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LINGUIST List 21.469

Fri Jan 29 2010

Books: Applied Ling/Typology: Hewitt

Editor for this issue: Hannah Morales <hannahlinguistlist.org>

Links to the websites of all LINGUIST's supporting publishers are available at the end of this issue.
        1.    Ulrich Lueders, Abkhaz: Hewitt

Message 1: Abkhaz: Hewitt
Date: 25-Jan-2010
From: Ulrich Lueders <lincom.europat-online.de>
Subject: Abkhaz: Hewitt
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Title: Abkhaz
Subtitle: A Comprehensive Self-Tutor
Series Title: LINCOM Student Grammars 03
Published: 2010
Publisher: Lincom GmbH

Author: George Hewitt
Paperback: ISBN: 9783895866708 Pages: 332 Price: Europe EURO 64.40

Abkhaz belongs to the small North West Caucasian language-family, whose
other members are the various Circassian dialects and Ubykh, extinct since
1992. It is spoken by (a) upto 100,000 Abkhazians either in the historical
homeland of the Republic of Abkhazia, located in north-west Transcaucasia,
or in Russia, and (b) an indeterminate number of members of the
diaspora-communities, which have been centred in Turkey since the great
exodus from Abkhazia following Russia's conquest of the North Caucasus in
1864; ethnic Abkhazians in Turkey number between 300,000 and half a
million, and smaller communities are found elsewhere in the Near East (plus
Europe and America). Each member of the language-family is characterised by
(i) large consonantal phoneme-inventories coupled with minimal
vowel-systems, (ii) morphs often consisting of just a consonant(-complex) ±
vowel, and (iii) extreme polysynthetic verbal complexes, all of which
combine to present the learner/speaker with considerable challenges.

Serious attempts to provide Abkhaz (and Circassian) with scripts only began
in Tsarist Russia in the late 19th century, by which date all speakers of
Ubykh had migrated to the Ottoman Empire (settling in regions of today's
Turkey). Since that time, a number of orthographies have been used for
Abkhaz. The current, Cyrillic-based standard in Abkhazia was devised (by a
committee!) after Stalin died (1953), though a slight spelling reform was
introduced in the late 1990s to regularise the marking of the feature of
labialisation. The most divergent Abkhaz dialect, Abaza, is spoken in the
actual North West Caucasus (Russia), where it has its own alphabet. Whilst
grammatical sketches and grammars of Abkhaz designed for linguists exist in
a variety of languages (including my own grammar 'Lingua Descriptive
Studies 2: Abkhaz', originally published in 1979, though it was most
recently reprinted), this is the first attempt to produce a comprehensive,
graded self-tutor. It is based on the literary dialect, Abzhywa, which is
one of only two dialects remaining in the ancestral territory (the other
being Bzyp). The work consists of: Introduction, 19 explanatory chapters
with exercises plus one chapter of texts, an Appendix dealing with
mathematical terms, Key to the exercises, and a grammatical Summary.

Students' discounts available! Please ask.

Linguistic Field(s): Applied Linguistics

Subject Language(s): Abkhaz (abk)

Written In: English (eng )

See this book announcement on our website:

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Georgetown University Press http://www.press.georgetown.edu
John Benjamins http://www.benjamins.com/
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