Volume 9, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2210-2116
  • E-ISSN: 2210-2124
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The aim of this paper is to look at some of the problems with the traditional subdivisions of Iranian and at possible new approaches. It builds on an argument made in Korn (2016a), adding discussion and further illustrating problems in the data and methods involved in the traditional model of relations among the Iranian languages. It specifically points out that the traditional family tree is based on a set of isoglosses that is an artefact of the data that happened to be available at the time. In addition, the question arises whether the wave model or the concept of linguistic areas would be more adequate to account for the data. The discovery of a corpus of Bactrian manuscripts encourages a new approach. I argue that a sub-branch including Bactrian, Parthian and some other languages is a hypothesis that deserves to be tested; at the same time, the comparison with other Iranian languages as well as typological considerations permit to assess the role of language contact.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Bactrian; family tree; Iranian; isoglosses; linkage; wave model
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