Iranian Programme

The Iranian programme will consist of the following courses:

Introduction to Bactrian (9.30 - 11.00)

Desmond Durkin-Meisterernst (Berlin)

Bactrian, attested for northern Afghanistan and southern Tajikistan from ca. the 1st to the 8th c. CE is the Middle Iranian language that has most recently become known to a degree that could not be expected even thirty years ago. This is primarily due to N. Sims-Williams' editions of the documents found in the 1980s in Afghanistan. Situated on the cross-roads between the Indian subcontinent and Central Asia its role in the Kushan empire (and later) and in the trade in goods and religions between many different cultures is becoming ever more evident.

The course will provide an introduction to the language in the context of Old Iranian and the other Middle Iranian languages and will present important texts such as the inscription of Rabatak and exemplary documents and a fragment of a Buddhist text in Greek script as well as the single Manichaean fragment in Manichaean script.

No previous knowledge will be assumed but familiarity with Greek script and with any Iranian language would be an advantage.

The course materials will be supplied.

N. Sims-Williams: Bactrian Documents I, Oxford 2000 and II, London 2007.
The second volume includes a grammar and a comprehensive glossary as well as editions.

Introduction to Khotanese (11.30 - 13.00)

Desmond Durkin-Meisterernst (Berlin)

Khotanese or Khotan Saka is the most archaic Middle Iranian language retaining many Old Iranian features lost in the other Middle Iranian languages. Attested in Khotan and the surrounding areas in present-day Xinjiang in north-western China it was the language of an important Buddhist kingdom that flourished from ca. the 5th to the 10th c. CE, leaving an impressive body of Buddhist literature and some secular texts in Brahmi-script. A major station on the Silk Road and a source of highly desired jade, Khotan also played an important part in the Tibetan empire.

After an introduction to the grammar the course will concentrate on giving an idea of the range of texts available in Khotanese by reading selected excerpts. We will also take a brief look at Tumshuqese, a closely related but even more archaic sister-language.

No previous knowledge will be assumed but familiarity with any Iranian language would be an advantage.

The course materials will be supplied.

R. E. Emmerick: Khotanese and Tumshuqese, in: G. Windfuhr (ed.): Iranian languages. London/New York 2009, 377-.415.

Introduction into Achaemenid-Elamite (14.00 - 15.30)

Wouter Henkelman (Amsterdam)

The Achaemenid Persians adopted Elamite as an administrative language and used it within the large economic institutions they said up at several places on the Iranian plateau, notably at Persepolis, where thousands of Elamite clay tablets where found in the 1930s. Achaemenid Elamite is a typical contact language that shows morphosyntactical restructuring under the influenc of Old Iranian. The course will introduce the 'classical' (Middle en Neo-Elamite) variety of the language, and then discuss the specific features of Achaemenid Elamite. In the second half of the course this phenomena will be illustrated by means of selected texts, including sections from king Darius' Bisotun inscription.

M.W. Stolper, Elamite, in: R.D. Woodard (ed.), The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the World’s Ancient Languages, Cambridge 2004: 60-94

Balochi (16.00 - 17.30)

Agnes Korn (Frankfurt)

The course will outline the synchronic and diachronic grammar of Balochi, a minority language spoken by some millions of people in "remote" parts of Pakistan, Iran and Afghanistan. We will look at the phonology and morphosyntax from Proto-Iranian to contemporary Balochi dialects, make comparisons with Middle and New Persian, etc.
We will also read some text specimens illustrating interesting issues of Balochi grammar such as dialectal variation, case marking and ergativity.

Good knowledge of Middle or New Persian or Avestan; general linguistic knowledge.