The autor's foreword

In special literature there are many works on the noun classes in the East Caucasian languages. Nearly all researchers of these languages touched this question.

Those who support the idea of genetic relationship of the South-Caucasian (Kartvelian), West-Caucasian (Abkhaz-Adyg) and East-Caucasian (Nakh-Dagestan) languages qualify noun classes as typologically typical and genetically common peculiarity of grammatical structure of the Iberian-Caucasian languages.

 There were several attempts to give theoretical interpretation to the questions of system and history of noun classes. Their conclusions are generally accepted in Caucasian linguistics and are realized in the descriptions of the systems of noun classes in concrete languages.

The main aim of this work is to present the results of the author’s long-term researches of this grammatical category in the East-Caucasian languages to specialists. It was not easy for us to get free from habitual notions that long ago had formed in Caucasian linguistics and, therefore, they were perceived as obvious. It is well known that the burden of old knowledge is rather conservative and it has made logically well coordinated system which is usual for perception.