Western Iranian languages

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

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


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:[1][2]

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.[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Gernot Windfuhr, 2009, "Dialectology and Topics", The Iranian Languages, Routledge, pp. 12–15.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ a b Central dialects, Gernot Windfuhr, Encyclopedia Iranica
  4. ^ 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)
  5. ^ 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.

Further readingEdit

  • "Contact and the diversity of noun-noun subordination strategies among Western Iranic languages" (PDF). Nicholas Kontovas, Indiana University Bloomington, Bloomington, Indiana, USA.
  • Hanaway Jr, William L. "Persian and West Iranic: History and State of Research: Part One: Persian Grammar.[Trends in Linguistics: State-of-the-Art Reports, No. 12]." (1982): 56-58.