§1. (先行研究)

Recent researches, G. Morgenstierne's works and his "Etymological Vocabulary of the Shughni Group" in particular, allow us to reveal the principal ways of the development of the phonological systems in North-Pamir languages. Since there exists already a detailed historical analysis of the vocalism of the North- Pamir languages (see GOYSh), an investigation of their consonant systems seems called for. It is impossible, of course, to present in a short article a detailed description of the history of the consonants of these languages which have diverged to such an extent that speakers of Yazghulami (Y) cannot understand languages and dialects of the Shughni-Rushani group (ShGr) (lingua franca is Tajiki). Therefore, only the most general problems will be discussed here.

§2. (概要)

The most characteristic differences in the ways the consonants have developed in Y and ShGr are:

  • (a) a pronounced palatalization of OIr velar *k, *g, *x, *x v and palatal *~, *)' (and in one case *g) in ShGr;
  • (b) a labialization and a partial palatalization of velars in Y. Both characteristic features are connected with certain positions of the consonants. Some other different developments of consonants and consonant groups have also been marked.

A picture of the development of the consonants is presented below which takes into account the above-mentioned phenomena as well as some general tendencies: spirantization of *b, *d, *g in free position in East-Iranian languages, contraction of consonant groups, etc.



Reflection of OIr velars in Proto-Shughni-Yazghulami (PShY) is connected with two main positions: palatalizing position and neutral position.
Palatalizing was the position of a consonant before reflexes of OIr front vowels *ǐ, *ai, as well as *a, *ā and in some cases before *r, phonetically [ər] and in a number of stems [rə] (this transcription will be used below), the latter in a- or /-umlaut position. Consonants in this position became palatalized (of the *k > *k' type), then in ShGr this palatalized consonant became palatal (*k' > č) and in Y it either remained palatalized (of the k' type) or depalatalized (> k), depending on its later phonetic environment.
Neutral was the position before back vowels *ǔ, *au and in some cases before *r. The consonants here either remained velar (k, g) or changed into uvular (x, xᵛ).
In Old Yazghulami the labializing position has also been recorded which was the position of consonant in the neighbourhood of reflexes of labial *u/ū, *v and occasionally *r. This position affected for the most part non-palatalized reflexes (of the *k > kw type) and in cases when a labial precedes a velar this position affected also palatalized ones (cf. a slightly different outline of development in GOYSh 103 sq.).
Some recent changes have also been noted (e.g. palatalization of k, g in Y in modern final post-consonantal position, etc.), as well as various tendencies of phonologization, e.g. phonologization of the labialized consonants before u, t~ and of palatalized ones before i (more seldom e) as neutral ones in Y, i.e. [k'i] - /ki/, [kwu] -/ku/, etc.



OIr *-k- in non-palatalizing position > PShY *k- > ShGr k-, Y k-, kw- (in case of labialization):
the same is recorded in relatively recent borrowings:


The reflections of PShY *-k- after voiceless consonants is of analogical nature:
the same occurs when the preceding consonant is lost:


PShY *k > ShGr g, Y g, gO in the following cases:

  • PShY *-k- in the neighbourhood of vowels and resonants and PShY *k- in case of the initial voicing occurring sometimes when the stem is used in the second part of compounds or when the word is used as a rule in word-combination.


OIr *k- in palatalizing position > PShY *k'- > ShGr č-, Y/k', k- (before u, ů, and also/k/- [k'] before i, e):
The same is the characteristic of early borrowings:


The reflection of PShY *-k'- after a voiceless consonant is similar:


PShY *-k'- in the neighbourhood of vowels and voiced consonants, and *k'- in the second part of compounds and of word-combinations become voiced and change into ǰ in ShGr and g, g' in Y:


OIr *-k- which occurred at the end of the stem and in the ancient suffixes is reflected as a medial one. Exception is: after stems in *-u/ū the non-palatalized variant occurs (NSh 38), but the late palatalization of postconsonantal finals in Y takes place in all the cases. Examples of the palatalized variant are:
When stress was shifted to the suffix in Old Yazghulami it was reflected otherwise:
the same is true for the participles in *-ta-ka-, which serve as perfect stems:
For the non-palatalized variant (Y excluded)


Some irregularities of the reflection of *k are observed at the end of the stem and in the suffixes. This irregularities are due to later developments:

  • Y k'arǰ/g' 'hen' (< *kərkā/i/ǰ-, cf. Av kəhrka-, OInd krka- 'cock'), where ǰ < g' by secondary palatalization of a final consonant;
  • O warǰan 'she-wolf' < *vərki/īnā-, cf. OInd vrkī-, but Sh B wirjin, R wurjin idem < *vərčina- GOYSh 62, EVSh 91, which is possibly by analogy to fem. nouns in *-či.


Cases of suffixal formation occurring in one language and non-suffixal formation in another are not rare:


The late suffix -k has not undergone any changes:

  • Sh ǰicak 'cot for calves and lambs'
  • Y kůtdak 'little house', etc.


In some cases *k > *x. The early *x conforms to PShY rules, cf. PShY *x > ShGr x, Yx in non-palatalizing position:
in palatalizing position PShY *x' > ShGr š, Y x :
The later *x remained unchanged:


*k > q is noted, possibly in loan-words or when genuine words are contaminated with borrowed ones:


In Y at the end of borrowed and/or areal stems there occasionally occurs -k > -kw

g, γ


OIr *g- in non-palatalizing position >PShY *γ- > ShGr γ-, Y γ-, γw (when labialized):


PShY *-γ- is analogously reflected:


In the group *-γn- in ShGr contraction occurs:

  • Sh -růn, S rewn, Y roγn 'butter, fat' < *raugna- or *raugnyā-? cf. Av raoγnyā-, raoγna- EVSh 67.


OIr *g- in palatalizing position > PShY *γ'- > ShGr ž- (less frequently ǰ < ž):


PShY *-γ'- is represented in an analogous way:
The following labialization of *-γ'- is recorded in Y:


Occasionally *γ'- becomes > γˇ:


OIr *g- is retained if contamination with other stems and with borrowings takes place:


OIr *-g- is retained in consonant groups:


OIr *-k and *-g in verbal roots became PShY *-γ-, *-γ'- (depending on the root-vowels, see GOYSh 104) and then -γ- in Y and resonants (R B S,-w-, -y-, Sh -y-) in ShGr in past stems deriving from the participles in *-ta and in infinitive stems deriving from the verbal nouns in *-ti,


*-γ'- become unvoiced and changes into x in Y in the present stems before the suffix *-s:

x, xᵛ


OIr *x in non-palatalizing position > PShY *x > ShGr x, Y x. There is hardly any reliable example;


OIr *x- in palatalizing position > PShY *x'- > ShGr š-, Y x-:


The development of Olr *-x- > PShY *-x'- is similar:


OIr *xᵛ, occurring only in positions before front vowels, *a, *ā and *r, is reflected in PShY practically in one position, viz. the one in which other velars were palatalized. However, presence of the labial focus evidently hindered palatalization. PShY *xw became ShGr x but in Y it is reflected in two ways:

  • a) xw (most frequently used including a pretonic syllable), x (before u, ů),
  • b) xˇw (in case of a partial palatalization, mostly before the reflexes of *i/ī, *ai and other vowels in/-umlaut position).


The following irregularities are characteristic:

  • Sh xīr, R xor, B xōr, S xer 'sun' < *xᵛar -, cf. Av hvar-, xᵛan -, OInd svár-, but Y xəwůr (when *xᵛ is split into a velar and a labial) GOYSh 25, 79, EVSh 98;
  • Sh xˇōfc-: xˇōvd, R xˇōfc-: xˇůvd, B axˇafs-: axˇōvd, S xˇufs-: xˇuvd, Y pəxas-: pəxovd 'to go to sleep; to sleep' < *√xᵛap- (when *xᵛ was split. With the prefix *pati-d- < *-t- was expected to be retained) GOYSh 43, cf. EVSh 64, 101 ;
  • Sh wixin, B S waxin 'blood' < *vahuni-?, cf. Av vohunī- < *xᵛahuni - Air Wb 1434, but Y xˇwan < *xᵛahuni - GOYSh 48, 87, EVSh 93-94. Cf. also Y wāg, fāg - the substitutes of xˇwarg' 'sister' in the nursery language.

*č, *ǰ


OIr palatal *č, *ǰ (which were the result of the existence of palatalizing position in late IE) survive in PShY in one (palatalizing) position as *č' *ǰ'.


PShY *č'- > ShGr c, Y č:


PShY *-č'- >ShGr j, z(< j),Y ǰ, ^z(< ǰ):


In preconsonantal position spirantal variants occur,

  • cf.
    • ShGr az, as, aj-, a-, Y š(ə)- (before voiceless) vs. ž(ə)- (before voiced) 'from' < *hača, cf. Av hača/ā, OInd sáčā (cf. Y adverbs š(ə)pask' 'behind', š(ə)pəred 'in front of', ž(ə)wob 'from below', ž(ə)dab 'from there') GOYSh 83, EVSh 17;
    • Sh ca-rang, Y š(ə)-tů 'what, how' (where ca-, š(ə)- < *čahya);

in the verb 3 sg. a spirant is usually found (Sh X pīzd, B pēzd, R S pizd, Y pažd 'boils, cooks' < *pača(ya)ti, *√pak-, etc.).


The representation of the suffix *-či should be seen in connection with the above:
This fact allows us to distinguish the reflex of *-či from that of *-tra which changes into -c both in ShGr and Y (cf. GOYSh 102-103), see §50.

Similar are the reflexes of *-či after consonants (and after their disappearance):
This accounts for the end of perfect stems fern. from participles in *-ta-či in ShGr:


PShY *ǰ'- > ShGr z-, Y ž-, ǰ-:


PShY *-ǰ'- > ShGr j, z, Y ǰ, ž:



Other consonants (except *š(y)-) are upon the whole reflected uniformly in ShGr and Y.
OIr *y is usually retained:

  • *y-:


Exceptions are:

  • S zew 'grain', Y žůw 'wheat' < *ǰ'ay- < *yava- GOYSh 91, cf. EVSh 109;
  • Y ǰayan 'place' < *yāya-na-? (of. NPrs ǰāy < *yāya. GIPh, I, 2, 43).

*-y- > *x' > x in present stem before -s in Y:

  • vaxs 'be, become' (imperat.) < *vax's < *buya-s, cf. vin 'I shall become' < vayin GOYSh 104.




OIr *t- is retained:


OIr *-t- is retained in the neighbourhood of voiceless consonant:


OIr and late *-tt- > t:


OIr *-t- becomes voiced in the neighbourhood of vowels and resonants:


The intervocalic group *-pt- becomes voiced in nouns:
as well as in past and infinitive stems:
*-t- > t or d in the analogous stems of other verbs and in other forms of a verb, depending on the phonetic environment and on tendencies of development in each language:



OIr *d- is retained before consonants and changes into δ before vowels:


OIr *-d- after consonants > d, between vowels > δ:


*-d- and *-t- > θ at the end of verbal roots before the present suffixes *-s, *-ya:



OIr *θ- and *-θ- are retained in free position:


It should be mentioned here that OIr *t did not always change into *θ before *v, *r in ancient East-Iranian dialects. This shift evidently took place later, separately in each language, and parallel pronunciation of these groups with *t and *θ was allowed, which later came to occur in different lexemes. Thus in North- Pamir languages *tr as well as *dr is reflected as c, but *θr is reflected in different ways.

  • *θr- > "a vowel + r", *-θr- > r. In dialects the parallel pronunciation *tr was also retained which has become c:

Non-fricative *t before *v underlies:




OIr *s has been retained when in free position:
*-s- is retained also before voiceless consonants (including *-s- < *-d- at the end of verb roots before the suffixes *-ta, *-ti):


OIr *s- of the root is retained before voiceless stops which were followed o by *u/ū, *i/ī and diphtongs:
OIr *s- > *š.> xˇ before voiceless stops followed by *a, *ā, *r:
This rule allows us to distinguish s- of root origin from s- of prefixal origin before reflexes of *a, *ā, *r,


OIr *s- > z- before *n:


OIr *-s- also can become voiced:


Special representations of *s:

  • *s- > ShGr s, Y š:
    • ShGr sit, Y šat 'dust, earth' < IE *k^ei- GOYSh 105, cf. EVSh 76;
  • *sy > ShGr s, Y š:
    • Sh R B mis, S mas, Y maš 'some more, also' < *masya- EVSh 115, cf. EVSh 45;
    • Y šebar 'kind of sedge (Carex Griffithii)' < *sya/āpara/ā-, cf. Alan. sabar 'oats';
  • *-s- > c after consonants:
    • Sh růpc, R B růpc, S rapc, Y rəpc 'fox' < *raupas-, cf. OInd lōpāśá- GOYSh 51, EVSh 68.
    • The same occurs in some present stems:
      • Sh R xˇōfe-, cf. B axˇafs -, S xˇufs-, Y pəxas- 'to go to sleep, to sleep', etc.



OIr *z is usually retained:


*-z- > -ž-:

  • O mōžg 'brain', S mužg 'marrow' < *mazga- (§ 24).



OIr *š which occurred mainly in the middle of the word (due to its origin from *s after *i, *u, *r, *k as welt as from other consonants in internal position) is naturally reflected as a medial *-š-. Only *š(y)- (< Indo-Iranian *čy-) is found in initial position. This is reflected by s- in ShGr and š- in Y

  • e.g. Sh R B sut, S sït, Y šod 'went, became' (past stem) < *š(y)uta-, √š(y)av-.


*-š- > PShY *š. > xˇ in the neighbourhood of voiceless consonants:


The same occurs after *r:


*š- in the neighbourhood of vowels and resonants as well as at the morpheme boundary > *š. > *ž.~ > *γˇ > Sh γˇ, R B Y w (with a later contraction), S l (in Sh *š. > xˇ in voiceless position):


Exceptions are:

  • Y γəvon 'ear' < *γəwon < *gauša-ana-, cf. Sh γůγˇ, R γōw, B γū, 0 γūy (-y for dropped .w), S γewl idem < *gauša-.

In dialects of S γˇ occurs in present stems:

  • Sh kaγˇ-, R B kaw-, S keyγˇ-, Y kaw- 'to slaughter, to kill (cattle)' < *kuša-, *kauša-, *√kauš-;
  • Sh viraγˇ-, R B virāw-, S v(ǐ)reyγˇ-, Y vəraw- 'to break' (intrans.) < *√brauš- with change of vocalism or *√braiš- GOYSh 47, cf. EVSh 85.



No reliable examples of the representation of OIr *ž have been found.




OIr *r is retained in free position and after voiced consonants:


Syllabic *r [ər] > "vowel + r":


*r > l in isolated cases:

  • Y :xˇwilan'(musical) pipe ~ < *xᵛirana -, *√xᵛir-?;
  • as a substitute ofr in the nursery language:
    • R O lō, lōd, Y le 'brother' from virōd, v(ə)red.


*r followed by consonant in ancient and secondary consonant groups is reflected like š (§61). In S it is retained, however:



In a number of words l has been noted that can be regarded as the reflex of IE *l which did not undergo rhotacism in a small lexical group:

  • Sh lův-: lůvd, R B luv-: luvd, X lūv-: lūvd, S lev-: levd, Y laf-: laft 'to talk; to sing; to name' EVSh 42, cf. Y ləv 'voice', NPrs lāf 'chatter';
  • Sh lāfč 'lip (of an animal)', S lofč 'inner part of a lip', cf. NPrs lab;
  • Sh B līng, R ling, Y lang 'foot, lower part of the leg' (SKL).

It is also recorded in a number of areal words the source of which is obscure:

  • lap 'many, much';
  • Sh R B kāl, S kol, Y kal 'head' EVSh 40;
  • Sh lāq, R loq, B loq, Y lůq 'rag, clothes, cloth, old junk'; etc.



OIr *n has been retained in almost all positions:
*n disappears infrequently:

  • Sh růz, R raz, B rūzn, S rezn, Y rəǰon 'opening in the roof to let light in and smoke out' < *raučana-.

The dissimilation of *n > δ is found in an isolated case:

  • Y δoγun, δaγun 'bread' < *naγana- EVSh 30.

両唇破裂音, 歯唇摩擦音



OIr *p- is retained:


OIr *-p- has been retained in the neighbourhood of voiceless consonants, including the cases of disappearance of a vowel:
occasionally at the end of the word:

  • Y kəp 'stone' < *kaupa- and in a number of neologisms.


OIr *-p- >f when palatalized:


OIr *-p- changed into b in the neighbourhood of vowels and remnants:
The same occurs in compounds and word-combinations in case of recent voicing:


Cases of early voicing of *-p- > *-b- > -v are:

  • Sh šarvidōǰ, R šarvidůrǰ (r is recent), X šarvidůǰ, B šarvidō (with disappearance of-ǰ), Y xərəvdeg 'lateral tributary, mountain flow' < *xar-əvdāg, where the second part *-əvdāg < *āpa-tāka-, cf. GOYSh 14, cf. EVSh 79, cf. DMT 62-63. On *-pt- > -vd see §45.


In Y a partial delabialization has been recorded: *p > *f> xw:

  • texw-: taxwt 'to burn' (intrans.) < *√tap-.



OIr *b > v in free position. Examples are:


In Sh in isolated cases secondary δ < v:

  • Sh-Bj, Sh-Shakhd. vêγˇjn, Sh-Gunt., Sh-Darm. δâγˇjn, R vāwzn, 0 vōwzn 'birch (tree)' < *barzi-na-, Y vāwz idem < *ba/ārzi-, cf. OInd bhārjá-, IE *bherəg-, *bhrēg- 'to glitter, white' GOYSh 59, 94, cf. EVSh 84;
  • Sh vidīrm: δidīrm 'besom, broom'.

In Y a partial delabialization of v > kw occurs:

  • Sh R B rāv-, S rov-, Y rakw- 'to suck' (cf. Y ravǰāg, rev, revǰāg, names of edible plants).


*b + *t as well as *p + *t change into -vd at the end of ancient past and infinitive stems:
In late stems *b > p:


OIr *-b- can be retained at the end of present stems:
Sh žeb-, R B žīb., S žeyb-, Y γib- 'to spin' < *gaibaya-, *√gaib-.


*-b- > -v > -f with spirantization and devoicing (relation to palatalization is also possible):



*-b- and *-p- > f at the end of verb roots before the suffixes *-s and *-ya:
The same occurs in stems without *-s:


OIr *f (including that developed from *p, *b before consonants, also in verb stems) is retained in diverse positions:


OIr *f- in the prefix *fra- is reflected in different ways (see GOYSh 108):

  • before vowels: ShGr fir-, fir-, Y f(ə)r-:
  • before consonants (except r): ShGr ri-, ra-, Y xˇa-
  • before r- in Sh ar-:



OIr *v > w in free position:


OIr *-v- is retained after consonants:


In Y secondary v has been recorded from w of various origin:

  • δəvpaδag 'two-legged', δərgén 'twos, (to give) two to each', cf. δow 'two';
  • γəvon 'ear' < *γawon < *gauša-ana- (§62).



A partial delabialization of w has been recorded in Y:

  • γwib-: γwib/pt vs. wib.: wibt 'to measure the quantity of milk with a stick (when storing up dairy products)', cf. wib-: wipt 'to turn a team when threshing' (< *√vaib/p-?).



OIr *m is retained in free position:


At the morpheme boundary *-m- has been retained in the neighbourhood of labials:
Before other consonants *-m- > n:
In some instances this change does not occur:

  • Sh pinūyd, R B panawd, but S pamewg 'put on' (past stem) < *pati-√mauk-.


In ShGr in verbs with roots in *-m there is an increment of -b in the present stems by analogy to the roots in *-b, *-p:



OIr *h is usually dropped:


A single case of a shift *-h- > x has been recorded:

  • Sh wixin, B S waxin 'blood' < *vahuni- (cf. Y xˇwan < *xᵛahuni-).



Thus the consonant system of ShGr and Y reflects the OIr system not directly, but through the PShY consonant system in a considerably complicated form. In PShY there evidently was (in addition to the system of palatalized consonants) a system of "hard" consonants of the type of cerebral *š., *ž., which were reflected as xˇ, γˇ with such developments as the following:

  • in Y xˇ (from *xš and *s(t)r, see §96, 98) has changed into g in a number of words and is labialized in positions before and after labial consonants and rounded vowels (> xˇw). In all languages but Sh the change of γˇ > w occurs in certain positions (in S γˇ has also changed into l).
    It is possible that cerebral *t. (> *d.), *n. (see §99) also existed.


PShY *š., *ž. have developed not only from single consonants (§§59-62, 67) but from consonant groups as well. *t. (> *d.) and *n. derive exclusively from consonant groups. Most characteristic is the development of OIr groups with *r (for details see RS, ANRS, IRC) and *š which caused cerebralization in a number of East-Iranian languages (for details on the two types of groups see EC). The phonological system of North-Pamir languages was particularly affected by the following groups.


OIr *sr> *š. > xˇ:


OIr *xš > *š. > xˇ (in Y also š):


OIr *-rš- and a more recent group *r+š > *š. > xˇ:

More complex groups are not always reflected in the same way, which may be due to different kinds of contraction, e.g.:

  • (1) OIr *xšv- before *i became xˇ in ShGr, xˇw in Y:
    • but before *a it became *xv >x in ShGr, xˇ ([xˇw] before u, ū) in Y:
  • (2) OIr *str- in the root *√strā(y)- from IE *(s)ter-, *sterə-, *strē- 'to grow torpid, to become motionless' is reflected as follows:
    • (a) Sh xˇici-: xˇicōd, R X xˇicay-: xˇicůd, 0 xˇicay-: xˇicōd, S xˇǐcey-: xˇǐcud 'to get frozen, to become numb with cold' < √*s-tray- (on *s > xˇ see §52, *tr > c §50), Y šay-: šed idem < *srāy- < √*strāy-
    • (b) Sh R B xˇōǰ, S xˇuǰ 'fear' < *srā-ka- < *strā-ka-, Y xˇwayek 'fearing, fear' < *us-srāya-ka- < *us-strāya-ka
  • OIr *-str- > *-sr- > *š. > xˇ:


Of other groups the following are the most characteristic:

  • *zr > *ž. > γˇ:
  • *zb or *zv > *ž.? > γˇ:
  • *rz > *ž. > γˇ:
  • *-rs- > Sh xˇc, R B Y ws (with contraction), S rs:
  • *-ršn- > ShGr -r, Y -xˇ:
  • *-rt-, *-rt- (in nouns and in past and infinitive stems from the verbal roots in *-r) > *t. > *d. (EC 69, cf. IRC 339) > d in Sh and g in the other languages (in S the residual flatness is represent by w):
  • *-rn- > *n. > n:
  • *-fn-, *-vn- > δm:
  • *-(x)šm- > -m:


The development of more recent (PShY) consonant groups was as follows:

  • *rtn > rn:
  • *rnt > *š.t > xˇt:

Sometimes there is a different development in the different languages:

  • R yīxˇt, B yēxˇt 'grinds' (3 sg.)< *yartt < *arnati, *√ar-, but Sh yīγˇd, S yiγˇd idem < *yardd < *arnati, Y yawnt < *arnati GOYSh 61.



Contraction of more recent groups has been recorded, e.g.:

  • *-rtk- in ShGr:
    • Sh čūγˇǰ, S čəγˇǰ, čawǰ, R B čūǰ, X čugǰ 'have, has done' < *kartaka-;
    • Sh mūγˇǰ, S məγˇǰ, maw(g)ǰ, R B mūǰ 'have (has) died' < *mərta-ka-
    • and other contractions in perfect stems.
  • *-dy- in Y:
    • Y xwayérg' 'water-mill' < *xᵛad-ydrg < *xᵛat-draka -, cf. Sh xa/idōrǰ, R xadůrǰ, B xadōrǰ, S xadurǰ;
    • Y biray-: bired 'to build, to bear': present stem < *birady < *upa- or api-rādaya- (past stem is secondary), *√rod- 'to prepare',
      • cf. OPrs rād-, Av rāδ-, OInd rādh-, NPrs ārāy-: ārāst, Russ. rodit', etc. (Vasmer III 492, Russ. translation, Pok. 59-60), possibly the result of analogy with *√rā-, cf. GOYSh 20-21, cf. EVSh 21.

A number of less general correspondences has also been recorded.

Pub: 10 Oct 2022 14:39 UTC
Edit: 10 Oct 2022 15:00 UTC
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