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The MEDIAN LANGUAGE (also MEDEAN or MEDIC) was the language of the Medes
Medes
. It is an Old Iranian language and classified as belonging to the Northwestern Iranian subfamily, which includes many other languages such as Azari , Gilaki , Mazandarani , Kurdish (Zazaki, Gorani, Sorani, Kurmanji) , and Baluchi .

CONTENTS

* 1 Attestation * 2 Identity * 3 Predecessor of modern Iranian languages
Iranian languages
* 4 References

ATTESTATION

Median is attested only by numerous loanwords in Old Persian
Old Persian
. Nothing is known of its grammar, "but it shares important phonological isoglosses with Avestan
Avestan
, rather than Old Persian. Under the Median rule.... Median must to some extent have been the official Iranian language in western Iran".

No documents dating to Median times have been preserved, and it is not known what script these texts might have been in. "So far only one inscription of pre- Achaemenid
Achaemenid
times (a bronze plaque) has been found on the territory of Media . This is a cuneiform inscription composed in Akkadian , perhaps in the 8th century BCE, but no Median names are mentioned in it."

Some modern research suggests that the so-called Linear Elamite
Linear Elamite
, which still has not been deciphered, may have been written in the language of Medes, by assuming Kutik-Inshushinak was the original Iranian name of Cyaxares the Great and not a much earlier Elamite king.

IDENTITY

A distinction from other ethnolinguistic groups (in Herodotus, ethnos means 'people') such as the Persians is evident primarily in foreign sources, such as from mid-9th century BCE Assyrian cuneiform sources and from Herodotus\' mid-5th century BCE secondhand account of the Perso- Median conflict. It is not known what the native name of the Median language was (just like for all other Old Iranian languages) or whether the Medes
Medes
themselves nominally distinguished it from the languages of other Iranian peoples .

Median is "presumably" a substrate of Old Persian
Old Persian
. The Median element is readily identifiable because it did not share in the developments that were particular to Old Persian. Median forms "are found only in personal or geographical names... and some are typically from religious vocabulary and so could in principle also be influenced by Avestan
Avestan
.... Sometimes, both Median and Old Persian
Old Persian
forms are found, which gave Old Persian
Old Persian
a somewhat confusing and inconsistent look: 'horse,' for instance, is both asa (OPers.) and aspa (Med.)."

Using comparative phonology of proper names attested in Old Persian, Roland Kent notes several other Old Persian
Old Persian
words that appear to be borrowings from Median: for example, taxma, 'brave', as in the proper name Taxmaspada. Diakonoff includes paridaiza, 'paradise'; vazraka, 'great' and xshayathiya, 'royal'. In the mid-5th century BCE, Herodotus
Herodotus
(Histories 1.110 ) noted that spaka is the Median word for a female dog. This term and meaning are preserved in living Iranian languages such as Talyshi .

In the 1st century BCE, Strabo
Strabo
(c. 64 BCE–24 CE) would note a relationship between the various Iranian peoples and their languages: " beyond the Indus
Indus
... Ariana is extended so as to include some part of Persia
Persia
, Media , and the north of Bactria
Bactria
and Sogdiana
Sogdiana
; for these nations speak nearly the same language." (Geography , 15.2.1-15.2.8 )

Traces of the (later) dialects of Media (not to be confused with the Median language) are preserved in the compositions of the fahlaviyat genre, verse composed in the old dialects of the Pahla/Fahla regions of Iran's northwest. Consequently, these compositions have "certain linguistic affinities" with Parthian , but the surviving specimens (which are from the 9th to 18th centuries CE) are much influenced by Persian . For an enumeration of linguistic characteristics and vocabulary "deserving mention," see Tafazzoli 1999 . The use of fahla (from Middle Persian
Middle Persian
pahlaw) to denote Media is attested from late Arsacid times so it reflects the pre-Sassanid use of the word to denote "Parthia", which, during Arsacid times, included most of Media.

PREDECESSOR OF MODERN IRANIAN LANGUAGES

A number of modern Iranian languages
Iranian languages
spoken today have had medieval stages with evidences found from citations in Classical and Early Modern Persian sources. G. Windfuhr believes, "The modern languages of Azarbaijan and Central Iran, located in ancient Media Atropatene and Media proper, are 'Median' dialects" and those languages "continue lost local and regional language" of Old Median, which is mainly known as "Medisms in Old Persian." The term comes from the regional name Pahlav/Fahlav (see fahlaviyat ) in traditional medieval Persian sources and is used to call "dialect poetry and other samples of locales in western Iran
Iran
reflects the Parthian period" of those regions and their languages "being survivals of the Median dialects have certain linguistic affinities with Parthian".

* Languages portal * Ancient Near East portal

REFERENCES

* ^ Median at MultiTree
MultiTree
on the Linguist List * ^ "Ancient Iran::Language". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 2007. Retrieved 2007-03-09. * ^ Schmitt, Rüdiger (1989). Compendium Linguarum Iranicarum. Wiesbaden: Reichert. * ^ A B C Skjærvø, Prods Oktor (2005). An Introduction to Old Persian (PDF) (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Harvard. * ^ Dandamayev, Muhammad & I. Medvedskaya (2006). "Media". Encyclopaedia Iranica (OT 10 ed.). Costa Mesa: Mazda. * ^ Cyaxares: Media's Great King in Egypt, Assyria & Iran, by: Professor Gunnar Heinsohn, University of Bremen, May 2006 * ^ "Ancient Iran::The coming of the Iranians". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 2007. Retrieved 2007-02-28. * ^ Kent, Roland G. (1953). Old Persian. Grammar, Texts, Lexicon (2nd ed.). New Haven: American Oriental Society. pp. 8-9. * ^ Diakonoff, Igor M. (1985). "Media". In Ilya Gershevitch. Cambridge History of Iran, Vol 2. London: Cambridge UP. pp. 36–148. * ^ Godley, A. D. (ed.) (1920). Herodotus, with an English translation. Cambridge: Harvard UP. CS1 maint: Extra text: authors list (link ) (Histories 1.110) * ^ Hamilton, H. C. & W. Falconer (1903). The Geography of Strabo. Literally translated, with notes. 3. London: George Bell & Sons. p. 125. (Geography 15.2) * ^ Tafazzoli, Ahmad (1999). "Fahlavīyāt". Encyclopaedia Iranica. 9.2. New York: iranicaonline.org. * ^ A B Page 15 from Windfuhr, Gernot (2009), "Dialectology and Topics", in Windfuhr, Gernot, The Iranian Languages, London and Newyork: Routledge, pp. 5–42, ISBN 978-0-7007-1131-4 * ^ Tafazzoli 1999

* v * t * e

Indo-Iranian languages
Indo-Iranian languages

INDO-ARYAN (INDIC)

OLD / MIDDLE

OLD

* Vedic

* Sanskrit

* Classical * Buddhist

* Mitanni-Aryan

MIDDLE

* Abahatta * Apabhraṃśa

* Dramatic Prakrits

* Magadhi * Maharashtri * Shauraseni

* Elu
Elu
* Gāndhārī * Paisaci * Pāli * Prakrit
Prakrit

MODERN

CENTRAL

HINDI

* Awadhi * Bagheli * Bhojpuri * Bombay Hindi * Braj Bhasha
Braj Bhasha
* Bundeli * Caribbean Hindi * Chhattisgarhi * Fiji Hindi * Haflong Hindi * Haryanvi * Kannauji * Khari Boli
Khari Boli
* Sansi Boli

URDU

* Dakhini
Dakhini
* Hyderabadi Urdu
Urdu
* Rekhta (early form)

OTHERS

* Danwar * Parya

EASTERN

BENGALI–ASSAMESE

* Assamese * Bengali * Bishnupriya Manipuri * Chakma * Chittagonian * Hajong * Kayort * Kharia Thar * Nahari * Rajbanshi * Rohingya * Sylheti

BIHARI

* Angika * Vajjika * Magahi * Maithili * Majhi * Sadri

ODIA

* Halbi * Odia

OTHERS

* Mal Paharia

NORTHERN

* Garhwali * Kumaoni

* Nepali

* Palpa

North western

* Aer * Dogri * Hindko * Kangri * Kutchi * Punjabi * Sindhi * Saraiki

SOUTHERN

MARATHI–KONKANI

* Konkani * Marathi

INSULAR

* Maldivian * Sinhala

WESTERN

BHIL

* Bhili * Gamit

RAJASTHANI

* Bagri * Goaria * Gojri * Jaipuri * Malvi * Marwari * Mewari * Dhatki (sociolect)

OTHERS

* Domari * Gujarati * Kalto * Khandeshi * Parkari Koli * Romani * Saurashtra

OTHERS

DARDIC

* Dameli * Domaaki * Gawar-Bati * Kalami * Kalash * Kashmiri * Khowar * Kohistani * Nangalami * Palula * Pashayi * Shina * Shumashti * Torwali * Ushoji

IRANIAN

OLD / MIDDLE

OLD

WESTERN

* Old Persian
Old Persian
* Median

EASTERN

* Avestan
Avestan
* Old Scythian

MIDDLE

WESTERN

* Middle Persian
Middle Persian
* Parthian

EASTERN

* Bactrian * Khwarezmian

* Ossetic

* Jassic

* Sakan (Sacian) * Scythian * Sogdian

MODERN

NORTH

* Old Azari * Balochi * Central Iran
Iran
* Zoroastrian Dari * Fars * Gilaki * Gorani

* Kurdic

* Sorani * Kurmanji * Southern group

* Mazandarani * Semnani * Taleshi * Deilami * Tati * Zazaki

EASTERN

PAMIR

* Ishkashimi * Sanglechi * Wakhi * Munji * Yidgha * Vanji * Yazghulami * Shughni * Roshani * Khufi * Bartangi * Sarikoli

OTHERS

* Ossetian

* Digor * Iron

* Pashto
Pashto

* Central Pashto
Pashto
* Northern Pashto
Pashto
* Southern Pashto
Pashto
* Wanetsi

* Yaghnobi * Ormuri
Ormuri
* Parachi

WESTERN

SOUTH

* Persian

* Caucasian Tat * Dari * Tajik

* Luri

* Feyli * Bakhtiari * Laki * Kumzari

* Larestani * Bashkardi

OTHER INDO-IRANIAN LANGUAGES

NURISTANI

KAMKATA-VIRI

* Kamviri * Kata-vari * Mumviri

OTHERS

* Askunu * Kalasha-ala * Kamkata-viri * Tregami * Vasi-vari

Italics indicate extinct languages .

* v * t * e

Median topics

LANGUAGE

* Median language, Iranian language

CITIES

* Ecbatana (Hamadan) * Rhagae (Shahre Rey, Tehran) * Laodicea (Nahavand)

BATTLES INVOLVING LYDIA

* Eclipse of Thales

BATTLES INVOLVING PERSIA

* Persian Revolt * Battle of Hyrba * Battle of the Persian Border * Siege of Pasargadae Hill * Battle of Pasargadae * Fall of Ecbatana

KINGS/SATRAPS

* Deioces * Phraortes * Madius * Cyaxares * Astyages * Cyaxares II

OTHER MEDIANS

* Amytis of Media * Artembares * Datis * Gubaru * Mazares * Aryenis

.