Iron Ossetic: Languages of the Caucasus

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2 Scopus citations


Iron Ossetic is an Iranian language spoken in the Caucasus. The present chapter describes the main phonological, morphological, and syntactic properties of Iron Ossetic. A brief overview is given of the geographical and historical background, published sources, and history of research on Ossetic. The chapter proceeds with an overview of phonetics and phonology of the language, after which the morphology of nominals and verbs is addressed. The discussion of syntax touches upon the overall structure of simple clauses, the structure of noun phrases, valency classes, interrogative clauses, and complex clauses. A special emphasis is put on typologically unusual properties of this language. These properties include a rich system of second position pronominal clitics with a complex pattern of placement, the behavior of negation and negative indefinites, the syntax of wh-questions and complementizers, and the formation of finite embedded clauses, including relative clauses. Relative clause functions are always expressed by correlatives.

Original languageEnglish GB
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Languages of the Caucasus
EditorsMaria Polinsky
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages45
ISBN (Electronic)9780190690694
ISBN (Print)9780190690724, 0190690720
StatePublished - 13 Jan 2021

Publication series

NameOxford Handbooks
PublisherOxford University Press


  • Clitics
  • Correlatives
  • Iranian
  • Iron ossetic
  • Morphology
  • Ossetic
  • Syntax

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences

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