(Phase 1: Transcription of First Package of Linguistic Interviews)
Credit Holder and Employer: Languages and Dialects Research Center, Iranian Research Institute for Cultural Heritage and Tourism (IRICHTO)
Contractor: Pishin Pajouh Arts and Culture Institute
The Iranian Linguistic Atlas (ILA) is a national Iranian linguistic heritage preservation project.
The project has a long history of nearly 50 years, and has been undertaken over two periods, namely during the 1970s and from 2001-to date. In 2001, the archive of the project that consisted of thousands of old sound recordings on cassettes and rails[JB1] , as well as their related documentation consisting of booklets with information on the locations and some preliminary transcriptions were handed over to Dr. Yadollah Parmoun, then a Faculty Member of the Languages and Dialects Research Centre, Deputy for Research, Iranian Cultural Heritage Organization. As the Scientific Director of the project, Parmoun defined the new endeavor the stage of rendering the project into the emerging era of computational linguistic atlases. His accomplishments in this period included extensive review of the theoretical and methodological literature, survey of best practices, networking with competent software developers, study and re-arrangement of the ILA physical archive consisting of the analog recordings and hard copies of documents, exploring methods of digitizing the analog holdings and creating a virtual archive of the sound recordings and hard copies, drafting guidelines for digitization, ILA data-bank, linguistic transcription, and graphic representation of isoglosses on GIS maps, supervising the software development process, and examining all above with conducting an experimental linguistic atlas of Sarakhs, a county of Khorasan Razavi Province, located to the North-east of Iran on its border with Turkmenistan, that represented remarkable linguistic diversity.
In the course of the years 2006-2009, Mohammad Reza Miri, the then Managing Director of Pishin Pajouh Culture and Art Institute, and Katherine Azami, Pishin Pajouh’s Culture and Museology Specialist joined Dr. Parmoun to launch the implementation of the project. The cooperating team, namely Scientific Director (Parmoun), Executive Director (Miri), and Transcription Team Supervisor (Azami), succeeded in training 25 transcribers, providing the auspices for ILA, establishing the ILA computational network, and accomplishing data-entry in ILA data-bank by transcribing several thousands of the interviews. The digitization of the analogue recordings and the basic information regarding the interview location, time, and the informants had, already, been accomplished by Khane-ye Tarrahan Co., supervised by Mr. Reza Mollanowrouzi, Managing Director.
The establishment, in the year 2010, of PGILH that brought Dr. Janet Blake into cooperation with Dr Parmoun, Mr Miri, and Ms Azami on ICH did not hinder their care for ILA. They have been, and are still consulted for sharing their methods and experiences, to hold demonstrations of ILA, and to connect the new Languages and Dialects Research Centre researchers in charge of ILA with the 25 experienced transcribers and other involved sides through effective networking.