Conf/Abstracts - Anatolia-the Caucasus-Iran: Ethnic and Linguistic Contacts, 10-12 May 2018, Yerevan, Armenia

Russian - Armenian University

Event Date:

May 18, 2018 - May 20, 2018

Opportunity Cover Image - Conf/Abstracts - Anatolia-the Caucasus-Iran: Ethnic and Linguistic Contacts, 10-12 May 2018, Yerevan, Armenia






10 - 12 May, 2018

Yerevan, Armenia

Institute of Oriental Studies

Russian-Armenian University, Yerevan, Armenia

in cooperation

with the

Institute of Empirical Linguistics

Goethe University of Frankfurt am Main, Germany

The Effect of the Current Languages in Khuzestan Region on Mandaic Lexicons

Soheila Ahmadi

Institute for Humanities and Cultural Studies of Tehran, Iran


Language as a social entity reflects the social changes. Language and society are dynamic phenomena. It seems that the Evolution of languages is naturally occurred. What we see today is not only the gradual change of languages but their rapid extinction liaised with the considerable change in life style and global communication. As a matter of fact, Mandaic language with almost 300 native speakers is a critically endangered language. The present study investigates how much Mandaic language, spoken in Ahwaz, is lexically influenced by the other languages of the region. In order to collect data, field work and library method are used through interviews recorded from native speakers and the data checked in Mandaic dictionary, respectively. The results show that Persian, the official language of Iran, and Arabic, the most common language spoken in Khouzestan, are the most influencing languages, respectively. The loan words are not so different from the original ones in terms of semantic aspect whereas they are phonetically changed and these loan words are mostly used in the domain of routine life.


The Role of Language in Preserving Social and Cultural Identity

Ghader Allahweisiazar

General Linguistics, Islamic Azad University, Iran


This article studies the relationship between language and social identity and how to preserve native language (Kurdish) as the representative of social and cultural identity of Kurdish students in Iran. Cummins (2005) defines native language as: "the language embedded in family life, the home environment", parental influences are seen to be greater than the role of the peers in heritage language proficiency (p.585). One of the most important factors causing Kurdish students’ native language loss in Kurdish families is parents’ choice of Persian language as a communicative tool among family members. According to (Hinton 1998), parents’ language choice at home may increase the possibility of their children’s native language loss. In addition, Hinton revealed that younger children in the family were more likely to lose their native language because of the earlier exposure to other language from the older siblings, who learned this language in school. While Kurdish parents should certainly do everything they can to learn Persian language, they should also be encouraged to continue speaking their native language at home with their children. Since losing mother tongue means losing identity, teachers and school administrators can play a key role in helping to make this happen by providing information, support and language resources. At the very least, parents can be reassured that their children will have a better chance at academic success when a home language is maintained. As language is not only an important aspect of communication, but it is one of the most essential commodities needed in order to succeed. Language seems to have two principal functions; it is, of course, an instrument of communication, but it can also constitute a means of asserting one’s identity or one’s distinctiveness from others. So preserving native language (Kurdish) is preserving social and cultural identity.

On Ethnic Issues in Iran

Sekandar Amanolahi

Shiraz University, Iran /University of Harvard, USA


Traditionally Iran has always been a multi-ethnic society during the past five thousand years.The ethnic groups in traditional Iranian soceity were  identified on the basis of their languages,religious beleifs, clothes,and other cultural charateristics. Furthermore,in the absence of modern transportation and new means of communication such as radio,television, internet,etc.,there was little relatioships between various ethnic groups. Hence,the ethnic bounderies remained intact.However, the forces of modernization includings the the modern central govrnment, the use of Persian as the formal national language of Iran,the adaptation of western clothes,modern education,the use of modern transportation and communication, the expansion of urbanism and the employment opportunities have greatly  affected the ethnic identity and the ethnic bounderies in Iran.


A Wandering Deity: Al Xidr in Anatolia, the Caucasus and Iran

Victoria Arakelova

Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian-Armenian University, Yerevan, Armenia


Al Xidr (Arab. al-Xiḍr, Pers. Xizr, or Xezr), a regional character, can be approached as kind of Deus Universalis both due to the extensive range of his domains and functions, as well as the huge and variegated area of his attestation. 

 Al Xidr occurs in the cultures of numerous peoples of the Near East – the Arabs, the Persians, the Zazas, the Kurds, the Talishis, the Central Asian nations (the Uzbeks, the Tajiks, the Kyrgyzes, etc.), and is particularly popular in the mystical Islamic doctrines. In most of the traditions, Xidir-Nabī (Prophet Xidr) is  regarded as a saint,  while in the  Yezidi and the Zaza folk pantheons, he is rather a deity with specific  attributes.  In these particular cultures, his character was shaped under the influence of Surb Sargis (St. Sergius), a popular saint in the Armenian Christianity, embodying a military principle and the control of storms. Among the Kurds, Xidir-nabī merits the same characteristics. 

Particularly interesting is the fact that in the South Caspian folk religious traditions (e.g., among the Talishis), al Xidr either replaces or coexists with the local pre-Islamic deities patronizing cattle-breeders and hunters.    

The paper is an attempt of the comparative analysis of al Xidr, his main characteristics, functions and domains in the folk traditions of various peoples of Anatolia, the Caucasus and Iran. 


Corpus-Based Discourse Analysis of Persian Lyrics

Mohammad Aref Amiri. Atoosa Rostambeik Tafreshi

General Linguistics, Institute for Humanities and Cultural Studies, Iran


This article aims at analyzing and comparing Persian Pop Lyrics. In this research, a descriptive-analytic method is used, and the analysis is done according to Baker (2006) which is based on the integration of critical discourse analysis and corpus linguistics. Independent variables are genre, gender of the lyricist, and time, and dependent variables are lexical differences including frequent words, keywords, and collocations. The hypotheses are as follows: there are significant quantitative and qualitative differences in lexical choices between two genres (social and love lyrics). Gender of the lyricist has a significant impact on lexical choices in the lyrics; Pre-revolution and post-revolution lyrics are significantly different regarding lexical choices. In order to answer these questions, a corpus of 1000 Persian Pop Lyrics has been analyzed by analytical tools of the corpus analysis software, Wordsmith, and SPSS. The results of this investigation are as follows: social and love lyrics have significant differences in terms of frequent words, keywords and collocations. Gender of the lyricist has a significant impact on the lexical choices in the lyrics. Also, the results show a significant difference between pre-revolution and post-revolution lyrics regarding the lexical choices. So, all of the hypotheses in this study are confirmed.


Flagging System of Preverbal and Postverbal Target Arguments in Mukri Sorani Kurdish

Hiwa Asadpour

Institute of Empirical Lingusitics, Goethe University of Frankfurt am Main, Germany


This presentation deals with different word order and flagging the Targets by adpositions in addition to case marking in Mukri Sorani Kurdish on Target verb sentences. Target verb sentences are syntactic structures with one and/or two place predicates which include Goals of motion and Cause-Motion verbs, e.g. čūn ‘to go’ and danan ‘to put’; Recipients of Give verbs e.g. dan ‘to give’; Addressees of Say verbs e.g. gutin ‘to say’, and Benefactives of Beneficiary verbs e.g. hēnan ‘to bring’. Target is a cover term for the semantic roles that share the same adpositions like be/bo/=e ‘to’ and they have the tendency to appear in postverbal position. 

O(T)V (object-(Target)-verb) is the most frequent attested word order in Mukri corpus of Öpengin (2016). In general, object and Targets can precede or follow the verb and overt expression of these constituents can influence the word order variation for instance, OTV, OVT, TVO, TOV, VTO, and VOT. There are several studies on postverbal arguments in Iranian languages for instance Haig (2014, 2017), Stilo (2005, 2010) to name a few.

Considering the position of Targets, the question is whether the preference of a special word order construction for instance postverbal Targets (OVT, VTO or VOT) in Mukri is due to contact-induced change or internal language development. Mukri is a sub-language variety of Sorani Kurdish language spoken in the southern part of Azerbaijan Qarbi located in northwest Iran. In this region, several other languages are spoken including Kurmanji, Azeri Turkic, Armenian, Jewish Neo-Aramaic and Christian Neo-Aramaic, all of them under the superstratum of Persian as an official language. All of these languages have been in contact with each other for centuries. 

Mukri varies in the way it assigns adposition and case to Targets. These Targets can be marked by an oblique case e.g. -ī, -ē, and -e. In addition, they can be flagged by an adposition placed near the overt Target such as simple adpositions be, we, bo, le, and de ‘to, into, onto’ and the clitic variant of  =e attached to the verb. 

Simple adposition without oblique case

Simple enclitic adposition without oblique case

Emin   bo  zanko          de-ro-m

I           to   university   IND-go.PRS-1SG

I am going to the university

Emin     de-ro-m=e                      zanko

I             IND-go.PRS-1SG=to     university

I am going to the university


If the complement of an adposition is an enclitic pronoun, the adposition appears in the form of a so-called ‘absolute adposition’, e.g. pē, wē, bo, lē, and and enclitic absolute adposition (MacKenzie 1961, Samvelian 2007, Öpengin 2016). 

absolute adposition

absolute enclitic adposition

Ewan   kitēb      =t         de-de-n

I           book     to=2SG    IND-give.PRS-3PL

They are giving the book to you

Ewan    kitēb=it           de-de-n         

I            book=2SG      IND-give.PRS-3PL=to  

They are giving the book to you

In addition, Targets can be bare i.e. without flagging.

Sara=w       bab=ī          de-ro-n                       dēhat

Sara=and     father=her    IND-go.PRS-3PL        village

Sara and her father are going to the village

According to the flagging system in Mukri, two main questions can be asked: Does the position of constituents and more specifically the Target trigger the choice of flagging? Or is there a preference for a specific type of flagging? These questions and their relation to word order, the adpositional system and the oblique case marking in Mukri will be discussed in this presentation. 

In this study, I will discuss several things: the flagging system in Mukri and the way adposition and case marking express spatial meaning, different word order patterns according to different verb types, flagging of pre- and postverbal Targets and finally, I will compare and contrast the results of word order and flagging of Targets in the Mukri corpus of Öpengin (2016) with the corpus of other neighboring languages like Urmia Kurmanji (personal corpus), and Neo-Aramaic (Fox 2009, Khan 2008) statistically. The results will be indicated in statistical diagrams to show whether the postverbal positioning of Targets can be a candidate of an areal feature. In addition, the applicability of Target word order will be evaluated in terms of processing considerations (Enkvist 1981, Haiman 1980, Hawkins 1994). 


Kurdish and Armenian

Garnik S. Asatrian

Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian-Armenian University, Yerevan, Armenia


Kurdish-Armenian interrelations, especially the influence of Armenian on Kurdish, have never been the object of a systematic study. The report presents a general overview of almost all aspects of this important topic: historical background of Kurdish-Armenian contacts, methodological aspects of defining Armenian elements in Kurdish and Kurdish loans in Western Armenian dialects, phonetic adaptation (i.e. all cases of regular phonetic changes during the borrowing process), the influence of Armenian on phonological system of Kurmanji, as well as the classification of borrowed lexemes according to semantical fields.


Central Asian Parallels in Oghuz Legends

Shushanik Ayvazian

Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian-Armenian, University, Yerevan, Armenia


The author tries to compare the oldest central legendary figures of Օgհuz narratives of the Turkic-speaking peoples, settled in the territory of Iran, the Caucasus and Anatolia during 11-13 centuries AD with the narratives of their close kins in Central Asia, the  Mongols, and to trace the common elements between the separate epics.

Indeed, the preservation of similar motifs and elements in the folklore, folk beliefs, and mythology of the Oghuz and Mongols, due to the ethno-genetic and cultural affinities between these peoples, look quite natural.

The Mongolian, Central Asian and Anatolian Turkic narratives, going back to the 14th century AD consist mainly of stories about heroes, their heroic deeds in battlefields, e.t.c., like The secret stories of  Mongols and Geser of Mongolian peoples, Kyrghyz Epic Manas and Kazakh Kublanty BatyrAlpamish, as well as Dede Korkud, Köroğlu spread out among the Turkic speaking peoples in Anatolia and the Caucasus. Each of these epics along with the ancient elements derived from the common Altaic period, reflect markedly the social and religious environments they were shaped in their final form.

In the case of Mongolian narratives, the shamanistic and animistic elements echoing oldest Mongolian traditions still can be seen under the later layer of Buddhist pantheism, strongly effected Mongolian life and folk worldview. We cannot claim the same about the Anatolian Turkic narratives, which are heavily embedded with the Islamic dogmatic elements, considerably hampering the search for pre-Islamic grounds.

Therefore, the subject of this report have become mainly Oghuz-Nameh and the Mongolian narratives with the original characteristics devoid of later influences.


Proto-Indo-Iranian Contacts with Proto-North Caucasian

Pavel Basharin

Centre for Iranian Studies, Department of Modern East of the Faculty of History, Political Science and Law, Russian State University for the Humanities, Moscow, Russia


The contacts between Proto-Iranians and Proto-North-Caucasians remain one of the least investigated areas in Iranian studies. According to one of the most widespread theory, the Iranian tribes moving passed through the Caucasus (ca. 12th c. BC) (R. Ghirshman, W. Brandenstein, W. Porzig, E. Grantovskiy etc.). Ancient loanwords from the North-Caucasian languages are found in various Iranian languages. The basic number of loanwords has parallels in Proto-Lezghian and Proto-Nakh (by S.A. Starostin, S.L. Nikolayev, I.M. Diakonoff, S.V. Kullanda). Some lexemes have Indo-Iranian etymology but without some Indo-European parallels. The absence of an Indo-European etymology testifies to borrowings from (Proto)-North-Caucasian during the migration of the Indo-Iranian tribes through the Caucasus, or their contacts with some «North-Caucasian» languages that have been spread in the Near East and Iranian Plateau. This presentation includes some Indo-Iranian lexemes whose Indo-European etymology is not reliable:  PIIr. *čāga-/ *saga-, *čāganika- ʽgoatʼ, Nur. čiló (~ chagalá-) (Ashk.) ʽsheepʼ, OInd. chā́ga ʽgoatʼ < PNC *č̣ä̆kŭ / *č̣ä̆ḳŭ ʻyoung (of animals), boyʼ cf. Sum. šeg ʽgoatʼ; PIIr. *kana-, *kankana- ‘a kind of insect’: PIr. *kakana, OInd. kuṇa-, Ashk. köw ʽlouseʼ < PNC *ḳ̠ăḳ̠V-mV ʻa kind of insectʼ; PIr. *kurti-, OInd. kuratu- ‘shirt’ < PNC *gwĭrdwV ʻa kind of clothesʼ (Lak. k:urt:u, Darg. *k:urt:i, Lezg. *gurd); PIr. *šaγāl ʽjackalʼ, OInd. śr̥gālá- < Nakh. *cɦōḳa ʻfox, jackalʼ; OInd. kapúcchala- ‘bowl of a spoon’, PIr. *kapī̆čī̆- < PTsez *ḳ.bz.̀hmә̯ ʻbig metal spoonʼ: Tsez. *ḳobzù: ḳowzi; OInd. cāpa ʽbowʼ, cāpalá- ʻmoving, shacking, unsteadyʼ, PIr. *čap-, *čamp- ʻto bend, to be curved, crookedʼ, *čapa- ʻleftʼ < PEC *čHapV(-lV) ʻleftʼ. Some Proto-Indo-Iranian lexemes were loaned to the Noth-Caucasian languages: PIIr. *barj́h- (PIE *bherg̑h- ‘high’) > PNC *bārʒV ‘heigh, mountain’; PIIr. *valša- (PIE *u̯olk̑o- ‘fibre’) > PEC *vĕlϑi- ʻfelt, cloakʼ(l is a feature of PIIr. source, cf. PIr. *r > *l); OInd. varaṇa- ‘camel’ > PEC *u̯aran- / *u̯aral- id. Sometimes the way of borrowings was difficult because of the cases of the Caucasian borrowings to the Proto-Indo-European: PNC *k(w)iśwɨ ʽcurls, locksʼ > PIE *ghait-, *kais- > PIIr. *ghaića- > PEC *GwēźV. Some potential North-Caucasian borrowings from PEC has specific phonetic changes. For example, the aspirated gutturals correspond to labialization (PIIr. *kh > PNC *gw, PIIr. *gh < PEC *Gw), PEC *ź corresponds to PIIr. *ć.


Архитектура  и  строительная  техника древнейшего  центрического  жилища  Армянского  нагорья – срединной зоны  горного  пояса  Евразии  как  определитель прародины  индоевропейцев, пути  этногенеза  и  специфики  этнической  культуры  коренного  армянского  народа

Vladimir B. Besolov

International Academy of Architecture, Russian Academy of Architecture and Construction Sciences, Vladikavkaz, Republic of North Ossetia-Alania, Russia


Древнейшее центрическое жилище, как архитектуроведческий источник, является неимоверно важным  о п р е д е л и т е л е м  процесса филиации праиндоевропейской этнодиалектной общности и на редкость предельно четким  п о к а з а т е л е м  иррадиации миграционных волн ранних индоевропейских племен в исторические места их обитания на территории Евразии. Как закономерное продолжение древнейшего индоевропейского феномена, в энеолите начинаются и динамично продолжаются последующие этнокультурные процессы, порожденные органичным сообществом, симбиозом автохтонных (древнейшие и ранние индоевропейцы: греческие, армяские и иранские, в том числе, кобано-тлийские родо-племенные общности) и аллохтонных (киммерийские, скифские и сакские, сарматские и массагетские, аланские племенные объединения) племен и неизбежным наступлением рубежных, переломных этапов историко-ритмической пассионарности в их этнолингвистическом и этнокультурном развитии. 

В более древних и, возможно, мощных по хронологической протяженности, этносоциальной, идеологической и культурной значимости напластованиях (доходящих до 8-10м) раннеземледельческих культур, по велению Времени и духу Места, сохранились явные следы древней архитектуры и строительной техники центрического домостроительства, свидетельствующие о былом творческом таланте и потенциальном уровне мышления древнейших обитателей Армянского нагорья и прилегающих территорий Передней Азии, Южного и Центрального Кавказа. 

Историки материальной культуры утверждают, что по памятникам архитектуры и строительной техники как архитектуроведческим источникам, даже по отдельным сохранившимся развалинам и жалким руинам, вполне возможно реанимировать былую жизнь создавших их племен, отдельной народности и крупного этноса, а также и наследовавших немеркнущие ценности творческие традиции народов, их повседневный быт и идеологию, нравы, морали, вкусы, обычаи, обряды и ритуалы – все аспекты  этнического  м и р о о щ у щ е н и я  общества в эпохи строительства и функционирования того или иного памятника архитектуры и строительной техники. 

Надо полагать, что архитектурное наследие является материализованным свидетельством определенного народа и конкретной культурно-исторической эпохи и позволяет воссоздать весь комплекс национальной ментальности, психического склада и социального уклада, мировоззрения и мироощущения того или иного племени или этноса, т.е. его главных духовно-нравственных и интеллектуальных качеств, как правило, обычно являющихся основанием самосохранения этнической идентичности, оплотом укрепления единства общества, стойкости наций и развития их государственности. 

Памятник архитектуры – это ясно и точно выраженное талантом зодчего глубинная, грамотно сочиненная и удивительно содержательная мысль конкретного общества, воплощенная в материале (дереве, камне, кирпиче и пр.). Это – зримая, поистине окаменевшая идея общества, четкое воплощение сформулированного им социального заказа и достаточно ясное отображение строительной программы, эстетически выраженная и творчески исполненная безукоризненным талантом зодчего и мастеров-строителей. В памятнике архитектуры, как в зеркале, отображается мировосприятие и мироощущение создавшего его этноса и уровень его интеллектуального потенциала, специфический характер культурно-исторической эпохи. 

Генезис и эволюция архитектурных морфотипов центрического жилища и центрально-купольного храма: крестовидно-купольного и многих разновидностей крестово-купольного, в одном и том же этнокультурном ареале, но в различные исторические эпохи, является историко-художественным фактом первостепенной важности и всеобщей значимости.


On Inclusion of the Iranian World in Languages and Culture of the Caucasus

Elena Besolova, Zarema Zangieva

North Ossetian Institute of Humanitarian and Social Research named after V.I. Abaev - a branch of the Federal State Budgetary Institution of Science of the Federal Scientific Center “Vladikavkaz Scientific Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences”, Russia

Vladikavkaz Institute of Management, Russia


1. The report (article) is devoted to the study of the Iranian lexical contribution to the Armenian, Turkish and Caucasian languages. The authors hope that the study will open another page in the study of the early medieval history of the ethno-linguistic contacts of the aforementioned range. Although there are a lot of genetic, typological and areal works for each of these families, they hope that the new Iranian-Armenian-Turkish-Caucasian similar elements can contribute to the question of the correlation of the ethno-linguistic history of these language families.

2. The "new" language for many years of existence not only retained the vocabulary of the Persian language, but also was able to accumulate many new words and concepts, borrowing the body of words from Arabic, Turkic, Indian and European languages.

3. The issue of qualifying the numerous Persian, Iranian words that penetrated into the vocabulary of the Daghestani languages, Armenian and Turkish, both through the Turkic intermedium (Azerbaijani, Kumyk languages), and through direct borrowing is of interest.

4. There arises the problem of singling out among the numerous Iranian words those elements that were borrowed by the Dagestani languages ​​through the Azerbaijani, Kumyk intermedium. These are the terms of field crop cultivation, gardening, melon growing (Compare персик: Lezghian шефтели «peach», Azerbaijani шафталы id., Turkish şeftali, Armenian шафталу); terms related to agriculture; terms, denoting natural phenomena, terrain (Lakish бугъаз "place of collection of water; place where water has accumulated", Azerbayjani богъаз "throat, spout ; strait", Turkish boğaz "strait", Armenian богаз  "throat; strait"); the names of wild animals and birds (Lakish, Avarian жанавар "beast", Lezghian жанавур "wolf", Lakish in the speech of shepherds жанавар "wolf; beast dangerous for sheep"; borrowed from Azerbaijani, compare джанавар 1) "wolf", 2) figurative meaning "predator, harpy"; Armenian джанавар, Turkish саnavar; попугай: Ossetian тутти, Lakish ттукъуш, Lezghian туьтуькъуш - in both languages ​​borrowed from Azerbayjani language, which borrowed < Persian тутти "parrot"); names of household items (крюк, крючок: Turkish çengel, Armenian чангал); foodstuffs, dishes (Lakish дурма~дулма "dolma, stuffed cabbage, golubets", Avarian долма, Darginsky дурма, Lezghian дулма, Kumyk долма, Azerbayjani долма "cabbage rolls", Turkish plural dolması); military vocabulary (Lakish аьскар~аьсккар, LezghianTabasaran эскер "warrior, fighter, red army man", "troop, army", Avarian аскар < Persian аскар "warrior, soldier"; "army, troop"; Lakish къямя "dagger, saber, knife", Lezghian къеме "old blunt knife", Darginsky dialect къямя "blunt dagger", Azerbayjani гама "dagger", Turkish  kama "knife" < гама "a long straight double-edged dagger"); also the lexicon of other thematic groups [The Persian-Russian Dictionary, 1953; Russian-Turkish dictionary, 192; Dzhidalaev, 1990].

5. In all these thematic groups of borrowings, semantic shifts in their meanings are justified; the same lexical-semantic groups are observed both in the Armenian language and in the Turkish language. Represented in the Armenian, Turkish and Caucasian languages, Iranianisms are confirmed by ethnolinguistic factors and the nature of the relationship of the speakers of these languages.

6. Academician V.I. Abaev was right, noting that "the interaction between the Iranian and Caucasian linguistic environments was so close and intimate that the criterion of "one's" and "another's" disappeared" [Abaev, 1949].

7. We think that the time has come for the distinction of the original stock of the vocabulary of each of the languages in question, as well as the definition of the contribution made to the culture and languages of these peoples. 

Harold Bayley believed that "the original unity of the human race, admittedly, is proved by the similarity of folklore customs throughout the world, fairy tales and superstitions, but especially of language. Philology has already established such similarities that can be explained only by the assumption that humanity had a common cradle; the connection between all languages, as the connection between the sisters, the daughters of one mother, who died at their birth" [Harold Bayley, 2010].


The “Gilan Trace” in Balochistan: Tribal Prestige vs. Ethnolinguistic Realities

Vahe S. Boyajian

Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, NAS, Armenia

Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian-Armenian University, Yerevan, Armenia


The “Gilan trace” used in this paper is a conditional term for denoting the historical, genealogical, and linguistic connections of Balochistan/Baloches and Gilan that circulate among Baloches. The reference to Gilan is a commonplace phenomenon in Balochistan that one can encounter with under various circumstances. This paper attempts to identify the components of the “Gilan trace” based on ethnographic field materials. They can be roughly classified into two groups: those lacking any historical evidence but strongly rooted in society (like the attestation of the Baloch in Shahname in a context with Gilan, the figure of Abd al-Qadir Gilani that several Baloch tribes consider their ancestor, thus securing prestige and higher social status); and those that can be backed by linguistic data (for instance, several toponyms in Balochistan).     


Language contact-induced change in Turkic complement clauses

A comparative survey

Christiane Bulut

University of Cyprus


Turkic languages mainly rely on non-finite verb forms (‘subjunctors’) to express the syntactic equivalents of Indo-European dependent clauses: Basically adverbial clauses (adverbial action clauses) are based on gerunds, while nominalized verb forms such as verbal nouns and participles form relative clauses (agent clauses) or complement clauses (nominalized action clauses). Consequently, Turkic complex sentences only contain one single finite verb form, marked for +tense/mood/aspect (‘thematic suffix’) and +agent (personal suffix).

Across the historical area of Western Oghuz (including Anatolia, greater Iran with Iraq and Azerbaijan, and also Cyprus), spoken varieties of Turkic have almost completely restructured their syntax according to Indo-European models: Right-branching dependent clauses based on finite verb forms replace non-finite left-branching constructions.

This paper presents a survey of strategies of clause combining that are in use to form complement clauses (CCs) in spoken varieties of Turkic of the greater area; some of these syntactic patterns owe their existence to overlapping influences of different Indo-European contact languages, such as Iranian and Greek. 

The Indo-European type of CCs is the dominant structure in most of the spoken varieties, and even Standard Turkish has preserved alternative structures containing finite verb forms. An exception of this rule is CCs after aspectual verbs, such as ‚to begin’. In the sphere of influence of Iranian languages, these CCs mostly display nominalized verb forms, while under the influence of Greek – as in Cyprus and in the Balkans – they are based on finite verb forms in the subjunctive. Various patterns of CCs occur in connection with factive and non-factive verbs in the main clause; the semantics of these verbs and their preference for modal CCs may vary across the languages and dialects under observation.


Taking another look at the origin of the modern Kurds and possible clues in the Yezidi oral stories

Johnny Cheung

Inalco, Paris


One of the elusive problems within Iranian studies is the question from where the different Iranophone groups, including the numerically prominent ones, such as the Kurds, the ancient Medians and the Persians, Pashtuns may have arrived. In this sense, it is obvious that one should distinguish those who have imposed their language on the local population and the local population who has been compelled to adopt this language. The interplay between the original speakers of this imposed language and the effect on the local population(s) is implicated in the so-called "ethnogenesis" of a particular community, together with a developed sense of shared cultural, historical, customary and/or religious features, on which an overview is given by Hennerbichler (2012). For this talk I shall present the first results of my current work, on the origin of the Kurdish people and the clues found in the Yezidi stories, as published by Kreyenbroek - Rashow (2005) and Omarkhali (2017). Not only shall I take into account the results from linguistic researches on the Kurdish language (as represented by Asatrian (2001, 2009), (1994, with Livshits), Lecoq (1997, 2006), but also the historical references from the Islamic-Arabic (James 2007, 2008, 2014) and Persian (Limbert 1968) sources.  


On the Etymology of Arm. erk (երկ) ‘work, production, labour’ and erg (երգ) ‘song, hymn’”

Tork Dalalyan

Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography / Institute of Linguistics, NAS, Armenia


This paper broaches two closely-sounding roots in Classical Armenian erk (երկ) and erg (երգ). Both are attested in the Armenian early Medieval literature of the Golden Age, starting from the Armenian translation of the Bible (5th c.). From the very beginning, the majority of comparative linguists assumed the second root to be of a native Indo-European origin, whereas the first one was traditionally considered as a loanword from Iranian languages, supposedly from Middle Persian.

Based on new philological-linguistic analysis, we propose to make some adjustments in the semantic field of the Indo-European etymology of erg (երգ) ‘song’. As for erk (երկ) ‘work,

production’, the old etymology of this word is revised and it is considered as a native and not

borrowed form. Therefore it is possible for both roots to reconstruct the original PIE. *(ṷ)erkw-o- or *h1erkw-o- which should have meant ‘something created’. 


Cursing Diversity in Urartian Royal Stone Inscriptions through Time

Maryam Dara

Research Center of RICHT, Iran


Cursing formulae were used at the end of the inscriptions in antiquity in order to protect the constructions or objects from destruction by the enemy. Cursing formulae at the end of Urartian inscriptions had similarities and differences through the reign of different kings. It is the aim of this paper to introduce and study the ending cursing formulae of stone and rock royal inscriptions in order to recognize the formulae through the time and Urartian kings’ era and to mention their differences and similarities. As an example, the oldest of these formulae from Ishpuini and Minua were long. Urartian deities’ trinity of Haldi, Weather Deity and Sun deity is called in these formulae to curse the enemy. Not only the enemy but also his children were cursed in later inscriptions. The detail of the formulae has been changed slightly. Other changes in the details are mentioned in the paper. It was mentioned in the cursing formulae for the enemies to be cursed “under the sun” which can be the result of double function of the sun and the judgment in Sun Deities of Near East as Shamash and Shivini. Using the sumerograms of Thunder and Sun deities could be the result of the importance of Haldi or the taboo name of these two deities.


Swat hydronymy

Matteo De Chiara

Inalco, Monde Iranien et Indien, Paris, France


Swāt district is located in the Khyber Pukhtunkhwa (KPK) province (the former North-West Frontier Province - NWFP) of the northern part of Pakistan. It is spread over an area of about 5,000 square kilometres and takes its name from the Swāt river, flowing from the mountains of the Hindukuš, through the homonym valley, and reaching after 240 km the Kabul river near Nowshera. Known since the antiquity with the names of Uḍḍyāna (‘the garden’) and Suvāstu (‘the place of fine dwellings’), the valley is nowadays inhabited mainly by Yusufuzai Pashtuns, whose penetration in the valley begun towards the 16th century. Little by little the Yusufzais replaced the probably autochthon Dardic populations, who are actually confined in the northern mountainous part of the district, i.e. the Tehsils of Bahrain and Kalam. 

In this intervention I will present the first results of the toponymic project of the Swāt valley, and I will devote special attention to the hydronymy. As it is known, hydronymy is one of the most conservative branches of the toponymy : in the Swāt context, nearly all stream names are of “Indian” (Dardic) origin, except names derived from the denomination of the Pashtun villages, thus confirming data provided by the excavations of the Italian archaeological mission.


Language contact in Anatolia : state of the art and perspectives

Anaïd Donabedian, Ioanna Sitaridou

Inalco/SeDyL/Labex EFL, University of Cambridge, Queens’ College


The geographical extent of Anatolia or Asia Minor roughly corresponds to the Asian part of contemporary Turkey, and is bordered by Mesopotamia, Iran and the Caucasus. Anatolia hosted people and languages from various phyla, e.g. Urartians, Indo-Europeans (Hittite, Luwian, Phrygian, Armenian, Kurdish, Romani, Greek), Semits (Arameic, Arabic) —all these languages possibly constituting an ‘Old Anatolian’ Sprachbund since the second millennium BC (Luraghi 2010)— and, more recently, Kartvelians and Turks (Western Oghuz, Kipchak). However, the relevance of modern Anatolia for contact linguistics came to light since Asia Minor Greek’s description as a mixed language (Dawkins 1916, Thomason and Kaufman 1988:215-222, Poplack & Levy 2010:392), albeit the question whether modern Anatolia is a Sprachbund or not is still debated (Tzitzilis 1989, 2014, Haig 2014) given its great typological heterogeneity (despite micro-areas of strong convergence, e.g. between Pontic Greek, Homshetsma Armenian and Laz in Pontos (Dumezil 1964)) and the difficulty in identifying a common diasystem (that is, mutual contact). Candidate features for contact-induced change are—besides some well-known ones, i.e., stops inventory, syllable structure, vowel harmony, reduplication patterns—a range of morphosyntactic features, namely: paradigm alignment regarding category inventory (admirative, gender) or morphology (prefix-marked present indicative, see Matras 2010); word order and its correlates (e.g. agreement, subordination, nominalization, differential argument marking, relatives). Moreover, Anatolia has instigated debate about the validity of the available models of contact-induced change (see Matras’ fusion vs Ross’ metatypy vs Johansson’s code-copying, and all of these vs generative approaches to attrition and bilingualism), and the relative weight of structural congruence and universal typological tendencies (‘drift’). In this paper we present the outcomes of this rather fragmented field comprising distinct dialectological schools (Aramaic, Armenian, Greek, Kurdish, Romani), whilst addressing both data and theory. In doing so we put forward a weak Sprachbund hypothesis for Eastern Anatolia as a transition zone between Mesopotamia and Caucasus in line with Tzitzilis (2014), Haig (2014) Sitaridou (2016), Donabedian (2018).

Language as A Cultural Identity Marker:  the Study of  Persian  Language

Samira Farahani, Omid Tabatabaei

Shahreza Branch, Islamic Azad University, Shahreza, Iran

English Department, Najafabad Branch, Islamic Azad University, Najafabad, Iran


Language and culture are strongly interrelated. Language is a cultural marker and is also identifies the ethnic’s identity. Identity markers and labels offer individuals a way of defining themselves in relation to the world; that is, “social, discursive, and narrative options offered by a particular society in a specific time and place to which individuals and groups of individuals appeal in an attempt to self-name, to self-characterize, and to claim social spaces and social prerogatives” are the determining factors (Pavlenko & Blackledge, 2004: 19). Persian language is a language of Iranian in the official context. This language is in the most Middle East and adjacent regions. This paper is an attempt to identify overview of some cultural markers in Persian language which are important. For this purpose, a brief history of Persian language is elaborated and the cultural markers which embedded in that language are suggested. 


Borrowing and Lexical Gap in Mandaic Language of  Ahvaz:  A Cognitive-Sociolinguistic Approach

Elham Faraji Birgani, Arezoo Najafian

Linguistics, Alzahra University, Tehran, Iran

Linguistics, Payame Noor University, Tehran, Iran


The most frequently outcome of cultural contact is the set of loanwords that follow from intercultural communication. A process that occurs any time two cultures are in contact over a period of time.

This paper aims to study the lexical gap of Ahvaz Mandaic language and its lexical borrowing from Persian, and analyzed the finding in a cognitive-sociolinguistic framework (Geeraerts 2003).

 Mandaic language is a branch of Semitic languages’ family and belongs to the ancient tribe of Mandaians which was located in Khozestan province along the Karoon River in the cities of Ahwaz, Shoshtar, Dezful and Khorramshahr. According to their neighborhood and language contact to the Persian, Arabic and Bakhtiarian speakers, there exist a lot of loanwords from the mentioned languages in Mandaic. 

Data gathering method was the in-field method. The data were gathered based on a questionnaire confirmed by the Persian Literature and Language Academy through doing an interview with 3 Mandaic language speakers and Also 3 hours of their daily conversations were recorded in diffrents contexts and analysed.It should be mentioned that in this study, the Ahvazian local accent of Mandaic has been considered, which in turn is divided to the local and classical accents.

 As findings of the study show, due to the changes in life style and advances in sciences and new inventions, many loanwords have entered Mandaic language especially its local accent,  such as medical words ( vāris(Varis) , kahir (wheal), sel (tuberculosis) , maɣzā (brain) , moɁdā (stomach), lasa (gum), rajah (lung )) or  new artifacts ( sorsora (slide),telifon( telephone) , šeraɣɣovva (flashlight) and in the classic accent  many loanwords are related to the cultural categories such as social and religious categories (for example: family relationships, colors, traditional clothes ( barzenɣā (turban),mazvi (cloack/abaya)). The findings are indicative of the fact that Mandaic speakers have a dual strategy, the behavior of their local accent confirms the cultural rationalist model of Geeraerts (2003) and their classical accent confirms the romantic model.  


On the genesis of the Rutul and Tsakhur attributivizers

Aleksei Fedorenko

Linguistic Convergency Laboratory, NRU HSE, Moscow, Russia


Rutul and Tsakhur are two neighbored Lezgic languages of the East Caucasian family. I consider two markers traditionally called attributivizers with similar sets of functions in both languages and discuss the hypotheses of their genesis. 

In Rutul it has phonological variation: -d / -. In Tsakhur the allomorphs -n, -ni and -na are chosen in respect to the categories of the head noun.

In both languages, all case markers can be attached only to the oblique nominal stem (derived from the pure stem which serves for the absolutive case form). Attributivizers being attached to a nominal stem choose oblique stem too. Such attributive forms mark various (if not all) kinds of possessors.

The attributivizers are used to form relative clauses by attaching to perfective and imperfective verb bases.

In both languages the word class of so-called predicatives exists. It includes words with adjectival semantics. They are marked by attributivizers in adnominal position.

Also, both attributivizers can be attached to morphologically autonomous wordforms: most cases, infinitives, adverbs.

According to Alekseev (1985: 44), the Tsakhur attributivizer originates from the common Lezgic genitive *-n, while the Rutul one is a reflex of the common Lezgic suffix *-t:V (used in adjectival substantivization (ibid.: 63)). Alekseev explains this phenomenon by some mixing of the genitive and adjectival forms in Proto-Rutul-Tsakhur. Thus, the Tsakhur attributivizer is originally the genitive marker detached from nouns and the Rutul one acquired genitive function.

I suggest that the Rutul attributivizer substitutes the genitive starting from the domain of relational adjectives, and then enters into the nominal paradigm. As a result, the suffix have aligned with case markers starting to require the oblique stem.

I propose that the polyfunctionality of the two markers can be explained with a language contact hypothesis. After the integration of Rutul attributivizer into nominal paradigm, Tsakhur genitive marker borrowed this strategy from the Rutul one, thus they both started to mark both nouns and predicatives in adnominal position. Associated with each other, the markers followed the common path of development. 


Typology of Nominalization of Adjectives in East Caucasian

Anastasia A. Fedorenko

National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia


Traditionally, functioning of major classes of lexical items is described as follows. Nouns prototypically function as arguments, but can also serve as predicates and attributes. Verbs are normally used as predicates, but can also appear for arguments and attributes. And adjectives are categorially attributes, while secondary they can be used as predicates (e.g. (Schachter ed. 2007: 1-60)). The question arises, whether adjectives can serve as arguments (and how). 

 The answer is, undoubtedly, “yes", they can. When an adjective is used without a head, it becomes the head itself and begins to function as a noun. 

My investigation aims to describe the morphological behaviour of such nominalized adjectives in the EC languages. I studied 31 grammatical descriptions of these languages. One of the characteristics of EC nominal morphology is the presence of special oblique morphemes, which are used to form oblique stems to which case markers (except absolutive) are attached.

I divided EC languages into 3 groups, based on analysis of nominalized adjectives:

1) Languages which use conversion to nominalize adjectives (20/31 languages).

In these languages, adjectives in attributive position do not inflect or inflect in some other way then nouns do; when used nominally, adjectives obtain morphological markers, typical for nouns.

2) Languages which use special suffix to nominalize adjectives (3/31 languages).

In these languages, adjectives, used attributively, do not inflect; adjectives, used nominally, acquire special suffix-nominalizer, which is followed by usual for nouns morphemes.

3) Languages which have special oblique morphemes for nominalized adjectives, different from ones for usual nouns (8/31 languages)

These languages are quite similar to the languages of the first type, but the oblique morphemes they use for nominalized adjectives are specialized. In this sense, the third type of languages is also adjacent to the second one.

The languages of the first type do not distinguish between nouns and adjectives to such an extent as the languages of the second type do. The third type can be called an intermediate one. 

The examination is supported with more detailed description of every nominalization strategy with examples from all the EC languages. What is more, genetic and areal patterns of allocation of strategies are provided, as well as appropriate typological parallels. 


Lexical convergences in the Anatolia – Caucasus – Iran linguistic area: Turkic loanwords in the Iranian vocabulary of the body domain

Ela Filippone

Università degli Studi della Tuscia, Italy


Turkic-Iranian language contacts go back to an early date (pre-Islamic times) and are responsible for reciprocal loaning of words along the course of time. The present paper deals with the Turkic elements in the Iranian lexicon of the body part terms. In particular, it will be investigated in a preliminary way the impact of the Turkic lexical influence in the Anatolia – Caucasus – Iran linguistic area, where daily oral contacts and diffused bilingualism have favoured lexical convergences at the vernacular level. The situation in this area will be compared with the similar one in the Central Asian area.

The analysis will be based on the collection of terms of Turkish origin in New Persian and Tajik gathered by Doerfer 1963-1975, enriched by the material extracted by the data base on the Iranian BPTs produced by the author. 

The Semantic Classification of Ethnonyms in the Armenian Historiography

Haykaz Gevorgyan

Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian-Armenian University, Yerevan, Armenia


Our present report is dedicated to the semantic classification of ethnonyms based on their contextual usages in Armenian historiography. The complex study of ethnonyms in Armenian medieval sources shows that along with their direct references (which is to mention ethnic groups) they obtain extra significations. Thus, we have differentiated the ethnic reference, religious-confessional meaning and extra significations of ethnonyms. 1. The ethnonyms in their direct sense are used to indicate ethnic groups. But for some ethnic groups there exist more then one name. The usage of different names and expressions for one ethnic group make them synonyms. Accordingly, we have differentiated six causes of synonimy for ethnonyms in the Armenian historiography. 2. Conditioned by the confessional belonging of the nation its ethnonym can be used as religious indicator, for example Armenian – “Christian”, Arab, Turk – “Muslim”, Kurd – “infidel” etc. 3. The additional meanings of ethnonyms are originated in the result of the public attitude towards the nation. The national characteristics or external features of ethnic groups, in which they are famous among others, can change the usage of ethnonyms making them not as an ethnic markers, but adjectives, such as Parthian – “bouncing, portly”, Indian – “black” etc.


Caucasian Albanian and Its Neighbours

Jost Gippert

Institute of Empirical Linguistics, Goethe University of Frankfurt am Main, Germany


The keynote deals with the  influence of neighbouring languages on Caucasian Albanian, the vernacular of the Christian state of Albania in the early Middle Ages. Starting from a thorough examination of the lexicon of Caucasian Albanian and its foreign layers (Middle Iranian, Armenian, Georgian, Greek, Semitic), it tries to re-draw the complex system of adstrates that were effective during the Christianisation of the South-Eastern Caucasus, including new materials from the Sinai palimpsests that have been made available recently. A second part will be devoted to a comparison with the closest modern relative of Caucasian Albanian, the Udi language, with respect to both the layers of its lexicon and to features of its grammar, which suggest a historical change in the multilingual setting of the region.


Migrations of the Dailamites from Dailam according to Armenian Historiographers (10th-12th centuries)

Kristine Grigoryan

Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian-Armenian University, Yerevan, Armenia


Late antique and medieval Armenian chronicles have preserved several attestations regarding the Dailamites, the ancient inhabitants of the mountainous region of Gilan. The medieval Islamic geographers usually called the whole South Caspian area from Gilan to Gorgan as Dailam, which is reflected in the Armeinan sources as Dlmunk‘ (-k‘ – plural suffix in Armenian) or Delmastan, while its inhabitants are  mentioned as delmik or dlmik.  

Referring to the examinations of A. Christensen (1921), V. Minorski (1928), and K. Hadank (1930), as well as many others, it is assumed that the ethnonym dimli is a derivation of Dailam. In the course of large waves of migrations, approximately in the 10th – 12th centuries, the Dailamites migrated to the west and settled in Central Anatolia.  Thus, Dailamites are the direct ancestors of the Zaza (Dimli) people, presently inhabiting the province of Tunceli (historical Dersim) and the adjoining regions in nowadays Turkey. 

According to different medieval historical sources, the Armenian population had close contacts with the delmiks/dlmiks. Various notable data regarding the toponym Dailam and different invasions of Dailamites into the Armenian highlands were fixed in the works of such Armenian historians as Movses Xorenac‘i (5th century), Sebeos (7th century), Movses Kałankatvac‘i (10th century), T‘ovma Arcruni (10th century), Kirakos Ganjakec‘i (12th century), Samvel Anec‘i (12th century) and other authors of later period. Among particularly interesting facts is the description of a battle between the Armenian-Georgian joint detachments and the Dailamites, described by an Armenian chronicler of the 11th century Asoƚik (Step‘annos Vardapet Taronec‘i). 

The paper is focused on the analysis of the attestations of the Dailamites in Armenian chroniclers, whose data shed light to various details of the Dailamite migrations and subsequent historical developments in the new area of their habitat. 


“Our language and the strange dialect of our neighbours” – Kurmancî and Şexbizinî in migration

Agnes Grond

Forschungsbereich Plurilingualismu treffpunkt Sprachen - Universität Graz


The region of Central Anatolia in Turkey is highly heterogeneous in linguistic terms. The study multilingual communities in Graz reveals that at least 16 different languages are spoken in the Turkish speech community in Graz/Austria, whose members mainly immigrated from the Ankara and Konya county. Among their languages we found Caucasian languages (as Laz), semitic languages (as Arabic), Turkic languages (Noghay, Turkish) and Indoeuropean languages (as Kurdish languages, Bulgarian, Armenian).

In this paper I will focus on the speakers of Kurmancî and Şexbizinî, two Kurdish languages whose speakers migrated under varying circumstances to Central Anatolia. The Kurmancî speaking community derives from forced migration from Eastern Turkey in the 19th and 20th century, the Şexbizinî-tribes moved from Western Iran to Central Anatolia from the 16th century onwards. The linguistic status of these two communities is very different. Kurmanji has around 1.000.000 speakers in Central Anatolia, whereas Şexbizinî had 7000 speakers in the 1990ies – a number which is reportet to be decreasing dramatically. Consequently Kurmancî is well documented and described and Şexbizinî on the other hand eloped linguistic attention nearly completely. 

The aim of this project is to investigate the central sociolinguistic issues of language use, language attitude, and language transmission of both languages. Language use describes individual and social linguistic practices among a speech community. Thereby, the choices speakers make regarding languages convey functionality as well as prestige of individual languages in domain-specific contexts. How certain languages are perceived and attached with values is demonstrated in individual language attitudes. Language attitudes provide insights into dominant discourses on language(s), while also illustrating cases of language maintenance and a linkage between language and identity. Both language use and language attitudes affect language transmission, which reveals, among other things, inter-generational changes in language competence. 

Data was collected via semi-structured interviews held primarily in German but also in Turkish, Kurmancî, and English. Due to the establishment of further contacts, it was possible to additionally acquire extensive ethnographic data. The data will be analyzed in the context of a poststructuralist critical framework.

Preliminary results indicate significant differences in language use as well as language attitudes among the generations of each speech community. Dominant discourses on language policy in Turkey as well as language ideologies seem to shape perceptions on languages per se and language use to a great extent. Additionally, language transmission appears to correlate with level of education, political orientation, processes of identity formation, and prestige of the language variety in use.


Some Parallels of the Colchian Great Mother Goddess

Mariam Gvelesiani

Georgian National Museum, Georgia


Terracotta figurines of a naked woman with a child dated back to the first half of the Early Iron Age and recognized as the Great Mother Cybele and Attis, widely attested both in the Eastern and Aegean worlds from Neolithic time through the Hellenistic period, find a parallel in the small-scale bronze sculpture unearthed in No. 3 burial at Oureki, in the region of ancient Colchis, which has been interpreted  as representing the Great Mother goddess (T. Mikeladze). The iconography of the seated figure of a naked woman holding a child with both hands, is very similar to that of discovered at  the Heraion on Samos.

A number of examples of female riders seated side-saddle on a quadruped  and holding a baby unearthed at the sites of Oureki and Mukhurcha (ancient Colchis) provide the closest parallels to the Samian bronze tending  scholars to suggest  some links with the Caucasus went back to the eight century BC. These early contacts with the Greek world rose sharply in the sixth century BC, when the first Greek settlers reached the eastern shore of the Black Sea.

The archaeological excavations carried out during the last two years in the same region of Georgia   have furnished new material through which the number of the above-mentioned type of female riders  have been  enlarged to a considerable extent and which once more confirms the suggestion about their Colchian  provenance.

The existence of one of the chief deities of Phasis Rhea-Phasiane (Cybele), described by the Roman writer Arrian as holding a tympanum in her hand and standing together with two lions at the River Phasis in Colchis  suggests that  the religious and mythical image of Rhea-Phasiane may possibly go back to the cult of a local, Colchian goddess.



The Localization of the Paytakaran Province’s Counties according to the Ašxarhacʿuycʿ (7th Century)

Aleksan Hakobian

Institute of Oriental Studies, NAS, Armenia


После издания нами в 2013-м г. критического издания «Ашхарhацойц»-а («Армянской географии» VII века) становится возможной новая интерпретация оригинальных названий и очерёдности весьма систематически перечисленных анонимным автором географического трактата кантонов (гаваров) многих провинций (ашхарhов) Великой Армении, в том числе и самой восточной из них – П'айтакарана (Каспианы-Каспк'а античных и Пайдангерана сирийских источников). Это позволяет сделать значительные коррекции в вариантах локализации кантонов П'айтакарана, ранее предложенных специалистами по исторической географии Армении (С.Т. Еремян, Т.Х. Акопян, Б.А. Арутюнян, Р. Хьюсен).

Новый анализ показывает, что первые 5 из 12-и кантонов П'айтакарана – hРак'от Перож, Варданакерт, Евт'нп'оракеан Багинк', К'оекеан и Рот-и Бал'а (resp. Рот-и К'ал'а: ср. арм. литеры Ք / Բ) – перечислены автором «Ашхарhацойц»-а южнее реки Аракс, с востока (от устья Куры и Каспийского моря) на запад. Первый кантон hРак'от Перож специалистами справедливо считается «городской территорией» знаменитого города П'айтакаран, расположенной на правобережье нижнего течения Аракса до устья Куры и Каспийского моря. Кстати, в специальной статье Б. Арутюняном уточнена локализация города П'айтакаран на берегу древнего русла реки Аракс, недалеко от её отдельного устья в море, что позволило уже Р. Хьюсену идентифицировать этот город с раскопанным в 1980-х гг. раннесредневековым городищем Шахрияр в 3-х км к западу от современного райцентра Пушкино – Билясувар. Таким образом, окончательно отводится вариант устаревшей идентификации П'айтакарана с городом Байлакан на левобережье Аракса (в кантоне Аран-рот древнеармянской провинции Утик').

Второй кантон Варданакерт специалистами также справедливо локализуется на южных берегах Аракса, западнее hРакот-Перожа и считается «городской территорией» города Варданакерт (Варсан арабских источников; идентифицируется с крепостью возле села Алтан). Но третий кантон Евт'нп'оракеан Багинк' (var. Еот'нп'оракеан Багинн: букв. «Капище семи ущелий»), вероятнее всего, следует локализовать юго-восточнее кантона Варданакерт, на обоих берегах правого притока Аракса реки Сиях-руд (Карасу, Гар-раh) и в бассейне её правого притока Сембур (Хувтван-руд), поскольку в нач. ХХ в. это было территорией махала (округа) Йафт', название которого на персидском означает “семь”. Четвёртый же кантон К'оекеан (Qo[h]еkеаn), вероятно, нужно локализовать также на обоих берегах реки Сиях-руд южнее предыдущего, где в неё впадает левый приток Кодже-руд (Qoje-rud), в названии которого возможно рассмотреть компонент “К'о[h]е-”. Наконец, пятый кантон Рот-и Бал'а (resp. Рот-и К'ал'а), с большой долей вероятности, можно локализовать западнее Варданакерта, Евт'нп'оракеан Багинк'а и К'оекеана, в бассейнах небольших притоков Аракса Селин, Лекан и К'алайбер, допуская, что название реки, города и махала К'алайбер (Келейбер) восходит именно к Рот-и К'ал'а. Западная граница кантона, видимо, проходила по речке Ильгене-чай, по которой позднее проходила и граница т.н. “армянского Карадага”, включавшего 5 махалов (К'ейван, Тзмар, Мешап'ар, Мнджван и Хасанов).

Следующие шесть кантонов – Бал'ан-рот, Арос-Пижан, hАни, Ат'ши-Багаван, Спандаран Перож и Ормизд-е Перож локализуются на юго-востоке провинции П'айтакаран, причём их перечисление дано автором «Ашхарhацойц»-а тремя параллельными парами с севера на юг. Первая пара кантонов (Бал'ан-рот, Арос-Пижан), уже по мнению Б. Арутюняна, распологалась в верхних течениях впадающих в Каспийское море рек Болгару-чай (Болгарчай) и Вильяш-чай, причём названия одноимённых центров кантонов сохранились в современных топонимах Бойханлу (в 12-и км к западу от райцентра Джалилабад) и Арус (в 3-х км к северо-востоку от райцентра Ярдымлы). Вторая пара кантонов (hАни, Ат'ши-Багаван), также по справедливому мнению Б. Арутюняна, занимала верхние течения впадающих в Каспий речек Инча-чай и Корьяр-чай и среднее течение реки Вильяш-чай, причём названия одноимённых кантонных центров сохранились в современных топонимах Ханылы (Hanili, в 6 км к западу от Джалилабада) и Баджарван (в 2-х км к западу от города Пришиб). Но третью пару (Спандаран Перож, Ормизд-е Перож) следует локализовать восточнее предыдущих, на берегах Каспия в нижних течениях Инча-чая, Корьяр-чая и Вильяш-чая, причём считая их «городскими территориями» центров одноимённых кантонов, видимо, построенных или перестроенных во 2-й пол. V в. по приказу царя Пероза Сасанида и носивших его имя, также как и стратегически важный город hРакот Перож – П'айтакаран. Города Спандаран Перож, Ормизд-е Перож, также, видимо, связаны были с охраной Кавказской линии границы Сасанидской державы и могут быть отождествлены с раскопанными археологами раннесредневековыми городищами у сёл Сабирабад (в 2-х км к северу от Джалилабада: ср. Спандарат) и Аркеван (в одном км к западу от райцентра Масаллы).

Последний кантон П'айтакарана, Алеван (var. Алаван), следует локализовать южнее Арос-Пижана, Ат'ши-Багавана и Ормизд-е Перожа, в верхнем и среднем бассейнах реки Ленкорань (Алаша-чай, Ал'ан-рот, Конжаву-чай), которую, кстати, вместе с её правым притоком Вешару, можно считать рекой Камбис, отделявшей на Каспийском берегу Армению от Мидии, согласно указанию Клавдия Птолемея (в «Ашхарhацойц»-е Камбисевс: ср. Конжаву < *Комш-аб ?). На левом берегу нижнего течения Вешару возвышается гора Алабана, название которой может восходить к названию кантона. Кстати, на западе Алевана, под горным проходом через Талышский хребет, ведущим в расположенный в 30 км город Ардебиль, находятся село и речка Амбур-дере, в названии которых можно рассмотреть название крепости Ампротик, которая в сер. VIII в., по рассказу историка конца этого века Л'евонда, упоминающего на пути продвижения хазаров (вторгшихся через проход Чора-Дербент и страну Маскутов) «ашхарh П'айтакаран» и кантоны «Ат'ши-Багуан», «Спатар-омн П'ероз» и «Ормизд П'ероз», была окружена войсками северян, оставившими своих пленных и всё награбленное возле Артавета (Ардебиля). Правда, в тексте Л'евонда Ампротик относится к отдалённому от Ардебиля на 250 км кантону Зареванд (в древнеармянской провинции Парскаhайк'), но последний топоним, несомненно, нужно исправить как ошибку позднего переписчика на форму винительного падежа зАлеван. Таким образом, можно окончательно считать устаревшим вариант локализации Алевана (также как и Спандаран Перожа и Ормизд-е Перожа) в западных частях провинции П'айтакаран, на берегах Сиях-руда или Аракса.

Landscape Terminology in South Caspian-Aturpatakan Iranian Dialects

Gohar Hakobian

Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian-Armenian University, Yerevan, Armenia


Тhe relevant lexical material, when taken together and approached as a system, opens larger possibilities for adequate analysis: the paradigm and internal ties of the constituent units become more visible and more clear revealing many otherwise unseen tendencies and peculiarities, particularly regarding the origin of given terms or groups of lexemes within the system. Moreover, as a mirror, it can detect various areal characteristics—first of all lexical and phonetic—of a language or language group in a particular territory. In other words, it can reveal not only the features of linguistic development in diachrony, i.e. in time, but also in diatopy, i.e. in space. The researches done by G.S. Asatrian, E. Filippone, on the Iranian terminology concerning different lexical groups and their functions (cf., e.g., Filippone 1995; eadem 2008; eadem 2010; Asatrian forth.) are a good illustration of the fruitfulness and perspectives of this method.

Landscape terminology, along with toponyms and hydronyms, is one of the oldest and the most stable strata of the lexical system of a given language. 

This paper investigates the geographical denominations of South Caspian-Aturpatakan Iranian dialects, largely functioning also in the place-names, hydronyms, and oronyms of the area.


The Semiotic of Archetypes and Images in ‘Saray’ the Same Folk Song in Azerbaijan and Iran

Sara Hasandokht Firouz

                             Iran Language Institute


The countries of Caucasus region had a close cultural, political and economic relationships from the past to the present. One field of this subject was reflected in literature of the region and this relationship has been shown in literature among other fields. Folk songs sung by ‘Ashiq’ in this region passes down by words of mouth in these countries. one of these songs is “Aparadi sellar sarany” in Azerbaijan that has the same version in Azerbaijan of Iran by the name ”saray” which has the same similarity in theme and mythological roots but different words in Guilan of Iran by the name ”Geyshe damarde”. Cultural elements are reflected in the mythology, folklore and fairies or stories. The folklore of this song represents both cultural, moral and spiritual aspects in Azerbaijan and Iran. The well-known archetype “Anahid” the goddess of water exists in both narration which shows the same archetype of the region. Apam Nepath or Apam Napat , also called the Borz Izad, is an ancient goddess in the mythology of the Indo-European people, including the Aryan people. The apam-Nepath in the Vedas means the god of waters and has been mentioned in the Avesta as the son of the water or the grandson of the waters. And Yashtar is known as Pahlavi or Tishrat in the Avesta, or as a Tetrache or beast in the Zoroastrian sources of the goddess and star of the rain that refers to Guilaki version of this song in Iran. The words of the song is different in Azerbaijan and Guilan of  Iran but they are under the same images, themes and Archetypes. So it can be evaluated by ontological, semiotic and linguistic criterias in the words of national picture of this region. This song was recorded in historical books. It had been happened in Ghajar period in Iran. This song first recorded in the village of Mugan in Azerbiajan and spread all over the region.

Language, Identity, and Ethno-Nationalism for the Minorities of Disputed Areas in Iraq: The Yazidi and the Shabak in the Kurdish Context of Sub-Identity Conflict

Majid Hassan Ali

Institute of Oriental Studies, Bamberg Graduate School of Near and Middle Eastern Studies (BaGOS), Bamberg, Germany


Iraq is a host to a wide variety of faiths, religions, and ethnicities. The Yazidi and Shabak minorities of Iraq are communities that dwell in several disputed areas such as different regions in Iraq and Kurdistan region. Yazidis follow their own religion that can be traced to one of the old religions before Islam in the north of Iraq, north of Syria, Southeast Turkey. The majority of Yazidis are Kurmanji speakers, and they are divided on four current political identities. On the contrary, Shabak are Muslims. Some of the Shabak people follow Sunni sect but the majority of them are Shiite. The Shiite group have been influenced by the twelve Imams belief over several historical stages. Over the span of time, Shabak group took their peculiarities in the context of ethno-nationalist identity. They speak a Majo dialect which is considered to be a Kurdish language.

After 2003, the religious, sectarian, and ethnic minorities in Iraq became an important issue. Identity issue became the center of conflicts between majority groups (e.g. Shiite Arab, Sunni Arab, and Sunni Kurdish). These majorities tried to claim over the identities of the minorities e.g. Yazidis and Sabaks. The current central government in Baghdad is dominated by a Shiite Arabs. In Kurdistan region, the Kurds are governing and the majority are Sunni, and claim nationalism according to their political view.

The relations between these minorities and the dominance of majority groups had influence on linguistic and ethno-nationalist identity. Despite of a common language with the Kurds, there are conflicts between these minorities. The conflict is mainly on the definition of identity by these minorities and the ethno-nationalist identity definition by the Kurdish political parties. Such conflict issue led to the division of these minorities on the basis of four identity mainstreams such as Shiite, Sunni, Kurdish and their self-identity.

In addition to the sectarian and nationalist thoughts, these minorities started to redefine the definition of their identity. The aim is to keep identity out of the ideology of major groups. This study has two interrelated objectives: first, linguistic factor as an influential factor after 2003 in the policy of Kurdish parties as a control tool over the Yazidi and Shabak minorities in the disputed areas. Second, tracing the unsuccessful factors of the Kurdistan Region at gaining the attention of the above-mentioned minorities after 2014. This study shows that language and linguistic issues didn’t have a strong effect on the above-mentioned minorities although the new conditions have been modified and revisited in this region. At the end, it is showing that these minorities are moving towards strengthening their own identity beyond language and linguistic factors.


Politeness address forms in Baneh Sorani Kurdish

Roshanak Hassanpanah

Independent Researcher


Applying address terms is considered as a kind of observing social politeness in the society and the speakers of each language use them regarding their particular ways. This article is an analytic-descriptive research which assesses address terms in Baneh variety of Kurdish and Persian and compares them with each other. 35 Baneh speakers and 35 Persian speakers, ranged between 20 to 50 years old, were selected as the samples of the study. Researchers tried to answer two questions: 1) What are the most frequently used address terms in Baneh and Persian?, and 2) What is the difference between these terms in the two languages? The results reveal that Baneh and Persian speakers are different in terms of address forms and using pronouns but they similarly apply the address terms of “nick names” and “kinship phrases”, however, after these two, the Persian ones use more “respectful titles” while the Baneh variety apply more “titles” to call each other. Besides, address terms of “clipping”, “religious names” and “other names” are among the least frequently used phrases in Baneh. The existence of obvious differences in religious and kinship terms between the above-mentioned langauges indicate the cultural distinctions of the two sample societies.


The Subject Participle in Armenian and Turkish

Katherine Hodgson

Inalco, Paris, France


The use of non-finite (participial) forms instead of finite clauses for relativization and other types of subordination is considered a contact-induced phenomenon in Armenian (Donabédian 2017: 27). It is likely that contact with Turkic languages played a role in the development and spread of non-finite subordination in Armenian. This paper discusses the use of the so-called ‘subject participle’ in relativization in Turkish and in spoken Armenian, showing that the constructions in question have some important similarities, which are plausibly interpreted as the result of contact, but also some important differences, raising questions about what exactly has been borrowed, as well as about the historical origins of the construction in question and the restrictions on its use. In Turkish, the SP is mainly used when the relativized element is the subject of the relative clause. However, it may be used to relativize non-subjects in various cases, the common feature of which is that the subject of the relative clause does not receive case-marking (normally, the subjects of subordinate clauses receive genitive case in Turkish). This has led to the interpretation of the restrictions on SP use in Turkish as a purely syntactic phenomenon, directly linked to the case status of the subject (for example, Cagri (2005) bases her interpretation on the hypothesis that non-case-marked subjects as NPs rather than DPs). The subject does not receive genitive case when it is possessed by the relativized element, or when it has a low level of pragmatic salience (e.g. it is inanimate and/or non-individuated and/or non-agentive). In both cases, the relativized element, rather than the subject, is interpreted as the main topic of the clause. In Armenian, the subject participle in -ող is generally described as an agent noun (see Asatryan 2004), and in the literary language is only used to relativize subjects. Nonetheless, spoken language data show that, as in Turkish, it may be used to relativize non-subjects when the subject is possessed by the relativized element or otherwise lacking in pragmatic salience. However, the syntactic restrictions associated with the case and/or DP status of the subject do not apply in Armenian, as non-subject uses of SP are found with genitive and definite subjects. Thus it appears that the pragmatic restrictions have been borrowed without the syntactic restrictions, which are apparently of fairly recent origin in Turkish (Haig 1998).


Biological species behind plants' folk names: the case of Tatev community (Syunik, Armenia)

Roman Hovsepyan, Nina Stepanyan-Gandilyan

Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography NAS, Armenia

Institute of Botany NAS, Armenia


Ethnobotanical data regarding various communities from different places and periods are comparable if we have accurate identification of the useful plants. Ethnobotanical investigations in the territory of Armenia show that regular people often recognize only the most general and evident features of plants (in terms of morphology, biometrics, phenophases, ecology and geographical distribution). Identification and differentiation of plants, as it could have been expected, depends on the knowledge and experience of an individual. The majority of people, when identify the plant, they identify not a single species but a group of plants in fact. That group correspond mostly to taxonomical category of the genus, sometimes to a higher (e.g. tribe, family) or a lower (e.g. section, species) taxon. As a result of the above-mentioned, a single folk name often corresponds to several biological species or even genera of plants, which usually have similar habitus. 

Ethnobotanical investigations in the Tatev community (villages Tatev, Tandzatap, Svarants, Halidzor, Shinuayr) of Armenia show that the locals gather and use 47 locally named wild plants (a detailed table and photos will be presented during the presentation and for the article). Our research participants from the Tatev community (around 50 middle age and elderly people) identify and name more than half of the plants they use on a biological genus level (e.g. tyakhtse – Mentha, meshehamouk – Hypericum, khendeghne – Sambucus, kermezan – Polygonatum, ankhos – Bryonia, ktsoukhour – Berberis, etc). In addition, there are folk names that correspond to a tribe or just several genera (e.g. ramashka – Anthemidae, eghentapa – Cephalaria and Knautia, khorne – Thymus and Ziziphora), as well as names that correspond to a sectia or only several species of same genus (e.g. pirpot - Malva neglecta, M. pusilla; pot/top – Papaver commutatum, P. macrostomum). And finally there are several folk names that correspond to a single biological species (e.g. tseuthoran – Satureja hortensis, zira/zera – Laser trilobum, sevakhot – Origanum vulgare, etc). It is remarkable, that there is one folk name – one biological species (name) correspondence mostly when no other species of that genus grows in the region or the genus is monotypic in general. As a result of this uneven correspondence, the number of the gathered and used biological species exceeds the locally named "species", i.e. the folk names (the proportion is 60+ to 47 in the case of Tatev community). 


Migration and toponomastics in medieval Anatolia

Polina Ivanova

Department of History, Harvard University, USA


This paper examines toponomastics as a source for studying migration and settlement in medieval Anatolia. From eleventh to the fourteenth century, Anatolia, which till then was part of the Byzantine (East Roman) Empire and hence of the Greco-Roman linguistic world, became a destination for several waves of migration from the east. These migrations, which involved speakers of Armenian, Turkish and Persian languages, drastically reshaped Anatolia’s human geography and left a vivid toponymic imprint. Each linguistic group brought with it its own toponymic references to other geographies and conventions of place-naming indicative of particular ways of interacting with the natural environment. Focusing on one part of Anatolia, the region between modern-day cities of Tokat, Amasya and Niksar, this paper explores how its medieval toponymic mosaic reflected patterns of migration and newly established links between this part of Anatolia, the Caucasus and Iran. 


Post-verbal elements in Balochi oral narratives

Carina Jahani

Department of Linguistics and Philology, Uppsala University, Sweden


Even though the basic word order in Kurdish, Persian, and Balochi is SOV, in all these languages a number of elements can occur in the post-predicate position. 

Frommer (1981) finds that in Colloquial Persian the most commonly postponed constituent is what he calls “destination”, and that it more frequently occurs without a preposition than with a preposition when it is postponed. Also the constituents non-destinational preposition phrase (including recipient), subject, direct object, other adverbials than destination, can occur after the predicate. Also Lazard (2006) finds that the post-predicate position is more common for what he calls “un complement conconstanciel” than for a subject or an object. 

Haig (2015) finds that in Kurdish “goals” (including goals of verbs of motion, recipients of verbs of transfer, and addressees of verbs of speech) are the “most prominent kind of post-predicate argument” (ibid.: 413), and that those dialects spoken in contact with North-Eastern Neo-Aramaic (NENA) exhibit the largest range of elements in the post-verbal position. He suggests that the V-Goal word order that was already available as a possibility in Old and Middle Iranian, has been extended, perhaps through contact influence with Aramaic, so that  now  Kurdish shows “a basically identical word order profile” (ibid.: 423) with some dialects of NENA (in particular so-called Trans-Zab Jewish dialects). 

The purpose of the present study is to investigate post-predicate elements in Balochi, a West-Iranian language that today is spoken in the south-eastern corner of the Iranian language area, far from NENA influence. The investigation will be based on oral narratives (both folktales and life stories) from three different Balochi dialects spoken in Iran (Sistani Balochi, Barjasteh Delforooz 2010; Koroshi Balochi, Nourzaei et al. 2015; Southern Balochi, Nourzaei 2017). The findings may give an indication as to whether post-predicate goals is indeed a widespread feature in West-Iranian languages or if persistent contact with right branching languages, such as Aramaic, appears to be a crucial factor in the development/retention of post verbal goals.


Some notes on culturally keystone wild plant species in highlands (yaylas) around Turkey-Georgia border (Western Lesser Caucasus)

Ceren Kazancı, Soner Oruç

Ilia State University, Tbilisi, Georgia

Artvin Coruh University, Turkey


The mountains of the Western Lesser Caucasus are part of one of the 36 biodiversity hotspots of the world. They are home to diverse plant species and high levels of endemism. Moreover, various ethnolinguistic groups (Turks, Georgians, Armenians, Kurds, Lazi, Megrelians, Hemshins, Russians, Azeris, Greeks, the Lom people, Lezgins, Kists, and Abkhazians) inhabit this region.

Similar to its biodiversity, multicultural and multilinguistic nature, traditional plant wisdom of people in Western Lesser Caucasus represents a high level of diversity both in the number of plant species they know, the local plant names they call and the application/administration methods of those plants they prefer.

In this study six culturally keystone wild plant species in Western Lesser Caucasus are introduced. They are: Urtica dioica, Plantago major, Helichrysum sp., Heracleum sp., Crocus sp. and Polygonum bistorta. These wild plant species seem to have a fundamental roles in the culture of this region such as in diet, as materials, or in medicine.  In addition, by using the polyglot manner of the names of those plants and their application/administiration procedures, the factors affecting the traditional plant wisdom (such as environment, cultural background, cultural interaction, isolation, modernization…) of each communities are discussed. This study is predominantly based on the ethnobotanical fieldwork data recorded in highlands (yaylas) along Turkey-Georgia border in 2016 and 2017 summer periods. During fieldworks, totally 84 highland villages and yaylas were visited in Artvin, Ardahan, Adjara and Samtskhe-Javakheti regions. Two hours in depth semi-structured individual interviews and plant specimen/catalog showing method were performed with 107 people (especially with traditional healers and elder people) with their oral prior informed consent. 


An attempt to determine the eras of Armenian borrowings in Zazaki

Mesut Keskin

Comparative Indo-European Linguistics, Goethe-University of Frankfurt am Main, Germany


There can be found common aspects between Zazas and Armenians who have direct neighbouring contacts for centuries. Language is one of the most concrete evidences for reflecting of these contacts. Additionally, Armenian has a huge amount of Iranian (mostly Parthian) superstrate of loanwords. Armenian has an obvious influence on Zazaki, especially on its Northern dialects (Dersim, Erzincan, Varto etc.).

The influence of Armenian on the most Northern-Zaza vernaculars (especially Dersim) is also visible in case of the phoneme inventory, such as alveolar affricates [tsh], [ts] and [dz] which has led to renewal in phonology in the occurence of the post-alveolar sibilants [ʃ], [ʒ], [tʃh], [tʃ] and [dʒ] as complementary distributed allophones, as well as existence of aspirated and unaspirated pairs of the voiceless plosives /č, k, p, t/ like in Armenian and Georgian (also known as the Caucasian Triad).

The extent of Zazaki influence on local Armenian, however, is not evident due to lack of Armenian dialect material from common regions. 

Furthermore, historical sound shifts, including the loss of the Caucasian Triad in Western Armenian on one hand and the development of Triad in Northern Zazaki and the more recent phenomenon of emergence of alveolar affricates on the other hand, make it possible to define the periods of these borrowings.

So, the author will try to show the borrowings chronologically without a certain designation of the era:

Eastern Armenian



Phonetic Properties Arm. vs. Zaz.


kem “grope of gras” (< Urart.?)


kēme f 

EA unasp. : NZ asp.

no inaspirates in common Zaz.


7/8th AD?

kiraki կիրակի < Gr. Κυριακή


kırē, kıri (SZ)

EA unasp. : SZ asp.

no inaspirates in common Zaz.


počʿ պոչ


poč (SZ) “tail” ~ boč ~ doč (NZ) “tailbone”

EA unasp. : SZ asp., NZ < WA

aspirated in SZ, adaption of EA pronunciation; WA pronunciation in NZ


caγik ծաղիկ “flower”


Zaγgé m name of a village in Dersim

j: WA : NZ deaffricated

no alveolar affricates in NZ, adaption of j [dz] to z


kamavor կամավոր “voluntary fighter” < Iran. kām


ḳamoṙé m “fighter”

EA unasp. : NZ unasp.

inaspirates in NZ


burd բուրդ (< Urart. ?)


purt “wool”


WA phoneme inventory in Armenian


tanj տանձ “pear” > tanjik

dancʿ, dancʿig

Ṫanzige f village name in Dersim and Varto

t: EA unasp. : NZ unasp.

j: EA : NZ deaffricated
g: WA = NZ

uncertain kind of borrowing, both the EA and WA pronunciation exist in NZ


xnjor խնձոր “apple”


Xınjoriye ~ Xınzoriye f village name in Dersim, Erzincan and Varto


in Dersim and Erzincan pronounced like EA but in Varto adaption of j to z if borrowed directly

most recent (1800 - 1900)

The Ismailis of Anjudan: Rise from Ashes

Nelli Khachaturian

Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian-Armenian University, Yerevan, Armenia


For more than two centuries after the fall of the Nizari Ismaili state of Alamut, the Ismailis and their Imams were scattered and had no opportunity to unite. 

Only in the XV century the Nizari Ismaili Da'is, Imams and their disciples began to flock to Anjudan (Iran) from all over of the country.

The bet on this particular city was made as a result of the long-term activities of the Nizari Ismaili leadership and the secret missionary work of the Da'is. The choice of Andjudan was undoubtedly made with the utmost care: the area was equidistant from the then dominating  major Sunni centers. Moreover, Anjudan was located not far from Qom and Katan, the traditional centers of Shi'ism: eventually, for many decades the place having been a shelter for the Ismailis long before their Imams were settled here.

This process of the Ismaili active migration to Anjudan in the middle of the 15th century, the so called Anjudan Renaissance, became a specific stage in the long history of the Ismaili identity preservation.  The article examines the main circumstances that led to the revival of the Ismaili community of Iran, and aims to demonstrate, how the Nizari Ismailis managed to preserve their religious identity in an exclusively hostile Sunni milieu.


К вопросу о культе мандрагоры (хIапулебхер) на Восточном Кавказе

Shakhban Khapizov

Institute of History, Archeology and Ethnography, Dagestan Science Center of RAS, Makhachkala, Russia


Одним из пережитков домонотеистических верований в Дагестане и Чечне является культ растения мандрагора (авар. хIапулеб хер – «лающая трава»; «трава [вызывающая] лай»), которой приписываются сверхъестественные способности. Согласно повериям, женщина, желающая наслать болезнь или сделать приворот, направлялась в полночь в лес нагая с распущенными волосами, чтобы найти корень этой травы. При выкапывании корня травы перед ней должна была предстать ослепительной красоты нагая женщина – покровительница растения. У аварцев также считалось, что «корень этой травы по своей форме напоминал женщину или мужчину, которых воспринимали как покровителей растений». При этом некоторые авторы указывают на необходимость соблюдения особого «сатанинского ритуала», не раскрывая его подробности. Считалось, что занимающиеся этим знахарки приобретают свои тайные знания при содействии дьявола, из-за чего они с давних пор подвергались гонениям и даже смертной казни. Известна законодательная норма аварского нуцала (правитель) Умма-хана Великого (1761-1801) от 1796 г., приравнивавшая применение хIапулебхер к совершению убийства.

Изучение всех характеристик хIапулебхер не оставляет сомнений в том, что описываемое растение известно европейцам как мандрагора (латин. – Mandragóra). Оно относится к роду многолетних травянистых растений семейства Паслёновых и встречается в горных частях западной части Евразии. Мандрагора с древности широко использовалась в народной медицине и магии как приворотное или любовное зелье. Этим обусловлено и его второе название в персидском языке – mehrgiah, т.е. «растение любви». Аналогичное народное название распространено и в аварском языке (рокьулхер). Вместе с тем, в иранских диалектах имеется несколько названий мандрагоры (mardum-giah и mandahur – «человекоподобное растение»; sag-kosh – «выкопанный собакой»)

У аварцев помимо хIапулебхер имеется целый ряд растений, которым приписывают различные сверхъестественные способности. Среди них – корень девясила (авар. царалмацI – «лисий язык»), который ходили выкапывать весной до первого грома, совершив омовение и намаз. Его использовали в лечебных целях, сжигали от сглаза и для отвода злого духа РечIел.

Следует учесть использование «сверхъестественных сил» трав, как в черной, так и в белой магии (мандрагора и девясил), которое сопровождается или открытым отказом от единобожия или же совершением омовения и ритуальной молитвы. В обоих случаях, очевидно, что это отголоски домонотеистических верований, ритуального культа характерного для народов, имеющих автохтонную для Кавказа культуру. Нельзя не отметить отсутствия в культовой магии аварцев, чеченцев и других народов Восточного Кавказа практики характерного для западного мира обращения за помощью к «нечистой силе». И наконец, следует еще раз подчеркнуть единство магической культуры коренных народов горной части Восточного Кавказа (тот же культ мандрагоры, известной как «трава, заставляющая лаять»: у аварцев – хIапулебхер, у чеченцев – жIаьлех лоьтуьйту буц, у лакцев – хIап тIиай уртту).


‘Other’ strategies in the East Caucasus

Yury Lander, Timur Maisak,

National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russia


In this talk, we discuss the expressions conveying the meaning ‘other’ in East Caucasian languages and relate their distribution to language contacts. A language may have several ‘other’ expressions, which may have different distribution (cf. Cinque 2015). For example, in Udi (Lezgic) we find (at least) three ‘other’s, namely an adjective q’ejraz/q’ejri, a combination of a demonstrative with the frozen nominalized form of the numeral ‘one’ (tːe soʁo), a specific series derived from demonstratives (tːiˁjaˁmin). The first of them is used for referring to a different type/kind, while others serve for reference to a different individual.

For most East Caucasian languages, no description of the contexts of use are found so far. However, we observe several morphosyntactic strategies of conveying the relevant semantics:

  • the ‘one’-based strategy derives the word for ‘other’ from the numeral ‘one’ (often with an additive morpheme) and is found, e.g., in Aghul, Archi, Lezgian (Lezgic), Hinuq, Khvarshi (Tsezic), Avar, Dargi;

  • the demonstrative-based strategy derives ‘other’ from demonstratives and is found, e.g., in Tabassaran and Udi (Lezgic) and in Lak; 

  • the mixed strategy combining a demonstrative with the numeral ‘one’ is found in Kryz, Tsakhur, Udi (Lezgic);

  • the residual adjectival strategy involving various adjectival roots is found, e.g., in Udi, Budukh, Hinuq, Tsez, Avar, etc.

Many of these patterns are also reported elsewhere: e.g., demonstrative-based ‘other’ expressions are found in West Caucasian, and the development one > other is mentioned as a possible grammaticalization path in Heine & Kuteva 2004. For us, however, it is important that different strategies seem to arise frequently due to the language contact – indeed, as can be seen, different strategies do not show any clear distribution among different branches of East Caucasian. Moreover, in this area we regularly observe instances of borrowing of words and/or constructions. For example, in the Udi system only the demonstrative-based strategy is specific to the language, while the adjective is borrowed from Azerbaijani and the mixed strategy is a calque of a parallel Azerbaijani strategy (o biri), which is supported by their similar distribution.

The contact-induced expansion of ‘other’ strategies is particularly interesting, since ‘other’ expressions frequently combine properties of adjectives and grammaticalized determiners. Yet we hypothesize that direct borrowing is more expected for the expression of type-difference while calquing is more expected for introducing a different individual (token-difference).


The Atlas of the Iranian Languages and Dialects: A Documented Background

Behrooz Mahmoodi-Bakhtiari 

Department of Performing Arts, University of Tehran, Iran


Dialectology is a relatively new activity in Iran and the modern, scholarly efforts in this field date back to the 1950s, when the first Association of Iranian Linguistics was shaped, with the aim to recognize and catalogue the endangered Iranian languages and dialects. This association and its proposed Atlas did not last long and only yielded some monographs, which show how serious the project was supposed to be. In this article, I provide the documents recently found about this association, and present the way it was founded, and closed down.


Identity Formation of Armenian Immigrant Domestic Workers in Istanbul

Monika Manişak-Paksoy 

Department of Media and Cultural Studies, 

Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey


This study presents the perceptions and dynamics of ethnic, national and religious identity of Armenian immigrant domestic workers in Istanbul by analyzing their narratives about their journey to Turkey, experiences in Istanbul and employer-employee relationships with their Armenian and non-Armenian employers. Qualitative methods of social research have been applied in this study by means of utilizing participant observation, focus group discussions, semi-structured and informal interviews with Armenian immigrants. From a theoretical perspective, the primordial, ethno-symbolic and constructed aspects of identity has been addressed to understand the role of myths, symbols, ethnic election and common ancestry in the definition of “Armenian identity”. Findings of this research show that a reformulation of identity has taken place on immigrants’ part with the influence of an active Armenian community life in Istanbul. Therefore, the existence of an Armenian community in Istanbul, the role of Armenian language, engagement in the Armenian Apostolic church and sense of kinship based on ethnic ties greatly contribute to the experiences of Armenian immigrant domestic workers in Istanbul despite the differences in socio-cultural background of the two groups.


Приевфратский фронтир в византийскую эпоху. 

Акриты на рубеже мусульманского и христианского миров  

Yervand Margarian

Department of Foreign Regional Studies, Russian-Armenian University, Yerevan, Armenia


Евфратский фронтир издревле был зоной столкновений между великими империями древности. Мало что изменилось и в наши дни. После установления некоторого баланса сил империи переходили к позиционной войне, которая требовала меньшего напряжения сил и велась в основном на приграничье. Подобную стратегию мы назвали малой «малой войной». На византийско-арабской и позднее византийско-сельджукской границе малые войны велись в основном силами местных стратиотов – акритов и апелатов, а боевые действия развертывались на территории Малой Армении, Каппадокии и Понта. Погранзона по ту сторону границы, в пределах Халифата была известна под названием Сугур и располагалась на территории Киликии, Коммагены и Северной Месопотамии. Ключевую роль в этих позиционных войнах играли армянские стратиоты и представители других коренных народов этого региона.  


Agrarian Economy of Yezidis and Kurds in Armenia: traditions and changes

Hamlet Melkumyan, Roman Hovsepyan

Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography NAS, Armenia


The Yezidis of Armenia, traditionally considered as transhumant pastoralists, have been changing their economic habits over the past century. Nowadays, they are more engaged in agriculture than they were a century ago. The social and cultural backgrounds of these transformations are discussed, showing the involvement of the treatment of the Armenians and the adaptive character of the Yezidis’ economy. Presently, the Yezidis practice animal breeding and plant cultivation in parallel, using the human resources available in their family. The ongoing transformations in the economy and their engagement in agriculture are challenging the conservative lifestyle of the Yezidi community. Thus, the people who have shifted to the agrarian economy are seen as outsiders in the traditional framework and are perceived to be of low prestige.


Language contact between Persian and Mazandarani: A typological approach

Mojtaba Monshizadeh

Allameh Tabataba’i University, Tehran, Iran


Touristic attraction, moderate climate, beautiful scenery including the forest, mountains and the sea have created a certain linguistic contact between Persian and Mazandarani languages in the past decades. The younger speakers of Mazandarani, in order to achieve a higher social status, have adopted a kind of interlanguage or code-switching. The transference of linguistic constituents primarily occurs in the matrix rather than among Mazandarani sentences. Despite the fact that the two languages have different typological traits, the code-switching is used esp. in Mazandarani that is post-positioned language. This article has demonstrated that most of the constraints mentioned by other scholars have been ignored by speakers of Mazandarani. The findings also indicate that Mazandarani which is greatly influenced by Persian languages could be considered as an endangered language.


Language as Identity Marker –the Case of Persian and Mazandarani

Homeira Moradi

Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland


A complex relation and interdependencies between Mazandarani and Persian are discussed. As it is usually unlikely to use two languages for the same purpose in a society, each of them is destined for a different function. Mazandarani (weaker, so called "low variety") used in informal or home environment, for conversations with family and friends, jokes and storytelling, used by a minority. Persian in turn (stronger or "high variety"), apart from being an official language of Iran, is considered as more prestigious and used in formal situations, in media, offices, public institutions, academic course-books,  letter writing, used by the majority of the population. It means that people who do not master the H variety of the language are marginalised. They cannot participate in the political, educational or legal life of mainstream society without bilingual interpreters.  

This phenomenon may lead to extinction of L variety languages in general, as their users are either forced to abandon them or gradually lose proficiency in their mother tongues. Is this the case of the Mazandaranian language? Not necessarily so. Such a process can, however, be reversed by, on the one hand, central government who with a proper legislation and educational policies can safeguard  the language diversity of their country, as well as the aware users who care and do appreciate their L variety language as an essential identity marker . 


The Influence of Language Contact in Basic Vocabulary in Some Bilingual Villages of Khorasan Razavi Province in Iran

Pooneh Mostafavi, Faryar Akhlaghi

Contemporary Languages and Dialects Department, Research Center for  Cultural Heritage and Tourism, Iran


One of the major manifestations of language contact is borrowing: importing a structure or a linguistic form, from one language to another; where lexical borrowing occurs more than syntactic and phonological one. 

Contact-induced changes, including borrowing, are inevitable under conditions of intense contact. In borrowing process, non basic vocabulariy are engaged first and most, and structures and basic vocabulary borrowed later if at all. Basic vocabulary (including body parts, natural geographic phenomena, weather terms, small numerals and the like) are rarely borrowed. 

The present study aims at surveying the influences of language contact in basic vocabulary including kinship terms, body parts, natural and weather terms in all of nine bilingual villages of Ahmad-Abad division in the Mashhad city of Khorasan Razavi province in the eastern north of Iran. The languages which are spoken in these villages are as follows:

  1. Turkish and Persian in three villages 

  2. Baluchi and Persian in three villages

  3. Arabic and Persian in two villages

  4. Turkmen and Persian in one village

The data of this study consists of the above language varieties’ equivalences for every thirty three words with the mentioned subjects extracted from the Iran Language Atlas questionnaire. The data have been gathered through interviewing with the native speakers during earliest phases of the project.  

The data analysis in this research shows that, in the said region some lexical borrowing and in some cases, phonetic changes have taken place. In spite of some theoretical explanations about the low level engagement of basic vocabulary in borrowing process, the results indicate that the borrowing has taken place much in kinship terms and more or less in natural and body part terms as basic vocabulary in the said bilingual villages. This level of borrowing might have been occurring because of the dominance of Persian on the other languages spoken in these bilingual villages. Moreover, in this study, the level of borrowing of the mentioned basic vocabulary in Turkish, Baluchi, Arabic and Turkmen from Persian is also compared with each other statistically.

  Below some of the research findings are shown in the table:




Borrowed kinship terms

Borrowed natural terms

Borrowed body parts terms





/Ɂæmu/(father’s brother),/daji/(mother’s brother),

/Ɂæmmæ/(father’s sister),

/xalæ/(mother’s sister),/damad/(son-in-law), /Ɂærus/(daughter-in-law),/babu/ (grandfather)           

10 words out of 17 





 2 words out of 11


0 words out of 4



/baba/(father),/nænæ/(mother), /bæʧæ/(child),

/Ɂæmu/(father’s brother),/daji/(mother’s brother),

/Ɂæmmæ/(father’s sister),

/xalæ/(mother’s sister)

/Ɂærus/(daughter-in-law),/babu/ (grandfather 

 9 words out of 17                      

/xorʃid/  (sun)                                                      

1 word out of 11



0 words out of 4





/Ɂæmu/(father’s brother),/daji/(mother’s brother),

/Ɂæmmæ/(father’s sister),

/xalæ/(mother’s sister),/damad/(son-in-law), /Ɂærus/(daughter-in-law),/babu/ (grandfather

10 words out of 17

/xorʃid/  (sun),                                                      



 2 words  out of 11


0 word  out of 4





Jara Khoshk

/Ɂæmmæ/(father’s sister),

/xalæ/(mother’s sister),/babu/(grandfather)

3 words out of 17






6 words out of 11



2 words out of 4


Hosein-Abad Kalat

/Ɂæmmæ/(father’s sister), /xalæ/(mother’s sister),



4 words out of 17





5 words out of 11



2 words out of 4




1 word out of 17





5 words  out of 11



2 words out of 4

A Suggestion for Etymology of Abhar’s Name

Nadereh Nafisi

Islamic Azad University, Iran


The etymology of places or place names is actually an easy and also difficult task. It is easy when it is clear that where the name of a place came from, what is the language and the time of a word. It is also difficult when we don’t know how and who and what language it comes from. About Abhar city, or as Azari people called it “Abharchay” which is translated to Abhar rood (Abhar’s river) the situation is somewhere in between. This research has been done to find out the meaning of Abhar.


Noah and the Serpent

Peter Nicolaus

Former Representative of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Washington D.C. 


The Prophet Noah is not a predominant figure within the Yezidi mythology, and thus it is no wonder that he is not referred to in any of their sacred hymns.  This peculiarity seems easily explained by the Yezidi cosmogony, which places the emergence of Yezidis as a separate and wholly distinct event from the genesis of the rest of humanity. Hence, any mythical catastrophe reducing mankind to merely one family would contradict that cosmogony. In other words, if Noah would be considered a Yezidi, all other nations would have perished in the Deluge; conversely, if Noah was a non-Yezidi, all Yezidis would have been wiped out by the flood. And yet, the tale of “Noah and the Serpent” is somehow recounted in all Yezidi communities. The present paper demonstrates that this veneration of Noah is a reminiscence of an essential Gnostic myth, as well as the Yezidi moulding of a Wandersage – containing elements of Central Asian beliefs and Mesopotamian mythology – which is not only widely narrated among the Muslim and Christian neighbours of the Yezidis in Northern Iraq, but known all over Asia Minor, Central Asia, as well as South-eastern and Eastern Europe. Pertaining to the latter, the paper shows that Wandersagen can be so powerful that they are adopted outright, even if they contradict the logical and theological construct of the lendee-entity’s cosmogony and mythology.


Yezidi Self-discovery and Identity in Northern Iraq

Peter Nicolaus

Former Representative of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Washington D.C.


Yezidi communities in different parts of the world are struggling with their identity and are at different stages of self-discovery. Although the present paper elaborates upon this process with regard to the Yezidis in Transcaucasia, Germany, Canada, and the US, its focus remains the analysis of the political developments in the Yezidi heartland of Northern Iraq. Thereby, it will become apparent that on the one hand, the traditional Yezidi leadership is stuck in a complex series of client-patron relationships with Kurdish leaders; where ethnic identification is used in exchange for promises of influence and power. While on the other hand, newly arisen Yezidi military commanders, as well as grassroot movements and Yezidi NGOs are trying to establish themselves as leaders of a Yezidi community that is distinctly different from their Kurdish neighbours. The paper further shows that the withdrawal of the Kurdish Peshmerga in the wake of the ISIS attack in 2014, as well as the half-hearted responses of the regional Kurdish and the federal Iraqi governments to reconstruction efforts of Sinjar coupled with the stalled return of Yezidi refugees, contributed to a strong drive for Yezidi self-discovery, and an urge to define themselves as a distinct ethnoreligious entity.


Are the contact-induced changes in Ardelani Dialect of Kurdish Language speeding up and deepening?

Asrin Parang

Tarbiat Modarres University, Tehran, Iran


A sociolinguistic examination of some relatively recent changes in Ardelani dialect

Kurdish as one of the biggest branches of Iranian languages has been long in contact with Persian. Since Persian has usually been the politically superior language, there must have been myriads of contact-induced changes in Kurdish, most likely in the form of lexical borrowing. Limited archaic Kurdish written documents and genetically closeness of the two languages can make it difficult to distinguish the similarities brought about by contact-induced changes from the similarities resulted from genetic relatedness. 

However, a new category of changes has been observed in Ardelani which their recentness can be easily shown by comparing the texts of recent decades and interviewing the speakers of different age groups. As it has been discussed in the related literature, the open-set content words are much more prone to be borrowed than the close-set functional ones which are usually more resistant against borrowing. Nevertheless, the newly observed elements in Ardelani, borrowed from Persian, are some function words such as auxiliary verbs and simple and compound prepositions such as “joz”, “ke” and conjunctions as “pas”, “baad”. Among the function words, the verb inflectional morphemes are the most resistant elements against borrowing. This research claims that at least one such element can be found in the case of past perfect tense of some Ardelani verbs. 

The focus of this research has been to try explaining such changes. As it is argued in the paper, there are reasons to believe that internal and linguistic factors are not so much in work here as are the external, mostly socio-demographic situations. Hence, the field study has been conducted in the form of sociolinguistic interviews and audio recordings. The selection of subjects has not been random (since it would defy some of the research goals, unless with a very large subject group), but stratified. 

The results of data analysis confirm the role of some social parameters in motivating these changes. However, as it was mentioned, a more comprehensive study, with a much larger, randomly selected subject group, and more differentiated social factors, may be considered for further research. Also, these changes, may foreshadow more and bigger changes in structural and grammatical properties of Ardelani, though it is out of the scope of this research and may be studied in another.

Armenian Ciacan ‘Rainbow’

Armen Petrosian

Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography, Matenadaran, Yerevan, Armenia


To get an idea of ​​how the Armenians could call the rainbow, one can consider its dialectal names.  They unite into three main groups: a) “belt”, “god’s belt”, “heaven’s belt”,  “belt of a divine personage” etc.; b) “bow”, “bow of god”, “bow of divine personage” etc. ; c) “green-red”, sometimes as an addition to the words "belt" or "bow". On this basis, a new etymology is proposed for Old Arm. ciacan “rainbow”. The second part of it, obviously, is comparable with Old Arm. acanim “to embrace, to tie back”, from the verb acem (I-E. *h2eg’-/*ag’-). If so, then the first part of the word may be associated with the sky or the name of a heavenly deity. Accordingly, it can be derived from I.-E. *dyē-/*dye(u)- “sky, god of the sky”, *deiwo-, *dyeu- ph2ter- “god, father god of the sky” (from *dei- “to shine”), which in Old Armenian yielded tiw and ti “day”. The initial c (instead of t) can be explained as a reflex of I-E *dyē- (> Arm. ci-/či) and/or the t-/č- > c- change as a result of regressive assimilation: ti-/ci/či + acan > ciacan “belt/girdle of the sky (god)”. One should also take into account the probable factor of tabooization of the theonyms, which could change the primary form of the word. The word ciacan thus goes back to the earliest times, when the name of the Indo-European father god of the sky was still relevant in the Armenian tradition.


Армянские памятники архитектуры и топонимики на Северном Кавказе (Республики Северная Осетия-Алания, Ингишетия и Чечня)

Gagik Poghosian-Khakhbakyan

Editor of the journal “Регион и Мир”


Территория северных предгорий Кавказа была знакома армянам с древнейших времен. На это указывает этимология и семантика топонимов возникших под влиянием проникновения элементов материальной и духовной культур еще со времен Ванского царства Биайнили-Урарту.

О достаточно хорошем знакомстве армянских авторов с географией и этнографией Северного Кавказа начиная уже с раннего средневековья, в первую очередь указывают труды таких корифеев армянской науки как: летописцев V в. Мовсеса Хоренаци и VII в. Мовсеса Каганкатваци, мыслителя (географа, математика, историка, философа, космографа) VII в. Анании Ширакаци.

[Сарматская Азия] 

Аланы живут по ту сторону от Дидоров, в краю Кавказских гор называемом Ардоз. Отсюда течет река Армен, которая нап¬рав¬ля¬ясь на север по большому полю, смешивается с рекой Атл. 

… С другого хребта [Кавказских гор] берет начало еще один приток реки Арм, каторая течет на север и вливается в реку Атл. Этот хребет тянется в сторону северо-востока. Здесь живут Таваспары, Хечматаки, Ижмахи, Насхи, Пусхи, Пюканаки, Базкахы. Отсюда берет начало длинная стена, называемая Апзут Кават [и тенется] до Алгминон леса и моря. 

Весьма примечательно, что упоминаемую в VII в. Ананией Ширакаци в книге  Ашхарацойц реку Армен или Арм, можно и сегодня увидеть на карте, где по центральной части протекает река Армхи, впадающая в Терек там, где он уже вытекает из Дарьяльского ущелья, ниже некогда “Аланских ворот”, тем самым лишний раз подтверждая устойчивость гидронимов. 

Уместно отметить распространенное топоними¬ческое явление тавтологии возникающее вследствие столкновения разных культур, так в гидрониме Арм-хи – хи  по-ингушски означает река-вода. На этой же карте можно отметить еще несколько интересующих, с точки зрения арменологии, топонимов. В нижнем течении той же реки имеется одноименное поселение. Один из правобережных притоков именуется Гай-хи, берет начало у горы Гай-комд, где комд по-ингушски означает гора-вершина, т.е. имеем в чистом виде еще один гидроним типа потамонима и ороним Гай. Все перечисленные топонимы находятся в Джейрахском районе Республики Ингушетия. 

Подобная картина наблюдается рядом в Итум-Калинском райне Чеченской Республики. У левобережного притока реки Аргун Гешичу имеется правобережный приток Хачи-хи, истоки которого у вершины Хачи-корт и притекающей по Хачи-чу (чу по-чеченски ущелье), а в устье перед развалинами аула Гемарой – в лесу Хач-ара (ара – поляна). Хач по-армянски означает крест. Таким образом в данной локальной местности наблюдаем целую гамму топонимов: 2 оронима и по одному микротопониму и гидрониму типа потамонима с одинаковым наполнением.

Все перечисленные выше топонимы имеющие армянское происхождение сосредоточены близ древнего прохода известного в истории как “Аланские ворота” и имеют, как мы убедились на примере одного, значительно раннее происхождение и могут относится как минимум к раннему средневековью.

На рассматриваемой территории в отличии от армянских памятников топонимики памятники архитектуры, как впрочем и новые памятники топонимики, возникают в Новое время, являясь отражением активной колонизационной деятельности Российской империи на Кавказе в которую были вовлечены представители армянского народа.


Ethnogeopolitics of  Iran

Babak Rezvani

University of Amsterdam/ Radboud University, Nijmegen


This presentation first introduces the field of ethnogeopolitics and its applications and methods of research and study. This presentation focuses on Iran. However, it is a multi-lingual country it is what Garnik Asatryan (2011) calls a natural structure as the vast majority of its (ethnolinguistic) population speak or once spoke a West-Iranian language—in addition to standard Persian—and share the same history and culture. In addition, however only 90% of its population adhere to Twelver Shi’ite Islam, there exist a cultural substratum of Zoroastrianism among groups adhering to different religions and sects. Owing to, and not only, these reasons, perhaps the notion of Iran as a multi-ethnic country is perhaps multi-ethnic is not an adjective that correctly reflects the Iranian ethnogeopolitical map. I argue that Bassin (2009) somehow wrongly equals the Lev Gumilev’s notion of superetnos it with the author author’s concept of etnosistema, when he applies it to the former Soviet Union. However, that concept may be applied to the Iranian situation, however with certain qualifications and adjustments.


Some considerations on the notions of Sprachbund, linguistic league, linguistic area

Adriano V. Rossi

ISMEO, Rome, Italy


The Anatolia-Caucasus-Western Iran area displays an important genetic and typological linguistic diversity. The population of the area being most often bilingual, trilingual or even more, languages and peoples are in continuous contact. For the description of these contact phenomena, many different approaches have been put into usage since the very early phases of modern descriptive linguistics. In this paper the author is going to discuss some problems implied in defining such terms as Sprachbund, linguistic league, linguistic area, as applied to this area (and to different ones). A brief survey of the problem will be presented, including a historical sketch on how the study and the notion of Sprachbund etc. developed over the years, followed by some personal considerations, mostly based on experiences from a different linguistic area, ie. South Asia.

Hawrami: A  Separate  Language  Not  a  Kurdish  Dialect

Mahdi  Sadjadi

Linguistics  Department, Faculty  of  Literature  and  Humanities, University  of  Tehran, Iran


Hawrami  spoken  in  some  parts  of  Iran  and  Iraq  belongs  to  the  north-western  branch  of  Iranian  languages. The  population  of  its  speakers  is  estimated  about  1/5  million  people. It  is  usually  thought  to  be  a  Kurdish  dialect. In  this  paper, we  attempt  to  show  that  Hawrami  is  not  a  Kurdish  dialect, but  a  separate  language  from  it  having  some  dialects  itself. Moreover, if  Hawrami  is  a  Kurdish  dialect, undoubtedly  Kurdish  is  a  Persian  dialect  because  the  differences  between  Hawrami  and  Kurdish  are  far  more  than  the  differences  between  Kurdish  and  Persian. For  doing  so, we  use  some  linguists,  viewpoints  in  this  field, comparative  study  of  Hawrami, Kurdish, and  Persian  in  the  different  linguistic  levels(phonology, morphology , syntax, and  vocabulary), and  some  other  criteria  such  as  the  lack  of  mutual  intelligibility  between  the  speakers  of  these  two  varieties  and  also  Hawrami  speakers,  attitudes  regarding  this  issue  who  think  Hawrami  is  not  Kurdish. What  has  caused  some  to  consider  Hawrami  a  Kurdish  dialect  has  been  non-linguistic  factors  including  geographical  ones  as  the  speakers  of  the  two  varieties  live  in  the  same  area. Another  cause  is  lexical  similarities  between  Hawrami  and  Kurdish  resulting  from  the  extensive  borrowing  of  Kurdish  from  Hawrami  during  history. Considering  Hawrami  to  be  a  Kurdish  dialect  is  common  among  non-linguists  and  in  non-academic  places.


Армянская идентичность: традиции и трансформация

Hovhannes Sargsian  

Department of Political Sciences, Russian-Armenia University, Yerevan, Armenia  


Научное исследование проблемы идентичности достаточно актуально в современном, интенсивно трансформирующемся мире. Разные стороны и уровни армянской идентичности находятся в центре исследования специалистов разных сфер, особо освещена традиционная культурно-цивилизационная специфика армянской идентичности. Постулируется тезис, что национальная идентичность не есть нечто окостенелое, а находится в процессе развития и трансформации. Освещаются предлагаемые на разных уровнях новые концепты дальнейшего развития армянской идентичности: «нация-армия», «армяне – глобальная нация» и др. Утверждается, что фактически отсутствуют исследования, посвященные политической идентичности армянства. Между тем, осмысление современной армянской государственности, прошедшей путь независимости в четверть века, будет неполным без изучения трансформации политической идентичности. Аргументируется тезис о том, что для адекватного ответа на вызовы современности необходим своеобразный синтез культурно-цивилизационной модели армянской идентичности с моделью «государственной нации». В этом контексте аргументируется значение особой политики идентичности для Республики Армения.

Persian and Armenian language contact in bilingual Armenian speakers of Tehran: the study of code-switching, borrowing and loan translation in simple and complex verbs

Claris Sarkissian, Arezoo Najafian

Linguistics, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran

Payame Noor University, Tehran, Iran


Language  contact outcomes are observed in different forms such as linguistic borrowing, code-switching, language transition and so on. Armenian language has been in contact with Persian language during centuries, and influenced by this language in different ways. 

The present study’s aim has been studying the cases of code switching and language loan translation in the simple and complex verbs in the spoken language of bilingual Armenian-Persian speakers in Tehran. 

50 subjects (25 males and 25 females) participated in this study randomly, and been requested to express the Armenian equivalents of 114 simple verbs and 560 complex verbs. Also 5 hours of their daily conversations was recorded and analyzed.

The findings showed that in  Armenian- Persian bilinguals’ speech: 1 )there isn’t any code switching for simple verbs, 2)there hasn’t any borrowing happened from Persian simple verbs in Armenian language,  3)the subjects use both  code switching and loan translation when they don’t know the Armenian equivalent or when they can’t remember it, so that they express the lexical part of the complex verb (coverb) in Persian and the light verb in Armenian, such as /tahrim kardan/ which is expressed as “ impose sanctions” /tahrim ânel/, in which  /ânel/ means  /kardan/ (do or impose here), and /estefâ tâl/ in which  /tâl/means /dâdan/ (give) 4)they loan translate the complex verbs in Persian such as /sar zadan/ (visiting) as /glux xphel/ in which /glux/ means /sar/ (head) and /xphel/ means /zadan/ (hit), /dast ʔandâxtan/ as /dzer khtshel/, in which /dzer/ means /dast/ (hand) and /khtshel/ means /ʔandâxtan/ (throw), /šomâre gereftan/ (call) as /nomeɾ brnel/ in which /nomeɾ/ means /šomâre/ (number) and /brnel/ means /gereftan/ (get).


Terms for Domestic Animals in East Caucasian Languages: Patterns of Borrowing in the Context of Historical Cultural Linguistics

Wolfgang Schulze

Ludwig-Maximilian University of Munich, Germany


One of the tenets of Historical Cultural Linguistics includes the hypothesis that the intrusion of borrowed terms into the lexical repertoire of a speech community may be directly linked to changes in the socioeconomic or sociocultural setting of this community. In the case of borrowings, new terms may replace older ones due to various sociolinguistic factors (e.g. multilingualism, striving for modernity etc.), just as they may be linked to new technologies as well as to social, or cultural traditions hitherto unknown to the members of the speech community. The latter process would become apparent if at least two conditions are met: (a) Other languages of the same language family do not allow reconstructing a ‘native’ term lost in the language of the speech community at issue (and hence replaced by a borrowing); (b) a borrowing at question does not stand by its own but is embedded into a broader set of loans belonging to the same socioeconomic or sociocultural domain. With the language of speech communities that lack a documented history, corresponding assumptions would best be corroborated by non-linguistic findings, especially from the sphere of archeology or other non-linguistic sources.

In the context of this research question, I want pursue this research question by looking at the domain of domestic animals in East Caucasian languages. Many of the corresponding terms in fact lack a safe reconstruction that would allow positing a pertinent lexeme in the proto-language. This holds e.g. for generic concepts such as HORSE, SHEEP, PIG, or GOAT. Many of the relevant terms reflect loans from either Iranian or Turkic languages - more rarely, other donor languages might be significant. In my talk, I want to discuss some of these terms asking to which extent they can be related to the intrusion of new economic patterns in pre-historical times (or later), directly linked to the ‘employment’ of specialists speaking a variety of the donor language at question. I will argue that the primary discernable layer of such borrowings can be related to Iranian, later on in parts replaced by borrowings from Turkic languages. 

The analyses will be related to basic topics and assumptions in Historical Cultural Linguistics and its methodologies.    


Numismatic Evidence for Sasanian Toponymy in the Caucasus?

Ehsan Shavarebi, Ekaterina Bolashenkova

Institut für Numismatik und Geldgeschichte, Universität Wien, Austria

Department of Central Asia and the Caucasus, Saint Petersburg State University, Russia


The second Sasanian king Shapur I conquered Armenia around 252/253 AD and extended the borders of the Sasanian Empire to the Caucasus and eastern Anatolia. Since then, Armenia became part of the Sasanian monetary area and Sasanian coins found their way to the Armenian trade market. But it remains unknown whether any Sasanian mint was also founded in the region, and if so, where and when precisely Sasanian coins were minted in the Caucasus. Different suggestions on the possibility of Sasanian coinage in Armenia and its neighbouring regions have been proposed so far and a number of mint monograms on the reverse of Sasanian coins are interpreted as abbreviations of certain toponyms in the Caucasus. But a reassessment of the coins with these mint abbreviations from both palaeographical and historical points of view shows that these attributions are disputable and no firm evidence supports them. In this study, we aim to discuss the monograms on Sasanian coins which have so far been attributed to certain places in and around Armenia in order to answer the questions whether there was in fact any Sasanian mint in the Caucasus and whether abbreviated form of any toponym in the Caucasus appears on Sasanian coins.


A Historical Study of ṭ, ḍ, ṛ, ɬ — Consonants and ie, ue Diphthongs in Brahui Dialect of Ruedbar-Jonub

Fatemeh Sheybanifard, Agnes Korn, Mohammad Motallebi

Institute for Humanities and Cultural Studies, Tehran, Iran

CNRS, UMR Mondes iranien et indien, Paris, France

Shahid Bahonar University, Kerman, Iran


The Brahui dialect of Ruedbar-Jonub is prevalent dialect in "Tom-Meyri" village, located in the southern part of Roudbar town in Kerman province. Brahui of Ruedba-Jonub is one of the non-Iranian dialects spoken in Iran. Most speakers live in Sistan and Baluchistan region, but a group with a population of less than a thousand habit in the southern part of Ruedbar district. The subject of this article is a historical study of ṭ, ḍ, ṛ, ɬ consonants and ie, ue diphthongs in this dialect and the purpose of this study is a historical survey of these phonemes and to identify and describe them from a phonological point of view. The research area is “Tom-Meyri” village. The data were collected through interviews with speakers, recording their speeches and the phonological description is illustrated with numerous examples. This paper also examines the presence of these phonemes in Brahui of Pakistan, Brahui of Sistan and Balochestan, Balochi (Iranshahr dialect), Pashto and Ruedbari.


Distribution Analysis  of Phraseological Units in the Concept of Dialects

Sabrina Shikhalieva, Murad Kasunov

Dagestan Science Center of RAS, Makhachkala, Russia


The present article develops the cognitive methodology for distinguishing between direct and indirect text nominations considering the influence of the Azerbaizhaijni language on the grammatical structure of the Tabasarani language. It is primarily based on the method of modeling techniques that realizes the relationship of conceptual and linguistic transformation of the sub-logical concept of speech. The material of the Tabasarani language analyzes features of the sub-logical concept of speech. The influence of the Azerbaizhani language on the dialects of Tabasaran is expounded throughout the article. The choice of modeling techniques considering the influence of the Azerbaizhani language on the phonetic structure of Tabasaran is determined by a set of parameters of direct and indirect nomination. In the concept of sub-logical analyses of the Tabasarani speech the types of nomination (male and female, the old people and the young) are considered, for instance:


Tabasarani auls

Yagdig and Dzhuldzhag


children women

Kush <five measures of bulk solids>


<five measures of bulk solids>

Hash <the floor measures>

Hats-shurush <the floor measures>


In the course of studying the language worldview concepts it became clear that the stochastic characteristics of Tabasarani phraseological units, including in the procedure for describing logical analyses, allow us to fix the notions of sublogic descript. The analyses of concepts of Tabasarani dialects, which are to be used to describe the worldview concept, reveals the phraseological units with logical and sub-logical content. 

Dialects of the Tabasarani language 

with the the phraseological units

Dzhuldzag dialect

Gukhrag dialect

Kushtil dialect
















Analyzing the implicaures of a sub-logic descript in semantic-syntactic definitions one can describe the possibility of keywords. The phraseological keywords sort out the  definition and compatibility of  the logical descript in some of the meanings. 


Common name

Proper name

A concept denoting «kinship»

A concept denoting


daha «father»

Daha «Proper (a male given name)»  


Adash «Proper (Heavenly Father)»



Thus, during the analyses of the Tabasarani dialects there are some explications of phraseology with obvious meanings of ideological and cultural words are revealed: «concept *word»«father*Heavenly». Depending on the communicants, some of the units indicate the definition of Tabasarani dialects by the typical scheme of «father*«kinship» / «Father *Heavenly».


Onomastic material in a geographic description of the Caucasus 

by a Polish nineteenth- century scholar and surveyor – Józef Chodźko

Ewa Siemieniec-Gołaś

Turkish Studies, Institute of Oriental Studies, Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland


In the collection of  the Library of Arts and Sciences at the Polish Academy of Arts and Sciences and the Polish Academy of Applied Sciences in Kraków (Poland) one can find a unique manuscript  entitled “ Orografia Kaukazu Józefa Chodźki” [The Orography of the Caucasus Carried out by Józef Chodźko]. Originally, the work was written by the author  in French in order to be published in France. However, in 1864  it was translated into Polish by Chodźko’s friend – Ludwik Młokosiewicz.

The author of the manuscript – Józef Chodźko was a Polish experienced surveyor and geographer who in 1840, as an officer in compulsory active service in the Russian Imperial Army, was asked to take part in triangulation of the Caucasus Mountains. The work whose major part he carried out personally, took him a dozen or so years.

Thanks to his ideas and strategy he used in surveying, the drawing of first exact maps of the Caucasus became possible.

The “Orography of the Caucasus” by Chodźko is made up of two parts. The first part (in manuscript: 1-18 pages) presents the process of the triangulation of the Caucasus. It also includes some information about Chodźko’s journey to the Caucasus Mountains. The second part of the manuscript (pages: 19-27) constitutes the geographic description of the Caucasus. In this part of his work  the author declares that his geographic description concerns only Russian part of the Caucasus. In fact, the Caucasian areas that were in administration of Turkey and Persia are also presented in this part of  Chodźko’s  work.  

As the title suggests, Chodźko’s work was to be focused on the description of the mountainous massifs of the Caucasus. In the second part of his work the author introduces the division of  his description into three regions: the great Elbrus valley; the great Dagestan valley; the Caucasian part of the great Ararat valley. In each part he presents the list of the names of the mountains which are in the particular described region. He also enumerates the names of rivers, sometimes, the names of some places. This quite abundant onomastic material included in Chodźko’s work constitutes  very valuable historical source for various linguistic studies.  


گونه گونی ترانه ها و آوازها در ادب فولکلور کردی در برخورد با فولکلور ایرانی

Abdolkarim Sorush

Independent researcher, Iran


فولکلور هر قوم و ملّتی بخش عظیمی از فرهنگ معنوی آن ملت است که سینه به سینه از نسل‌های قدیم تا به امروز نقل شده و در گذر زمان حافظ هویت فرهنگی ملّت‌ها بوده است. یکی از بخشهای مهم فولکلور ادبیات شفاهی است و در فرهنگ کردی یکی از عناصر مهم و پرشاخ و برگ ادبیات شفاهی کردی ترانه ها و آوازهای کردی هستند. ترانه ی کردی نه تنها به طور نسبی زبان و ادبیات کردی را از گزند روزگار محفوظ داشته، بلکه گلستان رنگارنگ موسیقی این مرز و بوم را نیز زنده و پر طراوت نگه داشته است. ترانه ها و آواز کردی نقش اساسی در ماندگاری و پویایی ادبیات کردی ایفا کرده اند و زمینه ی هویت در لابه لای این فولکلور نهفته است.

روش کار:

 در این مطالعه با استفاده از روش تحقیق میدانی، مصاحبه هایی با اهالی موسیقی، پیرمردان و پیرزنان روستایی صاحب نظر در این زمینه و مطالعه آثار و مقاله های مرتبط سعی شده است که به فولکلور کردی اشاره ای مختصرداشته باشیم و سپس به انواع فرم های ترانه ها و آوازهای کردی و در پایان به نقش دنگبژها (آوازخوانهای سنتی کرد)  دراشاعه و ماندگاری ترانه ها و آوازهای کردی پرداخت شده است.

جمع‌بندی‌ و نتیجه‌گیری:

 کنکاش در باره فولکلور کردی بستر گسترده ای را می طلبد. فرهنگ‌ و فولکلور مردم‌ کردستان‌ با غنای‌ فراوان‌ و ظرافت‌ ویژه‌ای‌ که‌ در خود دارد، در صورتی‌ که ‌شناخت‌ و معرفی‌ آن‌ مورد عنایت پژوهشگران‌ و صاحبنظران‌ قرار گیرد، می‌تواند دریچه‌ زیبایی ‌به‌ روی‌ فرهنگ‌ و ادبیات‌ کردها بگشاید و درخت‌ کهن‌سال‌ فرهنگ‌ کردی را پربار و شکوفاتر سازد. از طرف دیگر به این نتیجه رسیدیم که کردها در هر زمینه ای ترانه سرایی کرده و برای هر اتفاق مهم در زندگی شان از تولد کودک گرفته تا مرگ عزیزان ترانه و آواز دارند. چنین تحقیقاتی کمک فراوانی در شناخت فرهنگ های مختلف در منطقه اناتولیا، قفقاز-ایران داشته باشد و راهی موثرتر در مطالعه برخورد فرهنگی و زبانی و هویت زبانی باشد.


Preverbal and Postverbal Peripheral Arguments in the Araxes-Iran Linguistic Area

Donald Stilo

MPI Leipzig, the Netherlands


This paper will present statistics of the preverbal vs. postverbal positioning of peripheral arguments of the predicate and derives from work on corpora of 27 languages in my database of the Araxes-Iran Linguistic Area. The peripheral arguments to be addressed include comitatives, instrumentals, locatives, goals, ablatives, temporals, benefactives, addressees, and recipients. This investigation may help us identify which arguments tend to occur in the postverbal position and which ones occur for the most part preverbally. The aim is to determine whether a pull chain relationship exists among those arguments that often appear in postverbal position in these otherwise predominately OV-languages. The results will also be compared and contrasted with the statistics for Patients occuring in preverbal (major pattern) and postverbal (minor pattern) positions in these languages to see if there is any correlation between the postverbal positioning of core vs. peripheral arguments. The results will then be plotted onto maps to discover whether any patterns emerge to elucidate the role of areality in these processes.

The languages involved belong to five different language families including two genera of Indo-European spoken in a wide area north and south of the Araxes river encompassing Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, the northern and central zones of Iran and Iraq, and eastern Turkey. The languages examined include Turkic (Azerbaijani (2), Iran); Armenian (dialects (3), Armenia, Karabagh, and (1) Turkey); Kartvelian (Colloquial Tbilisi Georgian (1), Laz (2), Turkey); Semitic (Neo-Aramaic, Iran (2), and Iraq (1)); Daghestanian (Udi (1), Azerbaijan); and a wide array of Iranian languages: Northwestern Iranian: Tati (2), Talyshi (Iran (1) and Azerbaijan (1)), Caspian (Western Gilaki (1), Mazanderani (1)), Central Plateau Dialects (1), Northern Kurdish (Iraq (1), Azerbaijan (1)), Central Kurdish (Iraq (1), Iran (1)), Zazaki/Dimli (1), Gawrajui (a mixed Gorani-Central Kurdish language (1)), and Southwestern Iranian: Muslim Caucasian Tat (Azerbaijan (1)).


Raji (Central Plateau) in Contact with Persian: Contrasting Paths to Convergence in Two Dialects

Mahnaz Talebi-Dastenaei, Hamideh Poshtvan, Erik Anonby

Alzahra University, Tehran, Iran

Alzahra University, Tehran, Iran

Leiden University, The Netherlands


Variation between languages and dialects, and contact between them, is a basic and inevitable aspect of communication. Contacts between individuals often lead to linguistic accommodation and adaptation (Britain, 2010; Taeldeman, 2005). When such changes are internalized, this triggers convergence – reduction of differences between two linguistic systems (Berruto, 2005; Sankoff, 2002). Geographical adjacency is an important contact factor, but it is not the only one; other possibilities for interaction – whether through improved transportation networks, or new written and oral media (Thomason, 2010) – reduce barriers to communication with previously isolated communities. In this paper, we look at language contact from an Ecolinguistic perspective: as part of a larger social and geographic system (Haugen, 1972; Mühlhäusler and Fill, 2001). We focus on Raji, a Central Plateau language spoken in the north-west corner of Esfahan Province, Iran. Specifically, we investigate two Raji varieties, namely Abuzeydabadi and Barzoki. Both dialects are close to Kashan city (27 and 34 kilometers, respectively), but Abuzeydabad is in the desert at 948m, and Barzok is in the mountains, at over 2000m. While Abuzeydabadi was described by Lecoq (2002), the highly distinctive Barzoki dialect has never yet been described in the literature. Our initial examination of these two dialects, spanning phonological, lexical and grammatical domains, is based on a comparison of their structures as shown in the JBIL questionnaire (Haig & Anonby 2017). The results of our research show that Barzoki exhibits more unusual structures in all domains, for example, a contrastive pharyngealized vowel /a̠ˁ/ (e.g., ha̠ˁft ‘seven’, da̠ˁs ‘hand’, ša̠ˁx ‘horn’); obligatory object marking on past transitive verbs; and phonological forms (banja̠ˁ ‘fifty’) as well as lexical items which are uncommon elsewhere in Iranic (paysar ‘back’, ma̠ˁrjine ‘cat, öredida̠ˁ ‘fog’, etc.). In contrast, Abuzeydabadi lacks some of these unusual features and exhibits significant borrowing from standard Persian, including in core vocabulary. Our paper concludes with a reflection on the different types of contact situations and the specific factors that have led to historical differentiation of Barzoki and, in more recent times, greater influence of standard Persian on Abuzeydabadi, despite their comparable distance from Kashan. Many of the social factors are equivalent: shared identity as ethnic Persians; similar population; and harsh climatic environments. Some even point to more intense interaction with Persian for inhabitants of Barzok – yearly winter migration of Barzoki villagers to Kashan, and location on a throughfare rather than at the end of a road, like Abuzeydabad. However, the mountainous situation of Barzok, and challenges to travelling there, continue to limit contact with Persian speakers and resulting changes in the language.


Gender Attribution of Borrowings and Native Lexemes in Zilo Andi: Experimental Data

Samira Verhees,George Moroz

National Research University Higher School of Economics Moscow, Russia


Most Nakh-Daghestanian languages possess a gender system. Different languages have different number of genders, ranging from 5 (e. g. Chamalal, Hunzib), 4 (e. g. Hinuq, Archi), or 3 (e. g. Avar, Tindi), to 2 (e. g. Tabasaran). In most gender systems there are some genders that are semantically motivated, such as human male or human female gender, while some other genders have an unpredictable distribution with no obvious semantic or morphonological motivation. An example of such a language is the Zilo dialect of Andi, spoken in the Botlikh District of the Republic of Daghestan, Russia. There are five genders in Zilo, as presented in Table 1.

Some studies on other dialects of Andi, such as (Salimov 2010 (1968): 47–61) and (Suleymanov 1957: 132–162) report that there are some semantic criteria for inanimate gender affiliation, but these criteria are formulated as wordlists with a multitude of exceptions. Therefore, we argue that the distribution of words between the two inanimate genders is not semantically or morphonologically motivated.

During fieldwork we discovered that recent Russian borrowings, such as ‘television’, ‘SIM card’ etc. are not associated with one particular gender. Similar to native words, they seem to be randomly distributed among two inanimate genders (e. g. the word televizor ‘television’ belongs to inanimate 1, while telefon ‘phone’ belongs to inanimate 2). We decided to corroborate these findings with an experiment on gender judgement: we selected 100 words belonging to different genders according to our initial data (half of the words were native and half of them were borrowings). We also added 14 words belonging to a third inanimate gender attested in other Andi dialects but absent in Zilo. We elicited the gender affiliation of these words from 16 native speakers.

We discovered a high level of interspeaker agreement: the full agreement percentage is 0.745283, Fleiss’ kappa for 16 raters is 0.849 (z = 95.7, p-value = 0), that is “Very good agreement” (Hallgren 2012). In our talk we would like to elaborate on the results of this experiment and their theoretical implications. 


Table 1. Genders in Zilo. ᴍ-gender denotes human males, ꜰ-gender denotes human females, ᴀɴ-gender denotes animals, the two ¬ᴀɴ-gender denote objects and some insects.














Towards a revaluation of early Western Turkic – Iranian language contacts

Andreas N. Waibel

Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, University of Tehran, Iran


As is well known from medieval sources the Turkic language family and the Iranian branch of IE had intensive tangential contact from times immemorial. The linguistic evidence on the Turkic side ranges from a sizeable amount of Sogdian loan words in Eastern Old Turkic (dating back to the First Turkic Khanate in Mongolia) to a sometimes overwhelming amount of lexical, grammatical and semantic influence of Modern Persian on the genetically diverse (Kipčak, Oγuz, Qarluq) but contiguous Muslim Turkic languages in and around Central Asia due to the preeminent role of Persian in the Islamization of this region. An open question, however, is the time, location and intensity of early Turkic-Iranian language contacts in Western Eurasia. While many lexical elements of ultimately Iranian origin have found their way into Chuvash (the language of a now all but notorious people of predominantly Christian denomination in the Middle Volga region which boasts the additional peculiarity of being the only living survivor of the formerly much more influential and powerful Western branch of Turkic) many of these have been – or at least might have been – intermediated by Tatar, the prestigious Volga Kipčak language that became dominant in this part of the Chingisid realm. This, however, is not true for the “reflexive” pronoun in Chuvash. While the majority of Turkic languages have built their respective paradigms on continuants of Proto-Turkic *käntü, *ö:z and *bo:δ the “reflexive” pronoun in Chuvash is with all likelihood a loanword from Western Iranian. Although the percentage and distribution of Iranian loanwords in Chuvash is not higher than in most other Turkic languages it seems selfevident that language contact between Bolγar – the predecessor of Chuvash – and Iranian must have been remarkably intense in order to enable the transfer of such a central grammatical element from one language to another. The often irregular phonetic development of such highly frequent discourse elements might prevent the exact determination of the donor language on a purely linguistic basis for the moment but historic data seem to narrow it down to Ciscausia and Khwarezmia. The paper will present some historical data, the paradigm of the pronoun in Chuvash and their reconstructed input forms as well as additional linguistic data.


The Issue of Ethnic Minorities in Turkish Literature

Hilal Yavuz

İstanbul Şehir University/ Graduate School of Humanities and Social Sciences,



The discussions on “the end of history” and the reliability of historicism led us constituting a materialistic approach in the realm of the work of art as noted by Walter Benjamin. In the last century, historical documents were just used in order to bury past and erase traces of the criminal acts that were largely committed by governments and their officials. Furthermore, as we know that history is always written by the victors who represent the dominant ideological perspective. That is why, we need to (re)analyze literary texts in order to develop a new approach to disguised events and silenced people as in other works of art. In this article, I will focus on the Turkish fictional narratives to discuss what does the presence/absence of diverse ethnic minorities mean? Specifically, I will examine the representation of the Armenian genocide, which does not take place in the scope of Turkish official history, and Armenian identity in Turkish literature.


On the Term ‘Deylam’ in Classical Persian Texts

Amir Zeyghami

Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian-Armenian University, Yerevan, Armenia


The Deylamites in the classical Persian texts feature as a mountain-dwelling tribe and are usually identified with the inhabitants of Deylam, the highlands of Gilan. Although Iranian-speaking, the origin of the Deylamites is uncertain; they probably belonged to the Pre-Iranian ethnic continuum of the South Caspian area.

The term “Deylam”, like other ethnonyms, is deprived of a convincing etymology. It could be rather, a derivative from the well-known place-name meaning the “inhabitant of Deylam”. 

The form “Daylam”, which is the Arabic transcription of the word, in reality, must have been pronounced “Dēlam” or “Dēlim”, attested already in the Middle Persian and Armenian sources. It seems that the secondary meanings of this term, like “torment”, “oppression”, and “enemy” have entered into Persian Farhangs through the Arabic dictionaries.

The paper presents a general overview of the semantic evolution and pronunciation of the ethnonym “Deylam” in Iranian historiography and Classical Persian literature. 


Ethno-taxonomy among Bakhtiari nomads of Iran

Sima Zolfaghari

Leiden University Center for Linguistics, the Netherlands


The aim of this paper is to present the ways in which Bakhtiari nomads see, perceive and categorize their natural surroundings. This area of research, known as Ethnobiology, is relatively new and the first cognitively oriented works on the subject dates back to 1950s. The pioneer figure who tried to conceptualize all the research done in the field is Brent Berlin (1972, 1973, 1976 and 1992), see also Berlin, Dennis E. Breedlove and Peter H. Raven (1973, 1974). 

These works were exploring the fundamental similarities between the seemingly diverse folk biosystematics. By formalizing the possible principles that underlie folk taxonomies, scholars strive to understand the conceptual basis of these classifications in the human mind. Berlin et al (1973: 214-216) present nine principles that they believe were proven by the data that have been gathered in what was admittedly a small number of societies. 

This taxonomic topic has received only scant attention in Iranian linguistic and anthropological studies. In a study, the above mentioned principles were used in the analysis of the Bakhtiari terminology of flora and fauna (around a thousand terms, including 416 especially for fauna and 664 flora words and expressions). As will be explained, the Bakhtiari data do not always match the proposed principles. 

Two main criteria can be found in the literature to propose an answer to the above enquiries: an intellectual and a utilitarian one. As for the Bakhtiari data, there exists certain categorical and nomenclatural behavior that, as I will argue, does not support either the intellectualistic or the utilitarian approach to ethnobiology as it is represented in the literature. This lack of conformity may be interpreted as a result of ignoring the systematics of ancient taxonomies such as the Iranian one (Schmidt 1980: 211). 

Another important factor that seems to be overlooked in the process of formulation of the existing taxonomical theories is the role and importance of religious beliefs in shaping peoples’ world view and the way they classify its natural and physical beings. The Bakhtiari classification, especially the categorization of fauna, as will be explained, seems to have roots in pre-Islamic, or more specifically, in Zoroastrian beliefs as presented in some Avestan and Middle Persian sources. 

This paper is the result of more than two decades of doing research on Bakhtiari and it can be used as a model for exploring other Iranian folk-taxonomies.

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February 15, 2021