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DOI: 10.23671/VNC.2019.73.43109

SOCIOLINGUISTIC STATUS OF THE MODERN IRANIAN LANGUAGES

Sattsaev, Elbrus B.
Izvestia SOIGSI. 2019. IIS 34 (73).
Abstract:
The Iranian languages were spoken by numerous tribes and nationalities, which played an
important role in world history. The main Iranian languages include Persian, Tajik, Dari, Afghan
(Pashto), Ossetian, Kurdish, Balochi, etc. The most common and status Iranian language is currently
Persian. The ancestor of the modern Persian language – ancient Persian – was formed in
the middle of the first millennium BC in the western part of the Iranian highlands in the region of
Fars. After Alexander the Great had subjugated the Achaemenid kingdom, Greek became an official
language there, functioning for centuries, and only in the 3rd c. AD with the establishment of
hegemony of the Sassanids, Persian became the official language in the state. As a result of the conquest
of Iran by the Arabs in 637‑652 AD the official functioning of the Middle Persian language
ceased for a long time. The official language of the Arabic Caliphate is Arabic. This continued
until the 9th century. The rapid development of the New Persian language and Persian literature
began in the early 10th century. It is currently the state language of the large and multinational
state of Iran. Persians are the dominant nation in the state. It takes place in schools, starting from
the 1st grade. Office work is also carried out exclusively in Persian. Other languages are not used
in the official sphere. Historically, the Persian language has had a huge impact not only on Iranian,
but also on many Turkic and Indian. On the basis of the classical Persian language, modern
Persian, Tajik and Dari were formed. The status of the Tajik language is also high. It is fully used
in all fields of activity. The volume of scientific studies of the Tajik language is not inferior to the
Persian. Daria-speaking population lives in Afghanistan. It makes up about 40 % of the country’s
population. Afghans (Pashtuns) are one of the largest Iranian-speaking ethnic groups. They live in
Afghanistan and Pakistan. In Afghanistan, the Pashto language is an official language alongside
with Dari. Another Iranian people, the Ossetians, live in the central part of the Caucasus, on both
sides of the Main Caucasian Range. As a result of assimilation processes, the Ossetian-speaking
population tends to decline. The major Iranian languages are also Kurdish and Balochi. Despite
the large Kurdish-speaking population, this language does not have a high official status. Only in
Iraq in Kurdish areas Kurdish was declared official alongside with Arabic. The other major Iranian
language, Balochi, has no official status in any state. However, the Baluchis feel and properly
preserve the linguistic norm.
Keywords: status, Iranian languages, Persian, Tajik, Afghan (Pashto), Ossetian, state, regional, official, office work, education, non-written languages.
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