Presentation of the first book written in the Sanzhi language by Gadzhimurad Gadzhimuradov

Book publications

Presentation of the first book written in the Sanzhi language by Gadzhimurad Gadzhimuradov
Image: Diana Forker


  • Language contact in the territory of the former Soviet Union

    Forker, Diana & Lenore Grenoble (eds.) 2021. Language contact in the territory of the former Soviet Union. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

    The former Soviet Union (USSR) provides the ideal territory for studying language contact between one and the same dominant language (Russian) and a wide range of genealogically and typologically diverse languages with varying histories of language contact. This is the first book that bundles different case studies and systematically investigates the impact of Russian at all linguistic levels, from the lexicon to the domains of grammar to discourse, and with varying types of outcomes such as relatively rapid language shift, structural changes in a relatively stable contact situation, pidginization and super variability at the post-pidgin stage. The volume appeals to linguists studying language contact and contact-induced language change from a broad range of perspectives, who want to gain insight into how one of the largest languages in the world influences other smaller languages, but also experts of mostly minority languages in the sphere of the former Soviet Union.

    More information about the bookExternal link


  • A grammar of Sanzhi Dargwa

    Diana Forker. 2019. A grammar of Sanzhi Dargwa. Berlin: Language Science Press.

    This book is the first comprehensive descriptive grammar of Sanzhi, written from a typological perspective. Sanzhi Dargwa belongs to the Dargwa (Dargi) languages (ISO dar; Glottocode darg1242) which form a subgroup of the Nakh-Daghestanian language family. Sanzhi Dargwa is spoken by approximately 250 speakers and is severely endangered.

    The book treats all major levels of grammar (phonology, morphology, syntax) and also information structure. Sanzhi Dargwa is structurally similar to other East Caucasian languages, in particular Dargwa languages. It has a relatively large consonant inventory including pharyngeal and ejective consonants. Sanzhi morphology is concatenative and mainly suffixing. The language exhibits a mixture of dependent-marking in the form of a rich case inventory and head-marking in the form of verbal agreement. Nouns are divided into three genders. Verbal inflection conflates tense/aspect/mood/evidentiality in a rich array of synthetic and analytic verb forms as well as participles, converbs, a masdar, and infinitive and some other forms used in analytic tenses and subordinate clauses. Salient traits of the grammar are two independently operating agreement systems: gender/number agreement and person agreement. Within the nominal domain, modifiers agree with the head nominal in gender/number. Agreement within the clausal domain is mainly controlled by the argument in the absolutive case. Person agreement operates only at the clausal level and according to the person hierarchy 1, 2 > 3. Sanzhi has ergative alignment in the form of gender/number agreement and ergative case marking. The most frequent word order at the clause level is APV, though all other logically possible word orders are also attested. In subordinate clauses, word order is almost exclusively head-final.

    More information and the PDF of the bookExternal link


  • Word Hunters

    Hannah Sarvasy & Diana Forker (eds.) 2018. Word Hunters. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

    If you always wanted to know how field work in the Caucasus feels like and what experiences you can make when living in remote communities and study endangered languages, this book will provide you with answers and exciting stories.

    In Word Hunters, edited by Hannah Sarvasy and Diana Forker, eleven distinguished linguists reflect on their career-spanning linguistic fieldwork. Over decades, each has repeatedly stood up to physical, intellectual, interpersonal, intercultural, and sometimes political challenges in the pursuit of scientific knowledge. These scholar-explorers have enlightened the world to the inner workings of languages in remote communities of Africa (West, East, and South), Amazonia, the Arctic, Australia, the Caucasus, Oceania, Siberia, and East Asia. They report some linguistic eureka moments, but also discuss cultural missteps, illness, and the other challenges of pursuing linguistic data in extreme circumstances. They write passionately about language death and their responsibilities to speech communities. The stories included here—the stuff of departmental and family legends—are published publicly for the first time.

    More information about the bookExternal link

  • The semantics of verbal categories in Nakh-Daghestanian languages: Tense, aspect, evidentiality, mood/modality

    Diana Forker & Timur Maisak (eds.) 2018. The semantics of verbal categories in Nakh-Daghestanian languages: Tense, aspect, evidentiality, mood/modality. Leiden: Brill.

    This collective volume, edited by Diana Forker and Timur Maisak, offers an overview of the categories of tense, aspect, modality/mood and covers the whole North-East Caucasian (Nakh-Daghestanian) family. At the same time it provides in-depth studies of many of the fascinating languages. The book contains the following papers:

    1. Introduction – Diana Forker
    2. Tense, Aspect, Mood and Evidentiality in Chechen and Ingush – Zarina Molochieva and Johanna Nichols
    3. The Tense / Aspect System of Standard Dargwa – Rasul Mutalov
    4. Aorist, Resultative, and Perfect in Shiri Dargwa and Beyond – Oleg Belyaev
    5. The Aorist / Perfect Distinction in Nizh Udi – Timur Maisak
    6. Perfective Tenses and Epistemic Modality in Northern Akhvakh – Denis Creissels
    7. The Semantics of Evidentiality and Epistemic Modality in Avar – Diana Forker
    8. Mood in Archi: Realization and Semantics – Marina Chumakina
    9. Aspectual Stems in Three East Caucasian Languages – Michael Daniel

    More information about the bookExternal link

  • Person and gender in discourse: An empirical cross-linguistic perspective

    Forker, Diana & Geoffrey Haig (eds.) 2018. Person and gender in discourse: An empirical cross-linguistic perspective. Linguistics 56(4).


    1. Geoffrey Haig & Diana Forker. Agreement in grammar and discourse: A research overview.
    2. Stefan Schnell. Whence subject-verb agreement? Investigating the role of topicality, accessibility, and frequency in Vera’a texts
    3. Geoffrey Haig. The grammaticalization of object pronouns: Why differential object indexing is an attractor state
    4. Natasha Bogomolova. The rise of person agreement in East Lezgic: Assessing the role of frequency
    5. Johanna Nichols. Agreement with overt and null arguments in Ingush
    6. Diana Forker. Gender agreement is different

    Online accessExternal link

  • Sacred Places, Emerging Spaces - Religious Pluralism in the Post-Soviet Caucasus

    Tsypylma Darieva & Florian Mühlfried & Kevin Tuite (eds.) 2018. Sacred Places, Emerging Spaces - Religious Pluralism in the Post-Soviet Caucasus. Oxford, New York: Berghahn.

    Though long-associated with violence, the Caucasus is a region rich with religious conviviality. Based on fresh ethnographies in Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and the Russian Federation, Sacred Places, Emerging Spaces discusses vanishing and emerging sacred places in the multi-ethnic and multi-religious post-Soviet Caucasus. In exploring the effects of de-secularization, growing institutional control over hybrid sacred sites, and attempts to review social boundaries between the religious and the secular, these essays give way to an emergent Caucasus viewed from the ground up: dynamic, continually remaking itself, within shifting and indefinite frontiers.

    Journal of Anthropological Society of Oxford 10: 94-96.
    Religion & Gesellschaft in Ost und West 6/2018: 30.
    Reading ReligionExternal link


  • Sanzhi tales and legends. With a Sanzhi-Russian and a Russian-Sanzhi dictionary

    Diana Forker & Gadzhimuard Gadzhimuradov. 2017. Sanzhi tales and legends. With a Sanzhi-Russian and a Russian-Sanzhi dictionary. Makhachkala. [In Russian]

    The book provides more than 30 texts in the Sanzhi dialect of Dargwa (Dargi, Nakh-Daghestanian). It includes tales, jokes, everyday stories, poems and descriptions of the rites of Sanzhi people. Every text is followed by a sentence-by-sentence translation in Russian. The book also contains two dictionaries: Sanzhi-Russian and Russian-Sanzhi.

    Book downloadpdf, 18 mb · de

  • Religious Minorities in Turkey. Alevi, Armenians, Syriacs and the Struggle to Desecuritize Religious Freedom

    Mehmet Bardakçı, Annette Freyberg-Inan, Chistoph Giesel & Olaf Leiße. 2017. Religious Minorities in Turkey. Alevi, Armenians, Syriacs and the Struggle to Desecuritize Religious Freedom. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

    This book considers the key issue of Turkey's treatment of minorities in relation to its complex paths of both European integration and domestic and international reorientation. The expectations of Turkey's EU and other international counterparts, as well as important domestic demands, have pushed Turkey to broaden the rights of religious and other minorities. More recently a turn towards autocratic government is rolling back some earlier achievements. This book shows how these broader processes affect the lives of three important religious groups in Turkey: the Alevi as a large Muslim community and the Christian communities of Armenians and Syriacs. Drawing on a wealth of original data and extensive fieldwork, the authors compare and explain improvements, set-backs, and lingering concerns for Turkey's religious minorities and identify important challenges for Turkey's future democratic development and European path. The book will appeal to students and scholars in the fields of minority politics, contemporary Turkish politics, and religion and politics.

  • Sakralität und Mobilität im Kaukasus und in Südosteuropa

    Typylma Darieva & Thede Kahl & Svetlana Toncheva (eds.) 2017. Sakralität und Mobilität im Kaukasus und in Südosteuropa. Wien: Verlag der österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften.

    Different concepts and practices of sacrality seen in a transregional comparison, exemplified by the Caucasus and Southeast Europe, are the main topics of the book at hand. Both regions exhibit a strongly ethno-denominational plurality that has been characterized by a re-sacralization in the post-socialist period. Sacralization is considered by the authors to be a process of ascription and presentation in the context of mobility, where sacred places and spiritual practices in pluri-ethnic societies constitute modern categories and a dynamic meeting space. Pagan or postmodern pilgrimages, Christian and Islamic pilgrimage, the transfer of sacred relics, mobile and urban veneration of saints and the sacralization of landscape through traveling all form - according to the results of the authors' research - essential resources for the construction of local and regional identities in Southeast Europe and the Caucasus. Raising no claims to completeness, these discourse-oriented and ethnographic contributions provide an insight into the phenomena of sacralization processes and show the significance that a sacrally motivated mobility can have within the post-socialist societies of Southeast Europe and the Caucasus, as well as which actors influence and mobilize ʻlarge-scaleʼ and ʻsmall-scaleʼ sacred spaces in these ʻtransit zonesʼ. Despite political upheavals, ʻsmall-scaleʼ sacred spaces seem to maintain a certain continuity. The present book has emerged from a lecture series at the Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena (2014-2015) and has been complemented by the results of a research project (2013-2016) sponsored by the Volkswagen Foundation about the transformation of sacred spaces in the Caucasus.


  • Einfach - Sprachen - lernen: Universalkonzepte für den optimalen Fremdsprachenunterricht

    Natia Reineck. 2016. Einfach - Sprachen - lernen: Universalkonzepte für den optimalen Fremdsprachenunterricht. Marburg: Tectum Verlag.

    Lehrende von Fremdsprachen, insbesondere von "kleineren" Sprachen, wie zum Beispiel dem Georgischen, stehen nicht selten vor der Herausforderung, die hierzu passenden Lehr- und Lernmethoden für ihren Unterricht zu finden. Im Idealfall sollten es Methoden sein, die die Lernenden mit anhaltender Freude und Motivation dauerhaft zum Erfolg führen. Hierbei übernimmt der Transfer der sprachenübergreifenden Methoden eine zentrale Rolle. Kleine Sprachen können so von den Erfahrungen der großen Sprachen profitieren und die dort bewährten Methoden für sich übernehmen. Wie also können Wörter so gelernt werden, dass man sie nie wieder vergisst? Welche Lernstrategien haben sich hierbei besonders bewährt? Und welche Übungstypen machen den Lernenden am meisten Spaß und sind gerade deshalb als besonders produktiv einzustufen? Natia Reineck lässt hier keine Fragen offen. Gespickt mit Tipps, Tricks und didaktischen Empfehlungen wird so beides - das Lehren wie das Lernen von Fremdsprachen - zur spielerischen Herausforderung.

  • Kaukasiologie heute: Eine Festschrift zum 70. Geburtstag von Heinz Fähnrich

    Natia Reineck & Ute Rieger. 2016. Kaukasiologie heute: Eine Festschrift zum 70. Geburtstag von Heinz Fähnrich. Greiz: König.

    Das Buch ist ein Dank an Heinz Fähnrich, der an der "Friedrich-Schiller-Universität" Jena den Lehrstuhl für Kaukasiologie innehatte und sich über sein Lehrdeputat hinaus bleibende Verdienste für den Fortbestand der Abteilung für Kaukasiologie erworben hat. Dabei stehen wissenschaftliche Texte im Mittelpunkt, die die Zusammenarbeit der beiden Universitäten in Jena und Tbilisi betreffen, welche nicht nur von akademischer Bedeutung ist, sondern auch einen Beitrag zwischen Georgien und Deutschland und zum politischen Klima in der Kaukasusregion beinhaltet. Die "literarische Brücke", die in dem in deutscher, englischer, russischer und georgischer Sprache erscheinenden und bebilderten Band geschlagen wird, reicht dabei von den geschichtlichen Ursprüngen Georgiens, z. B. die Forschungen zur Bauinschrift von Bolnisi, eine der ältesten erhaltenen schriftlichen georgischen Zeugnisse, bis zu gegenwärtigen, aktuellen Themen über die Integration der muslimischen Georgier in der Türkei oder die Lebensumstände von sprachlichen Minderheiten in Georgien. - Ein ausführliches Publikationsverzeichnis über die Arbeiten von Heinz Fähnrich, das auf weitere Forschungsgebiete und literarische Zeugnisse aufmerksam macht, rundet das Buch ab und zeugt davon, dass Georgien ein Land mit großer Perspektive ist, das uns in den kommenden Jahren und Jahrzehnten immer näher rücken wird.