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Introduction to Kartvelian (South Caucasian) languages – Hélène Gérardin (Inalco, SeDyL)
The Kartvelian languages, along with Georgian (the official language of Georgia), form the Kartvelian family, also known as South Caucasian. The Eastern Kartvelian dialects being studied this year (identified with a more specific glottocode: east2870) linguistically separated (and sometimes geographically) from Middle Georgian in the eighteenth century. The focus will be on Fereydani, Ingilo and the dialect group commonly referred to as “the mountain dialects”.
Fereydani is spoken in Iran, making it the only variant within the Kartvelian family that lacks geographical contact with the others. Ingilo is spoken in Azerbaijan and has minimal interaction with other Kartvelian languages. As for the “mountain group”, it encompasses a diverse range of conservative dialects spoken in the northeastern mountainous regions of Georgia. The primary dialects to be studied include Khevsur, Pshavian, Mokhevian, Tush, and Mtiuletian. All of these dialects have a strong oral tradition and are poorly documented. They are predominantly used in informal contexts and are significantly endangered by the dominant languages in the area (Georgian, Persian, Azeri).