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date: 15 February 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter looks at the evolution of Persian, the only language to be substantially documented in all three periods of Old, Middle, and New Iranian on account of its close association with political centres over the centuries: Old and Middle Persian with the Achaemenids and the Sasanians, New Persian with Islamic powers. The chapter includes two parts, preceded by a survey of research on the three stages of Persian. The first part presents the documentation of Old and Middle Persian, discusses the innovations of Old Persian, and considers the transition from Old to Middle Persian. The second part deals with the rise of New Persian by taking into account Early Judaeo-Persian, Persian in Syriac script, Manichaean New Persian, and the early texts in Arabic script. It then discusses the main changes of the language in its literary and non-literary varieties until Contemporary New Persian.

Keywords: history of the Persian language, Old Persian, Middle Persian, New Persian, Judaeo-Persian

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