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The complex grammatical conjugation and declension of Old Persian yielded to the structure of Middle Persian in which the dual number disappeared, leaving only singular and plural, as did gender.
Middle Persian developed the ezāfe construction, expressed through ī (modern ye), to indicate some of the relations between words that have been lost with the simplification of the earlier grammatical system.
Although the "middle period" of the Iranian languages formally begins with the fall of the Achaemenid Empire, the transition from Old to Middle Persian had probably already begun before the 4th century.
However, Middle Persian is not actually attested until 600 years later when it appears in the Sassanid era (224–651) inscriptions, so any form of the language before this date cannot be described with any degree of certainty.
In modern English the word Farsi refers to the language while Parsi (or Parsee) describes Zoroastrians, particularly in South Asia.
The Academy of Persian Language and Literature has declared that the name Persian is more appropriate, as it has the longer tradition in western languages and better expresses the role of the language as a mark of cultural and national continuity.
Persian is an Iranian language belonging to the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European family of languages.In English, this language has historically been known as Persian, though Farsi has also gained some currency.Farsi is encountered in some linguistic literature as a name for the language, used both by Iranian and by foreign authors.For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help: IPA.and some other regions which historically were Persianate societies and considered part of Greater Iran.