Language Contact and Language Change in Western Asia

Frankfurt Conference 2017


Language Contact and Language Change in Western Asia


Conference description:

      The conference “Language Contact and Language Change in Western Asia” focuses on multilingualism in Western Asia. Within Western Asia, we aim at focusing the Kurdish-populated areas in the regions of Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey and the neighboring countries Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia. In this area, several Indo-European varieties are spoken, including Armenian, Kurdish varieties, and Persian. A number of non-Indo-European languages are spoken as well, such as Azeri Turkic, Arabic, Neo-Aramaic, and Turkish. Finally Georgian and other Caucasian languages are also spoken in the region. Most of the above-mentioned languages exhibit a suprastratum of Semitic, Iranian and Turkic languages due to their close contact for centuries.

The conference explores the use of corpus methods in descriptive and theoretical analysis of word order change of natural languages in a multilingual area like Western Asia. Focal areas of interest include, but are not limited to language contact and language change in word order, information structure, and prosody. Furthermore, we are interested in theoretical and methodological issues pertaining to corpus-oriented research in language contact, i.e. tools, methods, and techniques in corpus assembly, annotation and analysis, the interaction between corpus linguistics and computational linguistics, the relevance of corpus linguistics and linguistic theory, the use of statistical and quantitative methods in detecting patterns of language change, as well as the impact of corpus-based vs. corpus-driven approaches on our view and understanding of morphosyntatic change in languages.


Friday (10 March 2017)

Friday (10 March 2017) Time
Opening Session 9:30 - 10:00
KEYNOTE ADDRESSChair: Hiwa Asadpour
Jost Gippert
Relative clauses in the Southern Caucasus in an areal perspective
POSTER SESSION(see below) 10:45-11:15
Coffee break 11:15-11:45
Chair: Armin Hoenen (Frankfurt University)
Lars Johanson, Christiane Bulut and Éva Á. Csató
On the project “Historical and Linguistic Aspects of Turco-Iranian Contacts in the South Anatolian and West Iranian Area” carried out at Mainz University 1997–2008
Murad Suleymanov and Hélène Gérardin
Convergent evolution of the future, the conditional and the eventual in Georgian and Azeri.
Mojtaba Monshizadeh
(Allameh Tabatab’i University, Tehran) Changes in Old Persian Language and its Relation to Language Contact: A Comparative Study
Lunch Time 13:15-14:45
Chair: Nicolaos Neocleous
Michiel Leezenberg
Vernacularisation in the Ottoman empire: The role of native grammars
Pinar Karakilcik
Armenian -mIş alla turca (in the Anatolian contact zone)
Laurentia Schreiber, Mortaza Taheri-Ardali, Geoffrey Haig and Erik Anonby
Contact-induced change in Irano-Turkic morphosyntax
Coffee Break 16:15-16:45
Chair: Murad Suleymanov
Martin Schwartz
On the vocabulary of Luter-e Jâberi, a trader's secret language of Ilam Province, Iranian Kurdistan
Christiane Bulut
Clause combining in spoken varieties of Turkic from Iraq, Iran, and SE Anatolia
Annette Herkenrath
Western-Asian multilingualism in Germany: Towards a Kurmanji-Turkish-German trilingual picture of information structure
Free Time 18:15-20:00
Confrence Dinner 20:00

Saturday (11 March 2017)

Saturday (11 March 2017) Time
Chair: Daniel Krauße
Ioanna Sitaridou
Negative Existential Cycle in Romeyka: Aerial feature or internal development?
Bruno Herin and Pelin Tunaydin
Domani, a mixed language in Eastern Anatolia?
Martin Haspelmath
Can cross-linguistic distributions be explained by change constraints?
Coffee Break 11:30-12:00
Chair: Hiwa Asadpour
Geoffrey Khan
Word order in North-Eastern Neo-Aramaic dialects
Lunch Time 13:00-14:30
Chair: Jost Gippert
Yaron Matras
The Manchester Kurdish Database: Methods, scope, and initial findings concerning language contact and convergence’ by
Panel discussion with
Geoffrey Khan
Geoffrey Haig
Coffee Break 16:00-16:30
Chair: Hélène Gérardin
Jade Al-Saraf
The Function of the Loaned Particle ‘hamm’ in Baghdadi Arabic
Jasmine Dum-Tragut
Documentation and analysis of historical language contact revisited – On material from non-linguistic research archives and Armenian Prisoners-of-War in 1915
Coffee Break 17:30-18:00
Chair: Daniel Krauße
Abboud Zeitoune
130 years of Assyrian music, contacts and changes and possibilities of preservation
Western Asian cultural performances with dinner 18:40-21:00
Celebrating New Year in spring  

Sunday (12 March 2017)

Sunday (12 March 2017) Time
Chair: Éva Á. Csató
Anaïd Donabédian
Word Order in Western Armenian : typology and contact
Chair: Zahra Abolhassani Chimeh
Nicolaos Neocleous
The reconstruction of VO and OV alternation in Romeyka
Coffee Break 11:30-11:45
Chair:Thomas Jügel
Hélène Gérardin
Contact-induced valency anomalies in Georgian
Michael L. Chyet
“Jinê min diher̄e” and “Heytim”: More Examples of Learners’ Errors or Reinterpretation
Closing Ceremony 12:45-13:15
Masoud Mohammadirad
Pronominal clitics in Southern Central Kurdish varieties
Lunch Break 13:15-14:15
Chair: Michael L. Chyet
Gohar Hakobyan
On the Development of *-Š- > -L- in Western New Iranian
Amir Aharifi and Ali Ashouri
The Enigma of Kermanshani Persian: Kurdified Persian or Persianized Kurdish?
Hasmik Kirakosian and Ani Sargsyan
The Glossary “Daqāyeq Al-Haqāyeq” as a Source of Research of Persian-Turkish Linguistic Contacts and Training Methodology of the 16th Century
Hiwa Asadpour
Drawing the attention for critical points in linguistic contact
Jost Gippert
Summary of Caucasian languages in contact
Éva Á. Csató and Christiane Bulut
Summary of Turkic languages in contact
Geoffrey Khan
Summary of Semitic languages in contact
Geoffrey Haig
Summary of Kurdish varieties in contact
Anaïd Donabédian
Summary of Armenian varieties in contact
Thomas Jügel
Summary of other Iranian and Indo-European languages

Poster Session

Faryar Akhlaghi & Hiwa Asadpour: A functional typological study of complement relations in Sorani and Kurmanji: Determining language contact effects

Narjes Eskandarnia & Arezoo Najafian: Georgian and Persian linguistic contact in Fereydunshahr (Isfahan)

Elena Panina Acoustic investigation of selected vowel phonemes in two varieties of Sorani Kurdish

Download below

Organizer: Hiwa Asadpour


Daniel Krauße


How to get to the conference

From Frankfurt Main Train Station

From Frankfurt HBF (Central Railway Station), take one of local trains (S-Bahn) S1 (direction Offenbach‐Ost), S2, S3, S4 (direction Frankfurt Süd), S5/S6 (Stresemannallee), S8/S9 (Hanau Hauptbahnhof) and exit at the station “Hauptwache”. Proceed via one of the metro lines 1/2/3/8 to "Holzhausentraße". From there it is a 5 minutes walk to Campus Westend (see the map above). Alternatively, one may take Bus 64 from Frankfurt HBF (South Exit) to „Bremer Straße“ (one stop after„Bremer Platz / Uni-Campus Westend“).

From Frankfurt International Airport:

After landing, please proceed to the local railway station for regional and local trains at Terminal 1, Level 1 (German: Frankfurt (Main) Flughafen Regionalbahnhof). Trains arrive at and depart from platforms 1 to 3.  (Please note: there are two railway stations at the Frankfurt Airport: Do not go to the long‐distance railway station at the AIRail Terminal.)  From the local railway station take one of the local trains (S‐Bahn) S8 or S9 – direction Hanau Hauptbahnhof – 5 stops from airport to the station “Hauptwache”. Change for the underground train U‐Bahn U1, U2, U3 or U8 to the station “Holzhausenstraße”. After 5 minutes walk you will arrive at Campus Westend.

Please note: There are very few available parking spots close to Campus Westend, the closest parking ramp is at the "Palmengarten".  

On Campus

The Casino is the building (2a) behind the main building and the water basin, so you will have to enter the main building and exit through one of the back doors.

          Hotels in the Immediate Vicinity of Campus Westend
          The location both of the hotels and of the conference venue you can see on this overview map.

Hotel Mondial (green pin on the overview map). 

Heinestr. 13 60322 Frankfurt am Main Phone: +49 (69) 59 04 22 E-mail: Homepage:

Motel Frankfurt (blue pin on the overview map).

Eschersheimer Landstraße 204 60320 Frankfurt am Main Phone: +49 (69) 56 0006-0 E-mail: Homepage:

Hotel Astoria (yellow pin on the ).overview map

Rheinstr. 25 60320 Frankfurt am Main Phone: +49 (69) 97 56 00 E-mail: Homepage:

WiFi Access


The Goethe University's Wireless Internet
 can be used by every 
previously registered participant
 of the conference. The conference accounts will be handed over at the 
conference registration desk

          There is no formal registration procedure, but if you intend to attend the conference 
          we would request that you send an email to:

          Please include the names and number of people attending, so that we are able to plan for
          rooms and refreshments.

The conference fees listed below are in Euros

Full pack (including the main conference, three days of tutorials and workshops, refreshments, conference dinner on Friday)

             Frankfurt-based student: 35
             Student: 55
             Regular: 80

          Main conference only

             Frankfurt-based student: 12
             Student: 35
             Regular: 65

We will issue a certificate of attendance on receipt of the conference fee.

Important Dates:

          15th December 2016   15th January 2017 — Call deadline (submission of abstracts)
          10th February 2017 — Notification of acceptance 


Conference date

10th to 12th March 2017

The Organizing team would like to thank the individuals and organizations who generously shared their time, experience, and materials for the purposes of this project and conference. When a function such as our conference and activities are a success, the credit starts with the planning committee. Your fine work, excellent planning and realistic scheduling resulted in an informative and smooth running meeting.

Our special thanks to Dr. Küster Sybille and GRADE team for exhaustive support and being present always in the time we needed help.

We also like to give our warm thanks for Saloumeh Gholami who kindly helped us with booking the rooms in Campus Westend and also she shared her experience with us.

Also we would like to thanks Azad Ayami, Karokh Faraj, Bernhard Koehler, Diako Nahid and Abboud Zeitoune for helping us in giving ideas, sharing time and experience and helping in logistic and organizing the conference.

Roshanak Hassanpanah and Omid Fadayi made great effort in designing the logo, thank you for both of you.

Our website designers Mostafa Jahin, Himan Asadpour, Farough Perviznia and Rebvar Ebrahimi (HOZAN Mokriyan Web Developers) have done a super job. Our warm thanks for this great work.

The conference will take place in Hörsaalzentrum Building (3rd floor) at the Frankfurt University, Campus Westend (Theodor-W.-Adorno-Platz 1, 60323 Frankfurt). There will be signposts to guide the way to the conference venue. Campus can be reached from Frankfurt Central Station by commuter train line S1 to S9 until Hauptwache, then change to subway U1/U2/U3 or U8 to Holzhausenstraße. An alternative option is the direct link from Frankfurt Central Station to Bremer Straße (in front of the campus entrance) by bus no. 64.

#4 : "Hörsaalzentrum Building"
click here for the PDF file

We gratefully acknowledge the support of our principal sponsors GRADE and the Department of Comparative Linguistics at the University of Frankfurt.

We also thanks for generous donation of Mr. Naser Sharifi who supported us.


Inquiries and contact:


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