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Neda Taherkhani joins SBU as the Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Postdoctoral Fellow

NedaDr. Neda Taherkhani will join Stony Brook Linguistics in Fall 2019 as the Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Postdoctoral Fellow in Endangered Iranian Languages.

Neda received a PhD in linguistics from the School of Interdisciplinary Studies at Purdue University with a specialization in Southern Tati, an undescribed language of Iran. Her PhD dissertation focused on the syntactic structure of Motion Predicates in the Takestani (Siyadiniji) dialect of Southern Tati and dealt with the sub-eventive decomposition of Motion Predicates. Neda’s dissertation had a secondary goal of contributing to the documentation of the Southern Tati language group which has been categorized as “definitely” endangered by UNESCO.

Neda was trained on language documentation at the Indigenous and Endangered Languages Lab (IELLab) at Purdue under the supervision of Dr. Elena Benedicto, and at the Institute on Collaborative Language Research (CoLang 2018). Her research has also involved phonological changes in Tati verb conjugations including vowel harmony. She taught Persian at the International Center in West Lafayette and organized cultural events for Purdue’s Iranian Cultural Club (ICC). Neda is also a self-taught digital painter who seeks inspiration from women’s daily lives.

Neda was awarded a Linguistics Society of America (LSA) fellowship for attending CoLang 2018, a Purdue Research Foundation grant for writing her dissertation, two Excellence in Research awards from Purdue’s Office of Interdisciplinary Graduate Programs, as well as several Lynn fellowships and PROMISE awards from Purdue’s linguistics department.

Neda is looking forward to using her linguistics and language documentation skills to conduct research on Southern Tati at SBU. She says: “With help from my new SBU mentors and colleagues, I hope Southern Tati will become widely recognized as an especially unique Indo- European language worthy of dedicated study.”