Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by nawaab, Jul 20, 2013.
What is the difference in usage between the two words for fire, "aatash" and "aazar"?
Hello and welcome to WR !
Aatash آتش : This word is most common and is used in any context.
Azar آذر : This word is used only in the literature.
In modern Persian آتش is used for "fire"
آتش = fire
آتش نشان = firefighter
آتشکده = fireplace (a religious place used for worshiping god in ancient Persia. I don't know whether there exists another English word for it or not, but literally it means fireplace)
آتش بازی = fireworks
آذر is not common to use as the meaning of fire in today Persian, but there are words that have آذر and the root of all of them seems to be fire. For instance, آذر is the name of 9th Persian month (approximately around December) which means آتش and based on some Persian legends or myths she has been the keeper of fire. The 9th astrological sign is Sagittarius which its Zodiac element is fire. Or for instance the word آذرخش means lightning.
To take it from a historical perspective: the regular Persian development of Old Iranian (accusative singular) *ātṛm is Middle Persian ādur; the alternative form ātaxš, ātaš is a loanword from Avestan (nominative singular) ātarš. In New Persian ātaš has become the usual word for “fire”, while āδar has survived only as a month name, or as a poetic word for “fire”, or in a few compounds.
it's so unusual to use آذر in the meaning of fire in spoken Persian.
Why wouldn't ādur be directly from the base form ātar-?
Because a base is not actually a word. MP words derive from real OP words, usually (in my view, but some colleagues disagree) from the accusative. In this case the Old Iranian acc. sing. is the only form that has the ablaut ātṛ, which we need for ādur.
Do you think Mary Boyce is wrong in this article here? She asserts that the standard MP form was ātaxš and the Parthian form was ādar.
This short encyclopaedia entry is perhaps a little bit misleading. In Zoroastrian Middle Persian both ātaxš and ādur occur very frequently. In Manichaean Middle Persian and Manichaean Parthian the word for fire is ādur; in these texts the form ātaxš does not occur once. Thus it is so much a question of Middle Persian versus Parthian, as of Zoroastrian versus Manichaean usage.
Are these forms related to Skr. arta or artavan "fire priest" and Av. asha or ashavan "fire priest" or PIE *ar "to join" cf. Aryan, or Hebrew month name Adar?
No, no, no and no.
Is Per. atesh "fire" akin to Eng. ash "remains of a fire"?
Separate names with a comma.