The "Surrey Morphology Group" at the University of Surrey — whose research "combines the investigation of grammatical categories in a broad sample of languages with the use of explicit formal and statistical frameworks for the expression of typological and theoretical generalizations" — published a 24-page guide to Archi (East Caucasian / North-east Caucasian (Nakh-Daghestanian) / Lezgic).
Among other interesting characteristics, Archi has 72 consonants; many different plural formations (i.e. much more complicated than simply adding an "-s" to a noun); 21 cases viz. 10 non-spatial, 5 spatial, and 6 directional cases; and 4 genders (male human, female human, "some animates, all insects, some inanimates", and "some animates, some inanimate, abstracts").
Here is an interesting sample: "Number of forms: The Archi verb has “basic” tense/aspect/mood forms and related gerunds, participles and masdars total 12,405. The Archi verb agrees with the Absolutive of the clause in gender and number. Masdars can take the nominal case endings. These two factors multiply the paradigm up to 188,463 cells. The reportative can be formed from all personal forms, and from the admirative, and itself has an impressive array of forms; it is also the base for further participles. The additional forms (excluding gender and number distinctions) are 107,078. When gender/number and case distinctions are included that number rises to 1,314,376 forms. When added to 188,463 this gives 1,502,839 forms in total. (based on Kibrik, 1998: 466-467)"
A few useful sentences:
The PDF of this tutorial is available here.
Marina Chumakina, Greville G. Corbett, Dunstan Brown and Harley Quilliam have also created an amazing online English-Archi-Russian dictionary! Now you, too, can impress your friends by knowing the Archi for "centipede" ("jámdogi"), "playboy, idler, debauchee" ("lóti", also Georgian for "alcoholic"), "rheumatism" ("tenné"), "yummy" ("buržaħ") and "whortle-berry" ("ósgon")!
The Surrey Morphology Group's start page listing their resources on Archi can be found here.
The LanguageDOC website also features videos and texts in Archi, and a 20min film (in Russian with English subtitles) about the work of a team of philologists documenting Khinalug, an endangered language still (just) spoken in the Caucasus mountains in Azerbaijan.
Unless stated otherwise or obviously not the case, all the text and images on this website are © A.J.T. Bainbridge 2011