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Areal Lexical Contacts of the Afghan (Pashto) Language

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The continual political, commercial and economic relations and frequent military conflicts and clashes of the Pashtuns with neighbouring states or tribal formations or with similar structures to which Pashtuns were in a subordinate status were constantly resulting in intensive cultural and linguistic contacts. This article pays a modest tribute to the studies, insufficient for the present, concerning interrelations of the written Pashto with the Persian, Turkic and Indian languages in the sphere of their vocabularies during the period from the earliest literary monuments in Pashto (i.e. from the middle of the XVI century) up to the beginning of the XIX c., for which purpose texts of Afghan classic poetry, prose treaties and chronicles have been used That was a period of large-scale borrowing of foreign words through the channels of the written language and colloquial speech. Arab-Persian loanwords which had no tangible bounds as to their entry into the literary Pashto were very numerous (about a half of the Pashto vocabulary) in comparison with Indian loanwords and have been rnore organically included into the Pashto vocabulary, though at the same time all the borrowings, irrespective of their source-language, have been more or less equally adapted phonetically and morphologically. On this account the aspects of their presentation in this article are different: borrowings from Persian have been given only general characteristics, while concrete ancl detailed lists of Indian and Turkic loanwords are given because their quantity in the analysed texts was limited to such an extent that we have consinered it relevant to publish them almost completely.

Affiliations: 1: St. Petersburg


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