ܐܣܦܗܒܝܕ sphbyd, ܣܦܗܒܝܕ sphbyd general; plur. ܣܦܗܕܘܢ sphdwn, ܣܦܗܝܕܢ sphydn
MP spāhbed [spʾhpt'] general, commander (CPD 75; Nyberg 177); OIr. *spāda-pati-; MP Inscr. spʾhpt (Paikuli 225 f.), Parth. Inscr. ʾspʾdp[ty], spdpty general (Humbach – Skjærvø 1978–1983, 3/1, 123); Gr. σπαπίτου (KZ 57); ManMP ʿspʾh + -byd, ManParth. ʿspʾd + -byd; Arm. LW (a)sparapet (← Parth.; with prothetic vowel in Lazarus Pharpʿesi; cf. Hübschmann AG 240, no. 588), Arm. LW aspahapet, spayapet (← MP; Moses Khorenatsʿi) chief of the army; governor of a province; Bactr. σπαλοβιδο; NP sipāhbad, sipāhbud an emperor, general, lord, chief (Steingass 651 and 653); NP sipahā-bud a commander, general (ibid. 652); NP isfahbud, isfahbad a general (ibid. 58). Note that sphdwn and sphydn presents the Persian plural morpheme -ān (MP spāhbedān). Further examples of Syriac prothetic vowel in Iranian loanwords in the next entries (cf. also § 11.4). PS Suppl. 238 observes that the -w- in sphdwn represents Ir. -b-, “Syriac pronunciation being responsible for the change of b to w”, meaning that we must suppose a metathesis from *sphwdn, namely *sphbdn; however, if we compare sphdwn with sphydn, we may simply suppose that in both plural forms <b> dropped away and that in the first form Ir. /ā/ is rendered in Syr. with w (as sometimes happens: see § 11.3.6) ● ʾsphbyd, sphbyd BB 238, 9; 298, 23 (not recorded in LS); sphdwn, sphydn BB 109, 5; 225, 4 ◆ LS 490b; Fraenkel 1889, 245
As regards the Iranian word see Christensen 1944, 371; Huyse 1999/2, 138 ff.; Eilers 1961-1962, 215 (Arab. sibahbaḏ); Gignoux 1990b, 1–9; as to the prothetic vowel in clusters of «s + C» cf. Pisowicz 1985, 146 f.; as to the different dialectal origin and the semantics of the Arm. loanword cf. Bolognesi 1960, 14 and 44.