Old Persian ardata- cognate with PIE *arg-

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PersoLatin

Senior Member
UK
Persian - Iran
PIE *arg- means "to shine; white," hence "silver", it forms part of French 'argent' and English 'argue', but what did it mean in OP, as 'silver' at least in MP/NP is asim/sim?

Thank you.
 
  • I think the middle/modern Persian word is a borrowing from Byzantine Greek. In Byzantine Greek, colloquially, silver was «ἀσήμιν» asḗmin, Late ByzGr asímin, diminutive of the neuter noun «ἄσημον» ásēmon (Late ByzGr ásimon) --> newly-cut unimpressed/unmarked silver coin = privative prefix «ἀ-» a- + neuter noun «σῆμα» sêmă --> sign, symbol, trait, omen, mark, character, feature, gravestone.
    In MoGr colloquially, silver is ασήμι [aˈsi.mi] (neut.).
     

    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    Thank you, although that doesn't answer my question, it is certainly more interesting, however isn’t Byzantine Greek rather late for Persian to borrow from especially for such a fundamental metal?
     
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    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    In Old Persian, ardatam means “silver” — Darius' foundation tablet from Susa, line 40:
    abariya \ hya \ idâ \ karta \ ardatam(see below in the translation the phrase The silver and the ebony were brought from Egypt).
    Thanks ahvalj.

    The idea about the Greek origin of the Middle>New>modern Persian word does exist among Iranists. In Zoroastrian Pahlavi this word is asēm~asēmēn.
    Ok, so Persians dropped ardata in favour of asēm~asēmēn at the Byzantine Greek period rather than the much earlier contact with the Greeks?

    Do we know if ardata survived in MP/NP in some form?
     

    eamp

    Senior Member
    German (Austria)
    From what I could find asēm was already the normal word for silver in the Sasanian period (found inscribed on a vessel ca. 300 AD), so must have been borrowed in the Roman era or earlier.
    For modern forms there is apparently Yazdi (Zoroastrian Dari/Gabri/Behdinan) ālī (< *ardata/arzata), but hard to actually find a dictionary for this language not locked away in a university library.
     

    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    Thank you.

    ارزیر according to Dehkhoda means tin and Wiktionary lists it as tin & lead.

    Yazd/یزد, according to Wiktionary “from Avestan 𐬫𐬀𐬰𐬀𐬙𐬀‎ (yazata, “yazata, (an entity that is) worthy of worship”).”

    How about NP arz /ارز “worth” although I’m sure someone would have spotted it by now.
     
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    I meant that the Old Persian combination of sounds rd becomes l in the later language, and ard becomes āl, so the abovementioned ālī can indeed be derived from the Old Persian ard- with some suffix.

    Concerning the d in the Old Persian ardatam: unlike in the rest of attested Iranic languages, the outcome of the Proto-Indo-European *gʲ developed not into z but into and then into d in this language, and therefore ardatam is a regular, sound after sound, Old Persian continuation of the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European word and an exact counterpart of the Latin argentum.

    Yazdi in #7 means a term, not an etymologically related syllable.
     
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    Dib

    Senior Member
    Bengali (India)
    ^ Thank you fdb.

    Do these words (سال, also گل, دل) have, in some measure, the original meaning of PIE *arg- in them, otherwise why are they relevant? Maybe in layman's terms please.
    These are just parallel examples of the Old Persian rd sequence developing into New Persian l. I am too lazy to look up the exact attested and reconstructed forms right now, but they would be roughly something like θard-, dṛd- and wṛd- in Old Persian. Compare the first two with Sanskrit śarad- and hṛd-; the last with the loanword in Arabic: ward-.
     

    fdb

    Senior Member
    French (France)
    In Old Persian, ardatam is translated as “silver” — Darius' foundation tablet from Susa, line 40:
    abariya \ hya \ idâ \ karta \ ardatam
    (see below in the translation the phrase The silver and the ebony were brought from Egypt).
    The passage to which this translation belongs is in lines 40-41: rdatam \ utâ \ asâ \ dâruv \ hacâ \ Mudrâyâ \ abariya \

    The word written a-r-d-t-m was probably pronounced as ṛδatam (nom. sing. neuter) with zero-grade in the first syllable, like Avestan ərəzata- .
     
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    Abaye

    Senior Member
    Hebrew
    I think the middle/modern Persian word is a borrowing from Byzantine Greek. In Byzantine Greek, colloquially, silver was «ἀσήμιν» asḗmin, Late ByzGr asímin, diminutive of the neuter noun «ἄσημον» ásēmon (Late ByzGr ásimon) --> newly-cut unimpressed/unmarked silver coin = privative prefix «ἀ-» a- + neuter noun «σῆμα» sêmă --> sign, symbol, trait, omen, mark, character, feature, gravestone.
    In MoGr colloquially, silver is ασήμι [aˈsi.mi] (neut.).
    The term asimon exists in Hebrew no later than the 2nd century (appears several times in the Mishnah) so could be borrowed by Persian too before the Byzantine era. Denotes the meaning as described above: "unsigned", a piece of metal similar to coin but with no specified value.

    Also attested in Hebrew of 7th century and used intensively in the 20th century, but this is off-topic.
     
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