Persian: classical pronunciation

Qureshpor

Senior Member
Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
If one cares to look at a printed copy of "tadhkiratulawliya" (Faraduddin ‘Attar-1142-1220) available on the net, you will find the letter zaal practically on every page of the book in Persian words. In the Punjabi that I speak, the Persian word گنبد is pronounced گنبذ (gumbaz).

پذیرفتن , گذشتن , آذر , کاغذ , are still written with a ذال.
 
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  • Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    We have a majhul ē in a very small number of words.

    For example: abēnom = می‌بینم

    This is consistent with the MP stem wēn-.

    But it's not as pervasive as in Eastern Persian. For example, شیر (lion) is šir.

    We don't have any majhul ō... as far as I know.
    Examples of "e" in Modern Persian.

    بِکُن is pronounced "be-kon"
    بِھتر is pronounced "beh-tar" and no doubt there are many more. Most words ending in "h" e.g ھمہ hame(h).

    As for "o", is not the diphthong "au" as in "nau" (new) pronounced closer to the English "no" and unlike the Afghan/Dari Persian where it is a clear cut "nau"? Also, the most obvious word with majhuul "o" is تو.
     

    Derakhshan

    Senior Member
    Arabic, Persian
    Qureshpor, in Iranian Persian those are pronounced with a short /e/, not a long majhul /e:/.

    Diphthong /aw/ is /ow/ in Iranian Persian but with a Tehrani accent is a short /o/ (as far as I know; someone could correct me on that. I am pretty sure it's either the diphthong or a short /o/ but never long majhul /o:/).

    Even تو is not a majhul /o:/ in Iranian Persian, it's a short /o/.

    Edit: and if it wasn't clear, I was talking about my dialect in that post you quoted, not Iranian Persian.
     
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    fdb

    Senior Member
    French (France)
    I think that Larestani words with /d/ versus Persian /z/ are not connected with the NP shift of post-vocalic /d/ to /δ/. Rather they are genuine SW Iranian forms as opposed to “invasive” non-SW forms with /z/ for IE *ǵ, which we find already in Old and Middle Persian. Compare MMP damestān vs. NP zamistān.
     

    Derakhshan

    Senior Member
    Arabic, Persian
    Obviously if you're gonna say the word to yourself, it will sound longer. But in natural speech where it's immediately followed by a word, e.g.

    تو کی هستی؟
    تو که رفتی

    ...etc, it's closer to a short o (IPA: /o/) than a long o (IPA: /oː/). And I'm sure you'll agree it's a short /o/ in تو را.
     
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    Treaty

    Senior Member
    Persian
    The o in تو is short. However, we should note that the length of vowel in Persian is affected by stress. If تو is stressed, in some cases, the vowel may sound longer. This is different from an actual long o (from Arabic or older Persian aw or as a colloquial reading of oh).
     

    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    پیکر is pronounced as peykar in modern Persian, is its pronunciation of ی classical Persian, maybe the same as ی in پیروز so peyruz?
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    پیکر is pronounced as peykar in modern Persian, is its pronunciation of ی classical Persian, maybe the same as ی in پیروز so peyruz?
    To the best of my knowledge, in Modern Persian پیکر is pronounced "pe-ii-kar", i.e the sound of English letter a after p followed by sound of English letter e. This is in variance with the Classical Pronunciation as demonstrated by Dari speakers. Same goes for شیطان etc.
     

    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    To the best of my knowledge, in Modern Persian پیکر is pronounced "pe-ii-kar", i.e the sound of English letter a after p followed by sound of English letter e. This is in variance with the Classical Pronunciation as demonstrated by Dari speakers. Same goes for شیطان etc.
    That's less clear to me, in modern Persian the ی in پیکر is equivalent to English ai/ay in pain/pay or the پیک part is the same as 'paque' in opaque . A sound clip from you will be appreciated since you'd offered before. Hopefully that way we can make a distinction between Urdu/Afghan variants and what may or may not exist in modern Persian.
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Hi Alfaaz,I am interested to know why classical Persian pronunciation in Urdu, is so different to the way I know it, I am willing to learn but I need some help. Transliteration of Urdu and Hindi as used in this Forum but couldn't see an example.
    Here is a quote from ملک الشعراء محمد تقی بھار 's Sabk Shinasi Vol 3, pp 307-308

    در رسم الخط ھندوستان دو نکتہ وجود داشتہ و دارد کہ در ایران بی سابقہ است و گویا در خراسان قدیماً بودہ است و بعراق سرایت ننمودہ و آن معین کردنِ نونِ غنّہ و یاءِ مجھول است در کتابت۔

    توضیح آنکہ در زبانِ فارسی حروف بودہ است کہ در رسم الخط قبل از اسلام، شکلی خاص داشتہ و امروز ندارد۔۔۔۔۔

    این حروف [یاءِ مجھول و نونِ غنّہ] بایستی علامت داشتہ باشند و در خط اوستا مانند دیگر حروف متشابہ ھر کدام بشکلی است، ولی در کتب ایران ھیچ امتیازی در شناختنِ آنھا بدست نداریم۔ امّا خطّاطانِ ھند این امتیاز را در نون غنّہ و یای مجھول یا ما قبل مفتوح محفوظ داشتہ و دارند و ہم اکنون استادان خط نون غنّہ را در آخر بدون نقطہ نویسند و در وسط علامتی مانند عدد ھفت روی آن گذارند و آن را در خیشوم و بینی تلفّظ کنند و نون بعد از الف را بلفظ در نمی آورند، و یاءِ مجھول یا ما قبل مفتوح رابصورتِ یاءِ معکوس نویسند و این امتیاز در خطِ ایرانیان فوت شدہ است۔
     
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    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    Thank you very much for this Qureshpor sir.

    Very interesting, so the pre-Islam script(s) in Persia had specific letters to represent نون غنه and یا مجهول.

    Does anyone know if this can be backed up by proof, as those letters must be around in the surviving pre-Islamic Pahlavi text? Of course this question is simplistic as I have tried to decipher Pahlavi and found it hard-going, but I’m sure there are experts out there.
     
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    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Qureshpor, in Iranian Persian those are pronounced with a short /e/, not a long majhul /e:/.

    Diphthong /aw/ is /ow/ in Iranian Persian but with a Tehrani accent is a short /o/ (as far as I know; someone could correct me on that. I am pretty sure it's either the diphthong or a short /o/ but never long majhul /o:/).

    Even تو is not a majhul /o:/ in Iranian Persian, it's a short /o/.

    Edit: and if it wasn't clear, I was talking about my dialect in that post you quoted, not Iranian Persian.
    Would you say in برو boro (go), the two "o"s sound the same as the "o" in "go"?

    Further in منو for من را / مرا, is it pronounced "mano"?

    Also in "kitaab-e-man", is the izaafat "e" sound the same as the letter "a" in English?
     

    Derakhshan

    Senior Member
    Arabic, Persian
    Would you say in برو boro (go), the two "o"s sound the same as the "o" in "go"?
    The "o" in "go" is a diphthong, at least in native American or British English. In برو it's just a short /o/.

    Here is, by the way, an audio file for تو in Iranian Persian:
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ef/Fa-تو.ogg
    Further in منو for من را / مرا, is it pronounced "mano"?
    Yes.
    Also in "kitaab-e-man", is the izaafat "e" sound the same as the letter "a" in English?
    No, its a short /e/.
    Listen to this audio file for the word به , the vowel in به is the same as the ezâfe, albeit the ezâfe would sound a bit shorter.
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9b/Fa-به.ogg

    Now in Classical Persian and Afghani/Indo-Persian the ezâfe is a short /i/, but to me the difference is hardly noticeable.
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    The "o" in "go" is a diphthong, at least in native American or British English. In برو it's just a short /o/.

    Here is, by the way, an audio file for تو in Iranian Persian:
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/ef/Fa-تو.ogg

    Yes.

    No, its a short /e/.
    Listen to this audio file for the word به , the vowel in به is the same as the ezâfe, albeit the ezâfe would sound a bit shorter.
    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/9b/Fa-به.ogg

    Now in Classical Persian and Afghani/Indo-Persian the ezâfe is a short /i/, but to me the difference is hardly noticeable.
    Having heard the audio files for تو and به, I would say they are definitely equivalent to the majhuul sounds o (as in the Classical مو hair and modern Persian منو) and e (as in Classical بے /بی without). So, in conclusion, majhuul sounds continue to survive in the modern language, albeit in a few words. Thank you for your response.
     

    Derakhshan

    Senior Member
    Arabic, Persian
    Well I can assure you that linguists don't consider Iranian Persian to have majhūl vowels, and as I said the vowel of تو is /o/ not /oː/. It is not a long vowel, so it cannot be a majhūl vowel (which are long by definition).

    When you pronounce the words by themselves, they are going to sound longer and more drawn out naturally. Which is probably what you're hearing in those sound files.

    In a context like:

    تو رو /to ro/
    به من /be man/

    ...their shortness would be easily discernible.
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Well I can assure you that linguists don't consider Iranian Persian to have majhūl vowels, and as I said the vowel of تو is /o/ not /oː/. It is not a long vowel, so it cannot be a majhūl vowel (which are long by definition).

    When you pronounce the words by themselves, they are going to sound longer and more drawn out naturally. Which is probably what you're hearing in those sound files.

    In a context like:

    تو رو /to ro/
    به من /be man/

    ...their shortness would be easily discernible.
    Thank you. We'll agree to disagree.
     
    as it's pronounced today, and غ is pronounced differently than ق in classical Persian, such that the غ of غافل in classical Persian is like the ق of آقا in today's Tehrani Persian.
    I think there was not any difference in pronouncing غ or ق in Persian. We never had any differences between س or ص.....
     
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    Ghayn and Qaf are clearly distinguished in Afghan and Tajik Persian, and in the Indo-Persian reading tradition.
    Is there any evidence in Farsi, we distinguish between ق and غ. We are not talking about some dialect of some tribes. as accent and dialect mainly is based on geographical places and kind of living and evaluation of larynx and throat of human in that area during the ages.

    I cannot understand what do you mean with Indo-Persian reading tradition? can you explain it please!
     
    Classical Persian poets never rhyme qaaf with ghayn.
    Regarding rhyme in Farsi poems, please note that there is some rules. First rule is every couple of rhymes must have similar sound. Second rules says, every two rhymes must write in same letters.
    IF any couple are not following one of the above rules, so those are defective and not acceptable.
    On the other hand, if there is no غ and ق used as rhyme, we cannot say they have different pronunciation!!!
     

    eskandar

    Moderator
    English (US)
    Qaaf and ghayn were always pronounced differently in Persian. The distinction has collapsed only relatively recently (most likely under Turkic influence) in most Western Persian dialects (such as Tehrani). As mentioned above, the distinction is still made by Persian-speakers in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and South Asia, not to mention in some Iranian dialects such as Kermani and Yazdi. This issue has its own thread and further discussion on the matter should be continued there.
     

    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    The distinction exists from east to west i.e. from Kurdistan (Iraq) to Tajikistan, with the exception most of Iran, I wonder if this distinction and the change from w to v (or is it v to w) are linked. I wasn't familiar with this distinction but these days I hear it from Afghan reporter on Persian TV channels, although to me it sounds as if that is also eroding.
     

    Abu Talha

    Senior Member
    Urdu
    A very informative thread.
    As Meier shows, ī and ē never rhyme in classical poets. On the other hand, rhymes between ū and ō are permitted.
    The occasional "bad rhymes" between majhul, ma'ruf, but also the diphthongs, are also discussed by Meier. Firstly, they are infrequent (especially for ē-ī).
    I found this ruba'i by Toghrul Seljuqi:
    دیروز چنان وصال جان افروزی
    امروز چنین فراق عالم سوزی
    افسوس که در دفتر عمرم ایام
    آن را روزی نویسد این را روزی

    Is this an example of a bad rhyme where afrozī and sozī are made to rhyme with rozē?
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    A very informative thread.

    I found this ruba'i by Toghrul Seljuqi:

    دیروز چنان وصال جان افروزی
    امروز چنین فراق عالم سوزی
    افسوس که در دفتر عمرم ایام
    آن را روزی نویسد این را روزی

    Is this an example of a bad rhyme where afrozī and sozī are made to rhyme with rozē?
    I read the words as:
    visaal-i-jaan/N-afroz-e
    firaaq-i-3aalam soz-e
    ayyaam
    rozii.......................roz-e
     
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