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Kushev V. The Dawn of Pashtun Linguistics: Early Grammatical and Lexicographical Works and Their Manuscripts // Manuscripta Orientalia. Vol. 7, No 2, June 2001. P. 3-9.

One finds the first attempt at a study of the Pashto language in the introductory section of one of the oldest works in this language to have come down to us in manuscript form, the treatise Khayr al-bayān by Bāyazīd Ansari (1525—1579). Written in the mid-sixteenth century, the work is represented by only two manuscripts, one copied in 1061/1651 (it was discovered in the twentieth century and changed hands several times; today at the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin) and another in 1079/1668 (today in the Salarjang Museum in Hyderabad, India). It was published in Peshawar (1967) and Kabul (1975) on the basis of the first manuscript. The introductory part of the treatise contains instructions for conveying the sounds of the Afghan language in writing and a full list of the letters of the alphabet. This leads one to believe that the treatise was the first work to be written in the alphabet employed there, which is confirmed by a remark by one of Bāyazīd's pupils and followers, the poet Dawlat Lawānay: «The Afghan language was difficult, no one read or wrote in it, and he (Bāyazīd — V. К.) created 13 letters for it”. G. Morgenstierne, a great authority in Iranian studies, believed that Bāyazīd created a “special writing system for Pashto”. His view is shared by contemporary philologists at the Pashto Academy of Peshawar University…


The entire paper


Afghan manuscripts
Bāyazīd Ansari
Manuscripta Orientalia, selected papers

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