Virtual Lecture Series on Persian Language Pedagogy: Azita H. Taleghani

When and Where

Saturday, May 13, 2023 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm
Online via Zoom


Azita H. Taleghani


Acquisition of Persian Differential Object Marker ‘râ’:  A Challenge for the Second Language Learners and Heritage Speakers

The Elahé Omidyar Mir-Djalali Institute of Iranian Studies, in collaboration with the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, University of Chicago, presents "Lecture Series on Persian Language Pedagogy: New Trends and Innovations" on Saturday, May 13, 2023, at 12 PM (Eastern Time: Canada & US).

Azita H. Taleghani
Pouneh Shabani Jadidi


Persian morpheme ‘râ’ has been analyzed as an instance of Differential Object Marker (henceforth DOM), which appears on definite or specific direct objects, and it is a realization of an accusative case, treated as a dependent case assigned in syntax and a specificity feature (Karimi & Walter Smith, 2020). DOM marks overtly objects in other languages, such as Spanish, by adding a preposition ‘a’ to the animate and specific direct objects (Zagona 2002). DOM is among the most challenging grammatical structures for second-language learners and heritage speakers. Persian language learners have difficulty using ‘râ’ in different grammatical structures, specifically relative clauses and complex sentences. First, this paper discusses the theoretical linguistic background of ‘râ’. Then, it introduces the relevant data taken from various tasks of Persian language classes. Lastly, the theoretical analysis of ‘râ’ is examined through longitudinal error analysis of data. Finally, I suggest various methods for improving the acquisition of this challenging grammatical structure based on the analysis adopted in this paper and the L2 acquisition perspective.


Azita H. Taleghani is an Associate Professor in Persian language, literature, and linguistics at the University of Toronto. Her research has primarily focused on second-language learners and heritage speakers’ pedagogy, linguistic approaches in modern Persian literature, especially stylistic aspects in the poems of Persian women poets, Persian syntax, and morphology, as well as web-based and online language teaching. She is the Associate Editor and a member of the editorial board of Women Poets Iranica.

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