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The Alarodian languages are a proposed language family that encompasses two language families of the Caucasus: Northeast or Dagestan (sometimes called Avar or Lezgian which are also the names of its most major members) and North-central or Vaynakh (which includes Chechen and Ingush), as well as the extinct Hurro-Urartian languages.
History of the concept
The Alarodian family was first proposed by Fritz Hommel (1854–1936). The term comes from the name that Herodotus used to refer to the kingdom of Urartu. The connection between the Northeast and North-central families was based on claimed similarities in phonetics and grammar, such as sentence structure and an ergative case system. The Hurro-Urartian languages were included on the basis of grammatical and lexical similarities. However the genetic relationships between these languages is not clear.
Further research on this group of languages was later published by K. Ostir (1921, 1922), A. Svanidze (1937), Giorgi Melikishvili (1965), I.M. Diakonoff and S.A. Starostin (1986).
There have been proposals to join the Alarodian language family with the Northwest Caucasian languages (which includes Abkhaz, Adyghe, Cherkess , and others) into the hypothetical North Caucasian family; and then with the South Caucasian languages (Georgian, Megrelian, Svan, and Laz) into an Ibero-Caucasian language family. However, there is little linguistic evidence for these groupings.
- K. Ostir. Beitrage zur Alarodischen Sprachwissenschaft (a monograph), I, 1921 (in German)
- K. Ostir. Alarodische Sprachwissenschaft (a monograph), 1922 (in German)
- A. Svanidze. "Materials for history of Alarodian tribes" (a monograph), Tbilisi, 1937 (in Russian)
- G.A. Melikishvili. Questions of the oldest population of Georgia, Caucasus and the Near East (a monograph), Tbilisi, 1965 (in Georgian, Russian summary)
- I. Diakonoff, S. Starostin. "Huro-Urartian as an Eastern Caucasian Language".- Munchener Studien zur Sprachwissenschaft, Baiheft, N.F., 12, 1986 (in English)
- Alarodian languages.- Encyclopedia "Sakartvelo", vol. I, Tbilisi, 1997, pp. 90 (in Georgian)
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