Elevation as a category of grammar: Sanzhi Dargwa and beyond

Forker, Diana GND

Nakh-Daghestanian languages have encountered growing interest from typologists and linguists from other subdiscplines, and more and more languages from the Nakh-Daghestanian language family are being studied. This paper provides a grammatical overview of the hitherto undescribed Sanzhi Dargwa language, followed by a detailed analysis of the grammaticalized expression of spatial elevation in Sanzhi. Spatial elevation, a topic that has not received substantial attention in Caucasian linguistics, manifests itself across different parts of speech in Sanzhi Dargwa and related languages. In Sanzhi, elevation is a deictic category in partial opposition with participant-oriented deixis/horizontally-oriented directional deixis. This paper treats the spatial uses of demonstratives, spatial preverbs and spatial cases that express elevation as well as the semantic extension of this spatial category into other, non-spatial domains. It further compares the Sanzhi data to other Caucasian and non-Caucasian languages and makes suggestions for investigating elevation as a subcategory within a broader category of topographical deixis.


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License Holder: © 2019 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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This publication is with permission of the rights owner freely accessible due to an Alliance licence and a national licence (funded by the DFG, German Research Foundation) respectively.