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Persian |ezafeh| (Re: White Wolf Language-Butchery)

From:Danny Wier <dawier@...>
Date:Thursday, May 2, 2002, 10:51
>Looks a bit to me like what happens in Persian or some Afghan >languages. I'm not sure of the function of that particle, but there are >words (such as place names e.g. Mazar-i-Sharif) which have -i- or -e- >in the middle.
Well since I studied Farsi a little a few years back, I better chime in on this... The |ezafeh| or |izafah| of Persian (Farsi, Dari and Tajiki), and also Urdu from Persian loans, is a single vowel /e/ (or /je/ after vowels), or a short /i/ in non-Farsi dialects, that links two words in some type of relationship; it is an interfix in fact. It is indeed used to mark a genitive relationship, thus |gorbeh-ye-mard| "the man's cat". It is also used in noun-adjective links, like |gorbeh-ye-bozorg| "the big cat". It also links some but not all prepositions to their objects: |tu-ye-khaneh| "in the house", |ru-ye-mard| "to the man" (I might have some errors in translation, but you should get the idea anywho.) Now possessive pronouns can also function as suffixes without the |ezafeh|: both |gorbeh-ye-man| and |gorbeham| (?) mean "my cat". Verbs, incidentally, are suffixed for direct object pronouns: |dust daramesh| "I loved him", lit. "love I-gave-him". Which means I seriously need to re-learn my Farsi -- right now I'm half-assed studying Arabic, which has indeed supplied much Persian's vocabulary.... ~Danny~