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The State-of-the-Art in Linguistics in 2017: An Iranian View

Dr. Mohammad Dabir-Moghaddam,

AllamehTabataba’i University (& Academy of Persian Language and Literature), Iran

In this talk, I intend to provide a state-of-the-art review of the basic tenets, assumptions, and concerns of the four major approaches to the study of human language. These approaches are as follows: The Generative Enterprise, Systemic Functional Grammar, Cognitive Linguistics, and Linguistic Typology. I will then rely on my own research on Persian and other Iranian languages of Iran to assess the major claims of the mentioned approaches to the study of language. This talk will reveal my own theoretical concerns and assumptions about the architecture of language. In my research on Ancient and Modern Iranian languages, I have arrived at the following results: (A) Form and structure do play a crucial role in the architecture and design of these languages and more generally and analogically in the architecture of human languages: The existence of the syntactic domains; (B) Though I assume the modularity of language and mind, I am convinced that the very existence of options, choices, and variations that are allowed by languages are due to pragmatic, discoursal, and information structure factors: Mobile clitics; (C) The results reported in (A) and (B) suggest that a modular and interface-based model of language which allows the interdependence of form, meaning, and function, hence a formal-functional view of language seems to be more compatible with the real, authentic, and corpus-based data; (D) Synchrony may reveal decisive data and information on archaic patterns and structures and the processes of language change and on the notion of endangerment; (E) How much do we benefit from the theoretical developments and theoretical state-of-the-art in the field for applied purposes and more specifically in language teaching?

The above abstract is a part of the article which was accepted at The International Conference on Current Issues of Languages, Dialects and Linguistics (WWW.LLLD.IR), 2-3 February 2017, Iran-Ahwaz.