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

Habib Borjian is a philologist with interests in historical linguistics, dialectology, Persian literature, and the history of Inner Asia. His academic training in the humanities 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 in 2010-19. Currently he serves 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 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 and Journal of Iranian Studies and served on editorial board of Iran and the Caucasus and Nartamongæ: Journal of Alano-Ossetic Studies. His scholarly output amounts to scores of papers in peer reviewed journals and edited volumes, and nearly a hundred encyclopedia articles.



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

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.

In Persian:

Ganjina-ye guyešhâ-ye Irâni: Ostân-e Esfahân IV (with Shahla Fathi Borujeni) (Central Plateau languages of Kashan area), Tehran: Persian Language and Literature Academy, 2023.

Râhhâ-ye abrišam o adviya, Persian translation of The Silk and Spice Routes (four illustrated volumes, by Straun Reid and Paul Strathern, published by the UNESCO, London, 1994), Isfahan: Naqš-e Mānā, 2022.

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

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

Ketâbat-e zabânhâ-ye Irâni (Writing systems of Iranian Languages), Tehran: Sorush Publishers, 1999.


The Perside Language of Shiraz Jewry, Berlin: Springer.

Etymological Dictionary of Persian (Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary series; with Garnik Asatrian and David Buyaner), Leiden: Brill.

Iryston: From Scythians to Ossetians: A History of the Northern Iranian Peoples, Tehran: Afshar Endowments.

Selected Articles and Book Chapters

“Gurughli: The Tajik Versions of the Epic of Köroğlu,” Iranian Studies, forthcoming.

"The Outlying Caspian Language of the Alikāyi Tribe," Studia Iranica, forthcoming.

“The South Kurdish Dialects of the Anti-Alborz,” Studia Iranica, forthcoming.

(with Maryam Borjian) “At the Crossroads: The Caspian Languages through a Sociolinguistic Lens,” Iranian and Minority Languages at Home and in Diaspora, ed. Anousha Sedighi, Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter Mouton, 2023, pp. 9-36.

(with Ross Perlin, Daniel Kaufman, Habib Borjian, Husnia Khujamyrova), “Wakhi in New York: Multilingualism and language contact in a Pamiri diaspora community,” Iranian and Minority Languages at Home and in Diaspora, ed. Anousha Sedighi, Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter Mouton, 2023, pp. 273-303.

“Judeo-Persian Texts from Bukhara”, in Persian Dialects, ed. A. Korangy, Berlin: Springer, 2023.

“The Caspian Language of Tonekābon”, Studia Iranica 51/1, 2022, pp. 7-49.

“The Extinct Language of Gurgan: Grammar, Typology, Diachrony” (in Persian), Pažuhešhā-ye zabāni-adabi-e Qafqāz o Kāspian / Literary and Linguistic Studies of the Caucasus and Caspian 2/2, 2021, pp. 61-96.

Traces of pharyngeal consonants in Isfahani Persian“, Iranian Studies 54/1-2, 2021, pp. 281-295.

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.

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 Septfondseds., 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. Expanded Czeck translation: “Koroští Balúčové a jejich jazyk,” Kulturní studia 15.2, 2020, pp. 30-47; http://kulturnistudia.cz/.

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: Oxford University Press, 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” 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: Iranian-speaking republic in North Caucasus,” Amu Darya 6, 2002, ser. no. 12, pp. 222-245. Translated into Russian as “Osetija: Iranojazychnaja respublika na severe Kavkaza,” in Аму дарья 6, 2002, ser. no. 12.

Selected Book Reviews

Grammaire juhuri (G. Authier, Wiesbaden, 2012), Journal of the American Oriental Society 135/3, 2015, pp. 33-35.

Topics in Iranian Linguistics (A. Korn et al., eds., Wiesbaden, 2011), Journal of the American Oriental Society 135/1, 2015, pp. 168-170.

Etymological Dictionary of Iranian Verb (J. Cheung, Brill: Leiden Indo-European Etymological Dictionary Series 2, Leiden, 2007), Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society 20/4, 2010, pp. 542-546.

Sources on the Alans: A Critical Compilation (A. Alemany, Brill: Handbook of Oriental Studies series, Leiden, 2000), Journal of the American Oriental Society 126/4, 2006. Russian translation of the review by T. N. Chibirov in Nartamongæ. The Journal of Alano-Ossetic Studies 14, 2019, pp. 407-413.

Musul’mane Osetii: na perekrestke tsivilizatsij (N. Emel’janova, Russian Science Academy, Moscow, 2003), Iranian Studies 39/2, 2006, pp. 299-304.

Narrative Illustration in Persian Lithographed Books (U. Marzolph, Leiden: Brill, 2001), Iranian Studies 39/2, 2006, pp. 285-287 .

Recherches sur les dialectes kermaniens (Iran Central), (P. Lecoq, Louvain-la-Neuve: Peeters, Acta Iranica 39, 2002), Studia Iranica 34/2, 2005, pp. 308-310.

Northern Talysh (W. Schulz, Lincom Europa, Munich, 2000), Iran and the Caucasus 8/1, 2004, pp. 165-168.

The Sands of Oxus: Boyhood Reminiscences of Sadriddin Aini (translated from the Tajik with an introduction and notes by John R. Perry and Rachel Lehr.  Costa Mesa Cal., 1998), Irânšenâsi 13/3, 2001, pp. 647-655.

Studia Iranica et Alanica: Festschrift for Prof. Vasilij Ivanovič Abaev on Occasion of His 95th Birthday (ed. Gherardo Gnoli, Vitalij M. Gusalov, and Adriano V. Rossi, Rome, 1998), Irânšenâsi 12/4, 2001, pp. 916-923.

Achaemenid History (11 vols., Nederlands Instituut voor het Nabije Oosten, Leiden, 1987-98), Irânšenâsi 12/3, 2000, pp. 648-658.

The Heritage of Central Asia: from Antiquity to the Turkish Expansion (R. Frye, Princeton, 1996), Irânšenâsi 11/4, winter 2000.

History of the Pre-Islamic Iranian Literature (A. Tafazzoli, in Persian, Tehran, 1997), Našr-e dâneš 17/1, Spring 2000, pp. 57-60.

Sogdian-English-Persian Dictionary (B. Gharib, Tehran, 1995), Irânšenâkht, summer 1998, (no. 9), pp. 338-342.

Encyclopædia Iranica (ed. E. Yarshater, New York, 1982-), Iran Name 12/2, 1994, pp. 369-380.