New Perspectives on Iranian Languages

This panel was compiled by the Conference Program Team from independently submitted paper proposals


Firoozeh Qandehari


Wed, 2016-08-03 08:45 - 10:15


by Helen Giunashvili / Giorgi Tsereteli Institute of Oriental Studies - Ilia State University

Historical accounts of pre-Islamic Iran and Ancient Georgia have the most ancient tradition. Dissemination of Iranian culture, already distinguished from the Achaemenid epoch, became deeper and stronger later, during Hellenistic and Parthian periods.
Rich archaeological materials, numismatic data and epigraphic monuments found on the territory of Ancient Georgia (Mtskheta-Armazi, Bagineti, Samtavro, Uplistsikhe, Zghuderi) attest the existence of multifarious cultural contacts between members of Iranian-speaking upper-class and autochthonous Kartvelians from Arsacid times on.
In this respect, Aramaic (II c BC-III c AD) and Greek epigraphic monuments (I-II cc AD) are particularly interesting.
They were made on different objects: steles (an epitaph and a victory stele), bone plates, wine-pitchers, silver bowls, household items, stones of sanctuary buildings and sarcophagi, jewels (golden rings and bracelets). They are distinguished by their form and content. Some of them are quite extensive, such as Armazi steles, Vespasian’s stele (I c AD).
The Aramaic and Greek inscriptions of Georgia shed light on a number of cultural-historical problems of pre-Christian Georgia (Iberia) and its interrelations with Ancient Iran and Rome. These monuments attest several administrative terminology, also titles, personal and geographic names, mostly of Middle Iranian origin.
Iranian personal names of Aramaic and Greek inscriptions of Georgia reflect various dialect layers - south-western, north-western and north-eastern. Most of them are two-stem compounds and could be classified semantically as theophoric (Mithraic, Zoroastrian), also names with military or heroic connotation and names indicating qualities.
The paper presents a systematic structural-typological, historical-etymological, semantic, and distributive analysis of Middle Iranian proper names attested in the inscriptions (such as, Bazuk, Amazasp, Bevrazuria, Karpak, Asparuk, Šaragas, Burz(en)-Mihr, Ātūrpat(pet), etc.) with the cultural-historical context of their penetration.

by Mohsen Roudmajani / Ferdowsi University of Mashhad

معمولا مردم نام¬های فرزندان خود را از درون نظام¬های ارزشی¬ای انتخاب می¬کنند که بدان¬ها تعلق دارند. به عبارتی نام¬های فرزندان گویای باورهای سیاسی، مذهبی و اجتماعی والدین آنهاست. بنابراین با بررسی سیر تطور نام¬های یک جامعه، می¬توان تکوین و دگردیسی نظام¬های ارزشی آن جامعه را مورد مطالعه قرار داد. این پژوهش بر اساس آمار رسمی سازمان ثبت احوال ایران، به بررسی 50 نام اول دختر و پسر هر سال، در فاصله¬سال¬های 1340 تا 1392 پرداخته و سه جریان اصلی نام¬گذاری ایرانیان را شناسایی کرده است. نخستین و برجسته¬ترین جریان، گفتمان اسلامی است. این گفتمان بدون هیچ تردیدی جریان مسلط در نام¬گذاری ایرانیان است. از آغاز دوره تا پایان دهه شصت محبوبیت اسامی دینی به شکل قابل ملاحظه¬ای افزایش می¬یابد و همزمان با انقلاب اسلامی به اوج خود می¬رسد. آنچه در نام¬های اسلامی پیش از انقلاب(دهه¬ی50) قابل توجه است، ظهور اسامی¬ای مانند مهدی، امیر و رسول در میان 50 نام محبوب این سال¬هاست که خود می¬تواند حکایت از آمادگی جامعه¬ی ایرانی برای پذیرش رهبری دینی داشته باشد. در سال¬های جنگ ایران و عراق نام¬های دینی با کاهش نسبی روبه رو می¬شوند و برخی اسامی در میان نام-های محبوب قرار می¬گیرند که با تجربه¬ی جنگی مردم یعنی غم و اندوه حاکم بر آن دوران تناسب دارند مانند سمیه، میثم و محسن. دهه هفتاد دوران کاهش محبوبیت اسامی مذهبیِ سنتی و ظهور نام¬های نوین دینی است. مردم در این دهه دست به انتخاب و یا ابداع نام¬های مذهبی تازه می¬زنند، اسامی¬ای که هرچند از درون گفتمان اسلامی انتخاب شده¬اند اما برخلاف سال¬های پیش مستقیما نام هیچ چهرة مذهبی برجسته¬ای نبوده¬اند. آنچه بسیار حائز اهمیت است این است که در اوایل دهة 90، اسامی دینی به پایین-ترین میزان محبوبیت خود در پنجاه سال اخیر می¬رسند. دومین جریان در نام¬گذاری ایرانیان اسامی ایران باستان است. هرچند این گونه نام¬ها سهم بسیار ناچیزی از 50 نام محبوب هر سال را به خود اختصاص می¬دهند اما محبوبیت روبه رشد آنها می¬تواند نشانگر تغییر نظام¬های ارزشی در سال¬های اخیر در جامعه ایرانی باشد. سومین جریان نام¬گذاری ایرانیان که بخش قابل توجهی از اسامی دختر را در بر می¬گیرد، اسم¬های برگرفته از عناصر طبیعت است. هنگامیکه جامعه از سال¬های پرتلاطم جنگ فاصله می¬گیرد و مردم آرامش پس از جنگ را تجربه می¬کنند نام¬های مربوط به طبیعت نیز با رشد چشمگیری مواجه می-شود.

by Chiara Barbati / Institute of Iranian Studies, Austrian Academy of Sciences

During late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages the oasis of Turfan was home to an important Christian Sogdian community. Our knowledge of this community derives almost entirely from fragmentary manuscripts written in Sogdian, Syriac and Uighur. Due to the fragmentary character of the manuscripts as well as to the nearly total lack of colophons, very little is known about the scribal activity in this community. A comprehensive analysis of the scribal hands based on the entire Christian material coming from Turfan, i.e. an analysis of the available documentation in all three languages, Sogdian, Syriac and Uighur, is still a desideratum.
After a short survey on the state of the art, this paper discusses potential indicators for different scribal hands in the Christian manuscript fragments in Sogdian language. The last section aims at linking the results thus obtained to evidence from the Syriac and Uighur manuscript fragments, focusing on few but significant examples.
Therefore, the present paper intends to make a further step, definitely not complete, towards a better understanding of the persons, places and methods involved in the production of the Christian Sogdian texts, and hence of this Eastern Middle Iranian Christian community in general.

by Ketevan Gadilia / Russian State University of Humanities

In the presentation I observe the spectrum of meanings of (in)definiteness in some Modern Iranian languages, where the exponents of the category (in)definiteness are presented by various language units like the articles proper, deictic elements (especially demonstratives), numeral "one", definite and indefinite pronouns, case markers and etc. The variety of language elements can be classified in certain groups: (a) the articles and/or grammaticalized formal elements, (b) particle – rā, (c) case markers, (d) auxiliary words. In Modern Iranian languages the grammatical and semantic fields of the (in)definiteness markers are rather complicated both from formal as well as from semantic point of view.
The main focus of the presentation is the grammatical and semantic meaning of the markers of (in)definiteness which are in the process of grammaticalization like numeral “one” in Persian (a) and demonstratives in some Pamirian languages (b).
(a) Numeral "one" yak in function of indefinite article.
yak doxtār goft (Pers.)
one girl to say Past Sng3
The special attention I pay to the combination of yak with the alloting article -i which expresses a meaning of indefiniteness. Eventually in such cases it is conveyed the combined meaning of indefiniteness and singularity.
(b) In Pamirian languages the system of the demonstratives can realize the function of the definite article and at the same time can preserve the spatial meaning. The demonstratives can designate the concreteness and definiteness as well as the meaning of case, number and gender of noun. I analyze some languages where the demonstratives in function of definite article do not combine with the case markers and designates exclusively the meaning of definiteness. This is the fact clearly pointing the following process: the significant of the deixes is growing weaker, but the meaning of definiteness is intensified.