Western Iranian languages

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Western Iranian
Southwest Asia, Central Asia, Caucasus, and western South Asia
Linguistic classificationIndo-European

The Western Iranian languages are a branch of the Iranian languages, attested from the time of Old Persian (6th century BC) and Median.


Map of modern Iranian languages. The Western Iranian languages are shaded yellow/green.

The traditional Northwestern branch is a convention for non-Southwestern languages, rather than a genetic group. The languages are as follows:[2][3]

Old Iranian
Middle Iranian

An Iranian Khalaj language has been claimed, but does not exist; the Khalaj speak a Turkic language.

The dialects of Central Iran are a geographic rather than genetic grouping. They are spoken mostly in Markazi and Isfahan provinces. Many of them are giving way to Persian in the younger generations.[4]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Western Iranian". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. ^ Gernot Windfuhr, 2009, "Dialectology and Topics", The Iranian Languages, Routledge, pp. 12–15.
  3. ^ Languages preceded by question marks, and many of the varieties of Persian, are from other sources. The dialects of the Central Plateau are from the source provided there.
  4. ^ a b Central dialects, Gernot Windfuhr, Encyclopedia Iranica
  5. ^ Glottolog changed the designation of this language family from "Semnanic" (https://glottolog.org/files/glottolog-2.7/semn1240.htmt) to "Komisenian"(https://glottolog.org/resource/languoid/id/komi1276). This designation has been also adopted by Wiktionary (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Category:Komisenian_languages)
  6. ^ Borjian, Habib, “Kerman Languages”, Encyclopaedia Iranica. Volume 16, Issue 3, 2017, pp. 301-315. [1]


  • Compendium Linguarum Iranicarum, ed. Rüdiger Schmitt. Wiesbaden: L. Reichert Verlag, 1989; p. 99.

External links[edit]