Iranian Programme

The Iranian programme will consist of three courses, timeslot 3 (14.00 - 15.30) being open. The participants may of course use this slot for homework preparation, but they may also consider choosing a course from the Semitic programme (Introduction to Old Aramaic, which is of great importance for Iranian studies) or a course from the Indo-European programme (Introduction to PIE phonology and morphology).  

Introduction to Christian Sogdian (9.30 - 11.00)

Desmond Durkin-Meisterernst (Berlin)

This course is an introduction to the Sogdian texts used by Christians in the Turfan oasis of eastern Central Asia in the 9th  - 11th centuries and now in the Turfan Collection in Berlin. We will begin with  an historical introduction into Sogdian as a language of the Sogdiana but also of the Sogdian diaspora; a review of the evidence for the spread of Christianity eastwards; and an overview of Sogdian grammar. The reading course will deal with the original texts in a slightly modified form of Syriac script which sometimes employs vowel-signs and therefore provides information not available in the native Sogdian and Manichaean scripts. Particular features, some of them dialectal, of the texts will be discussed. The aim of the course is to gain familiarity with the Christian Sogdian texts and, in particular, with N. Sims-Williams' edition of the manuscript 'C 2' but also to learn what other materials are available and how to deal with them.

The materials for the course will be provided.

N. Sims-Williams: The Christian Sogdian Manuscript C 2. Berlin 1985 (Berliner Turfantexte 12).
N. Sims-Williams: Sogdian, in: R. Schmitt (ed.): Compendium Linguarum Iranicarum. Wiesbaden: 1989, 173-192.


Introduction to Khwarezmian (11.30 - 13.00)

Desmond Durkin-Meisterernst (Berlin)

The last of the Middle Iranian languages to become known, Khwarezmian is attested in two forms, one from the pre-Islamic period in 'native' script and the other in Arabic script from the 12th  century. This course will concentrate on the sources in Arabic script and in particular on the material edited by D. N. MacKenzie 1990. An overview of Khwarezmian grammar and a presentation of the relative position of Khwarezmian within the Middle Iranian languages will be followed by detailed analysis of original material with reference to the juridical context in which much of this is attested. The Khwarezmian glosses to the Muqaddimat al-adab will also be referred to.

The materials for the course will be provided.

The Khwarezmian Element in the Qunyat al-munya. Arabic text translated by Hasan Amarat and D.N. MacKenzie. London: 1990.
D. Durkin-Meisterernst: Khwarezmian, in: G. Windfuhr (ed.): The Iranian languages. London and New York: 2009, 336-376.


Historical grammar of Persian (16.00 - 17.30)

Agnes Korn (Frankfurt)

Course outline
The course will outline the history of the phonology and morphosyntax of Persian from Proto-Iranian to Modern Persian. We will specifically look at issues like the phonemic system, the case system and the verbal categories, and will compare these to other Iranian languages. Text specimens will be presented to illustrate the changes during the long history of Persian, which is among the IE languages with the longest documented history.

Good knowledge of either New Persian or Sanskrit or Avestan; general linguistic knowledge.