Interference Occurrences in the Speech of the Kodorian Gorge’s Svans
Keywords:Svan language; Dialect; Interference.
The representatives of the Upper Bal and Lower Bal dialects who migrated in the Kodori (resp. Dali) Gorge to Upper Svaneti a century and a half ago, before the occupation of their territory they were mixed with each other according to the villages, that caused the resemblance of one dialect to another in their speech. Interference gained a form of adstrat that "arises due to the equal knowledge of two languages or dialects during their free mutual influence; It is a live process of interference of languages (dialects), and interference always appears in the direct contacts of languages (dialects)" (B. Jorbenadze). This phenomenon has been observed in the speech of the Kodori’s (resp. Dali’s) Upper Svan population in the 70s of the last century by M. Kaldani;
Despite the issue, its investigation wasn’t proceeded in the last century by the
kartvelologists. Only in the early 21st century it was renewed, when Iza Chantladze delivered a speech on the topic "Peculiarities of the Defective Verbs in the Kodori Gorge’s Svan” at the scientific session of the Arnold Chikobava Institute of Linguistics. This initiative was the basis for further thorough study of Svan speech of the Kodori Gorge’s population under the supervision of I. Chantladze at Arnold Chikobava Institute of Linguistics. The work was significantly complicated due to the well-known military actions: At certain times, the trip to the Kodori Gorge was associated with great risk. However, a group of scientists interested in the issue to some extent still managed it.
As the result of this devotion (literally!) a large empirical material was obtained and 835-page publication "Kodorian Chronicles" was published, where the specifics and properties of the Kodorian speech are discussed. The logical question was raised: Whether Kodorian speech is dialect or not? Proceeding with the investigation to solve the problem failed at that stage, as this area became inaccessible not only for Georgian scientists but it has been completely emptied from Georgians and the local population has been dispersed throughout the regions of Georgia as refugees: Svaneti, Kvemo Kartli, Kakheti, Imereti…Research has become even more significant, since the non-compact life of the population speaking an analytical
speech threatened changes in their speech code. In 2016, the Rustaveli Foundation funded the fundamental research project: "Place of Kodorian Speech in Svan Language System" (Principal investigator I. Chantladze), which opened the way for the long-term observation on the speech of Kodorian population dispersed throughout Georgia and for new results. Working on the project is not over yet, but preliminary observations demonstrate a noteworthy picture that includes phonetics, grammar and vocabulary. Since analytical topic is very extensive, I will bring only some of the most common and noteworthy interference occurrences in the work.
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