Ossetian, a language of the Northeastern group of the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-
European stock of languages, has not received as much linguistic attention as it deserves. A few
major studies on Ossetian were written in the 19th and 20th centuries, most of them in Russian.
While these works are a solid foundation in the study of Ossetian, its description is not
The present work, written in English, offers Ossetian to a wider international audience. Relying
on new developments in linguistic theory, it reexamines phenomena in the inflectional
morphology of Ossetian.
The preliminary chapter on phonology provides an overview of the phonemic inventory of
Ossetian. In the chapter on nominal morphology, the variety and nature of case and number
suffixes are reanalyzed, and they are described as phrasal affixes. In the chapter on verbal
morphology, the forms previously described as infinitives are discussed and one of them is
reanalyzed as a derived noun or adjective; the majority of verbs is regarded as having one stem
form; tense is analyzed as a suffix that attaches to the stem; mood, person, number and
transitivity marking is analyzed as one fused suffix.
A native speaker of Ossetian, Bela Hettich is currently Academic Director at ELS Language
Centers on the campus of University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, ND, USA.