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LINGUIST List 18.677

Sun Mar 04 2007

FYI: Sociolinguistic Studies of Kurdish

Editor for this issue: Dan Parker <danlinguistlist.org>

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        1.    Jaffer Sheyholislami, Sociolinguistic Studies of Kurdish

Message 1: Sociolinguistic Studies of Kurdish
Date: 04-Mar-2007
From: Jaffer Sheyholislami <jaffer_sheyholislamicarleton.ca>
Subject: Sociolinguistic Studies of Kurdish

Call for Contributions

Kurdistan and Survival of a Nation: From Genocide to Rights. Language,
Education and Identity

Amir Hassanpour, Jaffer Sheyholislami, Tove Skutnabb-Kangas & Khaled Salih
(eds.). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. Series Linguistic Diversity and
Language Rights [in preparation].
Book (Approximately 300 pages) and CD

This will be the first book of sociolinguistic studies of the Kurdish
language. One of the top languages of the world in terms of the number of
speakers, Kurdish is among the most repressed. The speech community is
divided among five neighbouring countries (Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey,
Armenia), and dispersed in a vast diaspora throughout the world.
While linguistic studies of Kurdish date back to the eighteenth century,
there is a dearth of research on the social, cultural, political, legal and
economic components of the language.

Even though we are more or less strict on the distinction between
linguistics and sociolinguistics, our vision of the social dimension is
broad. Thus, a study of the lexicography of Kurdish is treated as outside
the scope of the book, while studies of the politics or political economy
of dictionary writing, or the politics of alphabet reform are within the
scope of the project, and so are gender dimensions of dictionaries. Since
we hope to publish the book in the series Linguistic Diversity and Language
Rights, Kurdish language policy, planning and language contact, as well as
diversities within Kurdish and issues of language rights should be central
for the project.

There are no restrictions on theoretical and methodological frameworks;
this will be an interdisciplinary and multi-method creation of a body of
knowledge about the language.

Book: Research Articles (topics open)

- History, general description and sociopolitical analyses of Kurdistan,
all from a language point of view
- Kurdish speech varieties, Kurdish cultures, Kurdish identities
- Educational (and other) linguistic human rights of Kurds
- Sociolinguistics challenges, solutions and future scenarios for Kurds and
- Nationalism, gender relations, internal and international politics,
distribution of resources, main educational, linguistic and political
challenges, problems and suggested solutions for Kurds and Kurdistan, all
from a language point of view: diversity of possible linguistic futures.
- Question of dialects, Kurdish language(s); standardization; alphabet
divide; orality and literacy, new technologies of language, scribal and
print languages; journalism; television Kurdish, media Kurdish, Internet
Kurdish; academic and intellectual Kurdish; prose and poetry; terminology;
translation; language and gender, Kurdish as the language of
administration; language and education; literary Kurdish; styles and registers
- Diaspora Kurdish(es); borrowing; the purist movement; language planning;
violence against Kurdish, e.g., linguicide and linguistic historicide and
other forms of repression; censorship; language loss and viability; music
and language; class and language; religion and language; rural and urban
- Contact with non-official languages (e.g., neo-Aramaic, Syriac, Turkmani,
and Armenian) and state/official languages (Arabic, Turkish, and Persian);
bilingualism and multilingualism;
- Questions of history: any aspect of the history of Kurdish which does not
focus on the structure of the language;

CD: Primary Sources
(Press reports, archival material, legislation, Statistics….)

Access to primary sources is quite difficult. This project will contribute
to the sociolinguistic study of Kurdish by making primary sources
available. We invite you to submit/suggest any source, which touches on
the sociolinguistic life of the Kurds. Here are some examples:

1. Turkish, Iraqi, Iranian, Western and other media reports on the Kurdish
language (e.g., reports about the struggle over Kurdish language rights in
2. Archival material (diplomatic correspondence, etc)
3. Relevant pieces from the Kurdish press
4. Selection of relevant parts of conventions, constitutions, congresses,
laws (e.g. Local Languages Law of 1932 in Iraq), etc.
5. Cartoons, maps
6. Chronologies, statistics

Please send your proposed title and one-page abstract to all four editors
at the latest by 30 April 2007. If accepted, you are expected to send the
first draft of the article to the editors by the end of December 2007.


Amir Hassanpour
Dept. of Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations, University of Toronto
4 Bancroft Ave, Toronto, Ontario
Canada M5S 1C1

Jaffer Sheyholislami
School of Linguistics & Applied Language Studies, Carleton University
1125 Colonel By Dr., Room # 215 PA
Ottawa, ON, K1S 5B6, Canada

Tove Skutnabb-Kangas
Roskilde University, Dept of Languages and Culture,
Roskilde, Denmark, and
Ă…bo Akademi University, Dept of Education, Vasa, Finland
Home page: http//akira.ruc.dk/~tovesk/

Khaled Salih
Kurdish Regional Government (Iraq)

Linguistic Field(s): Sociolinguistics

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