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Dutch Student Investigates Languages of the Caucasus

Dutch Student Investigates Languages of the Caucasus

Samira Verhees, a Ghent University alumna and doctoral student at the HSE School of Linguistics, spoke about her Caucasian studies.

Samira Verhees was working towards her master’s degree at Ghent University in Belgium when she first became interested in the languages of the Caucasus. Her professor recommended that she contact Michael Daniel from HSE, and this is how Samira found herself in a three-month internship at HSE last year. She liked living in Moscow, the internship was a success, and Samira decided to apply for PhD here.

Samira’s passion for Caucasian languages grew from her previous Slavic studies. Her first degree was in Slavic studies and Russian language. And her master’s degree was a double one, in Slavic studies and comparative linguistics. So, having passed examinations in the major discipline and philosophy in Russian, it was comparatively easy for her to apply for a doctoral programme in Caucasian studies at HSE.

‘Now I’m studying Nakh-Dagestanian languages as part of my doctoral programme’, said Samira Verhees, ‘This is a comparative study, and I’m looking at one verb category, evidentiality, in various Nakh-Dagestanian languages, and examining how it shows itself. I’m definitely going to work with native speakers of these languages. I already have an experience of field work – I was on a dialectological expedition in the North, in Arkhangelsk region. This is exciting and allows you to get valuable data’.

Prepared by Vitaly Volk

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