Atfi Ahmed Bosnevi's Commentary upon Tuḥfa-i Shāhidī
Based on primary sources and relevant literature, the authors in this paper present the commentary that Atfi Ahmed Bosnevi, an Ottoman author of Bosnian extraction from the first half of the XVIII century, composed upon the celebrated Persian-Ottoman dictionary in verse Tuḥfe-i Shāhidī by Ibrahim-dede Shāhidī. The original work subject to commentary is briefly introduced and analyzed as a significant work in the evolution of Persian lexicography in the Ottoman Empire. However, Atfi's commentary upon Tuḥfe remains in the primary focus of the authors in all relevant aspects: his commentary approach and relation to the original text, his method of commenting as well as the contents of his work revolving around Persian grammar and its tripartite structure according to the traditional Oriental and Arabic linguistic heritage: verbs, nouns, and particle. Although a later addition to the tradition of Tuḥfe commentaries, Atfi’s work ranks among more comprehensive and successful commentaries in which the author strives to preserve the original text from repeated distortions caused to extensive copying, often by non-well-qualified individuals. After furnishing all the necessary information on Ottoman and Persian prosody at the opening of each chapter, Atfi analyzes the Persian lemmata with precious instructions concerning their orthography and pronunciation and their meaning by way of Turkish and Arabic equivalents. The authors conclude that Atfi subjected the original text of Tuhfa to rigorous and thorough philological treatment. Nonetheless, his commentary sometimes feels a bit restrained as Atfi is not particularly keen on widening his commentary out of the contours of the original work even if an occasion calls for it. As a result, his treatment of specific grammatical questions in Persian is selective. His commentary does not function as a combined dictionary and grammar of Persian, and that was not the author’s purpose and motivation for writing his commentary.