This shift appears to have peaked about the 13th century, by which time the majority of the Arabic loanwords that are in general use today had been incorporated.By then, too, the stratagem for coining verbs from Arabic had changed from the suffixation of ‘crystalline lens’. ARABIC ELEMENTS IN PERSIAN Since the Arab conquest of Iran in the seventh century and the subsequent conversion of a majority of the population to Islam, Arabic, as the language of contact, of the Muslim scripture and liturgy, and of a large volume of wide-ranging scholarly literature for more than a thousand years thereafter, has exercised a profound influence on the Persian language.Apart from the writing system, this influence is evident chiefly in the large Arabic vocabulary that has been incorporated into the Persian lexicon.Thus Persian ‘operation, deal’ each belong to a cluster of assonant near-synonyms which collectively define the greater part of mankind’s social pursuits. We have no way of documenting the first two centuries of the influence of Arabic on Persian, i.e., before about the middle of the 9th century, to which the first extant examples of Persian poetry are attributed (Lazard).Persian was long familiar with Semitic languages and their writing systems: Old Persian used a simple and efficient syllabary adapted from Babylonian cuneiform, and Middle Persian a rather less efficient adaptation of Aramaic script, with literacy in each case confined to a small class of priests and scribes.
Clearly it was not a paucity of technical and intellectual terminology in Middle Persian that necessitated the massive influx of Arabic. Some of these soon came back into Persian in Arabicized form, to replace or supplement the Persian etymon (e.g., ‘measure’)—showing that prestige was a factor in reversing the current.
During the 19th century, a wave of Arabic (and artificial Arabicate) neologisms, many calqued on French and originating in Ottoman Turkish, supplemented the technical and legal-administrative lexicon of Persian; these, too, included a large about fifty.
With the language purism movement of the 1930s–1940s, grammatical Arabisms were decried and Arabic vocabulary was targeted for replacement by Persian neologisms.
The former (synthetic) strategy was favored in earlier Classical Persian, and is still productive in Tajik; the latter (analytic) is preferred in Standard Persian. The degree to which not only individual loanwords, but also their characteristic patterns, entered Persian consciousness is shown in a number of common Persian words coined on an Arabic morphological pattern from a native Persian or other lexical base: thus .
The meaning may be refined by use of an auxiliary with some semantic weight: ) representing systematic semantic extensions of the meaning of the verb which have been extensively borrowed into Persian and commonly form compound verbs of the above type. There are many such multiple root-cognates in the Persian lexicon, conditioning the educated reader by alliteration to the connection of a particular consonant combination with a certain semantic field, even though he may not know Arabic as such. There are eighteen Arabic participial patterns (active and passive) commonly occurring as Persian adjectives and/or nouns (see Elwell-Sutton, pp. The grammatically feminine marker in Arabic is realized phonetically as either /-at/ (in pre-juncture position) or /-a/ (pausal form), according to the contextual syntax of Arabic, but written with a single graph (the ).
Distribution between in the modern inventory appears to be determined primarily by semantic features, and additionally by factors of syntactic and stylistic environment or historical evolution of the words (Perry, 1991, pp. Thus, nouns with more abstract and intangible, or less imageable and countable, referents tend to end in (Tk.) ‘tale, story’.