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Some Saka words

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Aza
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Joined: 25 Oct 2009

Hi

The Sakas who in classical era dwelled in a vast area from Pontic steppes to the Chinese border, were a branch of the larger group of Scythians. Another, Scythian (or Scythian-related) people inhabiting ancient Kurdistan were the Kimmerians.

It is generally assumed that the languages/dialects spoken by all Scythian grous, were closely related to one another.
In this post I would like to bring your attention to some very interesting [eastern] Sakan words spoken in ancient and middle Iranian period in central Asia, which may be important for historical phonology of Kurdish.

Inter- and postvocalic p>v; compare with Kurdish p>v/w:
Avestan 'k$apa', Sakan '$ava', Kurdish '$av'/'$aw'

Initial v>b; Modern Persian as adopted this change in post-Islamic era. It is not clear when modern kurdish has adopted this sound change since we have no clue about middle Kurdish but it is not impossible that it has adopted from a Scythian dialect spoken n ancient Kurdistan:

Avestan 'váta', Sakan ' báta', Kurdish 'ba'

Other words:

oil
Av: raogna
Saka: runa
Kurd: ron

appear/see
PI: *didatai
Saka: diyare
Kurd: diyar

go
Saka: cchami
Kurd: [di]chim

sheep/cattle
Av: pasu
Saka: pasu
Kurd: paz

I
Av: azəm
Saka: asu
Kurd: az

much
Av: pouru
Opers: poru
Saka: pharu
Kurd: fra

darknes
Av: taθra
Saka: tárra
Kurd: tarî

liver
Av: yâkarə
Zor. Pah: yakar
Saka: jará
Kurd: jarg

shoulder
Av: supti
Saka: suti
Kurd: asto

lungs
Av: su$i
Saka: svî
Kurd. sî