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Caucasian langs (was Hello All!!)

From:Pavel Iosad <edricson@...>
Date:Monday, April 28, 2003, 14:36

> > What I have found implies that > > most of these languages are endangered and > > understudied. > > That's an exaggeration. Many "one-village" languages of > Northern Caucasus are > indeed in danger, because their speakers switch to bigger > interethnic/trade > languages.
Not really. Avar *is* spreading, together with Russian, but the languages themselves are not in immediate danger of being wiped out. The folklore, yes, has been but displaced by the Avar tales, but the languages are small but healthy. Not least because Dagestan has by far the highest birth rate in the whole of Russia. As for understudied, that simply a misunderstanding. From the 70's onwards, our department (and since the early 90's other institutions) has organized regular fieldwork in the Caucasus, with special emphasis on Dagestan, with a break from '99 (for easily discernible reasons). This August, however, there will be an expedition to study Bezht'i. I think the last language that lacked a grammar was Bagwalal, and a grammar of that was published a couple of years ago. (If you read Russian, check out for an outline and for a list of expeditions undertaken at our department) Pavel -- Pavel Iosad Is mall a mharcaicheas am fear a bheachdaicheas --Scottish proverb


Isaac Penzev <isaacp@...>