ILIA STATE UNIVERSITY

Study Areas

RESEARCH AREAS

The Institute of Linguistic Studies conducts interdisciplinary research in general and applied linguistics and Kartvelian Studies. The key areas of research include:

Corpus Linguistics

The development of the Georgian Language Corpus began in 2009. Since then monolingual and parallel corpora of Old, Middle and Modern Georgian texts belonging to different stages and genres have been constructed and made available online (www.corpora.iliauni.edu.ge). The Institute has so far documented about 100 000 000 word-forms according to linguistic and technological standards.

Natural Language Modelling

The development of Georgian language annotation and analysis tools was completed in 2014. A finite-state morphological analyzer of modern Georgian was created using the finite-state tools xfst and lexc (Beesley K.R./Karttunen L. 2003; Koskenniemi, K. 1983, etc). Current projects envisage the development of a morphosyntactic module and adaptation of a morphological analyzer for Old and Middle Georgian linguistic data.  

Computer Lexicography

The Institute was the first in Georgia to focus on the core research areas of this field of linguistic studies and to offer undergraduate and graduate courses in Language and Technology, and in Computer Linguistics and Lexicography. Entries for the Dictionary of Georgian-Modern Greek Idioms were developed during 2009-2010. At present, monolingual and bidirectional bilingual dictionaries of idioms are being compiled using the TLex lexicography software. It is also intended to produce a Georgian language dictionary based on the monolingual corpus data.

Study of the Georgian Sign Language

During 2011-2012, with the financial support of local and international donors (USIAD and the Tbilisi office of the Save the Children International) and the direct participation of the deaf community, Georgian sign language was documented and the original Georgian dactyl alphabet was created for the first time. In 2012, the Georgian sign Language grammar was described and published, along with the methodological guidebooks for schoolteachers. A year later, in 2013, the Sign Language Lab was set up within the Institute. Current projects focus on the sign language dictionary and translation software development.  

Kartvelian Language Studies

Functioning at the Institute of Linguistic Studies since 2006, the Kartvelian Languages Research Group has been working on the documentation and linguistic description of the non-written Kartvelian languages. In 2010, the group published Linguistic Analysis of Megrelian presenting the results of the study of Megrelian phonetics, morphology, syntax and lexicology, as well as the analysis of the linguistic evidence obtained through the expeditions to Samegrelo between 2006 and 2009. In 2012, the group developed and published a theoretical framework for interlinear glossing of Megrelian texts, as well as the recently recorded Megrelian oral narratives with Georgian versions. From 2007 through 2011, an electronic corpus of Megrelian texts (www.klrg.iliauni.edu.ge) was created. At present, the group is working on the following projects: Space and Time in the Kartvelian languages and Phonosemantic Vocabulary in the Kartvelian languages: Structural, Semantic and Pragmatic Aspects.

Study of a Social History of the Georgian Language

Between 2006 and 2013, with the support of local and international foundations (i.e. Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung, DFG and Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Goettingen), the Institute of Linguistic Studies carried out projects addressing various issues relating to the social history of the Georgian language. More specifically, they dealt with major conceptual frameworks for the functioning of the dominant languages as well as the emancipation of vernacular languages of the Eastern and Western Christendom in the Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages. As a result, three monographs in the Georgian and foreign languages were produced and papers were published in international and local peer-reviewed journals.

Textology/Old Georgian Philology

Since 2006, within the framework of local and international research projects, the professors of the Institute of Linguistic Studies have been preparing and publishing original and translated old Georgian texts in Corpus Christianorum: Series Graeca, Series Apocryphorum. The papers authored by the professors of the Institute have appeared in local and international journals and series.

Georgian as a Foreign Language and Georgian as a Second Language

The Georgian Language Workshop at the Institute of Linguistic Studies focuses its research on the functional grammar of Georgian and the development of Georgian language textbooks and resource material for different target groups, such as non-Georgian speaking communities in Georgia and foreigners interested in learning Georgian. Between 2010 and 2013, textbooks of Georgian as a second language were released and an electronic portal of Old and Modern Georgian learning resources was developed. At present, a set of textbooks of Georgian as a foreign language is being developed.

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