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Documentation and grammatical description of Chechen including the Cheberloi dialect

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Language Chechen
Depositor Zarina Molochieva
Affiliation University of Regensburg
Location Russian Federation
Collection ID 0232
Grant ID IGS0057
Funding Body ELDP
Collection Status Collection online
Landing Page Handle


Summary of the collection

The data represented in this project was collected from the elderly speakers exclusively. The goal of the project is to collect the data from the elderly speakers who are monolingual speakers of Chechen of different varieties. Nowadays, the Chechen speakers are bilingual (Chechen-Russian). This project focuses on the Chechen folklore, culture-specific texts, and traditional activities.


Group represented

Chechen varieties. The data represented in this collection was collected from the monolingual speakers, i.e. from speakers older than 70 or 80 years who grew up in the highlands and did not attend school in the city. The reason of collecting the data from the remaining monolingual speakers, was that their language has not been too much influenced by Russian.


Language information

Chechen is a Northeast Caucasian (aka Nakh-Dagestanian) language with several dialectal variants: the lowland dialect (Ploskostnoi), Itumkala, Melxin, Kistin, Cheberloi, Akki, and Galanchozh dialect. Chechen is spoken by approx. 1,350,000 speakers. Most speakers who are younger than 70 years old are bilingual. The number of monolingual speakers is very low: they are over 70 years old. Language proficiency in Chechen depends on the place of origin of the speaker and the language spoken at home in his/her family.

Chechen is not traditionally a written language. The first version of the Chechen alphabet was introduced in the 19th century with a version of the Arabic alphabet. In the 1920s it was written using the Latin alphabet, but in the 1930s an orthographic system based on the Cyrillic alphabet was created and adopted.


Special characteristics

The data represented in the collection consist of texts of the monolingual speakers of different dialects of Chechen. The data also includes texts from a Cheberloi dialect, spoken originally in the south-eastern highland, but nowadays a majority lives in the lowland.

The special characteristics of the data are several: 1) it was collected mainly from the elderly speakers, 2) the speakers are dominant in the their dialects, and 3) the data consists of culture-specific texts, such as ethnographic texts, recipes, descriptions of traditional procedures.

The aim of this collection is to collect the data from the remaining monolingual speakers who preserve structures and lexicon which the bilingual speakers may not use.


Collection contents

The collection mainly consists of the texts such as folk tales, fairy tales, some traditional recipes, description of traditional procedure, and old songs. Some texts consist of the description of preparation the traditional food, the description of preparation of fabrics used to make clothes in the highland in the past.


Collection history

The data was collected during the fieldwork 2007 and 2008 in the Chechen Republic in the frame of the PhD project ‘Documentation and grammatical description of Chechen including the Cheberloi dialect.’


Acknowledgement and citation

To refer to any data from the collection, please cite the corpus in this way:

Molochieva, Zarina. 2008. Documentation and description of Chechen including the Cheberloi dialect. Endangered Language Archive. Accessed on [insert date here].

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