A Grammar of Dolgan

A Northern Siberian Turkic Language of the Taimyr Peninsula


Dolgan is a severely endangered Turkic language spoken in the extreme north of the Russian Federation which has undergone noticeable substrate influence and thus exhibits grammatical structures differing from other Turkic languages. The grammar at hand is the first fully-fledged grammar of Dolgan in English language: It describes the Dolgan language system from an internal perspective basing on corpus data of natural Dolgan speech. It takes historical, comparative and typological perspectives, if applicable, but refrains from pertaining to a particular linguistic theory. Consequently, both Turcologists and general linguists can make use of it independently from their individual research question.

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Chris Lasse Däbritz completed his Ph.D. in General Linguistics in 2020 and works as a research fellow at the University of Hamburg. His most important publications include the INEL Dolgan Corpus and a monograph on information structure in North-Western Siberian languages.
List of Charts, Figures and Maps

1 Introduction
 1.1 How to Read This Book
 1.2 The Speakers of Dolgan
 1.3 Historical and Ethnographical Background
 1.4 Traditional Way of Life
 1.5 The Language
 1.6 Material and Data

2 Phonology and Phonetics
 2.1 Vowel System
 2.2 Consonant System
 2.3 Phonotactics
 2.4 Prosody
 2.5 Morphonological Processes

3 Word Classes
 3.1 Nouns
 3.2 Adjectives
 3.3 Pronouns
 3.4 Numerals and Quantifiers
 3.5 Verbs
 3.6 Adverbs
 3.7 Postpositions
 3.8 Particles and Clitics
 3.9 Interjections, Conversational Formulas and Onomatopoeia

4 Nominal Inflectional Morphology
 4.1 Number
 4.2 Case
 4.3 Possession
 4.4 Predicate Forms of Nominals

5 Pronominal Inflectional Morphology
 5.1 Personal Pronouns
 5.2 Other Pro-Forms

6 Verbal Inflectional Morphology
 6.1 Verbal Stems
 6.2 Sets of Personal Endings
 6.3 Non-finite Verb Forms
 6.4 Tense-Aspect Forms
 6.5 Mood, Modality and Illocution
 6.6 Evidentiality

7 Non-clausal Syntax
 7.1 Noun Phrase
 7.2 Adjective Phrase
 7.3 Verb Phrase
 7.4 Adpositional Phrase
 7.5 Adverb Phrase

8 Clausal Syntax—Simple Clauses
 8.1 Verbal Predication
 8.2 Non-verbal Predication
 8.3 Syntax of Adverbials
 8.4 Non-declarative Clauses
 8.5 Negation in Simple Clauses

9 Clausal Syntax—Complex Clauses
 9.1 Clause Chaining
 9.2 Coordination
 9.3 Subordination

10 Discourse Organization
 10.1 Word Order
 10.2 Information Structure
 10.3 Reference Tracking and Information Status
 10.4 False Starts, Fillers and Placeholder Items
 10.5 Direct and Indirect Speech

11 Lexicon
 11.1 Semantic Fields
 11.2 Loanwords

12 Derivational Processes
 12.1 Nominal > Nominal
 12.2 Verb > Nominal
 12.3 Nominal > Verb
 12.4 Verb > Verb

13 Sample Texts
 13.1 Text 1: The Reindeer and the Mouse
 13.2 Text 2: Dolgan Birth Customs
 13.3 Text 3: Discussing the Correct Order
 13.4 Text 4: We Hit the Road Again
 13.5 Text 5: Khatanga’s School—90 Years

14 References

The book is a reference work for any researcher and student working on Dolgan, be it from a Turcological, a historical-comparative or a typological perspective.
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