My wife and I spent the fall of last year living with a Yaghnobi family in a village in Tajikistan. It was a fantastic experience. The family we lived with was extremely hospitable. We spent several hours every day sitting around the dastarkhon (tablecloth) with them, their extended family, and neighbors. We will always value the friendships we made there.
My purpose for living in a Yaghnobi community was to study the language and collect material for my MA Thesis. I am a graduate student in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Oregon and plan to graduate in the spring of this year.
I really enjoyed eliciting words and sentences in Yaghnobi, collecting stories, and analyzing the language. Since we lived in the home of Saifiddin Mirzoev who has a doctorate in philology and is head of the department of languages at the Rudaki Institute of Language and Literature, I received a great deal of expert consultation and was able to make tremendous progress in studying the Yaghnobi language.
Now I’m back home in Oregon working and writing my Thesis. I’ve been feeling a bit isolated in this work since I don’t know anyone else who is studying the Yaghnobi language. I’m hoping that this blog will be a medium for connecting and collaborating with other students and scholars of the Yaghnobi language.
6/13/07 Update: I started a new blog, The Yaghnobi, and all new posts about the Yaghnobi language are being made there.