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Georgian, the only written member of the non Indo-European Kartvelian (South Caucasian) linguistic family, is the official language of the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic*. Written Georgian goes back to the fifth century, and there is a rich and varied medieval Georgian literature. An extensive and significant scholarly literature exists in modern Georgian, covering all areas of knowledge from anatomy to zoology. Of particular importance is Georgian scholarly literature dealing with the Caucasus. No one can hope to be expert in fields such as the history, prehistory, ethnology, art, music, linguistics, folklore, etc. of the Caucasus without consulting the extensive scholarly literature on these topics written in Georgian. It is the purpose of this textbook to facilitate the acquisition of a reading knowledge of modern Georgian to enable the student to read such scholarly texts.
The textbook is designed to be used either for self instruction or in a regular classroom. It is assumed that the student has already studied a foreign language (for instance French, Spanish, German, Russian, Greek, Latin) and is acquainted with the basic elementary terms of gram ar. No other background is assumed.
The course is organized into fifteen lessons. The first lesson introduces the sound system and the Georgian alphabet. The exercises in this lesson should be repeated until the learner feels somewhat comfortable with the Georgian alphabet. (All Georgian forms in the grammar sections of Lessons 2 through 5 are given both in the Georgian alphabet and in transliteration to facilitate the learning of the alphabet).
The remaining fourteen lessons contain grammar sections, Georgian sentences for translation into English, a vocabulary to these sentences, an English translation of the sentences, and, beginning with Lesson 5, a reading passage taken from Georgian sources and a vocabulary for that passage.
The grammar sections do not attempt to be exhaustive but rather are designed to cover the material of the exercises and the reading passages. Their main goal is to facilitate reading and therefore they are designed more for passive than for active mastery. In the last few lessons some grammatical material is introduced that is not drilled in the exercises or readings. This is to prepare the learner should he encounter similar forms in his later reading and also to give a better overview of Georgian grammar."
* The original book was published in 1982, before the Republic of Georgia declared independence
Georgian: A Reading Grammar, Corrected Edition
Howard I. Aronson
526 p., 1990 (ISBN: 0-89357-207-1), $39.95
Professor Aronson's book, originally published in 1982, was the first grammar of Georgian for beginners to be published in English.
The goal of the book is to enable a student to read Georgian literature (primarily scholarly) with the aid of a dictionary. The course consists of fifteen lessons, the first of which is devoted to the sound and writing systems of Georgian. The remaining fourteen lessons cover grammatical information, with exercises for translation from Georgian into English (lessons 2-13) and reading passages taken unedited from modern Georgian sources (lessons 5-15). Reading passages deal with history, geography, linguistics, philology, art history, music history, anthropology, plus a long selection from a contemporary Georgian popular novel.