The Fifth International Conference on Iranian Languages and Dialects (Past and Present) was organized by the Centre for the Great Islamic Encyclopaedia (Centre for Iranian and Islamic Studies).
CGIE: The Fifth International Conference on Iranian Languages and Dialects (Past and Present) was organized by the Centre for the Great Islamic Encyclopaedia (Centre for Iranian and Islamic Studies).
The fifth conference of Iranian languages and dialects (past and present) was held with the aim of getting acquainted with the latest studies in the field of ancient, medieval, and modern Iranian languages and texts, and motivating young researchers in the field of Iranian linguistics. Moreover, doing research on the Iranian language, as one of the linking factors among the nations of the region, was one of our aims.
Iranian languages originated from the family of Indo-Iranian, Indo-European languages, and they are as old as the history of this land. The long history of Iranian literature and science reveals that the Persian language has a considerable ability to convey the most complex scientific and philosophical ideas. Maintaining this capability and updating it require the preservation of Iranian languages and dialects, and to reach this goal, the Centre for the Great Islamic Encyclopaedia has succeeded in organizing five international conferences on Iranian languages and dialects.
The fifth International Conference on Iranian Languages and Dialects was held virtually on Tuesday, December 22, 2020, from 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM. At the beginning of the conference, Kazem Mousavi Bojnourdi, the head of CGIE said: “This conference is arranged by the efforts and under the supervision of Dr. Jaafari Dehaghi. We hope that significant articles in the field of Iranian languages and dialects will be presented at this conference, and subsequently be available in print.
We have several research plans for Iranian languages and dialects at the Centre for the Great Islamic Encyclopaedia. From the very beginning of our work in 1983, we started compiling various Encyclopaedias, including the Encyclopaedia of languages and dialects under the supervision of Dr. Nafisi, which reveals our distinct attention and interest in this field.”
He added: “Above all, words express our thoughts, and each word has its own story and history. If we devote special attention to the words, we can obviously recognize the nature of our culture more profoundly. Persian is our national language and there have been composed many works in this language that are unique in the world.
Our resources in Dari Persian literature and language are enormously rich. But the vast country of Iran has many subcultures with their own languages and dialects, which can be considered as a specific feature for our nation. There are many diverse dialects in Iran. Occasionally one village’s dialect differs from its neighbour, and we have been willing to collect all these dialects as part of our national culture and identity.
He added: “We have to pay specific attention to Iranian dialects and languages. Because in every dialect we can observe local folklore stories as well as the habits and customs of the speakers, which leads to a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of our culture and national identity. It also aids in compiling The Encyclopaedia of Iranian Folklore, which is one of our other research projects. I hereby invite all those who have conduct field research on the dialects of Iran. This project requires a collective scientific effort. In the past, the Ministry of Construction Jihad did its best to identify the dialects of Iran and produced about 100,000 tapes, which are presently in the possession of CGIE.”
In conclusion, Kazem Mousavi Bojnourdi said: “I wish success for the organizers of this conference and hope the conference attracts the audience, and we will succeed in publishing its articles in future.”
The next speaker was Dr. Mahmoud Jaafari Dehghi, the Scientific Secretary of the Fifth Conference on Iranian Languages and Dialects. He, after mentioning a poem by Rumi on the significance of empathy and speaking the same language, said:
“Thank God for the opportunity to hold the fifth International Conference on Iranian Languages and Dialects to protect the culture and languages of our country, with the company of the lovers of Iranian culture and civilization. Iranian languages and dialects are documents of our national, religious and cultural identity. Researching on these documents and preserving and introducing them, as essential national treasures and reserves, requires the conscientiousness of all Iranian culture and civilization lovers.
The Iranian ancient tribes included a vast group of Medes, Persians, and Parthians on the Iranian plateau, the Cimmerians, as well as another branch of the Scythians and Sarmatians of the Ukraine region, the Ossetians in the Caucasus region, the Sogdians, the Khwarezmians, the Khotans, the Hephthalites, and the Yuezhis in Central Asia. A group of these tribes such as the Medes and Persians entered the Iranian plateau around the first millennium BC and settled on the slopes of Zagros and mixed with the native tribes of Iran. Medes and Persians later formed the Median and Achaemenid dynasties in the eighth and seventh centuries BC.
Ancient Persian languages include Median, Ancient Persian, Avestan, and Saka languages, and Middle Persian languages include Parthian, Pahlavi, Sogdian, Khotanese, Khwarezmian, and Bactrian languages, were expanded by three empires of Achaemenid, Parthian, and Sassanid on the Iranian plateau and beyond. Therefore, Iranian languages and dialects are expanded geographically to the extent that today a significant part of them is outside the borders of Iran. These languages carry the Iranian culture and spread it throughout the Iranian world. A glance at some branches of Iranian languages and dialects shows their extensive diversity. Currently, Assyrian, Talysh, and Kurdish languages and dialects are spoken in parts of the Caucasus, Dagestan, Georgia, Armenia, and Arran. Some eastern Iranian languages and dialects are spoken in Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kashmir, Punjab, and, Sindh to Xinjiang in northwestern China. A significant part of the southwestern dialects of Iran has been extended to the southern countries of the Persian Gulf. Also, with the efforts of Iranian poets and literati, the Dari Persian language in the Islamic era has covered a major part of the Indian subcontinent, Central Asia, and Asia Minor. This language has been adopted for centuries as the language of literature and science in that large region.
In addition to Iranian languages such as Kurdish, Baluchi and Lori, Turkish and Arabic languages, which are spoken by a significant group of Iranian compatriots, have caused the cultural and scientific richness in Iranian languages and have always added value to them. In fact, the Persian language as a national and official language is one of the unifying factors among all Iranians. This language has such a great cultural, literary, and scientific treasure that has inseparably united all Iranians for a long time.
On the other hand, today we believe that the Persian language does not belong merely to the Iranians, but it is the common heritage of some nations of the Orient, including the people of Iran, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Turkey, and many other tribes who have developed their thoughts and emotions by this language over the centuries.
Therefore, at present, we have Iranian languages as a valuable means to present our history, culture, and identity to the world and construct a high edifice of the friendly cultural relationship among the lands where Iranian languages are spoken.
For this purpose, the Centre for the Great Islamic Encyclopaedia established the first international conference on Iranian languages and dialects in 2012 and held the next conferences in 2014, 2016, and 2018. The achievements of these conferences were a series of lectures given by professors and researchers of Iranian languages, which have been published by the efforts of the head of CGIE and the conscientious colleagues in the publishing department. Secondly, students and young researchers interested in Iranian languages have made first acquaintance with the professors and learned researchers of Iranian languages during the conference. Furthermore, the Centre for the Great Islamic Encyclopaedia prepared the ground for compiling and publishing an Encyclopaedia on Iranian languages and dialects by communicating with professors and speakers in these conferences. It is expected that the work will finally come to fruition and be available to lovers of Iranian languages and dialects. Preparations for the fifth Conference on Iranian Languages and Dialects were initiated late last year with the help of the CGIE colleagues. The call for papers was responded to warmly by the interested professors and students. In total, more than seventy articles were submitted to the conference secretariat, and after the initial judging, 35 papers were accepted. The secretariat of the conference next invited the authors to announce their readiness to submit their papers, regarding the pandemic conditions. As a result, some speakers submitted their papers in pre-recorded form. But most of the articles will be broadcast live and all the accepted papers will be published in the Conference Proceedings.
In conclusion, I would like to thank Mr. Seyyed Kazem Mousavi Bojnourdi, President of CGIE, for his tireless efforts and support in arranging the conference and publishing the Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Iranian Languages and Dialects. I would like to thank the learned members of the Supreme Council of CGIE, as well as the professors of other universities, for supporting the conference with their valuable papers.
The burden of holding this conference has been chiefly on the shoulders of Mr. Ali Bojnourdi, the executive director of CGIE, and his team of colleagues. I should thank the Executive Secretary of the Conference, Dr. Shima Jaafari Dehaghi and Ms. Saeedeh Khan Ahmadi; the Technical Committee, especially Mr. Tehrani; the CGIE Press colleagues and Mr. Mohsen Bojnourdi; the Public Relations Department, Ms. Sufi; the Secretariat of CGIE and all the colleagues who contributed to this conference.
Please do not hesitate to share your criticisms and recommendations with the Permanent Secretariat of the Conference.”
Afterward, the following speakers presented their papers:
Dr. Omid Tabibzadeh: Modern poetry (Sheʻr-e now) and strengthening the Persian metres
Dr. Nasrollah Pourjavadi: Pahlavi language and sufism
Dr. Mehrdad Naghzgouy Kohan: Some linguistic features of Tafsir-e Nasafi
Dr. Javad Bashari: An ancient manuscript of the translation of Tafsir-e Tabari
Dr. Arash Akbari Mafakher: The linguistic source of epic poetry in western Iran
Dr. Majdoddin Keyvani: Persian in collision with English
Dr. Jalal Rahimian: The lexical aspect of the Shirazi dialect
Dr. Zohreh Zarshenas: A riddle in Sogdian language
Dr. Ahmad Pakatchi: Development of the comparative approach to Slavic languages in Persian etymology studies
Dr. Shadi Davari: Derivational “-ān”: the suffix of ceremony words in Persian
Dr. Musa Mahmoudzehi: A study on the adjectives in “Bāgēn Bashkard” poem in Baluchi literature (with an approach to Persian languages)
Dr. Moharram Rezayati Kisheh Khaleh: History of Talysh language studies
Dr. Jahandoust Sabzalipour: Writing system and Iranian dialects
Dr. Farzaneh Goshtasb: Statistical analysis on the Huzvārish words in Pahlavi texts
Seyed Amir Mehdi Asghari: A study on Komzāri dialect
The video of the lectures are available on the Aparat channel of CGIE. (click to watch)
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