Projects

The diachronic development of imperfective affixes in New Iranian

There are various imperfective markers in New Iranian languages including prefixes mi-, me-, e-, et-, a-, at-, ti-, di-, de-, etc. and suffixes -a, -e, -de, etc. These formatives are well understood only for New Persian, which due to the accident of attestation, has a clear etymon (NP, mi- ← OP. ham-aiwa `same one, always'). In this project, I examine the distribution of imperfective affixes in Kurdish varieties and beyond to establish their true etyma and diachronic trajectory.

The New Iranian Ezafe and syntactic categories

The ezafe, attribution marking on the head noun, is one of the most widely studied grammatical phenomena in Iranian languages. This project examines the ezafe from a CG framework. I propose that the ezafe is a derivational morpheme that changes a noun's syntactic category, requiring it to combine with the following modifier to be well-formed. The consequences of this proposal are significant both synchronically and diachronically as the morphological diversity of ezafe allomorphs coincides with variation in syntactic categories and semantic functors.

Definiteness marking strategies in New Western Iranian

Across the New Western Iranian languages, there are various strategies for marking definiteness. These systems include the use of a definite article, definite suffixes, DOM with a unique definite object marker, DOM with case marking only on definite objects, and no marking of definiteness. Works such as Nourzaei (2020) and Jahani (2015) have proposed that the source of the definite suffixes in Koroshi Baluchi and Colloquial New Persian are the reflexes of the inherited diminutive/evaluative nouns (← OIr. -(a)ka-). These proposals have repercussions across New Western Iranian languages as the various definite suffixes, and oblique case suffixes (in languages with DOM) are likely to have the same etyma. In this project, I collect data from the relevant languages to show areal trends in definiteness marking and propose a trajectory that accounts for the diversity of definiteness marking systems.

Applicatives in Iranian

Many Iranian languages have developed formatives that either incorporate a pronominal object into the verbal system or add an additional syntactic (object) argument. In this joint project with Ali Salehi, we explore the synchronic aspects of these systems, particularly in Central Kurdish, and how they fit into the typology of applicative markers following Perterson (2007). Additionally, I explore the diachronic trajectory of these markers in New Iranian languages and how similar material was recruited to produce differing outcomes.

The documentation of Shabaki

Shabaki is an endangered Iranian language traditionally spoken in the Ninevah Plain (Iraq). Decades of language shift, war, and forced assimilation have contributed to the urgency of Shabaki's documentation. Despite these hardships, the Shabaki community has preserved its language and vibrant cultural equity. I have been lucky enough to be invited by members of the community to experience Shabaki customs and share in their stories and hospitality.