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Following study of small-inventory classifier systems in a number of Indo-European, Turkic, Kartvelian and Semitic languages of the Araxes-Iran Linguistic Area, the paper presents an account of numeral classifiers in Udi, a Nakh-Daghestanian (Lezgic) language spoken in northern Azerbaijan. Being a peripheral member of the linguistic area in question, Udi possesses an even more reduced version of a small-classifier system, comprising one optional classifier dänä (Iranian borrowing, most likely via Azerbaijani) used with both human and inanimate nouns. A dedicated classifier for humans is lacking, although there is a word tan (also of Iranian origin) only used after numerals or quantifiers, but predominantly as a noun phrase head. The behaviour of dänä and tan is scrutinized, according to a set of parameters, in both spoken and written textual corpora of the Nizh dialect of Udi. Drawing in the data from the related Nakh-Daghestanian languages, the paper shows that among the languages of the family Udi may be unique in possessing classifiers (albeit as a result of contact), Khinalug possibly being the only other exception.

Open Access
In: Journal of Language Contact
In: The Semantics of Verbal Categories in Nakh-Daghestanian Languages
Volume Editors: and
The Caucasus is the place with the greatest linguistic variation in Europe. The present volume explores this variation within the tense, aspect, mood, and evidentiality systems in the languages of the North-East Caucasian (or Nakh-Daghestanian) family. The papers of the volume cover the most challenging and typologically interesting features such as aspect and the complicated interaction of aspectual oppositions expressed by stem allomorphy and inflectional paradigms, grammaticalized evidentiality and mirativity, and the semantics of rare verbal categories such as the deliberative (‘May I go?’), the noncurative (‘Let him go, I don’t care’), different types of habituals (gnomic, qualitative, non-generic), and perfective tenses (aorist, perfect, resultative). The book offers an overview of these features in order to gain a broader picture of the verbal semantics covering the whole North-East Caucasian family. At the same time it provides in-depth studies of the most fascinating phenomena.
Authors: and

The paper describes expressions with the meaning ‘other’ in East Caucasian (Nakh-Daghestanian) languages. It is shown that four main strategies can be distinguished: i) the ‘one’-based strategy: ‘other’ includes the numeral ‘one’; ii) the demonstrative-based strategy: ‘other’ includes a demonstrative pronoun; iii) the mixed demonstrative-based + ‘one’- based strategy: ‘other’ includes both a demonstrative and the numeral ‘one’; and iv) the lexical strategy: ‘other’ is a dedicated adjective (pronoun), not necessarily derived from any other clearly discernable source.

In: Iran and the Caucasus
Authors: and

Udi (East Caucasian) possesses several means of expressing the meaning “other”, namely (i) the combination of a (usually distal) demonstrative with a numeral (usually “one”), arguably calqued from Azerbaijani, (ii) the expression originating from a combination of a demonstrative with the noun “arm, side”, and (iii) borrowed adjectives. It is shown that the morphological properties of some of these expressions suggest a kind of grammaticalization. The semantic differences between the expressions mostly fit into the contrast between the types of “other” expressions proposed by Cinque (2015), but also display additional remarkable contrasts.

In: Iran and the Caucasus