Iranian Studies (vol. 53, issue 3–4)

Vol. 53 (2020), issues 3–4, of Iranian Studies dedicated to the memory of Ehsan Yarshater and entitled Endangered Iranian Languages: Language Contact and Language Islands in Iran has now been published with Saloumeh Gholami as guest editor.

The Table of Content is too extensive to be posted here. Please consult the journal website by following the link above.

Mixture of Irano-Aryan ethnography and dialectology in memory of Charles-Martin Kieffer

M. De Chiara, A.V. Rossi & D. Septfonds (eds.). 2018. Mélanges d’ethnographie et de dialectologie irano-aryennes à la mémoire de Charles-Martin Kieffer (Cahiers de Studia Iranica  61). Leuven: Peeters.

Charles-Martin Kieffer died the 4th of February, 2015. Exceptional man of fieldwork, his fundamental contribution to Iranian studies in the linguistic field was the description of two dying languages: the Omuri of Baraki Barak and Paraci. Dialectologist – his participation to the Atlas Linguistique de l’Afghanistan was capital – but overall ethnologist, he was always careful to linguistic facts as well as to the sociolinguistic realities. It is attested mainly by the data collected in more than twenty years (1957-1980) on the taboes and language obligations existing in the countryside. After leaving – but not abandoning – the Afghan field, his curiosity remained unchanged towards the linguistic situation (residual languages) in Alsace.
The 16 articles here collected in his homage deal with linguistic and anthropologic researches and cover the (Indo-)Iranian area – extended for one of them to the Turkophone sphere.


Encyclopaedia Iranica – Fascicle 3 of Volume XVI

Image may contain: textFascicle 3 of Volume XVI of the print version of the Encyclopaedia Iranica was published in June of 2017. This segment of the EIr. completes coverage of titles starting with Keg- and proceeds to titles beginning with Kes-.

Fascicle XVI/3 contains the following entries (not including cross-reference entries):

Title Author(s)
Kégl Miklos Sarkozy
Ḵelʿat Willem Floor
Kelidar Mohammad Reza Ghanoonparvar
Kelim (Gelim) Sumru Belger Krody
Kemāḵ Hurivash Ahmadi Dastgerdi and EIr.
Kent Rüdiger Schmitt
Képes András Bodrogligeti
Ḵerad-nāma Dariush Kargar and EIr.
Kerešma Gen’ichi Tsuge
Keriya Alain Cariou
Kerman i. Geography Habib Borjian
Kerman ii. Historical Geography Xavier De Planhol and Bernard Hourcade
Kerman iii. Population Habibollah Zanjani and Mohammad-Hossein Nejatian
Kerman v. History from the Islamic Conquest to the Coming of the Mongols C. Edmond Bosworth
Kerman vii. History in the Safavid Period Rudi Mathee
Kerman viii. History in the Afsharid and Zand Period James M. Gustafson
Kerman ix. History in the Qajar Period James M. Gustafson
Kerman xiv. Jewish Community of Kerman City Nahid Pirnazar and EIr.
Kerman xv. Carpet Industry James M. Gustafson
Kerman xvi. Languages Habib Borjian
Kermanshah i. Geography Habib Borjian
Kermanshah iv. History to 1953 Jean Calmard
Kermanshah vii. Languages and Dialects Habib Borjian
Kermanshah viii. The Jewish Community Nahid Pirnazar
Ḵerqa Erik S. Ohlander
Keš Pavel Lurje
Kešaʾi Dialect Habib Borjian

The Linguistic History of Rayy up to the Early Islamic Period

Rezai Baghbidi, Hassan. 2016. “The Linguistic History of Rayy up to the Early Islamic Period“, Der Islam 93(2), 403–412.

The purpose of this paper is to give a short sketch of the linguistic history of Rayy from ancient times through the early Islamic period. The language of Rayy in the Old Iranian period must have been Median. The only traces of Median are a few loanwords identified in Old Persian, Assyrian and Babylonian inscriptions, Elamite tablets, Aramaic documents, and Greek texts. The language of Rayy in the Middle Iranian period seems to have been very close to the well-documented northwestern Middle Iranian language spoken in Parthia, known as Parthian or Arsacid Pahlavi. The Iranian dialect of Rayy in the Islamic period, known as the Rāzī dialect, was in fact the natural continuation of Middle Median. The only Rāzī texts available are a small number of poems by Bundār, a Shīʿīte poet at the court of Majd al-Dawla, the Buwayhid ruler of Rayy. In addition, scanty information about the Rāzī dialect can be obtained from a few classical Islamic sources and some of the Persian texts written in Rayy by Rāzī-speaking writers.


Zoroastrian Dari (Behdini) in Kerman

Gholami 2016Gholami, Saloumeh & Armita Farahmand. 2016. Zoroastrian Dari (Behdini) in Kerman. (Estudios Iranios Y Turanios. Supplementa Didactica 1). Girona: Sociedad de estudios iranios y turanios (SEIT).

 Dari (also known as Behdīnī, Gavrī, or Gavrūnī), the topic of the present book is a critically endangered Iranian language. The study of Zoroastrian Dari is of particular importance for Iranian dialectology and comparative linguistics. This language is used in a parallel way to the Persian language of the Muslim population, and one can observe strong influence from Persian, especially in the domain of the lexicon. But Dari also differs from Persian, having special characteristics common to the languages of the North-West Iranian group. Sharing of both North-West and South-West features draws our attention to the fact that the immigrants to Yazd and Kerman originally came from different regions of Iran. The primary aim of this book is to teach Kermani Dari as a living language. This book offers basic materials for those who are interested in learning Dari. The focus is not only on grammar but also includes sections on learning vocabulary, listening to original documented materials, and also writing and understanding texts. The book consists of seven chapters.

See the table of contents here.

Saloumeh Gholami is a scholar of Iranian linguistics at the Institute of Empirical Linguistics at the Goethe University of Frankfurt, Germany.

Armita Farahmand is a member of the Zoroastrian community in Kerman and a scholar of Zoroastrianism.

Articles Reviews

Research on Yaghnobi

Benkato, Adam. 2015. Review article: Recent work in Yaghnobi Studies. Iran and the Caucasus 19. 283–294.

This review article discusses various issues raised by the two reports of the Italian missions to the Yaghnob Valley in Tajikistan. It aims to provide a critical review of the publications,  which present a broad variety of new research on the Yaghnobi people, as well as a more general discussion of the methodology involved in studying this group.


Selected Works of Ehsan Yarshater

Civilizational Wisdom- Selected Works of Ehsan Yarshater CoverYarshater, Ehsan. 2015. Civilizational Wisdom: Selected Works of Ehsan Yarshater. (Ed.) Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi. (IranNameh Books 2). Toronto: Foundation for Iranian Studies.

The volume edited by Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi brings together twenty nine articles by the leading scholar of Iranian studies, Prof. Ehsan Yarshater on the various subjects of Iranian history, culture, religions, literature, dialects and philology. It presents a valuable collection of important articles, which many of them were not easily accessible. The collection represents the author’s most important contributions, written in Persian language in the period between 1327š/1947-48 to 1380š/2001-02. Even the papers are concerned with a range of different subjects, they are pretty much interconnected, as it is possible to trace lines of ideas originating in one article which the author develops in latter writings. All these are carefully and illuminating described by the editor in his preface to this volume. The papers are categorized into four thematic chapters: 1. Autobiography and Obituary (with three articles), 2. World Art and Literature (with four articles), 3. Language and Civilization (with nine articles), 3. Civilization and the Secret of Survival (with thirteen article).


To learn more read the Preface of the Editor and see the Table of Contents. To order the book see here.

About the Editor:

Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi is Professor of History and Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations at the University of Toronto and the Founding chair of the Department of Historical Studies at the University of Toronto-Mississauga.