Documenting Dargi languages in Daghestan: Shiri and Sanzhi
(project led by Diana Forker and Rasul Mutalov, in collaboration with Iwona Kaliszewska)

The project of documenting and describing two endangered languages of Daghestan — Shiri and Sanzhi — has been supported by the Volkswagen Foundation (DoBeS program) in 2012. Due to the Soviet national policies, Dargi languages have long been considered "dialects" of Standard Dargwa and thus have not been sufficiently studied and supported. My part in the projects consists in documenting and describing Shiri, a language spoken by a few hundred people from the village of Shiri in highland Daghestan. Only a dozen households remain in Shiri itself, while most native speakers live in lowland settlements and cities; the largest community is found in Chinar (Derbent district). The language is on the brink of extinction, with most children no longer able to speak it fluently.

A corpus of Iron Ossetic
(in collaboration with Arseniy Vydrin, Madina Darchieva, and Julia Mazurova)

The aim of this project is the creation of a representative corpus of contemporary Iron Ossetic, which would consist of both written and spoken texts. Written texts are taken from Ossetic literature from the 20th century and comprise several million tokens; they will be automatically morphologically parsed (without resolving ambiguity) and integrated with the engine of the Eastern Armenian National Corpus for allowing powerful searching and indexing capabilities.

The first version of the written corpus was completed in 2011 and is found here.

The spoken corpus is to follow the same routine as the corpus of Iron spoken texts that we have compiled in 2009-2010. That is, texts are analyzed and double-checked in SIL FieldWorks Language Explorer (FLEx) in both Russian and English, and then uploaded together with corresponding audio files to the Internet for everyone to access.

The project is supported by the Presidium of the Russian Academy of Sciences (program "Corpus linguistics") and by the Russian Foundation of Basic Research, grant No. 11-06-00512-a (project leader - Michael Daniel).

For more details see the project website.

Documenting and describing Dargi languages
(led by Nina Sumbatova, in collaboration with Dmitry Ganenkov, Yury Lander, Rasul Mutalov, Natalia Serdobolskaya, and Vera Tsukanova)

I am currently working on a grammatical sketch of Ashti Dargwa (a dialect of Kubachi Dargwa) as part of a larger project of describing and documenting Dargi languages of Daghestan with special attention to areal phenomena. This project is supported by the Russian Foundation for the Humanities.