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  1. Wolverine9 Senior Member

    American English
    What is the origin of the Persian 'kih' with the meaning "that"? Is it a loan from Arabic?
     
  2. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    Middle Persian distinguishes between (Manichaean script: ky; Pahlavi script: MNW), with the meaning “who, which (pronoun)”, and (kw/ʼYK), in the meaning “where, that (conjunction)”. In early New Persian they are often still distinguished (كى vs. كو), but they soon fall together as ki كه . In Pahlavi manuscripts of the Muslim period there is also a general confusion between MNW and ʼYK.
     
  3. Treaty Senior Member

    Australia
    Persian
    Currently, ke (که) is almost only used for conjunction "that" in formal and major colloquial and regional dialects. kee کیand ku کو are still used widely for "who?" and "where?" in colloquial Persian (and sometimes formal), respectively. Anyway, does it (along with چـ ch-) have the same root with romance "qu-" interrogative words? And further Germanic "w-" ones?
     
  4. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    Yes, Indo-European *kw becomes k or č in Indo-Iranian. The interrogative pronoun Avestan ka-, ča-, Sanskrit ka-, is thus cognate with the forms with qu- in Latin and hw- in Germanic.
     
  5. marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    ^Definitely so but when you said ''Indo-Iranian'' it is not correct as I'm not aware of any č in Indic languages, including Sanskrit/Pali/Modern languages. Do you happen to know of some example in the Indic languages for č?
     
  6. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    "Indo-Iranian" is the reconstructed (hypothetical) ancestor of the Indo-Aryan and the Iranian languages. This would have had k- before IE back vowels and č- before IE front vowels, but in the case of the interrogative pronoun Sanskrit generalised k- throughout. That is why in this particular word there are forms with č- only in Iranian, but not in Indo-Aryan. Sorry if I did not explain this clearly enough.

    PS. č is the consonant sound in Skt. च .

     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2013
  7. marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    ^Thank you for clarification; Re. PS I was aware of č/ć/c in Sanskrit in general; I was referring only to its absence in pronouns - as this thread is concerned with them:)
     
  8. Wolverine9 Senior Member

    American English
    What do you mean exactly by the absence of č/ć/c in pronouns? Besides the coalescing of Indo-Iranian č/k into k.
     
  9. marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    I mean that pronouns that begin with this consonant are not attested in Sanskrit.
     
  10. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    The nominative singular of the interrogative pronoun (who? what?) is:

    Old Avestan: m. kə̄, f. kā, n. kat
    Young Avestan: m. kō, f. kā, n. čit, čim
    Sanskrit: m. kaḥ, f. kā, n. kim (Vedic also kat)
    Compare Latin: quis, quis, quid

    What we see in OA. and Skt. is called “paradigmatic levelling”. YA. has the etymologically expected distribution of k/č.
    Do note, however, that the expected form with č survives in the enclitic OA/YA. –čit, Skt. –cit.
     
  11. marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    I've never thought of it before, thank you.
     
  12. Wolverine9 Senior Member

    American English
    Is there any difference between č and c?
     
  13. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    No, c is the standard transliteration in Sanskrit and Indian studies for the voiceless palatal stop. In Iranian studies we generally prefer to represent this phoneme by č and to use c for the alveolar fricative /ts/, which is separate phoneme in some Iranian languages (Pashto, Bactrian, etc.).
     
  14. Wolverine9 Senior Member

    American English
    Along those lines, the ś in Sanskrit and Indic studies is the same phoneme as the š in Iranian, right?
     
  15. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    Yes, apart from the fact that Skt distinguishes between palatal ś and retroflex ṣ.
     
  16. Dhira Simha Senior Member

    UK
    Russian
    I would like to add to this that the k/č distinction also exists in Slavonic. Cp. Rus kto? 'who?' and čto? 'what'.
     

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