The Evolution of the Verbal prefix / Ba- / Dibaji in Comparison with Persian

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Doctoral student of Linguistics Department, Faculty of Literature and Human Sciences, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

2 Assistant Professor, Department of Linguistics, Faculty of Literature and Humanities, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.

3 Professor of the Department of Linguistics, Faculty of Literature and Humanities, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran.


Dibaji dialect is one of the linguistic types along the Caspian Sea, which has a morphological and syntactic similarity with the Mazandaran language, which is one of the northwestern languages. Dibaji dialect is the language of the people of Dibaj, which is located between Semnan and Mazandaran provinces. In this research, by analyzing more than 140 verbs from the Dibaji dialect, we examine the prefix "/ba-/" and compare it with the standard Persian language. The method of this research is descriptive, analytical and comparative. To compare the grammaticalization procedure of the prefix "/ba-/" in both linguistic species, we have inevitably used ancient iranian language and the Middle and old periods sources and texts. In this research, we seek to discover the differences between this prefix in Dibaji and the standard Persian. To achieve this goal, we have categorized verbs with the prefix "/ba-/" in different verb paradigms. Then we have studied the role and function of this prefix in Dibaji verbs in comparison with Persian. The findings of this study show that the prefix "/ba-/" of Dibaji, like the Persian prefix "/ba-/", has undergone grammatical evolution;It means that this prefix has evolved from free polysyllabic morpheme in the role of adverbs to a dependent syllable, and in this path of change, it has been exposed to various grammaticalization mechanisms such as decategorization, desemanticization, phonological erosion, regidification and so on. Based on the evidences, we will compare the grammaticalization pattern of this prefix with Persian. We will also show that this prefix in Dibaji has not been eliminated by reaching the end line of the grammaticalization path, but by semantic fusion in the present simple form, it has figured out the phenomenon of lexicalization, which is a kind of degrammaticalization.


Main Subjects

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  • Receive Date: 14 June 2021
  • Revise Date: 19 April 2022
  • Accept Date: 16 July 2022
  • First Publish Date: 23 August 2022