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History of the Balochs in Punjab, Pakistan

Punjab_Social Map

A significant number of Baloch tribes have over time settled in the Punjab province of Pakistan. These Baloch are often referred to as the Punjabi Baloch.

History and origin

There are 2.5 million Baloch in Punjab, making it the largest Baloch province in the world. In addition to that the main Punjabi tribe of Rajputs have a close genetic resemblance to Baloch, especially the Alpial clan living in Potohar region. Opposition leader Chawdhry Nisar Ali Khan is from Alpial Rajputs and one of the Alpial ancestors was Rai Baloch Khan. The belt between river Jhelum and Indus, north from Islamabad down to Muzzafargarh and Dera Ghazi Khan was formerly called as Rabalistan. If so than the Baloch hold a strategically important territory in Pakistan, surrounding the capital Islamabad, down from Potohari speaking regions to the Siraiki areas. The Baloch claim a mixed ancestry, asserting that they are descended, on the one hand, from Amir Hamza an uncle of the Prophet Mohammed and from a fairy (Pari), and on the other, from the Kurds living in the area of Aleppo, Syria from which they were expelled in A. D. 580 by the Sasanian Persian King Chosroes I Anoshervan. Their migration took them first to the area of Alborz Mountains and Qazvin to Kerman, then Sistan, and finally into Makran. In time, most of the territory of Makran has come to be known as Balochistan–“Land of the Baloch.” In the 13th century, some of the Baloch moved into Sindh (where they are known as the Sindhi Baloch) and also into Punjab. Many Baloch tribal warriors were hired by the sultans of Oman and other emirs in the Persian Gulf as their body guards and soldiers, carrying them as far off as east Africa. There a large number of these Baloch in the Arabian Peninsual now, where the family name “al-Balooshi” (The Balochi) is commonly the small emirates in the Persian Gulf—from Bahrain to Qatar, the UAE and Oman. There, they form a well-to-do class of people. These have, as of late, tried, for obvious reasons, to join the origins of the Baloch to the Arabs. Historically and linguistically, this is untenable if not impossible.
About the beginning of the 16th century the Balochis were driven out of the Kalat valley by the Brahuis and Turks. Yielding to pressure they moved eastward into the Sulaimans, drove out the Pathans, and settled along the banks of the Indus. Three Baloch adventurers Ismail Khan, Fatteh Khan, and Ghazi Khan, founded the three Dehras that bear their names, and established themselves as independent rulers of the Lower Derajat and Muzaffargarh, which they and their descendants held for nearly 300 years. The three brothers founded the settlements of Dera Ghazi Khan, Dera Ismail Khan and Darya Khan. Thence the southern Balochis gradually spread into the valleys of the Indus, Chenab, and Sutlej, and in 1555 a large body of Balochis, under their great leader Mir Chakar, accompanied the Emperor Humayun into India. It is probable that many of the Baloch settlements, in the Eastern districts of the Punjab, were founded by Humayun’s soldiers. Mir Chakar settled in Sahiwal and his tomb still exists at Satgarha, where he founded a military colony of Rinds.
Long before Mir Chakar’s time, Mir Jalal Khan was one of the Baloch historical rulers, and from his four sons— Rind, Lashar, Hot and Korai — spring the four main Baloch tribes. The Jatoi are the children of Jatoi, Jalal Khan’s daughter. These main sections are now divided into innumerable septs. Throughout the Punjab the term Baloch denotes any Muslim camel-man. The word has come to be associated with the care of camels, because the Baloch settlers of the Western plains have taken to the grazing and breeding of camels rather than to husbandry, and every Baloch is supposed to be a camelman and every camel-man to be a Baloch.

Present circumstances
The Baloch of the Punjab plains is now altogether separated from the Baloch tribes of Balochistan and the Derajat, although the same tribal names are still found among them. Long residence in Punjab and inter-marriage with the Jats has deprived them of many of their characteristics, and they have now forgotten the Baloch language and have abandoned the Baloch dress. They now speak Seraiki in the south of Punjab, while those in the districts of Faisalabad , Sahiwal, Jhang, Sargodha and Khushab speak Punjabi.
They are good Muslims, fair agriculturists. In character they are brave, chivalrous, and honourable. In physique they are tall, thin, wiry, hardy, and frugal in their habits.

Distribution and Main Clans
The Baloch are found mainly in the districts of Multan, Muzaffargarh, Dera Ghazi Khan districts in sothern Punjab and Jhang, Sargodha, Khushab and Sahiwal districts of central Punjab.

The following clans are those most commonly found of the Punjab:
Korai, Jatoi,Gopang, Mashori, Rind, Khushk, Gurmani, Dashti, Jatoi, Gishkauri, Mazari, Hot, Pitafi and Zangeza, Jalbani, Gurchani.
The Rind, Jatoi and Korai are numerous in Multan, Jhang, Sahiwal, Sargodha and Muzaffargarh districts. While the Gopangs and Dashtis, both are found in the Muzaffargarh district. The Hot are found in Jhang, Multan and Muzaffargarh, and the Gurmanis, Khushik, Giskhauris, Pitafis in Muzaffargarh and Rahimyar Khan. While the Mazaris in Jhang,Jaccobabad,Rajanpur,Kashmore and Rahimyar khan. The Magassi Baloch, who are found in Multan, Muzaffargarh, Mianwali and Jhang, appear to be a “peculiar people” rather than a tribe.Jalbani tribe is concentrated in D.G.Khan and Rajanpur districts in the Punjab. Both Sunnis and Shias are found among them and they have several peculiar customs not to be found among other Balochis.

The Zangeza
The Zangeza are met with in the Mianwali and Sargodha districts. They are Shias, while most Baloch are Sunni.

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Posted by on July 19, 2011 in Baloch People

 

History of the Balochs in Gujarat, India

Gujarat_ Social Map

The Baloch are a Muslim community found in the state of Gujarat in India. They are descended from Baluch tribesmen who settled in this region of Gujarat in the late Middle Ages. The community use the surname khan. In Gujarat, the tem Baloch is restricted to the Sulaymani Baloch, while Makrani Baloch now form a distinct community.

History and origin
The Baloch claim a mixed ancestry, asserting that they are descended, on the one hand, from Amir Hamza an uncle of the Prophet Mohammed, and on the other, from the Kurds living in the area of Aleppo, Syria from which they were expelled in A. D. 580 by the Sasanian Persian King Chosroes I Anoshervan. Their migration took them first to the area of Alborz Mountains and Qazvin to Kerman, then Sistan, and finally into Makran. In time, most of the territory of Makran has come to be known as Balochistan (“Land of the Baloch” in the Persian language). In the 13th century, some of the Baloch moved into Sindh (where they are known as the Sindhi Baloch) and also into Punjab.
Mir Jalal Khan was one of the Baloch historical rulers, and from his four sons— Rind, Lashar, Hot and Korai spring the four main Baloch tribes. The Jatoi are the children of Jatoi, Jalal Khan’s daughter. These main sections are now divided into innumerable septs. Historically, in Gujarat, the term Baloch denoted any Muslim camel-man. The word has come to be associated with the care of camels, because the Baloch settlers of the Western plains took to the grazing and breeding of camels rather than to husbandry. This has often led to confussion between them and the Jath, another Muslim community who are associated with camel breeding.
About the beginning of the 16th century the Balochis were driven out of the Kalat valley by the Brahuis and Turks. Yielding to pressure they moved eastward into the Sulaiman Mountains, drove out the Pashtuns, and settled along the banks of the Indus. Three Baloch adventurers Ismail Khan, Fatteh Khan, and Ghazi Khan, founded the three Dehras (encampments) that bear their names, and established themselves as independent rulers of the Lower Derajat and Muzaffargarh, which they and their descendants held for nearly 300 years. The three brothers founded the settlements of Dera Ghazi Khan, Dera Ismail Khan and Darya Khan. Thence the southern Balochis gradually spread into the valleys of the Indus, Chenab, and Sutlej, and in 1555 a large body of Balochis, under their great leader Mir Chakar, accompanied the Emperor Humayun into India. A small number of Baloch began to immigrated from Multan and Sindh into Gujarat from the at least the 14th Century.
The earliest Baloch settlers of Gujarat came with Fateh Khan Baloch, who was given the jagir of Radhanpur and Sami by Sultan Ahmad Shah II of Gujarat. Another Fateh Khan was given the jagir of Khadia in Junagadh by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. In the 18th Century, the Gohil Rajput rulers of Bhavnagar invited a number of Baloch to serve as their bodyguards. They were granted the jagir in Sehor.

Present circumstances
The Baloch are distributed in Rajkot, Junagadh, Khadia, Keshod, Veraval, Mangrol, and Bhavnagar. Important Baloch villages include Budhana & pingali in Bhavnagar District, Kundhada village in Junagadh District and Baspa and Kerwada in Radhanpur. They tend to live in their own villages, or have distinct quarters in the towns they reside in. The community is split inti six clans, or ataks as they are known in Gujarati. Their main clans are the Gabol, Lashari, Birri, Gopang, Sukhe, Hooth and Korai. A small number of Gabol have immigrated to Pakistan, and are now found in Karachi. The community speak standard Gujarati, while those in Kutch speak Sindhi. Most Baloch also have knowledge of Urdu. The Baloch are strictly endogamous, although there are some cases of inter-marriage with the Pathans and Muslim Rajput communities such as the Malik, Miyana and Molesalam. They prefer marrying close kins, and practice both parallel cousin and cross counsin marriages.
The Baloch are now mainly marginal farmers, with many also employed as agricultural labourers. Land reform has led to the breakup of the larger jagirs, and many jagirdars have emigrated to cities like Ahmadabad and Mumbai. There villages now have electricity, and many now use electric pumps. Many Baloch are also employed as truck drivers, with a small number owning their trucks. Their general economic circumstances are poor. Like other Gujarati Muslims, they have a caste association, the Baloch Jamat. This acts as a welfare association, as well as an instrument of social control. Most Baluch are Sunni, but members of the Sukhe clan are Shia.

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2011 in Baloch People

 

History of the Balochs in Uttar Pradesh, India

Uttar Pradesh_ Social Map

The Baloch are a Muslim community found in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India. They are descended from Baluch tribesmen who settled in this region of North India in the late Middle Ages. The community use the surname khan, and are often known as Baloch Pathan.

History and origin
The Baloch claim a mixed ancestry, asserting that they are descended, on the one hand, from Amir Hamza an uncle of the Prophet Mohammed and from a fairy (Pari), and on the other, from the Kurds living in the area of Aleppo, Syria from which they were expelled in A. D. 580 by the Sasanian Persian King Chosroes I Anoshervan. Their migration took them first to the area of Alborz Mountains and Qazvin to Kerman, then Sistan, and finally into Makran. In time, most of the territory of Makran has come to be known as Balochistan (“Land of the Baloch” in the Persian language). In the 13th century, some of the Baloch moved into Sindh (where they are known as the Sindhi Baloch) and also into Punjab.
Mir Jalal Khan was one of the Baloch historical rulers, and from his four sons— Rind, Lashar, Hot and Korai spring the four main Baloch tribes. The Jatoi are the children of Jatoi, Jalal Khan’s daughter. These main sections are now divided into innumerable septs. Historically, in Uttar Pradesh and Haryana, the term Baloch denoted any Muslim camel-man. The word has come to be associated with the care of camels, because the Baloch settlers of the Western plains have taken to the grazing and breeding of camels rather than to husbandry.
About the beginning of the 16th century the Balochis were driven out of the Kalat valley by the Brahuis and Turks. Yielding to pressure they moved eastward into the Sulaiman Mountains, drove out the Pashtuns, and settled along the banks of the Indus. Three Baloch adventurers Ismail Khan, Fatteh Khan, and Ghazi Khan, founded the three Dehras (encampments) that bear their names, and established themselves as independent rulers of the Lower Derajat and Muzaffargarh, which they and their descendants held for nearly 300 years. The three brothers founded the settlements of Dera Ghazi Khan, Dera Ismail Khan and Darya Khan. Thence the southern Balochis gradually spread into the valleys of the Indus, Chenab, and Sutlej, and in 1555 a large body of Balochis, under their great leader Mir Chakar, accompanied the Emperor Humayun into India. It is probable that many of the Baloch settlements, in North India (Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh), were founded by Humayun’s soldiers. Mir Chakar settled in Sahiwal and his tomb still exists at Satgarha, where he founded a military colony of Rinds.

Baloch of the Doab
Now the most important Baloch colonies in Uttar Pradesh are those of Amirnagar, Garhi Abdullah Khan, Garhi Pukhta, Jasoi and Baghra in Muzaffarnagar District. They settled in the district during the rule of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb, and rose to prominence as the Mughal Empire disintegrated. Another two prominent Baloch families were those of Chanderu and Jhajhar, in Bulandshahr District. The Chanderu Baloch are descended from Nahar Khan, who is said to have from Seistan during the rule of Alauddin Khilji. Nahar Khan was latter appointed governor of Deccan, and his son Sardar Khan founded a settlement in Ganaura Shaikh, and the family rose to some prominence during the rule of the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb. While the Jhajhar family claim descent from Syed Mohammad Khan, a Leghari Baluch, who was granted a jagir by the Mughal Emperor Humayun. They played a key role in the post Mughal history of the Doab region, but began to decline with the rise of British power in the 19th Century. The Baloch of Haryana all emigrated to Pakistan at the time of partition. The Baloch now speak Urdu and the Khari Boli dialect, and are found in the Doab region of Uttar Pradesh.

Baloch of Rohilkhand
The Baluch of Rohilkhand accompanied Hafiz Rahmat Khan, Rohilla conqueror. They have now been assimilated into the Rohilla community, and lost their distinct Baloch identity. The Rohilkhand Baloch belong mainly to the Magsi, Leghari and Mazari tribes. These Baloch are found mainly in the districts of Badaun, Bijnor, Shahjahanpur and Moradabad.

There is also a single settlement of Baloch in Lucknow District, at Baluchgarhi. These Baloch are descedents of mercenaries brought by the Nawabs of Awadh.

Present circumstances
The Baloch of North India are now altogether separated from the Baloch tribes of Balochistan and tribal divisions are no longer important. They are found in the districts of Meerut, Muzaffarnagar, Bulandshar and Aligarh. Their customs are similar to those of the neighbouring Muslim communities such as the Jhojha and Ranghar. The Baluch reside in mixed caste villages, occupying their own quarters, and are largely small and medium sized farmers, with a small number being landless agricultural labourers. Their most important settlements are in several villages in and around the town of Baghra in Muzaffarnagar District. A second cluster of Baloch villages exist in Bulandshahr District, where there are several villages near the towns of Jhajhar and Chanderu. In addition, the town of Faridnagar in Ghaziabad District is home to an important colony of Baloch. They are strictly endogamous, marrying with in close kin, and like other North Indian Muslim communities. The Baluch practice both cross cousin and parallel cousin marriages. They speak both Urdu and Khari Boli, the local dialect in the Doab region of Uttar Pradesh.
The Baluch are almost entirely Sunni Muslims, and like other Doab Muslim communities have been influenced by the Deobandi reformist movement. They have no formal caste association, although most villages with Baloch do have traditional caste associations, known as panchayats. These panchayats exercise social control, and are deal with intra community disputes.
The Baloch of Balochgarhi in Lucknow District considers themselves simply as a sub-group of the Pathan, with whom they intermarry. They speak the Awadhi dialect, as well as standard Urdu. The community are mainly small and medium sized farmers, although historically many were employed by the state police. They have no connection with the Baloch of the Doab. There are also small number of Baloch colonies in Sitapur, Kheri and Hardoi. Many of the Awadh Baloch are Shia.

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2011 in Baloch People

 

Balochi and the Concept of North-Western Iranian

Prof Dr. Agnes Corne

By: Prof Dr. Agnes Korn

1. Introduction
The aim of this paper is to examine the position of Balochi among the Western Iranian languages by looking at certain features of its historical phonology. These features will be examined for their validity, and the Balochi data will be assessed to determine its relationship to the traditional notion of North-Western Iranian languages.

1.1 Balochi as a North-Western Iranian language

From a historical point of view, Balochi has been regarded as a so-called North- Western Iranian language. This means that with regard to certain linguistic features (called isoglosses), Balochi shares a set of characteristics with e.g. contemporary Kurdish and Zazaki and the Middle Iranian Parthian, whereas Persian, Tajiki and some other languages – called South-Western Iranian – show something different under the same circumstances. The table shows examples of such features from the field of the development of the consonants from prehistoric times to the languages of today. The Balochi data is compared with that of two other North-Western Iranian languages, viz. Zazaki (chosen for its strong North-Western traits), and Kurdish (chosen for its similarities with Balochi, for which see below), and the South-Western Iranian Persian.1

Proto-Iranian2 example

*´z “know”
“son-in-law”
*´s “iron”

North-Western Iranian

z: B z¯an-, Z zonen-, K zan-
B z¯am¯at, Z zama, K zava
s: B ¯asin, Z asın, K hesin

South-Western Iranian

d: NP d¯an-
NP d¯am¯ad
h: NP ¯ahan

Such relationships between languages have often been visualised in the form of a
family-tree:

Proto-Iranian

East West

North South
Old Iranian languages
Avestan Median Old Persian

Middle Iranian languages
Sogdian, Saka etc. Parthian Middle Persian

New Iranian languages
Ossetic, Pashto etc. Zazaki, Balochi, New Persian etc.
Kurdish etc.
Figure 1: simplified family tree of Iranian languages3

1.2 Balochi as a southern North-Western Iranian language

It has long been observed, however, that the relationships between Iranian languages are more complex than the family-tree would suggest: In some cases, the Balochi outcome of some Proto-Iranian sounds or combinations of sounds is not the one we might expect in a North-Western Iranian language (judging from the Parthian evidence), but rather the South-Western one as in Persian. The same may be said for Kurdish, but not for Zazaki which usually shows the features expected in a NWIr. language. Examples are:

Proto-Iranian example

*\r “three”
*´s ˘ u “dog”

North-Western Iranian

hr: Z hire
sp: South Z espe

South-Western Iranian

s: B sai, K sê, NP se
s: B sag, K seg, NP sag

The word for “three” is the only word with PIr. *\r4 which is found in all the fourlanguages, but it is not a good example, since the Balochi and Kurdish words for “three” are perhaps borrowed from Persian (PAUL 1998:1668). Better examples which show that Balochi has s for PIr. *\r are: ¯as “fire” (from *¯a\r-, obl. of *¯atar-, NP ¯azar), dialectal pis “father”, m¯as “mother”, br¯as “brother” (< obl. *pi\r- etc., GEIGER 1891:430, MORGENSTIERNE 1948:257), duks¯ıˇc/dusk¯ıˇc “sister-in-law” ( B s: s¯ah “breath, life” which (GEIGER 1891:430f.) might belong to OInd. ´sv¯asá-, unless it was (together with Pashto s¯ah, MORGENSTIERNE 1927:66) borrowed from some Indic language; s¯ıy- / s¯ıt7 “swell” is a cognate of OInd. ´sváya- according to GEIGER 1891:430 and BAILEY 1979:476a; šiš8 “louse” (NP sopoš, šepeš, Av. spiš) might go back to *´s ˘u- (via *siš, cf. Wakhi šiš, MORGENSTIERNE 1927:69, STEBLIN-KAMENSKIJ 1999:30, 330). Conversely, there is no good evidence for PIr. *´s ˘ u > B sp since the only examples which might be adduced here (B (i)sp¯et “white”9 and asp “horse”, may be Persian loanwords. Thus, one might think that a model which ranks the New Iranian languages according to their specific number of differences from Persian (i.e. the number of shared characteristics with Parthian) is more adequate for the description of relationships among the Western Iranian languages than a family-tree. Such a “scale of northernness” has been suggested by PAUL 1998:170, from which one may conclude that Balochi (and Kurdish even more) is a comparatively “southern” North-Western Iranian language:
PIE PIr. Pth. Gor. A”z. Zaz. Tal. Semn. Casp. CD Bal. Kd. Pers.
*´k/*´g *´s/´z10 s/z s/z s/z s/z s/z s/z s/z s/z s/z s/z h/d
*k( ˘u) pal *ˇc -ž- -ž- -ž- -ˇj- -ž- ˇj,ž -ˇj- ˇj,ž,z -ˇc- -ž- -z-
*g( ˘u)(h) pal *ˇj ž ž ž (y-) ˇj ž ˇj,ž ˇj (z-) ˇj,ž,z ˇj -ž- z
*´k ˘u *´s ˘ u 11 ? sip isb esp asb esp s esb s? s s
*tr/*tl *\r12 hr (ya)r (h)r (h¯ı)r h(*r) (h)r r r s s s
*d(h)
˘u *d ˘ u b b b b b b b b b(?) d d
(OIr.) *rd/*rz *rd/*r´z r(d)/rz ł,r/rz r/rz ¯r/rz r/rz l/l(rz) l/l l/l(rz) rd/rz ł/ł l/l
*s ˘u- *h ˘u- wx w h w h x(u) x(u) x(u), f w x(w) x(u)
*t ˘u *\ ˘u f u u w h h h h(u) h? h h
* ˘i- * ˘i- y- y- y- ˇj- ˇj- ˇj- ˇj- ˇj-(y-) ˇj- ˇj- ˇj-
Table 1: Western Iranian isoglosses (modified from PAUL 1998:170)
Notes:13
– PIr. intervocalic *ˇc (TEDESCO 1921 no. 4): The Balochi product is not ˇi as PAUL 1998:170 assumes, but ˇc (GEIGER 1891:423), e.g. PIr. * ˘uaiˇc- “sieve” > B g¯eˇc- (Z viˇi-, K bêžing (noun), NP b¯ız-); PIr. *ra ˘uˇcah- “light” > B r¯oˇc “day” (Z roˇi/rodz/roz/rož, K rož, NP r¯uz).14 – PIr. *ˇi (TEDESCO 1921 no. 3): e.g. PIr. *ˇian- “woman” > Z ˇiınêk, B ˇian, K žın, NP zan. – PIr. *d ˘ u (TEDESCO 1921 no. 12): Judging from do “two” and dar “door”,15 it has generally been assumed (thus also PAUL 1998:170) that Balochi shows PIr. *d ˘ u > d as do Persian and Kurdish (Zazaki has b: kê-ber/ˇcê-ver “(house-)door”). However, both words can also be explained as Persian loanwords. In this case, ipt¯ı/pit¯ı “other” B zird (Z ze¯rî, NP del) “heart”, PIr. *b ˙r´z- > B burz (Z berz, NP boland) “high”.16 – PIr. *h ˘u- (TEDESCO 1921 no. 17) gives B w (PAUL 1998:170 has v), e.g. war- “eat” (Z wer-, K xwar-, NP xwor-) or h, e.g. h¯ed “sweat” (K xwêh, NP xwei). – PIr. *\ ˘ u (TEDESCO 1921 no. 11): It is not clear if the outcome in Balochi, Kurdish and some other languages is h as PAUL 1998:170 assumes since the only examples are the numerals “four” and “forty” which are identical with (Early New) Pers. ˇcah¯ar/ˇc¯ar, ˇcihil/ˇcil and thus could be loans. Zazaki preserves w in ˇcewres/tsewres “fourty”.

– PIr. * ˘i- (TEDESCO 1921 no. 5): e.g. NP ˇiod¯a “separate”, Z ˇiıya, B ˇiit¯a, K ˇiihê.

2. Significance of the isoglosses

One might therefore ask if it is adequate to call Balochi a North-Western Iranian language at all, or rather, in which respect Balochi is North-Western Iranian. To answer this question, I will examine the isoglosses once more, focussing on two points which have not been taken into account so much in previous discussions about the Western Iranian isoglosses: the chronology of the sound changes in question and the distinction between archaism and innovation.

2.1 Chronology

Some of the sound changes producing the characteristic differences between South- Western and North-Western Iranian languages date back to Old Iranian times, i.e. they already distinguished Old Persian (South-Western Iranian) from Avestan (Non-South- Western Iranian). Other sound changes only came about in Middle Iranian times, i.e. they can be seen in Middle Persian and Parthian, but not in Old Persian and Avestan. It is important to consider the date of a feature since a common characteristic of e.g. Balochi and Middle Persian might tell us something different than one which Balochi shares already with Old Persian.
The approach presented in table 1 above suggests that in the beginning, all so-called North-Western Iranian languages showed some common traits and then one by one came under the influence of Persian, with Kurdish and Balochi being the first affected and Zazaki among the last. It will be seen, however, that this cannot be the case.

Table 2 shows the sound changes (those mentioned above as well as others often cited in works dealing with the grouping of WIr. languages) arranged according to their date of appearance from the oldest (top of the table) to the most recent ones (bottom).17

Proto-Iranian Old Iranian:

Avestan (Non-SW) Old Persian (SW)
*´s s \
(> Middle Persian h)
*´z z d
*pas-ˇca “behind” pas-ˇca pas¯a
*´s ˘ u sp s
*\r \r ç
(> Parthian hr) (> Middle Persian s)
Middle Iranian:
Parthian (NW) Middle Persian (SW)
*ˇc /V_V ž (OP ˇc >) z
*ˇI ž (OP ˇi > ) z
* ˘i- y (OP y >) ˇi
*r´ z rz (OP rd > ) l
*rd rd (OP rd > ) l
*d ˘ u b (OP duv >) d
*h ˘u- wx (OP uv >) xw
*\ ˘ u f (OP \uv >) h
*g, d /V_V g, d (OP g, d >) y
* ˘u- w (OP w >) w, g
*m /V_V m, w (OP m >) m
New Iranian:
Z, B, K New Persian
*šm18 m (> K v) (OP šm >) šm

Table 2: isoglosses in chronological order (bold letters: innovations)

Notes:
– PIr. *pas-ˇca is no. 21 in TEDESCO 1921.
– PIr. *ˇi: It is not excluded that the OP signs ˇia, ˇii already stood for ža, ži (HOFFMANN
1976:628).
– PIr. *g, d (TEDESCO 1921 no. 8 and 6 respectively) disappear between vowels in Zazaki
and Kurdish, e.g. pê “foot” vs. B p¯ad, NP p¯a(y).
– PIr. * ˘u- (TEDESCO 1921 no. 18): e.g. B giˇcin- / NP guz¯ın- “collect”, Z vin-en-, vên-en- / B gind- / K bîn- / NP b¯ın- “see” (pres.), Z va / B gw¯at / K ba / NP b¯ad “wind”.
– PIr. *m: TEDESCO 1921 no. 19.
From these findings, we may conclude that table 1 is a synchronic one, summarizing the data from contemporary Western Iranian languages without reference to their history, and that the “scale of northernness” cannot be taken to hint at historical developments. Contrary to their position in table 1, e.g. the isogloss NWIr. ˇi, ž etc. vs.
SWIr. z (from PIr. *-ˇc, ˇi) is of a more recent date than SWIr. (OP) ç, later s vs. Av. \r, Pth. hr (PIr. *\r), and Persian ˇi- from PIr. * ˘i- cannot be a young phenomenon, but conversely, has to be even older than the voicing of the intervocalic stops as may be seen from Persian loanwords in Armenian, e.g. ˇiatuk “sorcerer” (HÜBSCHMANN 1897:232, cf. NP ˇi¯ad¯u, OInd. y¯atú- “sorcery”).

2.2 Archaism versus innovation

The next interesting observation is that in the majority of the cases, the (Old and Middle) Persian outcome of a certain PIr. sound (or sound combination) can be interpreted as an innovation (printed in bold letters in table 2) whereas Avestan and Parthian preserve the PIr. state of affairs. With regard to the features studied here, the North-Western Iranian languages show much fewer innovations. These are: Pth. b from *d ˘ u (where Persian has an innovation in the other direction, i.e. d), Pth. f from *\ ˘ u (Pers. h), the development of PIr. *h ˘u- to Pth. wx19 (MP xw), occasional w for postvocalic m and the reduction of šm to m. 19 Written wx- might be interpreted as the result of a metathesis *hw- > wh- or as a “device (…) to represent a new sound, viz. devoiced [ ° w]”, cf. English wh- from Old English hw- (MACKENZIE 1967:2629). In the latter case, the Pth. result would be already quite near to that of Zazaki, Balochi
etc.

Archaisms

Most of the NWIr. characteristics of contemporary languages are of the type “shared archaism”, i.e. these languages preserve the development already shown by Parthian, e.g. B, Z, K z from PIr. *´z (see 1.1). Shared archaisms tell us that from a historical point of view, Balochi, Zazaki etc. belong to the group of North-Western Iranian languages (i.e. come from a common ancestor). Therefore, this does not tell us anything about the history of a given language after the time the traits in question came about.

Independent innovations

The isoglosses which may be regarded as innovations will be examined next, taking into account data from Zazaki and Kurdish again. Common innovations may come about either independently or through contact of the languages in question. For each feature, it has to be decided into which category it most likely belongs. There are four sound changes which are likely to be independent innovations.
One change which is extremely common in languages all over the world is that of word-initial * ˘i- > ˇi which also occurs e.g. in Urdu, several Turkic languages and Low German. Moreover, this change is quite an ancient one in Persian (it must have happened in an old stage of Middle Persian, see p. 55). It is not likely that at that time,
Persian was in contact with the predecessors of all the Western Iranian languages which show ˇi from * ˘i- (even including Talyshi and Zazaki, see table 1), so this change is probably not the result of language contact. The weakening of intervocalic Old Ir. b, g and d to the corresponding fricatives b, g and d is common to Parthian and (some early stage of) Middle Persian (SUNDERMANN 1989:108).20 The further weakening of g and d to y (Persian) or zero (Zazaki, Kurdish) has probably occurred independently: the loss of postvocalic consonants, especially postvocalic voiced fricatives, is such a common phenomenon among the languages of the world that it seems safer to assume (also taking into account the peripheral position of Zazaki) that it has occurred independently in all three languages.
20 This sound change “is common throughout Iranian” (SIMS-WILLIAMS 1996:650). Note that if one considers the change of intervocalic b, d, g to fricatives as shared by all (Western) Middle Iranian languages, this implies that in some stage of Balochi, b, d, g must have reemerged from Middle Ir. b, d, g. In this case, the common assumption that the Balochi stops preserve the Old Iranian state of affairs would be subject to modification.
Something similar applies to the development of postvocalic m to w. This appears to be a Middle Iranian phenomenon since it has been claimed to be an optional development in Parthian already (TEDESCO 1921:208). On the other hand, this change seems to be a rather recent phenomenon in Kurdish and operates as a sound law for all instances of postvocalic m (e.g. nav “name”), including modern loanwords, e.g. ˇiiv¯at (Arabic ˇiam¯a‘at) “assembly” (cf. MACKENZIE 1961:70), and also including the outcome of the reduction šm to m (e.g. çav “eye” (cf. Z çım, B ˇcam(m)) vs. NP ˇcešm). As there is no trace of šm > m in Parthian yet, it seems that Parthian instances of m > w can have nothing to do with the Kurdish sound law and require some other explanation.21 In Balochi, the instances of w for m seem to be the result of a still less ancient process: m > w occurs in the Eastern dialects only, and only sporadically even there, and the Eastern dialects show a number of (quite recent, it seems) sound changes separating them from the other dialects.22 As the change of m > w is a very common one in the languages of the world (cf. e.g. Hungarian név “name” < Proto-Uralic *nime, cf. Finnish nimi), it is quite probable that it has come about independently in several Iranian languages. In Balochi, it might even have happened under the influence of Indic
languages.23
The reduction of šm to m would represent the only common innovation of North- Western Iranian languages from post-Parthian times. However, it is also shared by a number of other Iranian languages as far away from each other as SW Iran (Bashkardi) and the Afghanistan-Pakistan border (Ormuri, an Eastern Iranian language). Since a phenomenon of language contact between all these is most unlikely for post-Middle Iranian times, it is safer to regard this change as an independent development, too. As in the case of common archaisms, sound changes which are the result of independent innovations do not tell us anything about the question of how the languages are historically related to one another, and which languages have been in contact with one another. Such sound changes are merely due to chance. They should therefore be deleted from the list of isoglosses. 21 In fact, the Parthian examples do not show the presumed change of m > w: angawan (otherwise anˇiaman) “assembly” does not exist, and abg¯aw¯ah belongs to abgaw- “increase” (Desmond Durkin- Meisterernst, personal communication). Parthian h¯aws¯ar “equal, similar” does not contain a variant of h¯am° “same”, but *h¯awat- “similar”, cf. MP h¯awand “like, similar” (SIMS-WILLIAMS 1998a:85). 22 The sound system of the Western and Southern dialects is very similar to that of Common Balochi (the ancestor language of the Balochi dialects), cf. GEIGER 1891:403. 23 Cf. Hindi/Urdu g㯠v “village” from Old Ind. gra¯ma- (HINÜBER 1986:107).

Innovations which Balochi shares with Persian

All features discussed above are of the type where Persian shows some innovativedevelopment. This also includes those features which Balochi shares with Persian, the ancient developments *´s ˘ u and *\r > s (if this is indeed the Balochi outcome, see 1.2 above) as well as the younger ones *\ ˘ u > h (if so, see 1.2) and * ˘u- > g(w)/b. Kurdish, in addition, shares with Persian the developments of *d ˘ u > d, *h ˘u- > xw, and perhaps also *r´z, *rd > l. Zazaki shows the “true” NWIr. development in all these cases.24 The characteristics that Balochi and other North-Western Iranian languages share with Persian may be attributed to the profound influence which Persian has exercised on the neighbouring languages all over the past centuries and already in Old Persian times.
Those languages which have been in contact with Persian show a number of similarities with Persian whereas Zazaki which is spoken farther off to the North-West has not been influenced by Persian very much. For the cases mentioned above, we may thus conclude that Balochi has taken over some innovations of Persian (and Kurdish even more).

Innovations which Balochi shares with Parthian

In addition, the evidence suggests that Balochi – in contrast to Kurdish – probably shares two innovations with Parthian: the development of b from *d ˘ u and of w/h from *h ˘u-. This might indicate that in Middle Iranian times, the ancestor of present-day Balochi has still been in contact with Parthian, but the ancestor of present-day Kurdish is likely not to have belonged within this sphere.

2.3 Summary of Western Iranian isoglosses

The table of potentially significant sound changes in WIr. languages thus looks as follows (the single line separates the NWIr. development to the left from the SWIr. One to the right): 24 Zaz. ˇi- < * ˘i- is probably not due to contact with Persian, but rather an independent innovation (see above).

PIr. Av. Parthian Zazaki Balochi Kurdish NP MP OP
*´s s s s s s h h \
*´z z z z z z d d d
*pas-ˇca “behind” pas-ˇca paš ? paš paš pas pas pas¯a
*´s ˘ u sp sp sp s(?) s(?) s s s
*\r \r hr hr s s s s ç
*ˇc /V_V ˇc ž ˇi ˇc ž z z ˇc
*ˇi ˇi ž ˇi ˇi ž z z ˇi
*r´z rz rz rz rz ? l l rd
*rd rd rd ¯r rd ? l l rd
*d ˘ u duu b b b(?) d d d duv
*h ˘u- xw wx w w,h xw xw xw uv
*\ ˘ u \b f w h? h? h h \uv
* ˘u- v w v g(w) b g, b g, w g, d
Table 3: Western Iranian isoglosses in Old, Middle and New Iranian times (in bold: innovations)

3. Conclusion

The findings from some characteristic sound changes thus show that the relationship among Western Iranian languages can neither be adequately represented by a family tree alone nor in the form of a “scale of northernness”.
The fact that some of the innovations which have occurred in the various stages of Persian have been taken over by Balochi (and some more by Kurdish) indicates that Balochi and Kurdish have been influenced by Persian since Old Iranian times. A small number of innovations that have occurred in Parthian are probably shared by Balochi, but not by Kurdish. This means that in contrast to Kurdish, Balochi might still have been in contact with other North-Western Iranian languages in Middle Iranian times.
This would mean that Balochi has been a North-Western Iranian language not only at the outset but remained so in Middle Iranian times.

Abbreviations:

Az. Azari OInd. Old Indic
B(al.) Balochi OP Old Persian
Casp. Caspian dialects Pers. Persian
CD Central dialects PIE Proto-Indo-European
Gor. Gorani PIr. Proto-Iranian
Ir. Iranian Pth. Parthian
K(d.) Kurdish Semn. Semnani
MP Middle Persian SW South-Western
NP New Persian Tal. Talyshi
NW North-Western W Western
obl. Oblique case Z(az.) Zazaki

Reference:

1. A list of abbreviations is at the end of the article. For better comparison, the method of writing Zazaki and Kurdish consonants used here follows the tradition of Iranian studies and not the orthography used in Zazaki and Kurdish publications (e.g. š for ¸s). “Kurdish” as used here denotes Kurmanji.
2. Proto-Iranian (a language reconstructed by linguists) is the language from which all Iranian languages are thought to be descended in a way similar to members of a family from a common ancestor. The isoglosses shown in this table are no. 1 and 2 in Tedesco’s classical work on the internal grouping of the Western Iranian languages (TEDESCO 1921).
3. Avestan is grouped under Eastern Iranian here, although in Old Iranian times, the distinction was rather one between South-Western (i.e. mainly Persian) and the rest of the Iranian languages, so Avestan should more correctly be termed a “Non-South-Western” Iranian language (cf. also SIMSWILLIAMS1996:649f.).
4. This is isogloss no. 10 in TEDESCO 1921.
5. For Kurdish s from *\r, see MACKENZIE 1961:76f.
6. This isogloss is not found in TEDESCO 1921, but cf. e.g. PAUL 1998:166ff.
7. This word is only found in DAMES 1881, HITTU RAM 1881 and ELFENBEIN 1990/II.
8. šiš is only reported by ELFENBEIN 1989:635.
9. Balochi (i)sp¯et might have been borrowed from MP sp¯ed or Early NP saf¯ed. Devoicing of word-final consonants is comparatively common in loanwords in Balochi, cf. KORN 2001:319.
10. For references and examples, see above.
11. For references and examples (and s as the possible outcome in Balochi), see above. It should be kept in mind that the Kurdish outcome is far from certain. The Parthian outcome seems to be sp (as one would expect), cf. asp “horse”, isp¯ed “white”.
12. For references and examples, see above.
13. The entries for Balochi have been modified (see the notes below the table), a column for Proto- Iranian has been added; the symbols used for writing Proto-Indoeuropean (the ancestor language of the Iranian as well as several other branches of languages) have been adjusted to the system used here, otherwise the table is the one shown in PAUL 1998:170.
14. Parthian loanwords in Armenian and Georgian show that the development of intervocalic ˇc > ˇi > ž occurs within Parthian (i.e. early Parthian preserves -ˇc-) and that PIr. *ˇi gives ž in all stages of Parthian (GIPPERT 2000:2). The products of both thus merge in Middle Iranian times.
15. B dw¯azdah “twelve” and digar (etc.) “other” are Persian borrowings in any case as is shown by the -h of the former and the -g- of the latter.
16.According to MACKENZIE 1961:78, it is “not (…) possible to be certain which [i.e., l/ł or the preservation of rd, rz] is the true Kurdish development”.
17. The order in each section of the table hints at assumptions (not to be detailed here) concerning the relative age of the developments, but much of that remains speculative.
18. On the change of PIr. *šm, see below.
19. Written wx- might be interpreted as the result of a metathesis *hw- > wh- or as a “device (…) to represent a new sound, viz. devoiced [ ° w]”, cf. English wh- from Old English hw- (MACKENZIE 1967:2629). In the latter case, the Pth. result would be already quite near to that of Zazaki, Balochi
etc.
20. This sound change “is common throughout Iranian” (SIMS-WILLIAMS 1996:650). Note that if one considers the change of intervocalic b, d, g to fricatives as shared by all (Western) Middle Iranian languages, this implies that in some stage of Balochi, b, d, g must have reemerged from Middle Ir. b, d, g. In this case, the common assumption that the Balochi stops preserve the Old Iranian state of affairs would be subject to modification.
21. In fact, the Parthian examples do not show the presumed change of m > w: angawan (otherwise anˇiaman) “assembly” does not exist, and abg¯aw¯ah belongs to abgaw- “increase” (Desmond Durkin- Meisterernst, personal communication). Parthian h¯aws¯ar “equal, similar” does not contain a variant of h¯am° “same”, but *h¯awat- “similar”, cf. MP h¯awand “like, similar” (SIMS-WILLIAMS 1998a:85).
22. The sound system of the Western and Southern dialects is very similar to that of Common Balochi (the ancestor language of the Balochi dialects), cf. GEIGER 1891:403.
23. Cf. Hindi/Urdu g㯠v “village” from Old Ind. gra¯ma- (HINÜBER 1986:107).
24. Zaz. ˇi- < * ˘i- is probably not due to contact with Persian, but rather an independent innovation (see above).

Bibliography:

BAILEY, Harold W. 1979: Dictionary of Khotan Saka. Cambridge.
DAMES, Longworth M. 1881: A Sketch of the Northern Balochi Language, containing a grammar, vocabulary and specimens of the language (Extra number of the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal 1/1880). Calcutta.
ELFENBEIN, Josef 1989: “Baluchistan III: Baluchi language and literature”, in: Encyclopaedia Iranica 3, pp. 633-644.
––– 1990: An Anthology of Classical and Modern Balochi Literature. Wiesbaden (2 vols.).
GEIGER, Wilhelm 1891: “Lautlehre des Bal¯uˇc¯ı”, in: Abhandlungen der I. Classe der Bayrischen Akademie der Wissenschaften XIX/II, pp. 397-464.
GIPPERT, Jost 2000: “The historical position of Zaza revisited” (handout of a paper read at the First Workshop of Kurdish Linguistics, Kiel, 12th-14th May 2000).
HOFFMANN, Karl 1976: “Zur altpersischen Schrift”, in: Aufsätze zur Indoiranistik II. Wiesbaden, pp. 620-645.
von HINÜBER, Oskar 1986: Das ältere Mittelindisch im Überblick. Vienna.
HITTU RAM 1881: Biluchi Nameh, a Text Book of the Biluchi Language. Lahore.
HÜBSCHMANN, Heinrich 1897: Armenische Grammatik I: Armenische Etymologie. Leipzig.
KORN, Agnes 2001: “Archaismus und Innovation im Verbalsystem des Bal¯oˇc¯ı” (paper read at the Symposium Iran 2000, Bamberg), http://titus.uni-frankfurt.de/personal/agnes/ bamberg.pdf.
MACKENZIE, D. Neil 1961: “The Origins of Kurdish”, in: Transactions of the Philological Society, pp. 68-86 (= Iranica Diversa II, pp. 369-387).
––– 1967: “Notes on the Transcription of Pahlavi”, in: Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies 30, pp. 17-29 (= Iranica Diversa I, pp. 35-47).
Balochi and the Concept of North-Western Iranian 61 MORGENSTIERNE, Georg 1927: An Etymological Vocabulary of Pashto. Oslo.
––– 1932: “Notes on Balochi Etymology”, in: Norsk Tidsskrift for Sprogvidenskap 5, pp. 37-53 (= Irano-Dardica, pp. 148-164). ––– 1948: “Balochi Miscellanea”, in: Acta Orientalia 20, pp. 253-292.
PAUL, Ludwig 1998: “The Position of Zazaki among West Iranian Languages”, in: SIMSWILLIAMS, pp. 163-177.
SCHMITT, Rüdiger (ed.) 1989: Compendium Linguarum Iranicarum. Wiesbaden.
SIMS-WILLIAMS, Nicholas 1996: “Eastern Iranian languages”, in: Encyclopaedia Iranica 7, pp. 649-652.
––– (ed.) 1998: Proceedings of the Third European Conference of Iranian Studies held in Cambridge, 11th to 15th September 1995. Part I: Old and Middle Iranian Studies. Wiesbaden.
––– 1998a: “Further notes on the inscription of Rabatak, with an Appendix on the names of Kujula Kadphises and Vima Taktu in Chinese (pl. 9-12)”, in: SIMS-WILLIAMS, pp. 79-92.
STEBLIN-KAMENSKIJ, Ivan M. 1999: E˙timologicˇeskij slovar’ vaxanskogo jazyka. St. Petersburg.
SUNDERMANN, Werner 1989: “Westmitteliranische Sprachen”, in: SCHMITT, pp. 106-113.
TEDESCO, Paul 1921: “Dialektologie der mitteliranischen Turfantexte”, in: Monde Oriental 15, pp. 184-258.

offprint from

Carina JAHANI, Agnes KORN (eds.) 2003: The Baloch and Their Neighbours. Ethnic and Linguistic Contact in Balochistan in Historical and Modern Times. Wiesbaden: Reichert, pp. 49-60

 

Terms of Linguistics

By: Shoaib Shadab

Linguistics is a large field, or set of fields, involving the scientific study of language. At the interface between the sciences and humanities, linguistics is a battleground for anthropologists, philosophers, philologists, poets, theologians, psychologists, biologists, and neurologists, all of whom seek to describe language and how it works from their own perspective. The ever-receding and highly ambitious goal is a theory of how all aspects of language work.
Linguistics has many sub-fields. This includes comparative linguistics (which compares languages to each other), historical linguistics (history of language), and applied linguistics (putting linguistic theories to practical use). As a whole, linguistics concerns itself with three major problems: how we learn languages, how languages vary, and what is universal to language. Serious progress has been made on these questions during the 20th century, but there is still much more to investigate. Language is probably the most complex form of human behavior 1.
Many of the sub-fields of linguistics are arranged on a spectrum from concrete form to abstract meaning. Ranging from concrete to abstract, these include phonetics (the physical properties of speaking and listening), phonology (the study of specific sounds that make up words), morphology (the study of word structures and variations), syntax (how words are arranged into sentences), semantics (the meaning of words), pragmatics (how sentences are used to communicate messages in specific contexts), and discourse analysis (the highest level of analysis, looking at texts). Many students gain some exposure to these concepts as early as elementary school, but delving deeply into them tends to be a job for language majors or linguists.
Linguistic theories have many large holes which need to be filled, but possibly one of the most interesting is the question of the origin of language: we have little idea when it was. It could been as long as 2.2 million years ago, with early members of the genus Homo, like Homo habilis, or as recently as 200,000 years ago, when modern humans evolved in Africa. Because spoken language leaves no artifacts, analysis of early language use circumstantial evidence like tool complexity. Based on anatomical studies, many scientists suspect that Neanderthals had some rudimentary form of language, and crude reconstructions of Neanderthals pronouncing vowel noises have been synthesized in computers 2.

Accessibly written, with complicated terms and concepts explained in an easy to understandable way, Key Terms in Linguistics is an essential resource for students of linguistics.

Table of Contents

Introduction Key Terms

1. Phonetics and Phonology

Phonology:
Phonology is the study of sounds and speech patterns in language. The root “phone” in phonology relates to sounds and originates from the Greek word phonema which means sound. Phonology seeks to discern the sounds made in all human languages. The identification of universal and non-universal qualities of sounds is a crucial component in phonology as all languages use syllables and forms of vowels and consonants.
Syllables are involved in the timing of spoken language since speaking each word takes a portion of time. Syllables are units of measurement in language. Vowels allow air to escape from the mouth and nose unblocked, while consonants create more covering of the vocal tract by the tongue. The heard friction that is a consonant is made from the air that cannot escape as the mouth utters the consonant.
Phonemes are units of sound in a language that convey meaning. For example, changing a syllable in a word will change its meaning, such as changing the “a” in “mad” to an “o” to produce “mod”. A phoneme can also achieve no meaning by creating non-existent words such as by changing the “m” in “mad” or “mod” to a “j” to produce “jad” or “jod”. Phonemes differ from morphemes and graphemes. A morpheme refers to main grammar units, while a grapheme is the main unit of written language 3.

Phonetics:
Phonetics is a discipline of linguistics that focuses on the study of the sounds used in speech. Phonetics is not concerned with the meaning of these sounds, the order in which they are placed, or any other factor outside of how they are produced and heard, and their various properties. Phonetics is closely related to phonology, which focuses on how sounds are understood in a given language, and semiotics, which looks at symbols themselves.
There are three major subfields of phonetics, each of which focuses on a particular aspect of the sounds used in speech and communication. Auditory phonetics looks at how people perceive the sounds they hear, acoustic phonetics looks at the waves involved in speech sounds and how they are interpreted by the human ear, and articulatory phonetics looks at how sounds are produced by the human vocal apparatus. Articulatory phonetics is where the majority of people begin their study of phonetics, and it has uses for many people outside of the field of linguistics. These include speech therapists, computer speech synthesizers, and people who are simply interested in learning how they make the sounds they do 4.

2. Grammar: Morphology and Syntax

Grammar:
Grammatology is the study of writing from a scientific viewpoint. It is not a judgement-based system, such as writing criticism, but instead studies the fundamental rules of how writing systems work. By understanding the components and structure of a writing system, grammatologists try to gain insight into the culture that created the system as well as how it was created and how it may evolve over time.
It may seem difficult to view writing as a subject of scientific study. More often, the art of writing is associated with creativity, individual style, and personal means of expression. Yet at the heart of any written language are set properties that govern the use of the writing system. By studying grammatology, it becomes apparent that creative writers are to some extent actually interpretive artists, using the tools of the writing system to display their ability. Rather than inventing written language, writers are creating variations and new rules for an established system 5.

Morphology:
Morphology is a field of linguistics focused on the study of the forms and formation of words in a language. A morpheme is the smallest indivisible unit of a language that retains meaning. The rules of morphology within a language tend to be relatively regular, so that if one sees the noun morphemes for the first time, for example, one can deduce that it is likely related to the word morpheme.
There are three main types of languages when it comes to morphology: two of these are polysynthetic, meaning that words are made up of connected morphemes. One type of polysynthetic language is a fusional or inflected language, in which morphemes are squeezed together and often changed dramatically in the process. English is a good example of a fusional language. The other type of polysynthetic language is an agglutinative language, in which morphemes are connected but remain more or less unchanged – many Native American languages, as well as Swahili, Japanese, German and Hungarian, demonstrate this. At the other end of the spectrum are the analytic or isolating languages, in which a great majority of morphemes remain independent words – Mandarin is the best example of this. Morphology studies all of these different types of languages and how they relate to one another as well 6.

Syntax:
Syntax is not prescriptivist – which is to say, it does not attempt to tell people what the objectively correct way to form a sentence is. Rather, it is descriptivist, in that it looks at how language is actually used and tries to come up with rules that successfully describe what various language communities consider to be grammatical or non-grammatical. Syntax deals with a number of things, all of which help to facilitate being understood and understanding language. Without rules of syntax, there would be no foundation from which to try to discern meaning from a bunch of words strung together, whereas with syntax, an infinite number of sentences are possible using a fairly small finite number of rules 7.

3. Semantics and Pragmatics

Semantics:
Semantics is the study of meaning in language. In particular, it is the study of how meaning is structured in sentences, phrases, and words. The English term “semantics” comes from the Greek semantikos which means to show or give signs. Semantics can be applied to different kinds of symbol systems, such as computer languages and similar coding systems. In general, however, semantics generally refers to how meaning is conveyed through the symbols of a written language. Semantics can be understood when it is contrasted with another linguistic term, syntax. Syntax is the study of rules regarding how symbols are arranged. Syntax is the study of the structure of a language while semantics is the study of the meaning of a language.
When studying semantics, it is important to recognize the generally accepted meaning of a word or term rather than the literal meaning. Take the term “water pill” for example. The term “water pill” is an accepted term for a kind of diuretic. These pills are often taken by people who, for one reason or another, are retaining too much water in their bodies. If we were to look at the literal meaning of the word “water pill,” the term would seem to indicate a pill filled with water. Of course, it is quite the opposite; when the pill is ingested it causes a person to lose water 8.

Pragmatics:
Pragmatics is a subfield of linguistics which studies the meaning of language in its physical, epistemic, linguistic, and social contexts. A person can make a direct speech act, in which what is said is exactly what is meant, or an indirect speech act, where the meaning differs from the actual words spoken. These differences are typically automatically understood because of the context.
The four aspects of context can all affect pragmatics. Physical context refers to the setting of a conversation, such as a library, football field, or bedroom. Epistemic context refers to the background knowledge shared by a speaker and his or her audience, such as who is president or the basic rules of basketball. The information that has already been shared in the discussion is known as linguistic context, including all antecedents, topics of conversation, and intonations. A sarcastic, sad, or joking tone of voice can easily change the meaning of a sentence.
Social context is the term for the relationship between a speaker and an audience. A man will communicate differently when he is with his boss than with his friends. Neighbors sharing their summer vacation pictures, a teacher showing a documentary to his or her students, and teenagers watching a movie at a theater are all examples of different social contexts. Each situation would call for different styles of communication 9.

4. Sociolinguistics

Sociolinguistics:
Dialectology is a study of language that focuses on understanding dialects. It is part of a larger group of studies called sociolinguistics, which evaluates the many elements that shape communication in whole cultures or in smaller groups. When dialectologists study language they are principally concerned with identifying how the same language can vary, based on a number of circumstances. This does not simply mean pronunciation changes, but can also mean differences in word choice, spelling and other factors.
It can be a little difficult to determine what constitutes a dialect. Dialectology may define this as meeting several flexible standards. These include that the dialect can be well understood by speakers of the language who don’t use it, and that those using the dialect can understand the common language used by others. A good example of this might be someone who speaks in an American dialect but can understand a British television show; this is called mutual intelligibility.
Those interested in dialectology also take into account how speakers of the dialect would perceive their own language, and if they view it as part of a larger language or as separate from it. Additionally, dialect or language may sometimes be defined politically, even if it bears similarity to another language. Leaders of countries, for instance, could declare that two languages are separate, for a variety of reasons 10.

5. Psycholinguistics

Psycholinguistics:
Psycholinguistics is the study of how humans acquire, interpret, and use language. The study includes both the psychological factors and the neurobiological factors involved. As a field, it has grown out of interdisciplinary work in fields such as cognitive psychology, neuroscience, applied linguistics, and information theory.
Linguist and social critic Noam Chomsky was a pioneer in psycholinguistics, arguing that all normal humans have an innate language ability and that all human languages have a common underlying structure known as universal grammar. This directly challenges behavioral learning theories, which argue that language is not innate but learned step by step through imitation and reinforcement. This is an ongoing debate.
Language acquisition is an important subtopic in psycholinguistics, and has been most commonly studied in young children who are learning their native language. Second language acquisition is also a topic of study in this field, investigating questions such as why learning a second language is easier for children than for most adults. It also questions why non-native speakers can have trouble distinguishing between and pronouncing certain sounds necessary for meaningful speech in their second language when these sounds are not present or distinct in their native language 11.

6. Orthography

Orthography:
Orthography is a humanities discipline concerned with the study of writing systems. Most languages on Earth have at least one orthography, a writing system widely used to represent the language, and some languages are written with more than one writing system, creating several orthographies for people to choose from when communicating in these languages. In addition to studying modern languages, orthographers also look at historic languages and writing systems.
The word “orthography” comes from Greek roots meaning “correct writing.” Many people specifically identify orthography as the study of spelling, although this is a bit inaccurate. Orthographers do study spelling and are especially interested in the commonly accepted spellings used in a language’s writing system, but they also study much more than spelling. Spelling is only one aspect of orthography, and it was not very standardized for much of history; even now, there are a number of variations on words which many people think are spelled in only one way.
One aspect of orthography is punctuation, the examination of markings used on the page to add more depth to the text. Punctuation provides information about how a text should be read and interpreted, and can also provide critical insight into meaning. Orthographers are also interested in topics like capitalization and other norms of writing, including natural variations seen in various communities of language speakers.
The study of orthography can be applied in a number of ways. Orthographers can be a valuable part of the teams which put together dictionary entries, researching words to learn more about variant spellings, including historic spellings which are not widely accepted anymore. They also work on books about the history of language and word use, and on guides to language use, including style guides which provide people with information about punctuation, spelling, and other norms of the language.
Orthography is also used in the study of ancient languages. Orthographers are involved in the task of puzzling out ancient scripts, identifying variations in ancient languages, and attempting to trace the history of writing and the ways in which writing systems are adopted and adapted. Another topic of interest is writing systems which are used in several languages, such as the Roman alphabet, and the ways in which these writing systems are adapted and changed to meet the needs of entirely different languages. Things like accent marks and additional letters, for example, may be added for the convenience of speakers of a different language 12.

7. Discourse and Text Analysis

Discourse Analysis:
Discourse analysis is a method of studying and analyzing a text, be it in written or spoken form. This method does not really analyze a text when it comes to its structure and syntax, but the meaning behind these sentences; hence, the approach is often described as going “beyond the sentence.” Not only is discourse analysis a useful method in the field of linguistics, but is also applied in other areas such as social studies, psychology, and anthropology.
As the word “discourse” suggests, the method of discourse analysis focuses on any text that can provoke any kind of discourse, a response of any sort. In this way, it broadens the range of topics and subjects an analyst can use, such as in medical journals, newspaper articles, and even a president’s speech or a casual conversation. Take, for example, the medical journal: as the writer conveys his message through the book, the reader, in turn, responds by either understanding the words or ignoring it. In this way, discourse analysis looks further than the text by discovering what response, or discourse, the written word can incite and why 13.

Reference

1. http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-linguistics.htm
2. http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-linguistics.htm
3. http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-phonology.htm
4. http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-phonetics.htm
5. http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-grammar.htm
6. http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-morphology.htm
7. http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-syntax.htm
8. http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-semantics.htm
9. http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-pragmatics.htm
10. http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-dialectology.htm
11. http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-psycholinguistics.htm
12.http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-orthography.htm
13.http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-discourse-analysis.htm

 
 
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