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Project Members

  • Solmaz Merdanova
  • Timur Maisak
  • Dmitry Ganenkov

Documentation of Agul

Agul (also spelled Aghul) belongs to the Lezgic branch of the East Caucasian (Nakh-Daghestanian) family.
It is spoken by about 20 thousand speakers who live in the Agul and Kurah districts of Daghestan, Russia (20 villages plus those who have resettled on the lowlands).
Speakers of Agul are almost exclusively first-language speakers; the overwhelming majority of Aguls also speak Russian.

The language comprises seven dialects: Tpig, Keren, Koshan, Fite, Gequn, Tsirhe and Huppuq’. Three major dialects are spoken in seven (Tpig), six (Keren) and three (Koshan) villages respectively. Other four dialects are spoken only in one small village each (Fite, Gequn, Tsirhe and Huppuq’). Nevertheless, speech differs quite significantly from one village to another, even when they represent the same dialect. Some of the dialects are not mutually understandable. The most considerable differences are observed between Koshan and all other dialects, especially Keren and Huppuq’.

The project focused on recording original spoken texts of different genres and styles from native speakers of different age and social status. Most of the texts are transcribed and provided with interlinear glosses and Russian translations. In addition, we elicited materials on the grammar and lexicon of Agul. The project aimed at documenting all dialectal varieties of Agul. We based our project on one of the dialects – the Huppuq’ dialect (spoken by some 600 speakers in one village), the native dialect of Solmaz Merdanova. The documentation of this dialect was as complete and comprehensive as possible and resulted in more than 13 hours of recorded texts. The other six dialects were also covered resulting in at least four hours of recorded audio per dialect.

The outcomes of the project

  • an extensive collection of glossed texts for the seven dialects (738 sound files, 47,5 hours of recordings, of which 33 hours were transcribed, glossed, and translated into Russian)
  • a large amount of elicited materials on the grammar and lexicon of Agul

Data archive

  • 680 sound files (wav, mp3)
  • 28 text files (doc)

       Contact: lingarchive@[>>> Please remove the text! <<<]eva.mpg.de