2

Some of the letters of the Arabic script do not represent any native Persian sounds and thus are used only for Arabic loans. Therefore, e.g., there are four "z"-sounds in the Farsi script, ز ض ظ ذ. Now some of these letters are used in native words, for example ذ in گذشتن. Is there any phonetic logic behind that? Are there other examples for this?

What about غ and ق? Is there a hard and fast rule, like (that's what I heard) only geyn being used for native Persian words? (If that be so, in connection with the following question, what about the city قم?)

A related question concerns the names of places in Iran, for example Teheran (now written تهران, earlier طهران) and Esfahan (earlier, as far as I know, اصپهان). Are these place names of Arabic origin and therefore written with the "special characters" or is there some other reason behind that?

3

ق occurs in Arabic and Turkish/Mongolian loanwords. غ occurs in Arabic, Turko-Mongolian and a few words of Iranian (but usually not Persian) origin.

Arabic was the official language in Islamic Iran for a long time and for this reason many place-names are used in an "official" Arabicised form, even if they are of Persian origin e.g. اصفهان for Persian spahān.

The use of ذ in a few words of Iranian etymology is a somewhat complicated matter. You can read about it here:

https://archive.org/details/DictionaryOfManichaeanVol2

pages 93 sqq.

2
  • Thanks! Would be great to have an example for qaf in a turkish loan as well as geyn in turkish loans and a native Iranian word. As to the place names - that was exactly the solution that I had not conceived of! – zwiebel Apr 30 '14 at 15:29
  • 1
    Example of qaf in Turkish loan words: قاچاق (smuggling), بشقاب (plate) Example of gheyn in Iranian words: باغ (garden), تیغ (blade) – Roozbehan Nov 19 '17 at 1:10

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.