Batsbi (Tsova-Tush)

This collection contains recordings and transcriptions of Tsova-Tush (also known as Batsbi or Bats), a critically endangered Northeast Caucasian language spoken by approximately 400–800 people in Zemo Alvani, Georgia. The ancestral home of the Tsova-Tush people is the Tsova gorge of the Tusheti mountain range of the Greater Caucasus Mountains. Today Tsova-Tush people retain a strong connection to the Tusheti region while living primarily in the lowlands. The Tsova-Tush language is most closely related to Chechen and Ingush and unrelated to Georgian and Russian. The recordings in this collection were collected from 2016–2019 and represent various aspects of the Tsova-Tush language. Generally speaking, the 2016 sessions (BH2-001–BH2-022) aimed to target morphological paradigms (especially nouns); the 2017 sessions continued to develop noun paradigms and additionally explored syntax and phonetics; the 2018 and 2019 sessions delved deeper into syntax, semantics, discourse, gesture, and storytelling. Transcriptions in ELAN .eaf files and Praat .TextGrid files follow the Caucasian Phonetic Alphabet. The sound transcribed with "y" in earlier recordings is transcribed as "j' in later sessions; both of these symbols correspond to IPA /j/. Users are particularly recommended to explore BH2-044 (an elicitation from the Circle of Dirt picture series with the oldest resident of Zemo Alvani as of 2017), BH2-049 (a true story about a trip to the mountains for a holiday celebration), and BH2-064 (a conversation among three speakers, in which they reflect on language attitudes, the history of the language, and etymologies). The materials in this collection are still undergoing annotation and are the subject of ongoing research. Users are requested to contact the researcher/depositor (Bryn Hauk: bhauk@hawaii.edu) before using these materials for scholarly publication. This research was funded by the Bilinski Educational Foundation and the National Science Foundation (award #1840668). Data collection was made possible thanks to the incredible hospitality of Rezo Orbetishvili, Nisa Baxtarishvili, and many other generous hosts in Zemo Alvani.

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