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Project Members

  • Bernard Comrie
  • Madzhid Khalilov
  • Zaira Khalilova

A grammar of Bezhta

This project aimed at the description of Bezhta. The grammar includes phonology, morphology and syntax.

Bezhta belongs to the Tsezic branch of the Nakh-Daghestanian language family, which is spoken in Russia, in the Republic of Daghestan. Bezhta has three dialects, Bezhta Proper, Tladal and Khasharkhota. The grammar is based on Bezhta Proper. 
Bezhta is spoken by about 8000 people who live in the mountains in the villages Bezhta, Tladal and Khasharkhota, in some lowland districts of Daghestan and in the Daghestanian capital Makhachkala.

Bezhta has a covert gender category, realized primarily through cross-referencing of arguments on verbs, a small number of non-local cases and a rich system of local cases. Verbs have very rich morphological system of TAM, with distinct finite and non-finite forms (converbs, participles, masdar). Bezhta is a head-final language with the basic word order SOV. As generally in Nakh-Daghestanian languages, the case-marking pattern is ergative.

A grammar of Bezhta was a joint project with Bernard Comrie, Madzhid Khalilov and Zaira Khalilova.