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Vocabulary Of The Early Dictionaries

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Chapter Summary

Asadi Tusi introduced into Persian the basic principles of compiling a defining dictionary, viz: the approach to choosing the target vocabulary, the separation of lexical material into chapters, the alphabetical ordering of lemmata on two levels, and the contextual illustration of the gloss with documented examples from poetical literature. The farhangs of earlier period differ from the defining dictionaries of subsequent centuries, in point of significance, in the nature of the vocabulary and the criteria for its selection, as well as in the characteristics of the dictionary entry. By comparing the dialect vocabulary designated by Asadi Tusi as that of Transoxiana with the corresponding vocabulary in the dictionaries of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, we observe that the Transoxianan words appear in the dictionaries of two and three centuries later, under the same label. Grammatical elements of Persian were being explained in the farhangs as early as the eleventh century.

Keywords: Asadī Tūsī dialect vocabulary; early dictionaries; farhangs; Persian`s grammatical elements; poetical literature; Transoxianan words



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