Issues in Kartvelian Studies

Tamar Makharoblidze (Ed.)

by Giorgi Meladze (Ilia State University, Georgia), Tamar Makharoblidze (Ilia State University, Georgia), Giuli Alasania (University of Georgia, Georgia), Rusudan Gersamia (Ilia State University, Georgia), Svetlana Berikashvili (Ilia State University, Georgia), Irina Lobzhanidze (Ilia State University, Georgia), Jean Léo Léonard (Montpellier 3 University, France), Tamari Lomtadze (Akaki Tsereteli State University, Kutaisi, Georgia), Manana Mikadze (Akaki Tsereteli State University, Kutaisi, Georgia), Tinatin Margalitadze (Ilia State University, Georgia), Léa Nash (Université Paris 8/CNRS, France), Yidian SHE (Université Paul Valéry – Montpellier, France), Ellen Lau (University of Maryland College Park), Maria Polinsky (University of Maryland College Park), Nancy Clarke (Amazon AWS AI), Michaela Socolof (McGill University), Nino Sharashenidze (Tbilisi State University, Georgia), Kevin Tuite (Université de Montréal), Paata Bukhrashvili (Ilia State University, Georgia), Romanoz Dolidze (Tbilisi State University, Georgia), Ekaterine Nanitashvili (Ilia State University, Georgia)

Purchase this book

$ 81
Availability: Available through resellers
currency displayed based on your location
(click here to change currency)

The Caucasian Republic of Georgia is a veritable paradise for linguists and folklorists. Unfortunately, few know this. Fortunately, Makharoblidze (Ilia State University) created the key to this paradise: the twelve articles in her “Issues in Kartvelian Studies” guide us through this tantalizing paradise. The book starts with a comprehensive article on the history of Georgian dialects—some outside Georgia—and another about their interrelations and relations with non-Georgian languages, incorporating recent findings and theories. Several articles discuss the Georgian literary language: its ergative case system still poses questions, as do its morphosyntactic predictability and its expressions of space, location, negation and its relative pronouns, all of which are the subject of perceptive articles. An article about Georgian Sign Language, which replaced a Russian Sign Language unsuitable for non-Russians, interestingly includes facial expressions. We also find a helpful overview of Georgian dictionaries, beginning in the 11th century! We then learn about the creation of the Georgian national language, its problems beginning in Tsarist times through the Soviet period and now continuing in dealings with minorities. Finally, there is a fascinating and wide interview with a ‘tav-khevisberi’ (chief priest) about what could be described as the Georgian Paganism of the northeastern highlands, followed by a detailed article on the influence of the Georgian Church.

Prof. Dr. Bert Beynen
Temple University

The volume offers original and fascinating investigations into a broad spectrum of topics in Kartvelian Studies. Contributions by renowned scholars in the field of Kartvelology explore historical and dialectal as well as synchronic perspectives on Kartvelian languages, including Georgian, Mingrelian and Laz. Georgian sign language is studied in one chapter. The book is of interest to readers also outside the field of Kartvelology. Specialists in typological and digital linguistics, psycholinguistics and sociolinguistics will discover contributions in their areas of specialization. In addition to Kartvelian linguistics, the volume embraces religious topics, such as traditional religious practices in the Georgian highlands and the role of the Georgian Orthodox Church in state and nation building, from earliest times and to the present day. This empirically rich volume with explorative and well-argued analyses is stimulating reading for those who want to gain further understanding of linguistic, historical and religious perspectives on this complex region.

Karina Vamling
Professor of Caucasus Studies
Malmö University, Sweden

Georgia is a part of the Caucasus region, located at the intersection of Eastern Europe and Western Asia. It is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north and east by Russia, to the south by Turkey and Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. Georgia covers a territory of 69,700 square kilometres (26,911 sq mi), and its approximate population is about 3.716 million. Georgia is a motherland of Iberian or Kartvelian languages: Georgian, Svan, Megrelian and Laz, a language family native to the South Caucasus.

This diverse collection is devoted to a wide range of linguistic works, such as descriptive studies of the Kartvelian languages and Georgian sign language, along with some theoretical contributions, dialectology, lexicography, psycholinguistics and computational linguistics, as well as history, ethnography, religion and educational issues. These articles are not only the best studies of Kartvelology but also clearly show its contribution to world science.

List of Figures and Tables
Linguistics: Kartvelian Languages

Chapter 1
Hints at Georgian Dialect History: A Study in Miniature
Jean Leo Leonard
Paul Valéry University Montpellier 3, France

Chapter 2
Lexicography in Georgia
Tinatin Margalitadze
Ilia State University, Georgia
Giorgi Meladze
Ilia State University, Georgia

Chapter 3
Modality and NegativeVer Particle in the Georgian Language
Nino Sharashenidze
Ivane Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, Georgia

Chapter 4
The Linguistic Construal of Space in Megrelian and Laz
Rusudan Gersamia
Ilia State University, Georgia

Chapter 5
On the Representation of Morphosyntactic Predictions: ERP Evidence from Georgian
Ellen Lau
University of Maryland College Park
Maria Polinsky
University of Maryland College Park
Nancy Clarke
Amazon AWS AI
Michaela Socolof
McGill University

Chapter 6
Merged Functionality of Absolutive and Nominative in Georgian
Svetlana Berikashvili
Georg-August University of Göttingen; Ilia State University
Irina Lobzhanidze
Ilia State University

Chapter 7
Diasystemic Modelling of the Verbal Inflection System in the Western Georgian Dialects (Kartvelian)
Yidian She
Université Paul Valéry Montpellier

Chapter 8
Correlatives and Other Relatives in Georgian
Léa Nash
Université Paris 8/CNRS, France
Georgian Sign Language 201

Chapter 9
Non-Manual Arguments in Georgian Sign Language (GESL)
Tamar Makharoblidze
Ilia State University, Georgia
Ekaterine Nanitashvili
Ilia State University, Georgia; Georg-August University of Göttingen, Germany

Miscellaneous: Ethnology, Education, History and Religion

Chapter 10
Interview with Khevisberi Pilip’e Baghiauri
Kevin Tuite
Université de Montréal
Paata Bukhrashvili
Ilia State University, Georgia
Romanoz Dolidze
Tbilisi State University

Chapter 11
Georgian Language in Education
Tamari Lomtadze
Akaki Tsereteli State University, Kutaisi, Georgia
Manana Mikadze
Akaki Tsereteli State University, Kutaisi, Georgia

Chapter 12
The State and Religion in Georgia in the Historical Perspective
Giuli Alasania
University of Georgia, Georgia

About the Authors


Dr. Tamar Makharoblidze is a full-time Professor at the School of Arts and Sciences at Ilia State University in Tbilisi, Georgia. Dr. Makharoblidze has introduced a few new theories in typological linguistics, general linguistics and cognitive linguistics. She has written 30 monographs and textbooks and about 200 scientific publications. Apart from academic writing, Dr. Makharoblidze has produced screenplays and stage plays and participated in more than 200 television programs, radio programs and documentary films. In 2017, she was awarded the Best Scientist in Kartvelian Studies by the Shota Rustaveli National Science Foundation.

Linguistics, Kartvelian Studies, Georgian, Svan, Megrelian, Laz, Georgian Sign Language, Ethnology, History and Religion

Bibliographic Information

Book Title

Issues in Kartvelian Studies





Number of pages


Physical size



42 B&W

Publication date

October 2022