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Language Science Press has published a book on the Mehweb language

Language Science Press has published a book on the Mehweb language, edited by Michael Daniel and Nina Dobrushina of the Linguistic Convergence Laboratory and Dmitry Ganenkov of the Laboratory of Caucasian languages.

The Mehweb language is spoken by residents of the village Mehweb in the Gunibsky district of the Dagestan Republic. Languages like Mehweb are called single-village languages (or single-aul languages), because they are spoken only in one village.

A team of linguists (including students) from Moscow State University once visited Mehweb under the guidance of Alexander Kibrik, who was the first to organize large-scale field trips to Dagestan for students. He was also the founder of  the Moscow school of Daghestanian linguistics. Many of the students who participated in this field trip in 1990 later became prominent Caucasiologists, such as Nina Sumbatova, Sergei Tatevosov and Konstantin Kazenin, as well as Nina Dobrushina and Michael Daniel, who returned to Mehweb with their own students many years later. 

The Mehweb field trips in 2013 were among the first linguistic field trips in which students of the Higher School of Economics began to participate. They became the authors of the papers included in the volume on Mehweb Among them are Alexandra Kozhuhar and Daria Barylnikova - some of the first graduates of the program “Fundamental and Applied Linguistics”. The authors of the research also include two teachers of the School of Linguistics: Yury Lander and George Moroz, and School of Linguistics graduates Ilya Chechuro, Maria Sheyanova, and Marina Kustova.

The trips to Mehweb and the research were supported by a grant of the research team of the Higher School of Economics. Enormous help was provided to the researchers by local teachers Maysarat and Anvar Musaev and many other residents of Mehweb.

The chapters of the book discuss the sociolinguistic situation in Mehweb, the phonetics of the Mehweb language, nominal and verbal inflection, the semantics of indirect moods, causative constructions, case and agreement, the structure and use of general and specialized converbes, reflexivization, relative clauses and a special assertive copula.

The book was written in English and published by Language Science Press, which specializes in publishing linguistic literature. An important feature of this project launched by Martin Haspelmath (one of the most authoritative modern linguists and typologists), is that it is completely supported by the scientific community and does not pursue commercial goals. The publishing company has already published dozens of monographs on a variety of topics.  The reviewing and editing of manuscripts is carried out by members of the scientific community, and books are available for free and in open access The Press is rapidly gaining authority and popularity among linguists, as it combines careful peer review with an absence of restrictions on the distribution of books.