Contrasting with the great amount of pseudo-scientific literature that has been flourishing in Dushanbe during the mid-1980s on the still non-elucidated history of the word tajik, the author skims through the academic bibliography—Western, Iranian, vernacular—of Indo-Iranian, Chinese, and Tibetan studies.  Unfortunately, his conclusions rely on an uncritical reading of second-hand literature, and aim at a quite minimalistic goal: to show the antiquity of the word tajik as designating “a country, a people, and a language,” in connection with the Stalinist definition of nationalities—a telling illustration of the state of research on these questions in present-day Tajikistan.

Stéphane A. Dudoignon, National Centre for Scientific Research, Paris
CER: I-6.2.A-519