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Persian Language and Culture for Intermediate and Advanced Level Study

Principal Investigator:

Funding Agency: Roshan Cultural Heritage Institute

Funding Award Amount: $104,000

Project Description:

  • Project Duration:  2 years (2007-2009)
  • Status: Completed

The project is designed to compile a pilot corpus of Persian language data (both oral and written) and to analyze grammatical and pragmatic features using a combined theoretical/methodological approach of corpus, discourse analysis, conversation analysis, and cognitive linguistics. Grammatical topics will be analyzed from the perspective of “conceptual grammar” (Strauss, Lee, Ahn 2006). Pragmatic features will center on speech acts, discourse markers, honorifics, and implicit/explicit markers of epistemic and affective stance. All language data would be drawn from instances of naturally occurring interaction and communication among Persian speakers in Persian.

The findings will then be expanded into pedagogical materials both for Persian teachers and students involved in heritage, advanced, or high intermediate language study. The goals of the corpus-based study and the pedagogical materials designed therefrom are to help students and teachers develop a keener sensitivity to situated language use and to ultimately begin to re-conceptualize the notion of grammatical/pragmatic rule—one that is rooted in interpersonal meaning and grounded in cultural preferences. The project in its proposed design and implementation mirrors much of the work already completed and currently under way for the Korean project of CALPER, Penn State’s Title VI, National Foreign Language Resource Center.

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