Podcast | Human and social sciences

[PODCAST] Confluence of Research Worlds: Studying linguistic typology within the astonishing diversity of languages in Dagestan with Michael Daniel

Yulia Arnaut - Dagestan (Unsplash)
Yulia Arnaut - Dagestan (Unsplash)

The Collegium - Lyon Institute for Advanced Studies is launching Confluence of Research Worlds, a podcast series to explore the ongoing research of the 2023-24 fellows


Listen to the talk (in French) with Michael Daniel

Music: The Return composed by Alexander Nakarada (CC BY 4.0)
A podcast series created and produced by
Bérénice Gagne


Linguist Michael Daniel, who taught linguistics at HSE University in Moscow (Russia) until 2022, is a fellow at the Collegium - Lyon Institute for Advanced Studies for the year 2023-24. He is conducting research on linguistic typology, particularly morphosyntax, and he is studying linguistic variations within the context of language contact, especially with languages in the Caucasus.

His research area is in Dagestan, a region located in the southern part of Russia, in the Caucasus mountains, with the Caspian Sea to the east. It is a remarkable region due to its significant linguistic diversity: despite being only slightly larger than the Rhône-Alpes region (excluding Auvergne), around forty languages from distinct linguistic families are spoken there (North Caucasian, South Caucasian, Altaic, Indo-European).
I have worked on truly minority languages; for instance, the Archi language is spoken in just one village. Even though the languages of neighboring villages belong to the same family, it's like living in a village where they speak Russian, the next village speaks French, and another speaks Hindi.
In conducting this research, Michael Daniel collaborates with the Dynamique Du Langage (DDL) research unit.

Sources (in order of appearance):

Person speaking Tukita (9’32).

Person telling a story in Archi (14’36).

Michael Daniel with the help of his consultant, attempting to pronounce a specific sound in the Mehweb language (21’13).