Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

J. Albert Bickford


Ossetian, a language of the Northeastern group of the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European stock of languages, has not received as much linguistic attention as it deserves. A few major studies on Ossetian were written in the 19th and 20th centuries, most of them in Russian. While these works are a solid foundation in the study of Ossetian, its description is not complete.

The present work, written in English, offers Ossetian to a wider international audience. Relying on new developments in linguistic theory, it reexamines phenomena in the inflectional morphology of Ossetian.

The preliminary chapter on phonology provides an overview of the phonemic inventory of Ossetian. In the chapter on nominal morphology, the variety and nature of case and number suffixes is re-analyzed and they are described as phrasal affixes. In the chapter on verbal morphology, the forms previously described as infinitives are discussed and one of them is reanalyzed as a derived noun or adjective; the majority of verbs are regarded as having one stem form; tense is analyzed as a suffix that attaches to the stem; mood, person, number and transitivity marking is analyzed as one fused suffix.

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