Kartvelian Languages

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Kartvelian Languages


(South Caucasian or Iberian languages), the southern group of Caucasian languages. Kartvelian languages are spoken in the Georgian SSR, in part of the Azerbaijan SSR, and also in Turkey and Iran. In the USSR there are more than 3 million speakers of Kartvelian languages (1970 census). The Kartvelian languages include the Old Georgian literary language (records from the fifth century) and the unwritten Mingrelian, Chan, and Svan languages (the closely related Mingrelian and Chan languages are joined in the Zan subgroup and are often regarded as a single Zan or Mingrelo-Chan language).

Kartvelian sound systems usually have five to seven simple vowel phonemes and 25 to 28 consonant phonemes. Stress is weakly expressed dynamic. Kartvelian morphology is characterized by well-developed declension and conjugation. Synthesism and verbal prefixation occur within the generally agglutinative morphology. There are traces in the verb of an ancient system of vocalic alternation (ablaut). The noun is marked for the categories of number (singular and plural) and case (six to nine). Declension is monotypic (diverging only in Svan). There is a system of postpositions. Transitive and intransitive and static and dynamic verbs are distinguished. The principal categories of the verb are person (the conjugation is of the multipersonal type with denotation of both subject and object), version, voice (primarily by prefixation), number, tense, and mood (by suffixa-tion). There are 11 to 15 modal-temporal forms in the Kartvelian languages.

Types of syntactic relation include government, coordination, parataxis, and agreement. There are three basic sentence types: nominative, ergative (with transitive verbs in most tenses), and dative (with verbs of perception). The order of sentence elements is free, although the verb tends to occur at the end of a sentence. Native words and derivatives from them constitute the basic vocabulary. Word derivation is prefixal, suffixal, and—most frequently—prefixal-suffixal; compounding occurs. There are many imitative words. Borrowings have entered Kartvelian languages from Arabic, Persian, and the Turkic languages.


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References in periodicals archive ?
These examples suggest therefore that the Slavic-style aspect, in Ossetic, has to be considered as a quite late development, not necessarily induced by contact with the Kartvelian languages rather than with Russian; this conclusion brings us to the next point.
On the other hand, the history of the Slavic and Kartvelian languages points to the fact that aspect and actional content are both diachronically and synthronically strongly intertwined: "[.
Joint Parametrization of Honorifics and Terms of Address in Kartvelian Languages.
The particle /turme/ and its counterparts in Kartvelian Languages can be combined with all (evidential and non evidential) screeves of the indicative mood.
Georgian and other Kartvelian languages have a class of so-called "medial" verbs which follow the case marking pattern of transitive verbs, including the aspect-induced sprit (Merlan 1985).