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Indo-Iranian Languages and Peoples$
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Nicholas Sims-Williams

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780197262856

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197262856.001.0001

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Scythian elements in Old Iranian

Scythian elements in Old Iranian

(p.189) Scythian elements in Old Iranian
Indo-Iranian Languages and Peoples

Alexander Lubotsky

British Academy

This chapter examines whether there are Scythian loanwords in the Old Iranian languages, namely Avestan and Old Persian. Since all three languages are closely related, it is not simple to prove borrowing. Old Persian vocabulary contains many words which must be of Iranian but non-Persian origin. These words are usually attributed to Median, but it is in principle equally possible that they are borrowed from any other Iranian language, including Scythian. Only when we find phonological features which are characteristic of Scythian can we be confident that we are indeed dealing with a Scythian loanword.

Keywords:   Scythian loanwords, Old Iranian languages, Avestan, Old Persian, Scythian, Median

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