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Language and conceptualization: A cross-linguistic study of space, time and aspect in Persian and English narratives

Dissertation Fellowship

Award Recipient:

Funding Agency:   Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute

Funding Award Amount:  $25,300

Project Description:

The project is a cross-linguistic study of motion events in Persian and English. The data consist of two types of narratives: story line (based on Chafe’s Pear Film) and spontaneous past time narratives of personal experience. For the Pear Film data, the focus is on expressions of path and manner using Talmy’s (2000) typology of V-framed and S-framed languages as a point of departure. The semantics of deictic verbs, i.e., ‘go’ and ‘come’ in English vs. Persian amadan ‘come – roughly’ and raftan ‘go’ – roughly,’ will also be discussed in addition to how and in what discursive contexts these verbs chain with one or more additional lexical verbs in the narratives. Finally, the dissertation will examine the notion of evidentiality, particularly as grammaticalized in Persian through perfective aspect. For the narratives of personal experience, the focus is on the overall narrative structure with an emphasis on the discursive construction of emotion. This work will contribute to the growing body of literature on the relationship between language, cognition, and culture—especially involving a less commonly studied language like Persian.