The ECLinG project team comprises three participants from Germany, who are responsible for the overall organisation of the project, the preparation of the data to be recorded for digitisation and the field work concerning the Udi language, and two groups consisting of Georgian scholars who establish the necessary contacts with informants and carry out the field work concerning Tsova-Tush and Svan. As an independent member of the team, a Georgian ethnologue participates in the work as a consultant.
All members of the present project team have been involved in linguistic studies concerning the languages in question for many years.
Jost Gippert, professor of Comparative Linguistics at the University of Frankfurt (Main), has worked on the Svan language since the 1980ies and provided, among other publications, an edition of the first phonographic recording of Svan made in 1909 by A. Dirr; he has also been responsible for the establishment of the TITUS server (http://titus.uni-frankfurt.de) where a bulk of textual material of Caucasian languages (primarily Georgian and Svan) as well as a few spoken specimens, among them Udi and Tsova-Tush recordings, are published. In 1999, he initiated the “ARMAZI” project (supported by the Volkswagen Foundation) which aimed at establishing the fundamentals of an electronic documentation of the Caucasian Languages and Cultures (cf. http://armazi.uni-frankfurt.de), including a full digitisation of the textual material of Svan (and Megrelian) that has been published so far (cf. http://armazi.uni-frankfurt.de/armaz6.htm); the project tasks have been accomplished since 2003.
, professor of Linguistics at the University of Munich, is a specialist of East Caucasian languages. In his doctoral thesis “Die Sprache der Uden in Nord-Azerbajdžan” he provided a thorough grammatical analysis of the Udi language. In 2001, he published a first online grammar of Udi (cf. http://www.lrz-muenchen.de/~wschulze/Uog.html
) as well as a new edition of one of the oldest Udi texts, i.e. the gospel translation of the Bezhanov brothers (first printed in 1902), which is also available in a web edition prepared in cooperation with J. Gippert and M. Tandashvili (cf. http://titus.uni-frankfurt.de/texte/etcs/cauc/udi/nt/nt.htm
, formerly director of the department of Computational Linguistics at the A. Chikobava Institute of Linguistics of the Georgian Academy of Sciences (Tbilisi) and now a lecturer at the Comparative Linguistics at the University of Frankfurt (Main), wrote a doctoral dissertation (2nd degree) in 1999 on the principles of a computational modelling of Caucasian languages, with a special focus on the Udi language. Since October 2000, she has been working in Munich and Frankfurt (Main) together with Schulze and Gippert as a fellowship owner of the German Humboldt Foundation, her project consisting of a textual grammar of the Udi gospel texts.
1st Georgian group (working on Svan):
Iza Čantladze (Chantladze), professor of linguistics at the A. Chikobava Institute of Linguistics of the Georgian Academy of Sciences, is one of the most renowned specialists of Svan in Georgia today. Her candidate dissertation (1st degree) of 1969 was on the differences of the language of the Svan folk poetry and present day spoken Svan. Her 1998 “Kartvelologic investigations” are also mostly based on Svan material. As a member of the redactional group, she participated in a responsible way in the publication of the Svan dictionary compiled by V. Topuria and M. Kaldani (Tbilisi, 2000).
(Saghliani), aspirant (candidate for the 1st doctor degree) as a pupil of Iza Chantladze, is writing a thesis on the distribution of family names in the Svan speaking area. As a native speaker of Svan (Lower Bal dialect), she has collected a great bulk of original texts which will soon be published both in printed and in electronic form (for a preliminary online edition of a choice of texts, including first specimens from the Kodori area, cf. http://titus.uni-frankfurt.de/texte/etca/cauc/svan/iza/iza.htm
, aspirant (candidate for the 1st doctor degree) in the I. Javakhishvili Institute of History of the Georgian Academy of Sciences, is writing a doctoral thesis (1st degree) on the ethnography of the Svan population. She is a native speaker of Svan as well (Upper Bal dialect) and will participate in the group led by Iza Chantladze in the present project.
2nd Georgian group (working on Tsova-Tush):
Maia Mačavariani (Machavariani), doctor of linguistics at the A. Chikobava Institute of Linguistics of the Georgian Academy of Sciences, is a specialist of general linguistics and linguistic typology. In recent years, she has been deeply involved in linguistic field work concerning the Tsova-Tush language; in the course of these activities, she participated in the edition of the collection of Tsova-Tush poetic texts by I. Longišvili (2001) and developed educational material for the Tsova-Tush population.
(Shavkhelishvili), doctor of linguistics at the A. Chikobava Institute of Linguistics of the Georgian Academy of Sciences, is a native speaker of Tsova-Tush who has mostly been working on her mother tongue and its relatives, the Nakh languages with which she has been familiarly acquainted since her childhood. In her candidate dissertation (1st degree) of 1978, she provided a comparative analysis of kinship terms in the Nakh languages. Together with M. Machavariani, she participated in the edition of the Longišvili texts (2001).
Roland Topčišvili (Topchishvili), professor of ethnology at the Javakhishvili Institute of History of the Georgian Academy of Sciences and member of the Gelati Academy of Sciences, is a specialist in the ethnography of Georgia and other Caucasian regions.