Universiteit Leiden

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Watañi lāntaṃ

On the 13th of April, Federico Dragoni successfully defended a doctoral thesis. The Leiden University Centre for Linguistics congratulates Federico on this achievement!

Federico Dragoni
13 April 2022
Leiden Repository

This dissertation investigates the linguistic contacts between Tocharian A and B and Khotanese and Tumshuqese, four languages once spoken in the Tarim basin, whose manuscripts can be dated from the 5th to the 10th c. CE. It offers the first comprehensive analysis of the Khotanese and Tumshuqese loanwords in Tocharian A and B. One of the conclusions of this dissertation is that the influence of Khotanese and Tumshuqese on Tocharian was much more extensive than previously thought and it spanned over almost two millennia, from the early Iron Age until the extinction of the four languages at the end of the first millennium CE. In fact, it is possible to distinguish this group of loanwords from the loanwords from Old Steppe Iranian, an unidentified Old Iranian language only known from loanwords into Tocharian, by means of precise sound correspondences. Moreover, the relative chronology of the Khotanese and Tumshuqese loanwords in Tocharian allows a unique glimpse into the linguistic prehistory of the two Eastern Middle Iranian languages.

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