• Habib Borjian
  • Phone: 848.445.0275
  • Room #: 15 Seminary Place Room 5122, College Avenue Campus
  • Visiting Scholar

Habib Borjian is a linguist with expertise on historical linguistics, language documentation, philology, dialectology and Iranian languages and literatures. His academic training spans Columbia University, University of Tehran, and the State University of Yerevan. Dr. Borjian worked as a research scholar at the Center for Iranian Studies, Columbia University (2010-19). In the past nine years he has served on the board of directors of Endangered Language Alliance, aiming at documenting rare languages spoken by immigrant communities in Greater New York. Since 2012, he has also served as Co-director of the Near East region at the Endangered Languages Project, a joint project of Google and Univ. of Hawaii, in which his work entails identifying and categorizing the languages spoken in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Central Asia, the Caucasus, Turkey, and Iran. During his tenure at the Association for the Study of Persianate Societies (2006-12), Dr. Borjian organized and presided over biannual conferences in Tbilisi, Lahore, and Hyderabad. During the academic years of 2017-19, he sat on the Libraries Senate Committee of Columbia University.

 Dr. Borjian served on the board editors of the Encyclopaedia Iranica, an academic reference work dedicated to the study of Iranian civilization in the Near East, the Caucasus, and Central and South Asia, and covers all aspects of its history and culture, as well as languages and literatures, including Iranic, Semitic, Turkic, and Indic. He has served on the editorial board of several academic journals and functioned as Associate Editor of Journal of Persianate Studies. Dr. Borjian's scholarly output amounts to scores of articles in peer reviewed journals and edited volumes. His current focus is on philology and ethnolinguistic documentation.



Three Essays on Three Iranic Language Groups: Taleqani, Biabanaki, Komisenian, American Oriental Society, 2021 forthcoming.

Ganjina-ye guyešhâ-ye Irâni: Ostân-e Esfahân II (Central Plateau languages of Isfahan area), Tehran: Academy of Persian Language and Literature, 2015.

Is there Continuity between Persian and Caspian? Linguistic Relationships in South-Central Alborz, New Haven: American Oriental Society, 2013

The Raji Dialect of Jowshaqan, Munich: LINCOM Europa, 2013.

Meyma’i. A Central Iranian Plateau Dialect, Munich: LINCOM Europa, 2012.

Motun-e Tabari / Tabari Texts, Tehran: Written Heritage Publishers, 2009.

Articles and Book Chapters

The Perside Language of Shiraz Jewry: A Historical-Comparative Phonology,” Iranian Studies 53/3-4, 2020, pp. 403-415.

“Contribution to the Toponomastics of the Central Alborz” (in Persian), Literary and Linguistic Studies of the Caucasus and Caspian 1/3, 2020, pp. 19-31.

Traces of pharyngeal consonants in Isfahani Persian,” Iranian Studies, 2019, pp. 1-15.

The Language of the Kharg Island,” Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Series 3, 29.4 (2019), pp. 659-682

“Mazandarani: A typological Survey,” in Typology of Iranian Languages, ed. A. Korangy and B. Mahmoudi-Bakhtiari, Berlin: De Gruyter Mouton, 2019, pp. 79-101.

Judeo-Isfahani: The Iranian Language of the Jews of Isfahan,” Journal of Jewish Languages 7, 2019, pp. 121-189.

The Mazandarani Dialect of Kalijān Rostāq,” Iranian Studies 52/3-4, 2019, pp. 551-573.

The Caspian Language of Šahmirzād,” Journal of the American Oriental Society 139/2, 2019, pp. 361-379.

North Iranic Peoples in the Encyclopaedia Iranica,” Nartamongæ. The Journal of Alano-Ossetic Studies 14, 2019, pp. 413-423.

“The Dialect of Khur,” in Matteo De Chiara, Adriano V. Rossi, and Daniel Septfonds, eds., Mélanges d’ethnographie et de dialectologie irano-aryennes à la mémoire de Charles-Martin Kieffer (Studia Iranica. Cahier 61), Paris: Association pour l'avancement des études iraniennes, 2018, pp. 77-98.

The Caspian Dialect of Māhā,” Studia Iranica 47/2, 2018, pp. 7-26.

Kerman xvi. Languages,” Encyclopaedia Iranica, Vol. XVI, fasc. 3, 2017 pp. 301-315.

Kermanshah vii. Languages and Dialects,” Encyclopaedia Iranica, vol. XVI, fasc. 3, 2017, pp. 324-329.

(with Daniel Kaufman) “Juhuri: from the Caucasus to New York City,” in Maryam Borjian and Charles Häberl, eds., Special Issue: Middle Eastern Languages in Diasporic USA communities, in International Journal of Sociology of Language, issue 237, Jan. 2016, pp. 51-74.

“Judeo-Iranian Languages,” in Lily Kahn and Aaron D. Rubin, eds., A Handbook of Jewish Languages, Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2015, pp. 234-295.

(with Ross Perlin) “Bukhori in New York,” in Matteo De Chiara and Evelin Grassi, eds., Iranian Languages and Literatures of Central Asia: From the Eighteenth Century to the Present (Studia Iranica. Cahier 57), Paris: Association pour l'avancement des études iraniennes, 2015, pp. 15-27.

A Persian View of the Steppe Iranians,” Anabasis 5, 2014, pp. 155-173.

“The Balochi Dialect of the Korosh,” Acta Orientalia 67/4, 2014, pp. 453-465.

What is Judeo-Median—and How Does it Differ from Judeo-Persian?Journal of Jewish Languages 2/2, 2014, pp. 117-142.

The Caspian Dialect of Kujūr in The Central Alborz,” Iran. Journal of the British Institute of Persian Studies 51, 2013, pp. 237-248.

Perso-Tabaric Dialects in the Language Transition Zone Bordering Mazandaran,” Studia Iranica 42/2, 2013, pp. 195-225.

Yushij: A Dialect of Central Alborz,” Persica 24, 2013, pp. 127-153.

The Tabaroid Dialects of South-Central Alborz,” Acta Orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hungarica 66/4, 2013, pp. 427-441.

Judeo-Kashani: A Central Iranian Plateau Dialect,” Journal of the American Oriental Society 132/1, 2012, pp. 1-22.

The Dialects of Velātru and Gachsar: The Upper Karaj Valley in the Caspian-Persian Transition Zone,” Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society 22/2, 2012, pp. 227-263.

“Shemiran Dialect Group,” Enat'mec'nierebis sakit'xebi/Issues of Linguistics 2011 (Jemshid Giunashvili Festschrift), Tbilisi: Tbilisi State University, 2012, pp. 79-90.

The Median dialects of Kashan,” Encyclopaedia Iranica, vol. XVI, fasc. 1, 2012, pp. 38-48.

(with Maryam Borjian) “Plights of Persian in the Modernization Era,” in Joshua A. Fishman and Ofelia García, eds., Handbook of Language and Ethnic Identity II. Success and Failure Continuum, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2011, pp. 254-267.

The extinct dialect of Tajrish: Caspian or Persian?Journal of Persianate Studies 4/2, 2011, pp. 246-271.

The Dialect of Kuhpâya,” Studia Iranica 40/1, 2011, pp. 7-68.

“When and how did the vernacular of Isfahan shift from Median to Persian?” (in Persian), Irânšenâsi 22/4, 2011, pp. 639-654.

Şeyh Lutfullah Camii“ (İsfahan’da XVII. yüzyılda inşa edilen cami; Safavid mosque in Isfahan),” in Türkiye Diyanet Vakfı İslam Ansiklopedisi, vol. 39, 2010, pp. 57-58.

“Nesâb-e Tabari Revisited: A Mazandarani Glossary from the Nineteenth Century,” Acta Orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hungarica 63/1, 2010, pp. 39-62.

Median Succumbs to Persian after Three Millennia of Coexistence: Language Shift in the Central Iranian Plateau,” Journal of Persianate Societies 2/1, 2009, pp. 62-87.

The Extinct Language of Gurgan: Its Sources and Origins,” Journal of the American Oriental Society 128/4, 2008, pp. 681-707.

“The Komisenian Dialect of Aftar,” Archiv Orientální 76/3, 2008, pp. 379-416.

(with Maryam Borjian) “The Last Galesh Herdsman: Ethno-Linguistic Materials from South Caspian Rainforests,” Iranian Studies 41/3, 2008, pp. 365-402.

“Tabarica II: Some Mazandarani Verbs,” Iran and the Caucasus 12/1, 2008, pp. 73-82.

“Two Mazandarani Texts from the Nineteenth Century,” Studia Iranica 37/1, 2008, pp. 7-50.

(with Maryam Borjian) “Twenty-five Mazandarani quatrains,” Nawabi Memorial Volume, ed. M. Jaafari-Dehaghi, Tehran: Encyclopedia Islamica, 2008, pp. 9-37.

(with Maryam Borjian) “Marriage Rites in South Caspian Villages: Ethnographic and Linguistic Materials from Mazandaran,” Archiv Orientální 75/2, 2007, pp. 191-214.

“Tajikistan,” Dâʾerat-al-maʿâref-e Bozorg-e Eslâmi (Great Islamic Encyclopedia), vol. XIV, Tehran, 2007, pp. 247-260.

(with Maryam Borjian) “Ethno-Linguistic Materials from Rural Mazandaran,” Iran and the Caucasus 11/2, 2007, pp. 226-254.

“Esfahan,” in Cities of the Middle East and North Africa: A Historical Encyclopedia, Michael R. T. Dumper and Bruce E. Stanley (eds.), Santa Barbara, Cal., 2007, pp. 147-149.

“Earthquake in Persian Beliefs and Legends” (in Persian), Nâma-ye Farhangestân 8/4, 2007, pp. 6-25.

A Mazandarani account of the Babi Incident at Shaikh Tabarsi,” Iranian Studies 39/3, 2006, pp. 381-400.

“Tabari language materials from Il’ya Berezin’s Recherches sur les dialectes persans,” Iran and the Caucasus 10/2, 2006, pp. 243-258.

“The Oldest Known Texts in New Tabari: The Collection of Aleksander Chodźko,” Archiv Orientální 74/2, 2006, pp. 153-171.

(with Maryam Borjian) “The Story of Rostam and the White Demon in Mazandarani,” Nāme-ye Irān-e Bāstān 5/1-2, 2006, pp. 107-116.

“The oldest known prose text in Modern Tabari: a translation from Tufân al-Bokâ,” Studies on Persianate Societies 3, 2005, pp. 172-189.

(with Garnik Asatrian) “Talish: people and language: The state of research,” Iran and the Caucasus 9/1, 2005, pp. 43-72.

Mazandaran: Language and People: The State of Research,” Iran and the Caucasus 8/2, 2004, pp. 289-328.

“Iryston: the Iranian-speaking republic in North Caucasus,” Amu Darya 6, 2002, ser. no. 12, pp. 222-245, Russian translation “Osetija: Iranojazychnaja respublika na severe Kavkaza,” in Аму дарья 6, 2002, ser. no. 12.