Department of Linguistics
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Deutscher Platz 6
phone.: +49 (0) 341 3550 - 300
fax: +49 (0) 341 3550 - 333
Description and Documentation of Khwarshi
The aim of the project is to write a comprehensive grammar of Khwarshi. The grammar will consist of several parts: phonology, morphology, syntax, plus a small lexicon and texts.
Khwarshi belongs to the Tsezic subgroup of the Avar-Andic-Tsezic group within the Nakh-Dagestanian language family. It is spoken by about 3000 people who live in Tsumada district, in the villages Inkhokwari, Khwarshi, Kwantlada, Khwaini, Santlada and in the lowland settlements Oktjabrskoe, Pervomajskoe and Aksaj, all in the Xasawjurt region of Dagestan. Khwarshi has several dialects such as Khwarshi Proper, Inkhokwari, Kwantlada, Santlada, and Khwaini. The work is based on the Kwantlada dialect.
The project is based on several fieldtrips to Dagestan and previous studies of the Tsezic languages. Like other Tsezic languages Khwarshi is unwritten. Khwarshi has very rich nominal morphology, with such categories as case, number and gender. The language shows gender agreement where gender prefixes are added to verb roots. Khwarshi is an ergative language with basic SOV word order and widespread use of non-finite verb forms.