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In this paper, it is argued that in certain areas of pre-Islamic Eastern Iran the common lunar deity was not the male *māh- like in most regions of Western Iran, Bactria, and Sogdiana, but instead the feminine *māsti- with a prominent epithet, which may go back to *uxšma-kā-/*uxšma-kī- ‘the waxing one’ or, alternatively, *us-šma-kā-/*us-šma-kī- ‘the one who shines up’. In some parts of Badakhshan, her epithet even turned into the primary name of the goddess and the moon. This claim can be substantiated by the various names for ‘moon’ and ‘moonlight’ in Eastern Iranian languages for which I want to lay out a detailed historical development, as well as the Bactrian and Sogdian theophoric personal name ϸομογοβανδαγο/ʾxšwmβntk.

In: Iran and the Caucasus
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Although our knowledge of Pashto etymology has greatly increased in the last century, most notably due to George Morgenstierne’s “A (New) Etymological Vocabulary of Pashto” (1927, 2nd and improved edition 2003), the origin of many Pashto words remained unknown so far. The present paper discusses eight further Pashto etymologies. Four of these are inherited from Proto-Iranian, two are Indo-Aryan, one is of mixed origin, and one is originally Arabic. Discussing the hail word in Pashto, I also argue for the loan of the Bactrian cognate into Persian.

In: Iran and the Caucasus
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It is a well-known fact that Pashto belongs to those Eastern Iranian languages, which show lambdacism. While similarities exist with Bactrian and Munji-Yidgha, the situation in Pashto is not exactly the same, and is in any case far more complicated. Especially interesting in this respect is the development of Old Iranian *t, which is sometimes shifted to l in Pashto proper and y in Waneci, sometimes yields the voiced dental d, or, as a third outcome, disappears in all varieties.

In this paper, it is argued that the first lambdacism of (Old Iranian *d >) *δ > l, in the early first millennium A.D., spread from Bactrian, the prestigious lingua franca of the Kushan and subsequent Empires, into the contemporary ancestors of Munji(-Yidgha), Pashto and Prasun. Almost a millennium later, there was another, geographically far more limited lambdacism. This time, one subgroup of Pashto from which all Pashto proper dialects would emerge, changed, at least in certain environments, (Old Iranian *t >) *d > *δ to l, while it was changed to a palatal glide in Waneci. In other phonological environments, *d had disappeared before it could be shifted to l and y, respectively, and left no traces in contemporary dialects. In those cases where *t corresponds to d in all contemporary varieties of Pashto, we are dealing with a secondary restoration of the dental or sandhi, which lead to a voicing of initial *t.

In: Iran and the Caucasus