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Aire culturelle : Le Caucase Les langues du Caucase

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14-01-15
Aire culturelle : Le Caucase
Hiver 2014
Les langues du Caucase
Les langues du Caucase
•  I. familles autochtones
•  a. Caucasique du nord-ouest (abkhazeadyghéen)
•  b. Caucasique du nord-est (nakh-daghestanien)
•  c. Caucasique du sud (kartvélien)
•  II. langues indo-européennes (arménien,
ossète, russe, &c.)
•  III. langues turques (karachaï-balkar, koumyk,
azéri)
les langues de l’Europe (avant 1914)
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Kartvelian dialects (Koryakov)
la famille kartvélienne
•  le géorgien: langue littéraire depuis au moins
le 5e siècle; plus que 4 millions de locuteurs
(Géorgie, Turquie, Iran)
•  le mingrélien: 400-500K locuteurs (province
de Samégrélo, Abkhazie)
•  le laze: approx 200K locuteurs en Turquie
(côte sud-est de la Mer noire) et en Géorgie
(un village)
•  le svane: 30-40K locuteurs (provinces de
Haute et Basse Svanétie)
Kartvelian dialect geography
East Georgian dialect region.
River systems flowing eastward toward the Caspian Sea
•  Likhi Mountain chain: Transcaucasian divide
between river systems flowing eastward to
Caspian Sea, and westward to Black Sea
•  River systems: dominant, more recently
spread dialects in lowlands; peripheral (or
retreating), older dialects in highlands
•  Exception: spread of highland languages
across mountain chain (Xevsur and
Tushetian northward, Ossetian southward)
East Georgian dialects
• 
• 
• 
• 
River systems flowing eastward toward Caspian Sea
I. Alazani-Iori River basins:
lowland-dominant: Kakhetian
peripheral: Tushetian, Tsova-Tush (Batsbi); Ingilo
dialect in Azerbaijan
•  II. Mtkvari (Kura) and Algeti-Khrami basin:
•  lowland-dominant: Kartlian dialect varieties
•  peripheral: Pshav-Khevsur and highland dialects
(Upper Aragvi); Meskhet-Javakhet dialects (Upper
Mtkvari)
East Georgian dialects, I.
Mtkvari (Kura) and AlgetiKhrami basin
•  lowland-dominant:
Kartlian dialect
varieties (4cb)
•  peripheral: PshavKhevsur, other
highland dialects
(4e-4f; Upper
Aragvi); MeskhetJavakheti, TaoKlarjeti dialects
(4cd-4ce; Upper
Mtkvari);
•  highland spread:
Ossetian (from N),
Armenian (from
S); Imeretian into
Adigeni
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East Georgian dialects,
II. Alazani-Iori River
basins
West
Georgia
dialect
region
•  lowland-dominant:
Kakhetian (4cc)
•  peripheral: Tushetian (4fc),
Kisti Chechen (1b), TsovaTush (Batsbi, 2); Ingilo
dialect in Azerbaijan
•  lowland migration from
highlands (seasonal or
permanent)
West Georgian dialects
•  River systems flowing westward toward Black
Sea
•  Greater diversity than in East Georgia,
including Svan and Mingrelian dialects
•  Four principal river/dialect systems:
•  1. Chorokhi basin
•  2. Supsa basin
•  3. Rioni basin
•  4. Colchis river system (Inguri, Khobi, Kodori)
Southwest
Georgian
dialects
• 
• 
• 
• 
Chorokhi basin: Acharian dialect
peripheral: Tao-Klarjeti, Imerxevi dialects
Supsa basin: Gurian dialect
southeast Black Sea coast: Laz language
Georgian dialects in Turkey: T’ao, K’larjeti, Imerxevi, Shavsheti
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Kartvelian basic consonant system
(triads of obstruents, pairs of fricatives; unpaired sonorants)
Northwest
Kartvelian
speech
communities
•  Rioni system: dominant-lowland: Imeretian dialects
•  peripheral: Rachan dialects (Upper Rioni), Leckhumian & Lower Svan
(Upper Tskhenitsqali)
•  Colchis system: dominant-lowland: Mingrelian dialects
•  peripheral: Upper Svan dialects (Upper Inguri & Kodori)
complex clusters in Georgian
clusters in stem-initial and
stem-final position
Vowel systems
Harmonic clusters
•  anterior (labial or dental-alveolar) stop or
affricate + posterior (velar, uvular) stop or
fricative [+ /v/]
•  basic 5-vowel triangular
system
•  Mingrelian: centralized [əә]
•  Laz: front rounded vowels (Turkish influence)
•  Svan (depending on dialect): addition of long,
front rounded vowels, also [əә]
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Svan vowels
kartvélien: le système de cas
l’ergatif: suffixe qui marque le
sujet du verbe transitif
l’ergativité limitée à certaines
formes (temps) du verbe
The hierarchical internal structure of the
Kartvelian verb
Layer I: the verb root
•  deepest levels are lexical & derivational
•  shallower levels are inflectional
•  outermost layers (preverbs & clitics) from oncefree particles incorporated into verbal complex
•  Oldest Kartvelian verb roots of form C, CVC,
CVRC or CRVC (where C = single consonant
or harmonic cluster, R = resonant)
•  Etymological evidence that some /CVC/ roots
originally bimorphemic */C[C]-VC/, with the -VC
element contributing an aspectual, Aktionsart or
expressive semantics.
•  Ablaut: C(C)VC roots with vowel alternation
according to transitivity, tense/aspect or person
(relic of ancient accentual system?)
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la racine du verbe kartvélien:
racine monoconsonantale
le verbe géorgien: agglutination, flexion
racine *CVRC
les affixes personnels: accord avec le
sujet et le complément d’objet
les langues autochtones du Caucase du nord
la catégorie de “version”
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la famille abkhaze-agyghéenne
•  l’abkhaze: 110K locuteurs, principalement en
Abkhazie
•  l’abaza: 40-45K locuteurs
•  le kabarde (dialectes est-circassiens): 450K
locuteurs au Caucase, approx 500K en Turquie
•  l’adyghé-tcherkesse (dialectes ouest-circassiens):
approx 500K locuteurs au Caucase, en Turquie, au
Proche orient (Syrie, Jordanie)
•  l’oubykh: langue disparue le 7 octobre 1992 (mort
de Tevfik Esenç); il semble qu’il y a toujours
quelques demi-locuteurs en Turquie
Ubykh: 83 consonants, 2
vowels
•  West Caucasian phoneme
inventories: 45-80+
consonants
•  Only 2 or 3 vowels
•  4-way stop series in
Circassian (addition of
simple voiceless to triad
found in other languages)
•  Coarticulated series:
labialized, palatalized
•  Rare series of glottalized
fricatives (including /f’/ in
Kabardian)
•  Large number of affricates
& fricatives, especially
sibilants
•  Three lateral fricatives (but
no /l/)
Abaza tongue-twisters
Determining accent placement in Abkhaz (Meurer)
les suffixes de cas (circassien)
•  Generic article, masdar suffix have dominant accent; indefinite suffix has
recessive accent; root syllables have dominant or recessive.
•  Unaccented schwa deleted (also accented schwa followed by accent)
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Definiteness and case in Circassian
les préfixes personnels
(I: absolutif, II: datif; III: ergatif)
•  Grammatical case marking comparable to that of IndoEuropean languages is unknown in West Caucasian, except for
Circassian.
•  The Circassian absolutive /-r/ and oblique /-m/ mark
definiteness as well as grammatical function (cp. case in
German, which is primarily signalled by articles).
le nom "conjugué" comme un verbe
•  Same personal prefixes used to mark verbal arguments and
possessor of noun.
•  Similar pattern in other head-marking languages, such as the
Athabascan languages
•  Possessed noun as quasi-verb? “My eye” = “(it) eyes to me”
arguments locatifs incorporés dans le verbe (abaza)
le verbe polysynthétique
•  le verbe abkhaze-adyghéen souvent l’équivalent d’une
phrase complète
•  richesse de préfixes (10 ou plus)
•  trois ou même quatre préfixes personnels
•  racine du verbe vers la fin du mot
•  la racine consiste le plus souvent en une consonne ou un
groupe consonantique, plus une voyelle
compléments d'objet multiples
•  Two, even 3, additional arguments can be
added to semantic frame of verb
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préfixe de “l’horizon
d’intérêt” (Colarusso)
La transitivité du verbe et la construction
ergative-absolutive in circassien
la famille nakhdaghestanienne
•  famille beaucoup plus
diversifiée que les deux
autres groupes de
langues caucasiennes
•  communautés de
locuteurs très
localisées, parfois
limitées à un seul
village
source: Helma van den Berg
l’inventaire phonétique des langues
nakh-daghestaniennes
consonnes pharyngalisées (tsez)
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marked consonant series
consonant profiles and geography
•  [+ marked consonants]: interior,
highland location (e.g. Avar, Andic,
Archi, Tabasaran, Aghul)
•  [— marked consonants]: lower altitude,
longstanding proximity to Georgian,
Armenian, Azeri Turkish (e.g. Nax, Udi,
Tsezic, Budux)
Tsezic vowel systems (v. d. Berg)
le système d’accentuation et
de ton de l’avar
les voyelles et diphtongues du
tchétchène
l’ergatif et l’absolutif (ghodobéri)
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East Caucasian noun classes (genders)
suffixes de cas complexes
(direction, position et distance relative)
•  All nouns have gender (as in German or French), although it is almost
never marked on the noun itself.
•  Prefixes mark combination of gender and number.
Hunzib gender classes (Bokarev)
•  I (Ø-/b-) human males
•  II (y-/b-) human females
•  III (b-/r-) animals, body parts (leg, thumb, tongue); trees,
cereals, fruits; nature (cliff, stone, summer); tools; vessels (pail,
bowl); buildings; clothing, ornaments; food; activities (tale, fight,
lie, deed)
•  IV (r-/r-) body parts, organs (brain, eye); plants (grass, tomato,
rye); natural phenomena (rain, cloud, wind); tools (plough, axe);
house & components (window, pillar); cultural implements, toys
(letter, book, doll); clothing, materials (silk, pocket); food (flour,
honey); abstract concepts, activities (speed, step, dance);
metals
•  V (y-/r-) body parts (hand, foot, mouth); clothing (pants, shirt);
some tools, plants, natural phenomena (shovel, mushroom,
snow)
Gender of loanwords in Khwarshi (Khalilova)
•  Early loans from Persian and Arabic in gender 3: askar ‘troops, army’,
žawab ‘answer’, zaman ‘time’, tarix ‘history’, dunnal ‘life’, q’alam ‘pencil’
•  Gender 4 includes most international and Russian borrowings: komputer
‘computer’, restoran ‘restaurant’, radio ‘radio’, rukzak ‘rucksack’, koncert
‘concert’
•  (shift of of default gender from the third to the fourth gender)
•  assignment of gender by semantic analogy (Corbett 1991): the loanword
takes the gender of a noun of similar meaning already in the language.
Gender of inanimate nouns in Tsez (Comrie & Polinsky)
No obvious semantic basis for categorization by gender (any
more than der Zahn, das Auge, die Hand ….)
accord en genre avec
l’argument absolutif (dargi)
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Indo-European and Turkic languages in the Caucasus
accord en genre (archi)
•  en archi, le verbe, l’adjectif et même le
complément d’objet indirecte s’accordent en
genre avec l’absolutif
The Armenian language and its speakers
•  Armenian: Indo-European language,
representing a distinct branch of the IE
family
•  Present-day Armenian population of
about 8 million
•  Number of Armenian speakers worldwide estimated at 7 million or more
Armenian speech communities in the Caucasus
Modern Armenian dialects in 1909
•  Three dialect groups classified by H. Adjarian in 1909, shortly
before 1915-1918 ethnic cleansing / genocide of Armenian
communities in eastern Turkey (death of up to 1,5 million)
•  Dialects classified by innovations in verb conjugation
Recent dendogram for Indo-European (E. Hamp)
•  Armenians
concentrated in
Armenia (98%
of population!)
& NagornoKarabakh
•  Also in
southern
Georgia,
Abkhazia,
Krasnodar
region
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From Proto-IE to Armenian
•  Armenian characterized by numerous striking divergences from
standard (Brugmannian) profile of IE languages
•  Absence of grammatical gender
•  Phonotactic constraints on consonant clusters (syllable can
begin with at most one consonant)
•  Unusual evolution of IE consonants
•  Voicing/aspiration shift of obstruents similar to Germanic
Lautverschiebung
•  Shift of accent to prefinal syllable, leading to reduction or loss of
final syllable
•  To what degree is the distinctive profile of Armenian the
consequence of substrate language(s) or ancient contact?
Fate of initial *Cw- (Meillet)
•  The labiovelar spirant *w
tended to "harden" into a
velar stop
•  The fortition of /w/ had
dramatic consequences
for IE *Cw- clusters. The
initial C usually
disappeared, but could
devoice the following
velar.
•  *sw- > kh
•  (khoyr < *swesor)
•  *tw- > kh
•  (khe-z < *twe-)
•  *dw- > (e)rk•  (erku < *dwo)
Urartu and Armenia
• 
• 
At the time of its attested existance (9th-7th centuries BC), the Proto-Armenians would
have been in or near the territory controlled by the kingdom of Urartu.
Many toponyms from Urartian times still in use, including Erevan (Urartian Erebuni)
The evolution of Armenian obstruents
•  Germanic-like Lautverschiebung of stops
•  Palatalization of velars to sibilants, as in Balto-Slavic, Indo-Iranian
•  Is Armenian an ancient "satem" language, or was palatalization an
independent development (as in Romance languages)?
Armenian verb morphology
•  The same sound changes (reduction and fortition) can also
account for most of the verbal suffixes of Old Armenian
•  The distribution of the pluralizer /-kh/ remains puzzling. Was it
reinterpreted as generalized pluralizer, used with nouns and
verbs alike?
Armenian lexemes of Hurro-Urartian origin, or borrowed
through Urartian
•  16 or more possible borrowings identified by Diakonoff, Djahukian,
Greppin and others.
•  Semantic fields indicative of borrowings from language of regional
power: social-rank terms, technology, trade; plus some plant and animal
names (species that Armenians did not know before arrival in Urartian
territory?)
•  xnjor 'apple(-tree)' < Hurr. ḫinzuri.
•  ułi 'Bactrian camel' < Urart. ulṭu
•  ałaxin 'servant girl, slave girl' < Hurr. a-la-aḫ-ḫé-en-ne-na 'keeper of the
property of the lord of the house'
•  ast-em 'I marry' < Hurrian ašte 'wife'
•  caṙay 'slave' > Hurrian sarre 'captives'
•  agur 'burned brick' < Akkad. agurru, probably through Hurrian mediation.
•  salor (EastArm šlor) 'plum(-tree)' cp. Akkad. šalluru 'plum or medlar',
which Diakonoff believes was itself borrowed from a Hurrian source
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Evidence of Kartvelian-Armenian contacts
(substratal? adstratal?)
•  Phoneme inventory nearly identical to Georgian: 3 series of
obstruents, 2 series of fricatives; 7 vowels
•  Note that northern dialects of the Kurdish language Kurmandji
have acquired a third series of plain voiceless stops, attributed
to the influence of Armenian speech communities to their north
•  Absence of grammatical gender
•  Loanwords from Kartvelian; some closer to Mingrelian-Laz:
•  /č’anǰ/ “fly (mouche)” = Mingr /č’anǰ-i/< PKrt *(m)c’er-;
•  /lak’ot/ “small dog” = Laz /lak’-i/ “puppy” < PKrt *lek’v-;
•  /očxar/ “sheep” = Proto-Zan */čxvar/ (before Zan shift *a > o)
•  Agglutinative plural marking (with suffix -kh) in case system and
1st/2nd plural of verb?
3. Iranian languages of the Caucasus
Iranian influence on the Armenian language
•  Words of Iranian origin represent the majority of Armenian
vocabulary (only about 500 lexemes remain of inherited IE
vocabulary).
•  For a long time, Armenian was classified as an Iranian
language, until Hübschmann (1875) detected the original IE
Armenian vocabulary, and demonstrated that Armenian
represented a distinct branch of IE.
•  Several chronologically-distinct layers of Iranian borrowings: (1)
Achaemenid (c. 550-330 BC); (2) Arsacid (Parthian; 53 AD to
428 AD); (3) later (Islamic) borrowings.
Iranian languages spoken in the
Caucasus
•  OSSETIC (640 K speakers, of whom 330 K in North
Ossetia-Alania, 50-60 K in South Ossetia)
•  TAT (125 K speakers): group of dialects closely
related to Persian. Jewish, Christian and Muslim Tat
communities speak distinct varieties, of which the
Jewish Tat (Juhuri) dialect is sometimes regarded as a
separate language
•  TALYSH (235 K; some estimates as high as 500 K):
Northwest Iranian language spoken on both side of
Azeri-Iranian border
•  KURDISH (160 K speakers in Caucasus, mostly
Armenia). Many of the Transcaucasian Kurdish
speakers belong to the Yezidi religious community
Core vocabulary for Ossetic and
other Indo-European languages
Ossetic compared to other Iranian languages
•  Transparently Iranian, although with some
distinctive sound changes
•  Note metathesis in /efs/ and /arv/
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Phonology
of the
Ossetic
dialects
•  1. Series of
glottalized
occlusives
•  2. Labialized
velars and uvulars
•  3. Long ("strong")
and shorter
("weak") vowels
•  4. considerable
variation in sibilant
& affricate series
4. Turkic languages
Ossetic case system
•  NB: plural suffix + same suffixes as in singular, homologous to
Modern Georgian and (partially) Modern Armenian declension
Turkic languages of the Caucasus (Lars Johanson)
•  Karachay-Balkar (236 K speakers: 150+ K Karachay, 85 K Balkar):
probably descended from one of the earlier steppe Turkic languages, then
driven into the highland Caucasus by the Mongol invasion of 1220s-1230s.
According to L. Johanson, the K-Bs "seem to be a mixture of elements from
Bulgar, Oghuy and Kipchak tribes, with Iranian Alans and assimilated
Abkhaz-Circassian and even Kartvelian (Svan) elements"
•  Kumyk (282 K speakers): descended from early form of Qipchaq Turkish,
that might have spread at time of Khazar Empire. The Kumyk people may
be partly of local (Dagestanian) origin. Kumyk served as a local lingua
franca until supplanted by Russian.
•  Noghay (70 K speakers): relatively late arrival, after break-up of the Golden
Horde, late 14th c. The speakers might be descended from Qipchaqized
Mongols.
•  Azerbaijani (7 million speakers in Azerbaijan, 23 M in Iran): close relative of
Turkish, introduced by Sejuq invasions of 11th century. Azeri population
partly descended from indigenous peoples who earlier spoke East
Caucasian and Iranian languages. One of the principal states of the region
before the Seljuq conquest was (Caucasian) Albania. The present-day Udis
speak an East-Caucasian language closely related to Cauc. Albanian.
The Karachay-Balkar language
•  Strongly similar to
other Turkic
languages in terms of
grammar and lexicon
•  Alanic substrate
evidenced in
loanwords and
toponyms
•  Glottalization of
consonants adopted
from neighboring
languages
Karachai-Balkar
phonological
system:
evidence of contact
(Pritsak, Johanson)
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lexical comparison of K-B to other Turkic languages
(Swadesh list)
Isoglosses pertaining to religion and folklore
• 
• 
Balkar sheep-counting with Old Ossetic number
names
•  Although counting is usually done with Turkic-based numerals, Balkar
shepherds traditionally counted sheep by pairs, using (even) numbers
derived from an early form of Ossetic.
•  The old Ossetic (Alanic?) numeral system is decimal, whereas the
Ossetes subsequently adopted vigesimal counting from their
neighbors (e.g. Georgian)
Although the Balkars and Karachays adopted Islam several centuries ago, a number
of isoglosses pertaining to Orthodox Christian saints, festivals are associated with KB folklore and folk-religious practices
The ballads and epics of the legendary heroes known as Narts, which contain
numerous elements of Indo-Iranian origin, were known to the Balkars and
Karachays, as well as other peoples of the West and North-central Caucasus
"hunting languages" of the
Caucasus
16
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