The Circle of Ancient Iranian Studies
(CAIS) -- The
School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London have
recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to collaborate on study
projects focusing on Iranian dialects in danger.
The Department of Language
and Dialects of Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts
Organization (CHTHO) Research Centre and SOAS are also to provide methods of
protecting the dialects.
“According to the MOU,
we will provide facilities for students from SOAS to travel to Iran in order to
carry out research on Maraghaee and Tati,
two ancient Iranian dialects, which are in danger
of dying out,” the CHTHO’s Research Centre director Abolqasem Esmaeilpur
told the Persian service of CHN on Monday.
“In addition, exchange
students from Iran will be sent to SOAS to study dialectology,” he added.
“The collaboration is in
line with the policy being pursued by UNESCO for safeguarding dialects in
danger,” Esmaeilpur explained.
CHTHO’s Research Centre had previously supported an SOAS student, who conducted a survey on Taleshi, spoken in the region of the same name in Iran-proper and former Iranian province of Arran (nowadays the republic of Azerbaijan), which is one of the Western-Iranian dialects, closely related to Kurdish.
Tati dialects constitute one of the most important branches of Northwestern Iranian. Their many remarkable grammatical features and their many archaisms in morphology, syntax, and vocabulary invite special attention, and their geographical position and their significance for a reconstruction of the development of North Western Iranian call for intensive study.
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