The history of the Iranian languages is very difficult to reconstruct due to mutual influences, borrowings from Arabic and Turkic. The issue is also complicated by the absence or insufficiency of written monuments and the fact that some languages still remain unwritten or poorly written. We can confidently talk about the development of the Persian language (Farsi), which history can be traced back to the VI cen. BC, about its close connection with Tajiki, as well as about the continuation of the Sogdian language in modern Yaghnobi. Even the question of the dialectological affiliation of the Avesta language still has no unambiguous answer (ORANSKI I.M., 1979: 33). There are so many Indo-Aryan forms in the Avesta language that have no counterpart in the Iranian languages that it can be considered simply a written language based on Indo-Aryan with extensive use of true Iranian words. On the other hand, the Persian language had a great influence on other Iranian languages over the centuries and Persian loan-words often displaced the original vocabulary from unwritten and little-written languages, which is now lost forever.
The Iranic language family include near 40 modern languages (Ibid: 17). Among them are as individual Ossetian (with Digor and Iron dialects), Yaghnobi, Pashto (with the dialect of Wanetsi), Yazghulami, Kurdish (with Zazaki, Kurmanji, Sorani, and Gorani dialects), Balochi, Gilaki, Mazanderani, Sarikoli, Paracha, Ormuri, the language of Semnan. Other languages are combined into groups. These are Talyshi with close to it Tati, dialects of Persian-Tajik (Farsi, Khuzestani, Bandari, Quhistani, Hazaragi, et al.), the minor languages of Central Iran, Luri and Bakhtiari dialects, dialects of Southern Iran (Bashkardi, Kumzari a.o.), Pamir languages, including Shughni-Rushan and Ishkashim-Wakhi language groups. In addition, there were still the languages of the Avesta, Bactrian, Parthian, Sogdian, and Saki-Khotanese languages and languages or dialects, not mentioned in historical sources, which can be indicated by linguistic analysis of the texts of the Avesta and ancient Persian language. The modern spread of Iranian languages says little about their ancestral relationship (see map below).
Distribution of Iranic Languages
The first attempt to establish the kinship of the Iranian languages using the graphic-analytical method was made at the end of the last century (STETSYUK VALENTYN. 1998. 73-77). The idea of the method consists in the geometric interpretation of the relationship of related languages, or rather, in the construction of a graphical model of their relationship based on the calculation of common language units in pairs of languages of the studied language family or group. For the resulting model, a corresponding place on the map with fairly clearly defined boundaries of ethno-producing areas has to be found.
The most convenient for counting is vocabulary as the most numerous collection of linguistic units. For the convenience of counting, an etymological dictionary table is compiled consisting of nests of words attributed to one etymon. At that time, the etymological dictionaries necessary for compiling the table had not yet been published, with the exception of the historical-etymological dictionary of the Ossetian language (ABAYEV V.I. 1958-1989), therefore, the lexical material was selected from bilingual dictionaries. As a result, unidentified loan-words from languages of other groups were included in the dictionary. In addition, the establishment of a primordial relationship between the Iranian languages was hampered by later mutual borrowings, especially from Farsi. The influence of Persian on other Iranian languages is easily explainable, but borrowings from Tajik and Dari are also common, and migrations changed the original spatial arrangement of languages, what resulted in mutual borrowings in the already formed languages of the new neighbors. Thus, the structure of the ancient relationships of the Iranian languages in the present is distorted and its true graphic model cannot be reproduced on the basis of modern vocabulary with sufficient accuracy.
When constructing a relationship diagram, it was clearly seen that for some languages lexical material is clearly lacking. Indeed, some of the dictionaries used were quite small. This is especially true for the dictionary of the Gilan language, the lexical composition of which is still insufficiently studied. (KERIMOVA A.A., MAMEDZADE A.K., RASTORGUYEVA V.S. 1980: 4). However, an approximate diagram of the relationship was drawn up without much effort under certain conventions – where the data of some pairs of languages contradict, the data of other pairs come to the rescue. This is a peculiarity of the graphic-analytical method.
At left: The initial graphic model of the relationship of the Iranic languages
In principle, the resulting scheme should correspond to the location of the areas of formation of the studied languages. The experiment carried out with deliberately distorted data with a relative error of 40% showed that the construction of a scheme is possible, and it practically does not differ from that obtained from the correct data (STETSYUK VALENTYN. 1998: 19-21).
Thus, errors in the data do not distort the existing regularity in the lexical structure of languages that arose at the initial stage of their formation, and this structure is not violated in the process of its further development. The very construction of the language kinship model speaks of the preservation of the primordial regularity in the data used.
Specifically, in our case, the borrowings not eliminated from the dictionary table had a haphazard nature and therefore could not significantly distort the structure of kinship of the Iranian languages. The undoubted difference between the obtained model and real relationships is due rather to the incompleteness of data for some languages than to the influence of borrowings.
The ancestral home of the Iranians was determined after studying the relationship of Indo-European languages using the graphic-analytical method. On the common Indo-European territory, the Iranians occupied an area between the Desna and the Oka rivers, bounded in the north by the Ugra River, and in the south by the Zhizdra (see map below).
The common Indoeuropean territory in the Dnepr basin
As preliminary studies of the prehistory of the Iranians have already shown, after ending of the "First Great Migrations" they remained in their ancestral homeland, but, like the Slavs, the Balts, and the Germans, over time they significantly expanded their territory, where the division of the common Iranian proto-language took place. Experts believe that the common Iranian proto-language, or "language-base", at some time differentiated into two main dialectal groups, conventionally called "western" and "eastern". The main features of this division are some of the historical and phonetic features of their consonantism.
At right: The ancestral home of the Iranians and the direction of migration of Indo-European tribes.
The influence of Persian on other Iranian languages is well known, but borrowings from Tajik and Dari are also common, and the ancient Sogdian language had a certain influence on the Pamir languages when the Sogdians advanced into the Pamir valleys. Loanwords due to these influences are almost impossible to detect. Thus, the structure of the ancient relationships of the Iranian languages in the present is distorted and its actual graphic model cannot be reproduced on the basis of modern vocabularies. However, an approximate diagram of the relationship is drawn up without much effort under certain conventions – where the data of some pairs of languages contradict, the data of other pairs come to the rescue. This is a feature of the graphic-analytical method.
It should also be noted that loan-words that have not been eliminated are of a haphazard nature and therefore could not significantly distort the graphic model of the relationship of the Iranian languages. Its undoubted difference from real relationships is due rather to the incompleteness of data for some languages than to the influence of borrowings.
Specialists believe that the Iranian common language, or "base language", at some time differentiated into two main dialect groups conventionally called "western" and "eastern". The main features of this division are some historical and phonetic features of their consonantism. The Median, Parthian, Baluchi, Kurdish, Talyshi, Persian, Tajik, Tatic, and other language originated from the western dialects, the eastern dialects gave rise to the Sogdian, Khorezm, Pashto, Ossetian, Pamir languages, etc. (ORANSKI I.M., 1979: 88). This division must be borne in mind when interpreting the results of the study of Iranian languages by the graphic-analytical method.
The history of the Iranian languages is very difficult to reconstruct due to mutual influences, borrowings from Arabic and Turkic. The issue is also complicated by the absence or insufficiency of written sources and the fact that some languages still remain unwritten or poorly written. We can talk surely about the development of the Persian language, whose history can be traced back to VI c. BC, about its close connection to Tajiki, as well as about the continuation of the Sogdian language in modern Yaghnobi. Even the question of a dialectological base of the Avesta language has no clear answer (Ibid: 33). On the other hand, for many centuries the Persian language has had a great influence on other Iranian languages and Persian borrowings are often forced out ancestral words of unwritten languages that are lost forever.
Thus, it is extremely difficult to study the relationship between the Iranian languages. The selection of lexical material for such work using the graphic-analytical method began even before the publication of the first volumes of the Etymological dictionary of Iranian Languages. In the process of the work that began, the same difficulties were encountered that the compilers of that dictionary encountered:
We have… to put up with the inevitable gaps explained by failure known material of a language (eg, lack of fixing words in the texts of the extinct languages, the lack of dictionaries of some living languages and dialects), or the loss of a word in any language by replacing it by an innovative word or borrowing (EDELMAN D.I. 2005: 8).
On the other hand, the compilers of the dictionaries proceeded from traditional, but to a certain extent erroneous, ideas about the history of the development of the Iranian languages. In particular, they did not question the existence of the Indo-Iranian linguistic community, which turned out to be fiction, what became clear when studying Indo-European languages using the graphic-analytical method. As a rule, when compiling a dictionary, a word from the Avesta was taken first, assuming the existence of a similar word in Old Iranian. Correspondences were found for it in Indo-Aryan and other Indo-European languages, and on the basis of their comparison, an alleged ancient Iranian root was formed, to which matches were sought in modern Iranian. The possibility of the existence of Old Iranian words without correspondences in the Indo-European languages was not assumed. If such words were present in only a few languages, they were mostly ignored, apparently, a priori taken for borrowings. However, borrowings are different. Some of them may date back to the formation of the language and therefore may be original, even if their roots are not Indo-European. The conspicuous excessive disproportion between the volumes of original words taken for analysis from different languages could not take place, since their primary carriers stood at the same level of cultural development, and this should have been reflected in languages. In accordance with this view, the disproportion was eliminated by replenishing the lexicons of underrepresented languages due to the found correspondences in bilingual dictionaries. In addition, etymological dictionaries often contain references to a certain Scythian-Sarmatian language, which in reality never existed. For many decades, mainly through the efforts of V.I. Abayev, attempts to restore the "Scythian language" and determine its place among the Iranian ones were continuing (ABAYAEV V.I. 1965, 1979). Moreover, assuming the existence of distinct Scythian and Sarmatian languages, attempts were made to establish certain phonological regularities between them in the firm belief that both Scythians and Sarmatians spoke a language close to Ossetian. (WITCZAK K.T.1992, KULLANDA S.V. 2005, 2016). Such "research" cannot be perceived otherwise than as scholasticism (see Scythian Language). Naturally, the references of the authors of the dictionaries to the Scythian-Sarmatian language were ignored.
Taking into account all these peculiarities, a new etymological table-dictionary was compiled among 1674 lexical nests. It is posted on my site Etymological Table Database and contains data for the following languages:
Farsi with Tajiki – 1002 wors,
Pashto – 773 words,
The Shughni-Rushan languages – 766 слов,
Yaghnobi with Sogdian – 726 слов,
Kurdish (Kurmanji and Sorani) – 697 words,
Yazghulami – 644 words,
Talyshi – 531 words,
Ossetic – 530 words,
Sarikoli – 506 words,
Wakhi – 465 words,
Gilaki – 464 words,
Balochi – 308 words,
Ishkashimi – 306 words.
Table 1. Quantity of mutual words in pairs of the Iranic languages
Based on the data obtained, a model of the relationship of the Iranian languages was built, which is presented in the diagram below.
The configuration of the resulting scheme as a whole should reflect the location of the areas in the common Iranian territory, in which the formation of distinct languages took place. However, the incompleteness of the vocabulary of peripheral languages, presented in the dictionary table, affected the scheme with too large distances between their areas and less accuracy of the points that define them. In this regard, the scheme does not accurately correspond to the part of the map on which it should be laid. The kinship models of the Indo-European and Turkic languages, which were formed here earlier, overlap much better, and they made it possible to highlight the ethno-producing areas on the map in which the Iranian languages could have been formed. With this assumption, the Iranian scheme can be attributed to the large space between the Dnieper and the Upper Oka and the Don, up to the shores of the Azov Sea.
The upper part of the scheme corresponds to the map better, and when localizing it, the features of the Ossetian language are taken into account. They were noted by V.I. Abaev:
its special closeness to the languages of the European area – Slavic, Baltic, Tocharian, Germanic, Italic, Celtic. According to a number of features – lexical, phonetic, grammatical – the Ossetian language, breaking with other Indo-Iranian languages, merges with the listed Indo-European languages (ABAYEV V.I., 1965: 3)
In his works, Abaev presented quite a lot of lexical correspondences between the Ossetian and Tocharian languages. Here are some of them:
Toch. ānkar "fang" – Osset. assyr "fang",
Toch eksinek "a pigeon" – Osset äxinäg "a bpigeon",
Toch aca-karm "a boa" – Osset kalm "a snake",
Toch káts "stomach" – Osset qästä "stomach",
Toch kwaš "a village" – Osset qwä "a village",
Toch menki "lesser", Lit. meñkas "little" – Osset. mingi "little, few",
Toch porat "an axe" – Osset färät – "an axe",
Toch sám "enemy" – Osset son "enemy" (А. Abayev V.I. 1965).
Toch witsako "a root" – Osset widag "a root".
However, V. Abaev believed that these matches come since the Scythian times, but the Tocharians had already moved to Asia at that time.
Taking into account the special ties between the Ossetian and Tocharian languages, the resulting model of the relationship of the Iranian languages should be located so that the area of the Ossetian language would be adjacent to the Tocharian language, i.e. superimposed on the ethno-producing area in the Sozh basin between the Dnieper and Iput' rivers. This determined the localization of the ethno-producing areas of the remaining Iranian languages. Their estimated placement is shown on the map below.
The territory of the formation of the Iranian languages in the 2nd millennium BC
On the map, the boundaries of ethno-producing areas are marked with red and blue dots. The blue dots also mark the border between the "western" and "eastern" Iranian languages.
In accordance with the scheme, the area of the Balochi language should be located in the ancestral home of the Iranians north of the Zhizdra River between the Desna, Ugra and Oka rivers.
The area of the Yaghnobi language was supposed to be found in the vicinity of the area of the Ossetian, therefore it is located between the Dnieper, Iput', and Desna, and the area of the Kurdish language, close to the Yaghnobi, is between the Desna, Seim and the upper reaches of the Oka. The area of the Pashto language between the Dnieper, Sula, and Desna and the Talysh area in the upper reaches of the Oskol River on the right bank of the Don between the Sosna and Tikha Sosna rivers are also more or less well located. The area of the Persian language, located in the very center of the scheme, is limited by the Oskol and Seim rivers. Its southeastern border runs along the Seversky Donets River, and further to the Seim the natural boundary is not clearly expressed. At the same time, small areas on both banks of the Psel and Vorskla rivers were the place where the languages of the Shughni-Rushan group were formed. Between the Orel, Samara, and Seversky Donets rivers, the Yazghulami language was to be formed. On the opposite bank of the Donets between the Oskol and Don there is a place for the formation of the Gilaki language. However, its southeastern border is difficult to define, because it depends on the location of the area of the Mazanderan language which is not included in the kinship model due to lack of data. Taking into account the modern places of settlements of the Mazanderans, as well as the special closeness of the Gilan and Mazanderan languages, it can be assumed that the ancestral home of the Mazanderans was located east of the area of the Gilaks. However, in this part of the map, two or even three areas can be distinguished, in which languages that were not included in the studied languages were formed. The Wakhi and Ishkashimi languages were to be formed on the left bank of the Lower Dnieper.
As a result, it turned out that the so-called "East-Iranian" languages are actually located in the west of Iranian territory and stretch along the left bank of the Dnieper River. Accordingly, the "West-Iranian" ones stretched along the left bank of the upper Oka River and the right bank of the Don, in the neighborhood of the Finno-Ugric settlements. The Seversky Donets River was a clear border between them.
Accepted location of the Iranic areas is confirmed by revealing facts of language substratum influence of the previous population. We see, for example, that the area of the Afghan languages (Pashto) is located in the same place where previously the Armenian language was formed. Thus still unexplained matches between these languages are just the result of the impact of the Armenian substrate. More information on this topic is covered in the section "Language substrate".
Due to the lack of data for some of the modern Iranian languages and their insufficiency for others, special difficulties arise with the placement of areas for the Sarikoli, Yazghulami, and languages of the Pamir peoples. For the group of languages in which we included Shugnan, Bartangian, and Rushan there is no other place as between the Vorskla and Oskol rivers. The area of the Yazghulami language should be somewhere to the south, and the area of the Sarikoli language, whose place in the kinship model is far from other languages, should have been in the Don bend. Its more precise placement depends on the ties with Mazandaran, the extent of which is questionable. Along the coast of the Sea of Azov, there are several more areas on which other Iranian languages, not taken for analysis, could have formed. Perhaps in one of them, closer to the ancestral home of the first group of Pamir peoples, was the ancestral home of the ancestors of modern Vakhans and Ishkashim people.
The placing of the area of the Balochi language in the neighborhood to Vepsian area, based on scant available data about its connections with other Iranic languages, is supported by the presence of common words in the Vepsian and Balochi languages. For example the Veps word naine “a daughter-in-law” corresponds Bal na'ānē “a daughter" at janaine “a woman". It is clear that the same woman for the Balochi parents was the daughter and the daughter-in-law for the family of her husband. Thus, not only lexical parallels but such evidence of a marriage between the Veps and Balochis confirms their neighborhood. Maybe Bel pērok "a grandfather" corresponds Veps per’eh "family". К. Häkkinen thinks that Fin. paksu, Est. and Veps. paks "thick" were borrowed from Iranian languages but refers only Bel. baz "thick, dense" (HÄKKINEN KAISA. 2007: 860). Of the other Iranian, a similar word is found only in Ossetian – bæz "fat, thick". The ancestors of the Ossetians and Balochi were neighbors in the ancestral homeland. Lexical material from the Balochi language is scanty, but the Veps vocabulary was analyzed in comparison with the other Iranic languages. It turned out, that Kurdish had the biggest number of mutual words with Veps – 76, the runner-ups are Ossetic – 65 mutual words, Talyshi – 61 words, Gilaki – 56, Pashto – 45etc. You can see on the map that areas of the Kurdish and Ossetian languages are closest to the area of the Veps language and linguistic contacts between the populations of these areas also had to be close.
In general, there are several dozen words common to Kurdish, Vepsian, and three or more Iranian languages. Here are examples of Kurdish-Vepsian lexical parallels, for some of which there are also matches in other Iranian or Baltic-Finnish languages::
Kurd çeqandin “to stick, thrust in” – Veps. čokaita “the same”,
Kurd çerk “drop” – Veps. čirkštada “to drop”,
Kurd. cirnî “trough” – Veps. kurn “gutter”.
Kurd. e'ys "joy" – Veps. ijastus "joy".
Kurd. e'zim "beautiful" – Veps. izo "dear, sweet", Fin. ihana "wonderful, beautiful";
Kurd. hebhebok “spider”– Veps. hämähouk, Fin., Karel. hämähäkki – “spider”,
Kurd. henase “breathing” – Veps. henktä, Fin. hengittää, Est. hingake “to breathe”,
Kurd. hîrîn “neighing” – Veps. hirnaita, Fin. hirnua, Est. hirnuna “to neigh”,
Kurd. kusm “fear” – Veps. h’ämastoitta “to fear”,
Kurd. miraz “fear”, Tal. myrod, – Veps. mairiš “need”,
Kurd. semer “darkness”, xumar "gloomy", xumari "dark", xumri "red" – Veps. hämär “twilight” – Veps. hämär “twilight”, Fin. hämärä "twilight, dusky".
Kurd. xerez “speed, liveliness” – Veps. hered “fast, swift”, Erz. eriazi “agile, quick” .
The correspondences given here are of a different nature, and chance coincidences are not excluded, so each of them can be the topic of a separate study. The penultimate parallel is a particularly difficult case. M. Vasmer drew attention to the correspondence of the Finnish hämärä "dark" to Ukrainian. khmara "cloud" but did not see a possible connection between these words "for geographical reasons" (VASMER MAX. 1987, V. 4: 249). According to the phonology of the Baltic-Finnish languages, the original word should have been semer, and this may indicate the borrowing of Finnish words from Kurdish. In the etymological dictionary of the modern Finnish language, on the contrary, it is stated that the source of borrowing is an Old Germanic word, supposedly represented by Icelandic sámur "dark, dirty" (HÄKKINEN KAISA. 2007: 238). However, in the authoritative dictionary of Old Norse, the word sámr is considered to be borrowed from the Finnish language (CLEASBY RICHARD, VIGFUSSON GUDBRANd. 1874). Kurdish semer can be associated with Kurd. samā "shadow", which is considered borrowed from Arabic sama "sky", "roof", "shadow" (TSABOLOV R.L. 2001. V. 2: 231), and Kurdish xumar also means "hangover" and is associated with Ar. xumār "painful condition after drinking", "hangover" (ibid: 484). Meanwhile, in the Chuvash language, there is the word khamăr "brown", "black", which semantically is much closer to the Kurdish and Baltic-Finnish words. Ukrainian khmara could be borrowed from Bulgar or Kurd. xumar as modified semer influenced by the Finnish languages.
The correspondence between Fin., Karel. hämähäkki, Veps hämähouk, Est. ämblik, Votes hämö, Livonian ämriki "spider" – Kurd. hebhebok "spider". Borrowing from Kurdish or another Iranian language into Vepsian is excluded because this word is isolated in Kurdish and associated with Ar. hebbāk "weaver" (ibid, 449). Finnish linguists did not notice this connection and consider the origin of the Baltic-Finnish words "dark" (HÄKKINEN KAISA. 2007: 237). Based on phonology, the word for the name of the spider was formed from two roots ham and bōk of an unknown language, which could be Slavic or Germanic. Given the semantics and phonetics, Slav. pauk can be brought in for consideration, which can be connected with Germ. Bauch "belly" (North Gmc. būk). Slav. puzo "belly" may also have the same origin. (KLUGE FRIEDRICH, SEEBOLD ELMAR. 1989: 64). The abdomen is clearly expressed in the morphology of the spider's body, so its name could reflect this feature and a definition was given to the meaning of "belly". A suitable word exists in Middle High German hem "evil, crafty", then the name of the spider can be understood as "evil belly". There is no such word in German, but it could exist in one of the extinct Germanic languages, for example, in Gothic. There is no explanation for how this word got to the Arabs. Considering that R. Tsabolov finds an Arabic correspondence for some of the other Iranian-Finnish correspondences given here, one might think that there is a big enigma behind all this. The answer to this enigma can be the history of the migration of the Kurdish people.(see the section Cimmerians)
The areas of the Kurdish and Talishi languages border on the area of the Mordovian language. Accordingly, of all Iranian languages, except for Ossetian, Talysh and Kurdish have the greatest number of words in common with the languages Moksha and Erzya – 62 each. There are 67 such words in the Ossetian language, but some of them come from of later language contacts between Mordovians and the ancestors of Ossetians in the Scythian time. It should be noted on occasion that the numerical data presented here on the connections of individual pairs of languages do not exhaust their real number and are used only before comparison with each other, being taken from the same representative sample of sememes. With an increase in the sample size, we will receive new data, which should maintain their ratio. Examples of separate connections between Talysh and the Moksha and Erzya languages are given below:
Tal. arə "to like" – Mok. yor-ams "to want";
Tal. kandul "hollow" – Erz. kundo "hollow";
Tal. kandy "bee" – Mok. kendi "wasp";
Tal. kәvәlә "snipe" – Mok. kaval "kite";
Tal. küm "roof" – Mok. kaval "cover";
Tal. latə "wedge" – Erz. lacho "wedge";
Tal. mejl "to want" - Mok. m'al' "wish";
Tal. se "to take" – Mok s'avoms, Erz/ saems "to take";
Tal. tiši "sprout" - Mok. tishe "grass";
Tal. tyk. "finish" – Mok. t'uk "finish"
Tal. vədə "a child" – Mok. eyde "a child".
Tal. vəšy "hunger" – Mok. vacha, Erz. vacho "hungry";
Kurd leyi "stream" – Mok. l'ay, Erz. ley "river",
Kurd çêl "cow" – Mok. skal "heifer", Erz. skal "cow",
Kurd sutin "to rub" – Mok. s'uder'-ams "to smouth, stroke",
Kurd ceh "barley" – Mok. chuzh, Erz. shuzh "barley".
The Pashto area was located near the Thracian one, what was resulted in Pashto-Albanian lexical matches:
Pashto bus “chaff” – Alb byk “id”;
Pashto gаh “time” – Alb kohе “id”;
Pashto lêg’êr “naked” – Alb lakurig “id”;
Pashto peca “a part” – Alb pjesе “id”;
Pashto tar.ê l “to bind” – Alb thur “id”;
Pashto xwar “a wound” – Alb varrё “id”;
Pashto cira “a saw” – Alb sharrё “id” (though both can be from Lat cěrra).
Also few (due to the small size of the dictionary) examples of the linguistic connections of the Thracians with other neighbors – the ancestors of Sogdians and Yagnobians – are found:
Alb. hingеllin "to neigh" – Yagn. hinj'irast "to neigh",
Alb. anё "bank, shore" – Yag. xani "the same",
Alb. kurriz "back" – Yag. gûrk "back".
The connections between the Ossetian and Tocharian languages indicate that when the Indo-Aryans left their ancestral homeland and moved to Asia, the Tocharians still remained in place. When they left their ancestral home, the Balts occupied their area, expanding their territory to the Dnieper. At this time, the Baltic languages were divided into two dialects – Eastern and Western. On the territory of the old ancestral home of the Balts to the west of the Berezina, a western dialect was formed, from which the Prussian and Yatvyazh languages later developed, and in the area between the Dnieper and Berezina, the eastern Baltic dialect was formed, from which the Lithuanian, Latvian, Semigallian, and Kuronian languages developed. When the Tocharians left their ancestral home, their habitat was occupied by Baltic tribes, expanding their territory to the Dnieper. At this time, the Baltic language was divided into two dialects – the eastern and western ones. On the territory of the old ancestral home of the Balts west of the Berezina River, the western dialect was formed, which from the Prussian and Yatvingian (Sudovian) languages were developed later, and in the area between the Dnieper and Berezina, the eastern Baltic dialect was formed, from which Lithuanian, Latvian, Zemgalian, and Curonian languages were developed.
Habitats of the Iranian and Germanic tribes in II mill. BC..
Thus, the eastern Balts came into direct contact with the ancestors of the Ossetians. Of course, it has affected their language, and certain matches between the Ossetic and East-Baltic languages could be identified. Many of them V.I. Abaev gave in his historical-etymological dictionary of the Ossetic language, but referred them to the Scythian time (A. ABAYEV V.I, 1958-1989), which is also, in principle, possible for some part of them.
The stay of the Iranians on their initial habitats, determined by us using the graphic-analytical method, is to a certain extent confirmed by place names. Iranian toponymy in the territory of Ukraine and Russia is in principle quite numerous but left mainly by the ancestors of modern Kurds and Ossetians and this topic is considered separately. These data are plotted on Google Maps (see below).
In time some part of the Iranic peoples moved in the direction of Central Asia along the eastern shore of the Caspian Sea and came to the territory of modern Iran at the beginning of the 1st mill BC. Cuneiform sources of that time let know about two groups of Irano-Aryans: Medes and Persians but other Iranian peoples not identified by name had to be somewhere east of them. Other Iranic tribes stayed in the Pontic parts.
General picture of the Iranic migration in Minor and Central Asia
Iranic peoples stay at the area of their original home, is to some extent confirmed by place names. Iranic place names in Ukraine and Russia are, in principle, quite numerous, but mostly left by the ancestors of modern Kurds and Ossetians and is discussed separately. Here only the results on Google Map.
About mirgaration of Iranian tribes in Asia see in the section Cimmerians
About mirgaration of of a portion of Iranians in Central Europe see in the section Cimbri