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Overview of Yaghnobi grammar June 9, 2007

Posted by Bahrom in Linguistics, Science, Syntax, Yaghnobi.
Tags: , ,

Today I presented an overview of Yaghnobi grammar at the U of O Linguistics Colloquium. I have uploaded a copy of my handout for the colloquium here: Overview of Yaghnobi Grammar. This handout is an outline of basic clause structure and grammatical relations with parsed and glossed example sentences. If you need an explanation of any part or have questions please don’t hesitate to leave them in a comment here.

6/9/07 Update: I uploaded a corrected version of the Yaghnobi Grammar Overview today.

6/17/07 Update: I fixed a typo in example 23. I changed kap to kar.

11/4/07 Update: I posted the first draft of my thesis, Aspects of Yaghnobi Grammar here: https://yaghnobi.wordpress.com/2007/11/05/draft-of-aspects-of-yaghnobi-grammar/



1. آستان - June 11, 2007


You’ve done a good outline about Yaghnobi grammar (I think it is the first overview fo Yaghnobi grammar in English language) but I think it would be better to use some other system in transliteration – as you’ve written in the chapter about Yaghnobi orthography there are difficulties in interpretation of the Cyrillic alphabet in comparison with scientific-latin-orthography. In Cyrillic you don’t have to distinguish between v/w and also you don’t mark long vowels or stress. Maybe it would be better to write the Yaghnobi words in Cyrillic or try to use the orthography as is used by Khromov or Andreyev-Peshchereva, in your transcription it looks like you’re using a transliteration of the Cyrillic system, but by usage of IPA you miss those distinctions as is stress, vowel length or difference v/w. Unfortunately the Cyrillic system is not easily transliterable to latin without real knowledge of the language history/etymology and present pronunciation.

2. Bahrom - June 12, 2007

Yes, as you guessed, these sentences were originally transcribed in Cyrillic and then I transliterated them to IPA. I also made audio recordings of the Yaghnobi language consultant speaking these sentences, so it would be possible to make a closer transcription in the future.

There is actually no disadvantage to using IPA. IPA has all the symbols for vowel length, vowel quality, glides, stress and everything that is reprsented in the Latin phonetic system. The shortcoming was in the original Cyrillic transcription. If I have time, I would like to go back and make a closer transcription of some of this data from the original audio recordings.

I prefer using IPA since this is a system that is known to everyone in the west. I have searched, and asked and have not been able to find any documentation on the Latin phonetic transcription system used by the Russian linguists. As I mentioned in my post on “Yaghnobi Orthogrraphy”, I still don’t know what all the symbols in the Latin system represent. I am still hoping that someone can provide the key for interpreting this system!

3. Bahrom - June 12, 2007

P.S. I have audio recordings of all the sentences and texts that I used to produce the lexicon and articles that I have posted. If anyone wants access to these recordings I will be glad to share them – especially if you would like to make close phonetic transcriptions and share them on this blog.

4. آستان - June 12, 2007


I would really be interested to hear the language, I will hear it in 2 weeks in Ravenna where is a Yaghnobi course held by Sajfiddin, but it is better to know the language a bit better befor I start to learn it;)

According to the phonetic transcription I’m not good in phonetics, but I think the lexicon I sent you some time before would be helpfull a bit… No I try to do as much as possible to let the words be “corrected” by Sajfiddin…

5. sakineh rasuli - June 19, 2007

my dear friend
im a phd student from iran and i was thinking about working on yagnobi language for my tesis . u worked on it and u must know what aspects of this language is in need for an other reviwe. i will be glad to hear from u.

6. Bahrom - June 19, 2007

The aspects of the language that I think need deeper study are: 1) The tense aspect system and verb-auxillery complex, (preverb-verb-auxillery in the case of coplex predicates) 2) the prosidy system (sentence level stress and intonation), 3) phonology, 4) interaction of prosidy, grammar, and semantics at the discourse level, 5) historical reconstruction of earlier stages of the langauge (but perhaps Lubomir will be doing this 🙂 ) There are undoubtedly other aspects of the language in need of deeper study, but these are the things that I am most interested in.
I found that the faculty and staff of the Rudaki Intsitute of Language and Literature in Dushanbe were extremely helpful and enjoyable to work with. Have you contacted them yet? I highly reccomend doing your research under their direction. I look forward to seeing the fruit of your efforts!

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