This panel unites include a series of common denominators from the research work of five major projects of the participants running since several years: the project "DARIOSH" of a critical edition of the Persepolis inscriptions at the University of Naples, the "Achaimenidika research group" within the international working cluster Multilingualism and history of Knowledge in Ancient Asia, the "Iranisches Personennamenbuch" at the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the Etymological Dictionary of the Iranian Noun prepared for the "Leiden Indo-European Dictionary Series" as well as the monograph "Indo-European Stylistics" for the "Indogermanische Grammatik" series at Heidelberg.
One of the accents of the panel is an overall analysis of multilingual Achaimenid inscriptions from the viewpoint of their textual semantic, stylistics, and pragmatics. Multiculturalism and multilingualism characterized the Achaemenid state: with the adoption, as a norm and not the exception, of multilingual display inscriptions for communication and diffusion of royal ideology, the Achaemenid kings conceived a new model of political discourse. This communication strategy, followed up to the end of the dynasty, was a mighty propagandistic device: in different kinds of Achaemenid multilingual texts we find textual units in different languages, generally, Old Persian, Achaemenid Babylonian and Achaemenid Elamite, simultaneously planned, broadly conveying the same message, connected by contents and function. We analyse syntactic, semantic and pragmatic divergences in contents between these texts, sometimes marginal but highly relevant, which have intrigued the scholars since the beginning of Achaemenid studies and still inspire afterthoughts on the literary relations between the different versions.– Further important topics are the relations between external syntax and word-formation, esp. the nominalizations of underlying syntactic structures to (appellative) nominal compounds, linguistic processes that lead to a broad spectre of results – from nonce formations, occasionalisms and idiolectisms to compounded attributives, (poetical) characterizations, ad-hoc and then constant attributes and epithets. The studies of this area in the field of Indo-Iranian so far have mostly been limited to the Rigvedic and Avestan material and some processes of lexicalization of epithets and ‘cognomina’ to theonyms and (personal) names. To enlarge this horizon, our research interest has been concentrated on the assessment of points of intersection between Indo-Iranian lexicon, poetical phraseology and word-formation of appellatives and anthroponyms, in formal, semantic and (con)textual comparison.
Thus, understanding our texts, with their phraseology, stylistics and various discourse strategies, we can move forward also in our understanding of the contexts with their pragmatics and socio-cultural impact.