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DARI GRAMMAR AND LEXICOGRAPHY


For a long time the Aryans paid no heed to Dari grammar since they were no strangers to the rules of their mother tongue. The only expositions of Dari grammar in the past consisted of brief notices which some of the lexicographers would include in the prefaces to their works. The compilation of grammatical works started in right earnest when during the Mughul rule in India Dari became the literary as well as the Court language of the Muslims of the Indo-Pakistan sub-continent. That is why books on this subject were for a considerable time confined mostly to the Indo-Pakistan sub-continent alone.

In the field of Dari lexicography as in grammar, not much interest was shown in the past. The works produced contained a rather limited number of uncommon words employed in poetry. When a proof was required regarding the authenticity of a certain word, it was furnished from the couplets in which it had been used.

It is quite apparent that at first the necessity for such dictionaries arose in the western parts of Ariana where Dari was not the language of the people. The first dictionary to have ever been produced in Dari was compiled by Qatran Urumawi, the famous poet who lived in Tabriz and died in 465/ 1075. This book is now extinct. After him Asadi of Tfis, who also lived in Adharbaijan and died in the same year as Qatran, completed his famous dictionary which is the oldest extant work on the subject.

As mentioned earlier, the Saljugs had carried their official language, Dari, right into Adharbaijan in the wake of their conquests. Since the people of this province spoke Pahlawi, they found it difficult to understand meanings of certain words which were familiar to Dari but did not exist in Pahlawi. Hence the urge to compile these works in Adharbaijan.

The most important role in the compilation of dictionaries was undoubtedly played by lexicographers of the Indo-Pakistan sub-continent. During the Mughul period the Court language of the Empire was Dari. People, for whom it was not the mother tongue, stood in need of books for guidance and help. In the eleventh/seventeenth century special attention was paid to this work, though dictionaries had been in the process of compilation since a hundred years earlier.

For a long time the works of the Indo-Pakistani lexicographers or those of the Aryan scholars who had migrated to the sub-continent continued to be the most authentic source of reference even for the Aryans themselves. The most outstanding of these books are Farhang-i Jahdngiri of Jamal al-Din Inju, Farhang-i Rashidi of 'Abd al-Rashid of Thatta, Burhan-i Qd4i' of Mu}.am­mad Husain Tabrizi, Asif al-Lughat of 'Aziz Jang Bahadur, Bahar-i 'A jam of Tek Chand Bahar, Chirag_h-i Hiddyat of Siraj al-Din 'Ali Khan Arzu, QhiyaLh al-Lughhhat of Mubammad Chiyath al-Din, Farhang-i Anand Raj of Mubammad Padshah Shad, and Mustalihat al-Shu'ara' compiled by Varasteh. The number of lexicographical works compiled in the Indo-Pakistan sub­continent exceeds one hundred of which the oldest, viz., Adab al-Fudala' of Qadi Khan Badr Mulammad of Delhi, was completed in 822/1419. In other words, the period during which these works were diligently and assiduously produced extends to about five hundred years.

The necessity of compiling such dictionaries was also felt in Turkey where Dari enjoyed the status of a literary language at the Turkish Court of the Ottoman Caliphs and many a Turkish scholar produced literary works and composed poetry in Dari, so much so that even some of the Turkish emperors composed poetry in this language. As a consequence, a few dictionaries,

to wit, Lugghat-i Halimi, L ghal-i Sl a'uri, Dasinah-i Kabir, and Laghal-i Sltah­

niameh of 'Abd al-Qadir Bag lid", were edited in Turkey. But as against the dictionaries produced in the Indo-Pakistan sub-continent in which the meanings of words were also explained in Dari, in Turkey the meanings and explana­tions were given in Turkish. The Aryans themselves, therefore, have not been able to utilize these works.

To no other area of the world does the Dari language and literature owe so profusely as to the Indo-Pakistan sub-continent. Not only have the scholars there written hundreds of very useful books on subjects as varied and diverse as history, lexicography, grammar, mysticism, biographies of poets, and commentaries on certain Dari texts, and have preserved and jealously guarded many books lost to posterity in other countries and even in Ariana, but they have also special interest in the publication of literary works in the Dari language. There is hardly any big city in the Indo-Pakistan sub-continent where a number of Dari books have not been published. The number of such published works stands at two thousand.


Haji Mohammad Rahat

Library:

Haji Mohammad Rahat

Author:

i Hasanjan











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