Post-predicate Elements in Iranian: Inheritance, Contact, and Information Structure

Funded by the Alexander-von-Humboldt-Stiftung

Funding period: 01.07.2019-30.06.2022

PI's: Geoffrey Haig (Bamberg); Mohammad Rasekh-Mahand (Hamedan)


Iranian languages are routinely classified as "verb final". While this is true with regard to the position of (non-pronominal) direct objects, which are generally pre-verbal, in several West Iranian languages, certain other constituents occur more or less systematically after the verb. The result is a typologically unusual and hitherto largely ignored OVX word order type within West Iranian. Furthermore, OVX word order has been identified in unrelated languages in contact with Iranian, including Turkic, and Neo-Aramaic.

Click here for the position paper.

This project brings together leading international experts on Iranian and neighbouring languages in order to explore

  • the extent of OVX word order within Iranian, and its genesis within the family
  • the areal spread of OVX word order in neighbouring languages, and the pathways of transmission
  • information-structural correlates of  OVX word order
  • typological implications of OVX word order.

The HamBam Corpus (Hamedan-Bamberg Corpus of Contemporary Spoken Persian)

Issues of information structure are primarily investigated using a corpus of contemporary spoken Persian, which is currently being jointly compiled at Hamedan and Bamberg. The architecture of the corpus largely follows the design implemented in MultiCAST.

Workshop series

The associated scholars meet once a year for three years, with the aim of producing a  multi-lingual survey of post-predicate structures across Iranian and neighbouring languages. Click here for the first workshop (Bamberg 6-7th September 2019)

Data survey

Data is currently being compiled for a sample languages, using a standardized spreadsheet template and coding scheme:

Click here(221.2 KB) for the current coding scheme.

Preliminary overview of candidate languages and researchers for the sample of text-based investigations

Masoud Mohamaddirad

Southern Kurdish, Laki, Gorani, southern dialects of Central Kurdish

Agnes Korn


Geoffrey Khan

NENA (North Eastern Neo-Aramaic)

Bettina Leitner

Khuzestani Arabic

Laurentia Schreiber


Geoffrey Haig

Northern Kurdish, Anatolian dialects of Turkish

Don Stilo

Vafsi and other languages from the southern part of his database

Mohammad Dabir-Moghaddam

Selected contemporary Iranian languages

Zakharia Pourtskhvanidze

Fereydani (Georgian language islands in Iran)

Kateryna Iefremenko

Colloquial modern Turkish

Robin Meyer

Modern Eastern Armenian

Maryam Nourzaei

Coastal Balochi, Koroshi Balochi

Nino Khvintelani