According to Wikipedia, the Bats language of Eastern Georgia has a case called "contacting", but no description is offered as to its function.

I checked the Russian and Georgian versions of the page and I checked the pages for the languages it's related to, Chechen and Ingush, and found no further mention of this case.

Is Contacting Case present in any other language or might it just be an unusual name for one of the more usual cases?

  • 1
    I've found this resource that implies that Batsbi has an Oblique case books.google.co.uk/…, while the wikipedia page makes no mention of the oblique case, which could mean that that is what is meant by Communicating, perhaps. – Danger Fourpence May 5 '13 at 8:48
  • In languages with extensive case systems (and all the Caucasian languages I know of have case systems, mostly ergative), the names of the cases are locally determined, in the sense that they are either traditional names, or get used by scholars who may or may not have other languages' case system terminology to imitate. You may need scare quotes around "contacting". – jlawler May 5 '13 at 16:01
  • While I was unable to find it in the Oxford Handbook of Case, Harris 2009 uses this term, contact case CON. link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11049-009-9070-8 – Alex B. May 5 '13 at 20:03
  • @jlawler: Yes I hesitated when trying to decide whether to put the scare quotes around just "contacting" or "contacting case" for this reason. Personally I find ergative to not be a 100% fit in case systems, a bit like how genetive/possessive case doesn't 100% fit English. I know it mainly from Georgian where it just doesn't "feel" like the other cases sometimes. Also Bats is a tiny language spoken in a single village but its relatives Chechen and Ingush each have an entire autonomous republic in the Russian Federation yet I can't find this case in those languages. – hippietrail May 5 '13 at 22:45
  • Caucasian languages are notorious for obscure case systems, not to mention fantastically complex consonant systems. Aert Kuipers once suggested that Kabardian vowels were entirely conditioned by surrounding consonants, so that all one actually needed in transcribing Kabardian was a single Vowel symbol, since all vocalic qualities were predictable from the environment, much like the phonation of English /ə/ is predictable from its environment. – jlawler May 5 '13 at 23:13

The entry for the language at Языки мира: Кавказские языки. - М., 1999 has the following description:

The "проницающий" (apparently, the one under question, due to the identity of affixes described) case marks indirect objects or adverbials of verbs denoting the direct contact, penetration, several other verbs. It is marked by -x: ас хене-х тIотI кхацIдинас 'I grabbed the tree with a hand'; о алзне-х дахь валъẽ 'He crossed to the other bank of Alazani'; окхус хене-х дикI дишдиẽ 'He struck a tree with an axe'; о со-х гIази-х ва 'He is better than me'.

Yet the whole set of cases described in the article is somewhat different from one on Wikipedia, so some deviations might be expected.

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