Deputy Director (research); Department Head of Caucasian Languages
Russian linguist specializing in Caucasian languages, specialist in Dagestan linguistics (typology, comparative and historical grammar of Dagestan languages).
Mikhail Alexeyev was born on October 24, 1949 in Mytishchi, Moscow.
After graduating from the Department of Structural and Applied Linguistics of the Faculty of Philology of MSU, he acquired his qualification at the postgraduate school of the Institute of Linguistics of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1973-1975), where he got his PhD thesis "The Problem of the Affective Construction of a Sentence" in 1975. Dr.habil. thesis "Comparative-historical grammar of the Lezgin languages" was defended in the same place. He worked at the Institute of Linguistics of the Russian Academy of Sciences as Junior Researcher (1975-86), Senior Researcher (1986-92), Leading Researcher (1992-2011) of the Department of Caucasian Languages. In 2001 he was elected as Deputy Director (research), since 2003 he was the Department Head of Caucasian Languages at the Institute of Linguistics of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
For some time he had worked as Chief Researcher at the Institute of National Problem of the Ministry of Education and Science of Russian Federation (1991-95). He also was the head of the Department of Regional and Minority Languages at the Institute of the Languages of the Peoples of Russia at the Ministry of National Economy of the Russian Federation (1993-97).
As a part of expeditions of MSU (1968-75) and Institute of Language, Literature and Art by Gamzat Tsadasa, DSC RAS (1975-77) he participated in the study of poorly explored Dagestan languages: Archi, Khinalug, Rutul, Kryts, and Budukh langauges. Field materials were used in typological characterization of Northeast Caucasian languages and in the creation of comparative and historical grammar of Lezgin languages.
In the works of Mikhail Alexeyev, the structure of the Lezgin proto-language was reconstructed on morphological and syntactic levels. Based on the use of different methods, the composition of the Lezgin language group was clarified, and it was shown that the Khinalug language is not included in it. For the category of the Proto-Lezgin name, the subcategories of case, number, class were reconstructed. A significant role in the formation of case forms of opposition of direct and indirect bases is shown. A hypothesis was proposed about the relatively late formation of the adjective category in the languages under consideration. The vigesimal numeral system was distinguished. According to Mikhail Alexeyev, the central role in the verbal inflection belongs to the category of the aspect, its interaction with other means of expressing aspectual differences (ablaut, reduplication). The four-term class paradigm has been restored. Among the main means of word formation that have a general Lezgin character, nominal affixes (suffixes of abstract verbal nouns; expressive suffixes), examples of word composition, verbal (spatial, most of which have obvious parallels in the field of locative cases, as well as expressive) prefixes are distinguished.
The comparative and historical study of Dagestan languages was continued on the materials of Northern Area and on the scale of the Nakh-Dagestan family as a whole. At the Institute of National Problem of the Ministry of Education and Science of Russian Federation Mikhail Alexeyev dealt with compiling ABC-books in native languages. The main result of this work was the publication of experimental dictionary for the previously unwritten Tsez language. In theoretical terms, he states that grammar should be taught in native languages. He also believes that measures to preserve and develop minority languages should be taken before they become endangered.
Member of the Dissertation Council at the Institute of Linguistics of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Russian State University for the Humanities; member of the European Society of Caucasian Studies; member of the editorial board of the Linguistic Atlas of Europe, member of the editorial board of the Russian Journal of Social Sciences. Series "Linguistics".
Honored Science Worker of the Republic of Dagestan, Honorary Member of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Abkhazia.
Awarded the medal "In Commemoration of the 850th Anniversary of Moscow" (1997).
He was married, has two daughters.
Mikhail Alexeyev died on May 23, 2014 at the age of 65.
Mikhail Alexeyev has more than 350 publications. Selected works:
- Mikhail Alexeyev, Georgy Klimov. 1980. Tipologiya kavkazskikh yazykov. [Typology of the Caucasian languages.]. M. 304 p.
- Mikhail Alexeyev. 1985. Sravnitel'no-istoricheskaya grammatika lezginskikh yazykov: Morfologiya. Sintaksis. [Comparative Historical Grammar of Lezgi Languages: Morphology. Syntax.]. M. 158 p.
- Mikhail Alexeyev. 1988. Sravnitel'no-istoricheskaya morfologiya avaro-andiiskikh yazykov. [Comparative-historical morphology of the Avar-Andean languages.]. M. 223 p.
- Mikhail Alexeyev. Velibek Zagirov. 1991. Shkol'nyi etimologicheskii slovar' tabasaranskogo yazyka. [School etymological dictionary of the Tabasaran language.]. Makhachkala. 96 p.
- Mikhail Alexeyev. 1993. Alipbi. Eksperimental'nyi bukvar' tsezskogo yazyka. хAlipby. Experimental ABC book of the Cesian language.]. M. 81 p.
- Mikhail Alexeyev. Enver Sheikhov. 1997. Lezginskii yazyk. [Lezgin language.]. M. 136 p.
- Mikhail Alexeyev. 2003. Sravnitel'no-istoricheskaya morfologiya nakhsko-dagestanskikh yazykov. Kategorii imeni. [Comparative-historical morphology of the Nakh-Dagestan languages. Name categories.]. M. 264 p.
- Mikhail Alexeyev, Sabrina Shikhalieva. 2003. Tabasaranskii yazyk. [Tabasaran language.]. М.: Academia. 140 p.
- Mikhail Alexeyev. 2008. Ocherki istorii otechestvennogo kavkazovedeniya. [Essays on the history of Russian Caucasian studies.]. М.: Academia. 279 p.