Forthcoming: The Mehweb language

Michael Daniel   Nina Dobrushina   Dmitry Ganenkov  

Synopsis

This is a first book-size English investigation in the grammar of Mehweb, a lect of one-village community in central Daghestan with a population of some 800 people. Mehweb belongs to the Dargwa branch of the East Caucasian language family. Its linguistic status as a dialect or language is debatable. Although Mehweb is clearly close to the northern varieties of Dargwa, it has been isolated from the main body of Dargwa varieties for at least several hundred years and underwent strong influence from its linguistic neighbours from other branches of the family, Avar and Lak. This resulted in some peculiar properties, both as a result of language internal development and language contact. Thus, Mehweb features egophoric agreement (which has clearly originated as reinterpretation of personal agreement in other Dargwa languages), a split in the feminine class (probably as a result of structural alignment with its neighbour, Lak), and the categories of verificative (a typological rarissima present in several other languages of the family but so far unattested in any other language of the world) and apprehensive (so far poorly attested in other East Caucasian languages). Other, more common features, are for the first time treated at this level of detail. This includes segmental effects of pharyngealization, the system of volitional moods, the classification of predicates according to their agreement patterns and the use of the assertive particle. The book is based on several years of collective fieldwork in the village carried out by a group of researchers and BA students of School of Linguistics, HSE (Moscow).

Chapters

  • The language and people of Mehweb
    Nina Dobrushina
  • Phonology of Mehweb
    George Moroz
  • Nominal morphology of Mehweb
    Ilya Chechuro
  • Mehweb verb morphology
    Michael Daniel
  • Moods of Mehweb
    Nina Dobrushina
  • Periphrastic causative constructions in Mehweb
    Daria Barylnikova
  • Case and agreement in Mehweb
    Dmitry Ganenkov
  • Specialized converbs in Mehweb
    Maria Sheyanova
  • General converbs in Mehweb
    Marina Kustova
  • The self-pronoun in Mehweb
    Aleksandra Kozhukhar
  • Relative clause and resumptive pronouns in Mehweb
    Yury Lander, Aleksandra Kozhukhar
  • The Mehweb “assertive” copula gwa: a sketch of a portrait
    Yury Lander
  • Maps of Mehweb
    Yuri Koryakov
Michael Daniel

Michael Daniel is a professor at School of Linguistics and a researcher at the Linguistic Convergence Laboratory, HSE (Moscow). He mostly worked on description and documentation of East Caucasian languages and on typology of nominal categories and morphosyntax and participated in various international typological projects such as WALS. Another domain of his interests is sociolinguistics of dialects and minority languages.

Nina Dobrushina

Nina Dobrushina is a researcher at the Linguistic Convergence Laboratory and a professor at School of Linguistics, HSE (Moscow). Her field experience is mostly with East Caucasian, including fine-grained analysis of modal categories in languages like Bagvalal, Cahur, Aghul, Mehweb, Rutul. She took part in international typological projects such as WALS. Another domain of her interests is sociolinguistics of dialects and minority languages, with a special focus on traditional multilingualism in small language communities.

Dmitry Ganenkov

Dmitry Ganenkov is a researcher at the University of Bamberg, Institute of Linguistics (Moscow) and the Laboratory of the Languages of the Caucasus at HSE (Moscow). His language expertise includes various East Caucasian languages of the Lezgic and Dargwa branches, especially Udi, Aghul and Chirag. He has vast experience in language documentation, the typology of expressing topological relations in East Caucasian and formal syntactic analysis of the data of East Caucasian, especially agreement and ergativity.

Daria Barylnikova

Daria Barylnikova was a student at School of Linguistics, HSE, from 2011 to 2017, first as BA and then as MA student. She has worked on a range of topics, including participial constructions in East Caucasian, periphrastic causativization, and constructional analysis of Russian.

Ilya Chechuro

Ilya Chechuro has been a student at School of Linguistics, HSE, from 2012 to 2018 and is now a doctoral student of the same programme and a researcher in Linguistic Convergence Laboratory. He has worked on East Caucasian languages, including spatial relations in the languages of the Dargwa branch and lexical contact in Northern Caucasus.

Yuri Koryakov

Yuri Koryakov is a senior researcher of the Institute of Linguistics, RAS, Moscow. His primary research interests include linguistic cartography, lexicostatistics and language classification. More specifically, he is carrying research on linguistic classification of the East Caucasian languages and other languages of the Caucasus.

Aleksandra Kozhukhar

Aleksandra Kozhukhar was a student at School of Linguistics, HSE, from 2011 to 2017, first as BA and then as MA student. She worked on a range of diverse linguistic topics, including WALS statistical analysis of language diversity, relativization in Mehweb and the typology and cartography of Mayan languages.

Marina Kustova

Marina Kustova has been a student at School of Linguistics, HSE, from 2013 to 2017 as BA student. She has been involved in various projects in computational linguistics. Her research on theoretical linguistics focused on lexical typology as well as on the typology of general converbs and their syntactic properties in Mehweb.

Yury Lander

Yury Lander is a professor at School of Linguistics, HSE (Moscow) and a research fellow at the Institute of Oriental Studies (Moscow). His language expertise includes East and West Caucasian languages, including Udi, Dargwa, West Circassian, Kabardian, and Abaza as well as the typology of Austronesian languages. He has worked on various topics in syntactic and morphological typology, including relativization, possessive constructions, polysynthesis, head and dependent marking.

George Moroz

George Moroz is a researcher at the Linguistic Convergence Laboratory, HSE (Moscow). His research is focused on East and West Caucasian languages. His interests cover application of statistical analysis to linguistic data, linguistic cartography and phonetics.

Maria Sheyanova

Maria Sheyanova has been a student at School of Linguistics, HSE, from 2013 to the present, first as BA and then as MA student. She has been involved in various projects in computational linguistics and also has done research on special converbs in Mehweb and, more generally, in East Caucasian.

Cover for Forthcoming: The Mehweb language