Reviews

This well-documented paper deals with two specificities of modern Persian (Tajik) verbs in a region comprised, from the west to the east, between Bukhara and the northern piedmonts of the Fergana Valley, up to the higher part of the Chirchik valley in the north and to the market towns of Baysun and Qaratagh in the south.  These specificities are: (1) a peculiar functioning of these verbs’ roots, and (2) their peculiar conjugation with varying auxiliary verbs in determined present time (dawamdar).  On the first aspect, the author has been noticing, after Rastorgueva (Opyt sravnitel’nogo izucheniia tadzhikskikh govorov [A Tentative Comparative Study of Tajik Dialects], Moscow: Nauka, 1964, 40), the frequent employment of the first radical, added with t/d, instead of the second radical in standard Persian, for the formation of preterit time (e.g., kun-d-am instead of kar-d-am, bin-d-am instead of did-am)—with, conversely, the frequent appeal to the second radical for the expression of future-present (e.g., yaf-am instead of yab-am, sukh-am instead of suz-am).  As to determined present time, the author draws comparison between data extracted from an impressive Russian and Tajik bibliography; without dwelling at length with the Turkic origin of this phenomenon, M.M. tries to localise the respective use and phonological variations of respective auxiliaries (beside the well-known istadan that is common with standard Tajik: kharaftan, shishtan, raftan, dashtan).

In the same compilation and comparison spirit, the author has more recently proposed a study on local specificities of verbal forms at different times in northern Tajik dialects of the Persian language (“Sifati fe‘li dar guishhoi shimolii zaboni tojiki [The Verbal Status in the Northern Dialects of Tajik Language],” Nomai pazhuhishgoh 6/11-12 (2006): 53-62).  As in the previous paper, the material from fieldwork is not always distinct from that borrowed from a rich bibliography—which reinforces the impression that the dialectology of Persian language has entered in Dushanbe a purely retrospective phase.  At the same time, such a synthetic paper provides material to international specialists of the grammar and dialectology of Persian language, not all of whom enjoy a regular and extensive access to the field, or even to the relatively rich existing bibliography.

Stéphane A. Dudoignon, National Centre for Scientific Research, Paris
CER: I-6.2.B-538