Parameters influencing word order in Balochi, Bashkardi and other Iranian languages

Agnes Korn (CNRS, Paris/France)
Event time: 
Monday, October 16, 2023 - 4:00pm to 5:30pm
Rosenfeld Hall, Room 109 See map
Event description: 

The languages of the Iranian branch of Indo-European have usually been held to exhibit SOV word order, which has often been taken to also imply “verb-final”. Both is indeed the case for standard (literary) Persian, the comparatively best known and most widely spoken language of the branch. However, it does not hold for colloquial (spoken) Persian, where e.g. goals of verbs of movement are frequently placed after the verb. This placement is even the rule in some Kurdish varieties. Here, influence from Aramaic varieties (Semitic, traditionally verb-initial) has been assumed to play a role. However, goals of motion are also predominantly postverbal in Iranian languages spoken far away from Aramaic, such as Balochi and Baskardi. Moreover, the latter also admit direct objects after the verb under certain pragmatic conditions, while this would hardly be acceptable in Kurdish. In this talk, I will present data illustrating the positioning of non-subject elements in Balochi and Bashkardi and discuss the factors which seem to guide speakers’ choices concerning word order.