-2008 at 19:13
Well,
 
Firstly, the argument is not about who "was the first" in Xinjiang, but whether Turks were there before 2 century BC. I simply was just saying that yes, they were there at that time.
 
Secondly, I was never denying that Indoeuropeans were present there as well.
 
Thridly, the real identity of "Mongolian mummues" is really still open for a debate.


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Σαυρομάτης


Posted By: Asawar Hazaraspa
Date Posted: 02-Oct-2008 at 19:27
I was not talking about Mongolian mummies rather than the one found years ago. I don't think the debate is about whether proto-turkic or not, besides such debates can reach as far as Tashtyk culture territory. 


Posted By: Aryan de Pakhtra
Date Posted: 02-Feb-2009 at 16:15

In ancient times, Saka (East Iranian) languages were spoken in Afghanistan, Sistan and Central Asia. Now Pashto and Pamiri languages are still spoken.

Vanji language became extinct in the 19th century when Tajik Persian replaced it. Several other Saka languages were also replaced by Persian in the past, and Persian is still the biggest threat. In Kyrgyzstan Saka languages are replaced by Kyrgyz. In Xinjiang, Uyghur has replaced Saka Khotanese and Tumshuqese, which were spoken in the Kingdom of Khotan along the southern edge of the Taklamakan Desert (across the desert and in Takhar, Indo-European non-Aryan Tocharian was spoken which are also now extinct). In the Caucasus, Ossetic is still spoken. In Eastern Europe, Saka language is extinct because of Slavic invasions, but is still used in some place and river names eg. the Don River (Pashto: dand, central Pashto dialect: dun, Ossetic: don, Avestan: dānu-, meaning "water, river").


Posted By: Asawar Hazaraspa
Date Posted: 04-Feb-2009 at 19:30
I'm going to disagree, the expansion of modern Persian wasn't violent and I don't think it meant to remove other Iranian dialects. As you may see in the ages before arabian conquest of Iranian lands, despite partial Persian supermacies they never practised imposing their state tongue to their neighnouring Iranian relatives. The spread of Persian during the times of Samanids was one of the last remedies to maintain the remanat Iranian culture in their kingdom. 



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