Iranian Languages

At the Department of Linguistics and Philology at Uppsala University, we teach several New Iranian languages, predominantly Persian and Kurdish, but also Balochi, Pashto, Gilaki and Mazandarani, as well as Old and Middle Iranian languages, such as Avestan, Old Persian and Middle Persian. Our research primarily focuses on a few main areas: linguistics, sociolinguistics, literary studies, oral tradition, text edition, translation and translation theory.

We also run The Balochi Language Project.


Within linguistics, we work with corpus-based studies of the grammar of classical and modern Persian and other Modern Iranian languages, in particular Balochi, Bashkardi, Mazandarani, Tajik and Wakhi. We primarily investigate phonetics and phonology, morphosyntax, discourse analysis, semantics and pragmatics.

Our sociolinguistic studies include language standardization and orthography development, conversation analysis, bilingual conversation strategies, and language, identity and modernity in a larger socio- political context. Within these fields our work is based on several languages including: Persian, Kumzari, Bakhtiari, and Balochi. We also do research on minority language rights in Iran, Persian as an L2, as well as the role of Persian in Sweden. We also work with the Lexin project.

Exile literature and theories about the role of literature in identity-building from social, ethnic, and gender perspectives are our primary focus in literature studies. We also perform research on classical Persian and Kurdish literature, as well as on modern literature in Persian, Kurdish and Pashto. Several Iranian languages have a strong oral tradition and we perform corpus studies on storytelling primarily based on corpora that we have created ourselves.

Our department is also actively working with text edition, especially of classical Persian works in the disciplines of Sufi poetry, history and musicology. Among the manuscripts we have published are Misbâḥ ul-arvâḥ, Vîs u Râmîn, a Zoroastrian-Persian version of Ardây-Vîrâf nâme, Shams ul-aṣvāt and Moḥîṭ ul-tavârix.

We also work with translation and translation theory. A number of translations of literary works from Persian, Kurdish and Pashto into Swedish have been completed and published and more translations are underway. Mohammad Ali Jamalzadeh’s works Yeki bud, yeki nabud, a groundbreaking work in the modern Persian literature is one of the works we have translated. Other authors who have been translated include Mahmud Dowlatabadi and a number of Afghan and Kurdish writers. A new translation of Sa'di’s Golestan is also underway.

The Balochi Language Project works on development of a standard written language for the Balochi language. Among the activities of this Project are the development of an English – Balochi lexicon, online lessons in Balochi, book publication, a conference on Balochi orthography in March 2014 and a conference on Balochi grammar in April 2016.



Conference Organization

Within Iranian Languages, conference organization and participation is an important part of research. Carina Jahani has, among other things, been co-organizer of the three latest ICIL (International Conference on Iranian Linguistics) conferences:

and (toghether with Agnes Korn), she has organized a workshop on ditransitive constructions in Pavia, 11 September 2014:; and she organized (together with Thomas Jügel and Robert Crellin) a conference about the Indo-European perfect form in Uppsala, 30/9–1/10 2016 (financed by the Swedish Research Council):

In 2011, Forogh Hashabeiky organized an international conference on Shahname.

Master's Students

There are at present three active Master's students and five who have recently finished their MA in Iranian langauges. The students work/have worked on various research projects, e.g. dialectal studies, translation theory, and sociolinguistic studies.