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Articles tagged with: Tajiks

From Sogdian to Persian to Sart to Tajik & Uzbek: The Reformulation of Linguistic and Political Identity in Central Asia

By Martin W. Lewis | November 28, 2011 | 5 Comments
Wikipedia Maps of Three Turkic Language Sunfamilies

(Many thanks to Asya Pereltsvaig for her assistance with this post)
The Turkic-Persian historical synthesis found in Iranian Azerbaijan (discussed in the previous post) extends well beyond Iran’s borders. Through much of Central Asia, the dominant cultural framework is perhaps best described as a hybrid formation. In a fascinating book, Robert Canfield and his colleagues go so far as to designate …

The Complex and Contentious Issue of Afghan Identity

By Martin W. Lewis | November 19, 2011 | 26 Comments
Map showing different definitions of the term

“Afghanistan” is an oddly constructed place name. It is usually said to be a Persian word meaning “land of the Pashtuns.” The widely used suffix “stan” is Persian for “place of” or “land of,” cognate with the English “stead” (as in “homestead”) and ultimately with “stand.” “Afghan” is usually considered synonymous with “Pashtun.” From the Pashtun perspective, “Afghanistan” is an …

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