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Towards a reference grammar of Azerbaijanian 

Dr Elisabetta Ragagnin (Research Associate)

This project aims to produce a reference grammar of Azerbaijanian for both linguistics and turcologists alike. It will give a synchronic description of modern Azerbaijanian phonology, morphology and syntax. The descriptive chapters will focus on the sound system, derivational and inflectional morphology, the verbal categories aspect, mood and tense as well as simple vs. complex clause syntax. Special attention will also be paid to language contact phenomena and socio-linguistic aspects. Though focusing on the standard, i.e. Baku-based variety, this grammar will include a description of various distinctive features of other Azeri dialects.

 Besides, this project will deal with older stages of Azerbaijanian, often referred to as “Ajami Turkic” in Turcological studies. This term refers to the trans-regional written Turkic variety geographically placed between Ottoman and Chagatay, and actively spoken and used literally in the Caucasus and Iran until the end of the XVIII century. Ajami Turkic sources include, for example, the poetic works of Fużūlī and Shāh Ismāʿil, the epic Dede Qorqud and gospel translations. Grammatical and lexical data on Ajami Turkic is also provided by Europeans’ travel accounts such as those of Herbert, Kaempfer, della Valle and Du Mans. This project is directed by Dr. Elisabetta Ragagnin.