Historical Developments of Pashto and Sogdian Phonologies from the Proto-Iranian Language
Keywords:Pashto, lexical comparison, Sogdian, phonological development, Proto-Iranian
Pashto is an Iranian language (Morgenstern, 1982) classified as historically belonging to the northeastern branch of the Iranian family. This linguistics study is comparative and historical in nature. It carries out a lexical comparison of Pashto and the Sogdian language, and investigates their phonological development by further expanding their corss-comparison with data from the Proto-Iranian language. Drawing on secondary data available in Sogdian and Pashto and on the reconstructed roots of Proto-Iranian, the current study seeks to describe the historical reciprocal changes in the phonology of Pashto and Sogdian. Moreover, it discusses thoes changes in each language thoes they have in common, and the retentions of Proto-Iranian reflexes in Pashto and Sogdian, highlighting differences and commonalities in their clusters. Proto-Iranian sonorants are of paramount importance as isoglosses. This suggests that the forefather of the Pashto language was historically in close contact with the Sogdian language and can be located in Central Asia, from where it migrated to its present homeland. This migration is witnessed in the living language by the development of retroflex sounds in Pashto precisely due to contact with the Indo-Aryan.