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date: 06 July 2022

Abstract and Keywords

The chapter is a survey of the Nakh-Daghestanian family (also known as East Caucasian), one of the indigenous language families spoken in the Caucasus. The family comprises more than 30 languages, some of which are spoken by only a few hundred people and remain unwritten and/or underdescribed. The chapter provides general information about the sociolinguistic status of Nakh-Daghestanian languages and the history of their research as well as their phonology, morphology, syntax, and lexicon. The languages of the family have rich consonant systems and are morphologically ergative, head-final, with rich case systems, complex verbal paradigms, and pervasive gender-number agreement. Alongside the major transitive and intransitive lexical verb classes, verbs of perception and cognition with the dative experiencer subject usually comprise one or more minor valency classes with non-canonically marked subjects. Among valency-increasing derivations, the causative is the most prominent. The most typical subordination strategies are non-finite, making use of participles, converbs, infinitives and verbal nouns.

Keywords: Nakh-Dagestanian, grammar, phonology, morphology, syntax, ergativity, SOV

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