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Aspects of Yaghnobi Grammar – Thesis Finished! July 21, 2008

Posted by Bahrom in Endangered Languages, Linguistics, Orthography, Syntax, Tajikistan, Yaghnobi.
Tags: , , , , , , ,

In December of last year I submitted my thesis on Yaghnobi grammar to the graduate school of the University of Oregon. After serveral rounds of review and revision, the thesis was accepted. Printed copies are available in the U of O Knight Library and the Linguistics departmentLibrary. I have also uploaded a down-loadable copy  to this blog. Many thanks for all the critique, suggestions, and comments. I have incorporated all of your feedback in one way or another to make this a much better description of Yaghnobi grammar.

Right up to the last day before I submitted this thesis, I wanted to keep revising it. Clearly this is not the final word on Yaghnobi grammar and I hope that I will have the opportunity to continue revising and adding to this project. I also hope that this thesis will be helpful to other linguists and will be an aid in the preservation and revitalization of the Yaghnobi language.

Links to the thesis chapters appear below:

Preliminary Pages

I. Introduction
II. Overview
III. Nominal Morphology
IV. Verbal Morphology
V. Grammatical Relations
VI. Copular Clauses
Back Matter

Comments, critique and suggestions are still welcome!


1. Beyond the River » Blog Archive » Saving Shughni - August 5, 2008

[…] other news about unofficial languages of Tajikistan, Brian Bird recently posted his master’s thesis on Yaghnobi grammar. Yaghnobi is spoken by ever-smaller groups of people in northeastern Tajikistan, and apparently its […]

2. Shahar - September 3, 2008

Thanks for putting it available online! It’s really nice and generous of you. Have you seen the new “society for Iranian linguistics” website? I haven’t seen you on the list there.

3. آستان - September 14, 2008


I’m happy your thesis is ready, I just returned from Tajikistan sending to you greatings from Sajfiddin and his family. I worked on my Yaghnobi dictionary, collected some new material and I have seen some new books printed by Sajfiddin, what can be interesting to you is a new grammar of Yaghnobi which can also be usefull as a Yaghnobi text-book….

4. Bahrom - September 14, 2008

Hi Luboss,

It’s great to hear from you. It sounds like you have had some good opportunities to make progress on your dictionary. I am in the process of applying for a Documenting Endangered Languages grant so that I can work on a more complete grammar of Yaghnobi. I would be very interested in seeing the new books you mentioned, especially the grammar.

5. Erek Gass - November 26, 2008

It was indeed generous of you to put your thesis on-line. The only way to save many of these languages IS to make their data readily available to those of us willing to study them to assure their continued existence, to the extent that is possible. Far too many languages die, not because they need to, but because the younger generation are shamed out of their usage. Re-instilling the rightful pride in these tongues, which are every bit as functional, valuable, and historic as the larger tongues which are overwhelming them.

6. Ghazaleh Vafaeian - May 18, 2015

Dear Brian,

Thank you very much for making your thesis available online! Also congratulations on such a well written MA thesis. I am currently writing my PhD-thesis on progressive constructions in Iranian languages and had a look at your text. I think I may have found a typo and wanted to ask you about it. On page 84, at the top: do you mean “progressive aspect in the present and past” rather than “perfective aspect…”? Is it then correct that there exist a progressive in the language marked with the infinitive form of the verb + the verb be/have (thus Part = participal or infinitiv or both?)? Also, is it correct to assume then that there is no progressive construction marked with the verb “stand” + participle form as in Tajiki? It would be great to get in contact with you!

Best wishes,
Ghazaleh Vafaeian

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