Professor of Minority Languages in the Middle East, Goethe University Frankfurt am Main
Resident at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften:2023–2025 (Goethe Fellow)
Research topic at the Forschungskolleg Humanwissenschaften:»Allochthonous and Autochthonous Minorities in a Comparative Context: Language Islands«
The study of language island can lead to benefits in two major aspects: First, language isolation and its social aspects particularly focus on group relationships and group identities and their role in language preservation. Secondly, the process of language change due to language contact leading in extreme case to island death. Our point of departure in this project will be as soon as language islands give up isolation and initiates integration: it dissolves.
The overarching objective of the present project is to comparatively study two groups of autochthonous and allochthonous language islands. Using both empirical and comparative methods relevant to understanding island scenarios, this project will answer the following leading and ground-breaking research question: What role does auto/allochthonicity play in the process of emergence, maintenance and dissolution of a language island, and what role does linguistic affinity play? Does the speed of dissolution depend on one of the two factors more than the other? The reason for this assumption is that autochthonous islands, which are all genetic related in the present study, are much more endangered than allochthonous one.
Since all selected island communities are also religion islands, the really interesting question, then, is whether religious identity, religiousness or better to say the degree of religious stability could have an impact on language preservation or language change.
Scholarly profile of Saloumeh Gholami Saloumeh Gholami has been Professor of Minority Languages in the Middle East at the Institute for Empirical Linguistics at Goethe University Frankfurt am Main since 2020. In 2010, she received her PhD from Georg-August-Universität Göttingen with a thesis on »Selected Features of Bactrian Grammar«. In 2022, she qualified as a professor at the Institute for Empirical Linguistics at Goethe University on the topic »The Secondary life of Avestan manuscripts: Colophons and Marginal Notes.« Gholami is a member of the board of directors of the LOEWE research focus »Minority Studies: Language and Identity,« which has been based at Goethe University since 2020. Most recently, in 2022, she was awarded the prestigious fellowship of Oxford University and its Oxford School of Rare Jewish Languages (OSRJL). In this context she does research on Gorani manuscripts in Hebrew script.
Please find more information about Saloumeh Gholami here.
Main areas of research:Comparative and historical linguistics, documentary linguistics, minority languages, language and identity, perceptual dialectology, codicology, Judeo-Iranian languages, Zoroastrian languages
- »Unpacking the Complexity of Gurān Identity: An Interdisciplinary Analysis of Historical and Cultural Sources« In: Brill Journal of Religious Minorities under Muslim Rule 1 (2023), p. 1–46.
- »On the terminology designating the Zoroastrians of Iran and their language«. In: Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies. 85:1 (2022).
- »Judeo-Hamadani, the languages of Jews in Hamadan«, in: Iranian Studies, 54:5-6 (2021), p. 769–805.
- (ed.), Language Contact and Language Islands in Iran, Commemorating Ehsan Yarshater (= Iranian Studies 53:3–4), Abingdon: Routledge 2020.
- Endangered Iranian Languages, Wiesbaden: Reichert 2018.