Persian Grammar

„And what about the Persian language?
Being so gentle and delicate,
that all those meanings and subtleties,
having come down to us in Persian,
cannot be expressed in Arabian!”

Shams Tabrizi

Author: Dr. Navid Fazel, free researcher
About: Interview with “Deutsche Welle”


One of the pioneers of Iranian linguistics, Dr. Mohammad Moin, set out in the preface to his valuable series „Basics of Persian Grammar” (۱۹۶۱):

A number of scholars is of the opinion: „The time has not yet come to write and publish the Persian grammar. They can be subdivided into several groups:

The members of the first group do not give any reasons for this statement, besides, they are basically opposed to undertaking anything. It goes without saying that these cannot be noted to be a possible reference.

Still others say: „This grammar cannot be written by a single person/. This is quite correct and generally accepted. …

There are, however, adherents of a third theory: „A grammar must not be published until all Persian texts (both poetry and prose) have been printed.” This opinion sounds strange, besides, it is also being upheld as concerns Persian dictionaries, namely: „A Persian dictionary must not be drawn up before all Persian texts have been corrected and printed”.

However, one cannot but acknowledge that no correction of texts is possible without consulting dictionaries and without knowing the grammatical rules. This is why we find ourselves in a vicious circle: Neither dictionaries nor a grammar should be written, before all texts have been printed, the text, on the other hand, should not be corrected, as neither dictionaries nor a grammar have been drawn up!

… It is a matter of common sense to write a grammar and draw up a dictionary having regard to both contemporary research and older studies in the field of Middle Eastern as well as Western philologists. They should be based on prose and poetry already available in printed form as well as on manuscripts. Finally, this selfsame dictionary and this grammar will have to be relied upon for correcting the corresponding texts. Texts, which are both corrected and printed subsequently, will inevitably serve to clarify a number of obscure lexical and grammatical items and will thus bring about a revision of certain grammatical rules …

As he described, a comprehensive grammatical work of these dimensions will necessarily have to rely upon the dynamic cooperation of readers interested in linguistics. Therefore, your kind remarks, corrections and additions are always welcome, via email to, in order to take these into noteation in the process of ongoing revisions.

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