Persian language, literature and culture

Talattof, Kamran. 2015. Persian language, literature and culture: New leaves, fresh looks. Routledge.

Critical approaches to the study of topics related to Persian literature and Iranian culture have evolved in recent decades. The essays included in this volume collectively demonstrate the most recent creative approaches to the study of the Persian language, literature, and culture, and the way these methodologies have progressed academic debate.

[…] In dealing with these seminal subjects, contributors acknowledge and contemplate the works of Ahmad Karimi Hakkak and other pioneering critics, analysing how these works have influenced the field of literary and cultural studies.

Persian in Yuan China

Haw, Stephen. 2014. The Persian language in Yuan-Dynasty China: A reappraisal. East Asian History 39. 5–32.

It has often been claimed that Persian was an important lingua franca in the Yuan empire. A recent article by Professor David Morgan has discussed this premise at some length, setting out what seems to be impressive evidence in its favour.[1] For some time, however, I have entertained doubts about the validity of some of this evidence. Although I have no doubt that there were a significant number of Persian speakers in the Yuan empire, of whom a number may have held important official positions, I believe that the Persian language was never a genuine lingua franca in China and Mongolia.

A cultural history of Aramaic

Gzella, Holger. 2015. A cultural history of Aramaic: From the beginnings to the advent of Islam. Leiden/Boston: Brill.

Aramaic is a constant thread running through the various civilizations of the Near East, ancient and modern, from 1000 BCE to the present, and has been the language of small principalities, world empires, and a fair share of the Jewish-Christian tradition. Holger Gzella describes its cultural and linguistic history as a continuous evolution from its beginnings to the advent of Islam. For the first time the individual phases of the language, their socio-historical underpinnings, and the textual sources are discussed comprehensively in light of the latest linguistic and historical research and with ample attention to scribal traditions, multilingualism, and language as a marker of cultural self-awareness. Many new observations on Aramaic are thereby integrated into a coherent historical framework

Persian grammar guide

The San Diego State University (SDSU) has created an on-line grammar guide for Persian. ‘You can click through the Alphabet to learn the names and sounds of each letter in the Persian alphabet, then try your hand at spelling some of the basic words introduced throughout the project’.

The guide is available here.

On the linguistic history of Kurdish

Jügel, Thomas. 2014. On the linguistic history of Kurdish. Kurdish Studies 2(2). 123–142.

Historical linguistic sources of Kurdish date back just a few hundred years, thus it is not possible to track the profound grammatical changes of Western Iranian languages in Kurdish. Through a comparison with attested languages of the Middle Iranian period, this paper provides a hypothetical chronology of grammatical changes. It allows us to tentatively localise the  approximate time when modern varieties separated with regard to the respective grammatical change. In order to represent the types of linguistic relationship involved, distinct models of language contact and language continua are set up.

Read the article here.

Introduction to Avestan

This introduction was first published in 2001 in Spanish. It is now being made available in English translation.

Martínez, Javier & Michiel de Vaan. 2014. Introduction to Avestan (Brill Introductions to Indo-European Languages I). Leiden/Boston: Brill. Translated from Spanish by Ryan Sandell.

See here for more.

Sixth International Conference on Iranian Linguistics

Abstracts are invited for the Sixth International Conference on Iranian Linguistics (ICIL6), to be held in Tbilisi / Georgia in June 2015. We expressly solicit contributions from the full range of Iranian linguistics, including formal theoretical perspectives, computational linguistics, neurolinguistics, typological and functional perspectives, as well as diachronic and areal perspectives.

Conference of Iranian languages and dialects

Call for Papers

The Center for the Great Islamic Encyclopedia has the honour of organising the

2nd International Conference of Iranian Languages and Dialects

4–5 January, 2015

Tehran, Iran

Aims of the conference

  • To spread and to consolidate the theoretical discussions on Iranian Languages and dialects
  • To contribute to scholarly studies of Iranian Languages and dialects
  • To introduce the latest researches about the Old, Middle and New Iranian Languages
  • To investigate the spread of Iranian languages as one of the main element of relation among the people of region.

Main themes of the conference

  1. New and scholarly researches on the Old Iranian Languages (Old Persian, Avestan, Scythian (Saka) and Median Languages)
  2. New and scholarly researches on the Western Middle Iranian Languages (Middle Persian and Parthian)
  3. New and scholarly researches on the Eastern Middle Iranian Languages (Soghdian, Khotanese, Khwarezmian and Bactorian).
  4. New and scholarly Lingual researches about the New Iranian Languages and Dialects.
  5. The Geography of Iranian Languages.

Although there will be a strong regional emphasis on the Iranian languages and dialects, this does not exclude a consideration of lingual researches on the classical Persian texts, especially when carried out by scholars who have specialised in Persian literature.

The organisers plan to publish a selection of the papers in a peer-reviewed book.

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