Helma Van Den Berg
(26.05.1965 – 11.11.2003)

Our colleague Helma van den Berg, one of the leading Western experts on Daghestanian languages, passed away in Derbent (Daghestan) on 11 November 2003. She suffered a heart attack while working on a dictionary of the Dargi language with her native-speaker collaborators.

Helma studied Slavic and Caucasian linguistics at the University of Leiden and did her Ph.D. research on the Daghestanian language Hunzib (1995). She taught and did further research at the University of Leiden, before joining the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (Leipzig) in 2000. During her stay here she concentrated on Dargi lexicography and dialectology, and initiated a large project on the grammar of Avar, which invol ved collaboration with native-speaker linguists.

There is a Memorial web-page dedicated to Helma van den Berg at

Bibliography of Works of Helma van Den Berg

1995 A grammar of Hunzib (with texts and lexicon). Munchen: Lincom Europa.
2001 Dargi folktales. Oral stories from the Caucasus with an introduction to Dargi grammar. Leiden: Research School of Asian, African and Amerindian Studies.
1987 The sound system of the dialect of Tixomir: an exercise in structural phonology // Dutch Studies in South Slavic and Balkan Linguistics (SSGL 10). Amsterdam: Rodopi, pp. 1-28. (with Derksen R.H.)
1992 Образование вопросительныx форм в глаголаx гунзибского языка // Тезисы докладов научной сессии, посвященной итогам экспедиционныx исследований ИЯЛ в 1990-1991 гг. Маxачкала.
1992 The Tsezic peoples and the policy of resettlement (with special reference to the Hunzib) // Annual of the Society for the Study of Caucasia, vol. 3-4 (1992-1993), pp. 45-53.
1995 К изучению морфонологии гунзибского языка // Тезисы докладов региональной научной конференции молодыx ученыx, посвященной гуманитарным исследованиям. Маxачкала, сс. 133-134.
1998 Pecularities in the actant encoding of Dargi transitive verbs // Proceedings of the 16th International Congress of Linguists. Oxford: Pergamon, paper no. 0240.
1998 О морфонологии гунзибского глагола // Гюльмагомедов Г.A. (ред.), Языкознание в Дагестане. Лингвистический ежегодник, вып. 2. Маxачкала, сс. 34-40.
1998 Антипассивная конструкция в даргинском и другиx дагестанскиx языкаx // Тезисы докладов IX Коллоквиума Европейского Общества Кавказоведов. Маxачкала, сс. 77-79.
1999 A Dargi text with some comments // H.E van den Berg (ed.), Studies in Caucasian Linguistics. Leiden: Research School of Asian, African and Amerindian Studies, pp. 236-249.
1999 Gender and person agreement in Akusha Dargi // Folia Linguistica, vol. 33, nr. 2, pp. 153-168.
1999 Review of: Chenciner R. Daghestan: tradition and survival, London: Curzon, 1997 // Bibliotheca Orientalis LVI, nr. 1-2, pp. 257-260, Leiden.
2003 Review of: Newman P., Ratliff M. Linguistic Fieldwork and Vaux B., Cooper J., Introduction to Field Methods // Linguistic Typology, 7-2.
2003 Die Lokalkasussystemae der Darginischen Dialekten: ein synchroner und diachroner Ьberblick // Boeder W. (ed.). Kaukasische Sprachprobleme. Oldenburg: Bibliotheks- und Informationssystem der Universitдt (BIS), 2003.
2003 A Dargi electronic dictionary: the perspective of the linguist and the speakers // I Международный симпозиум по полевой лингвистике. Тезисы докладов. Москва, сс. 8-9.
(forthc.) Coordinating constructions in Daghestanian languages // Haspelmath M. (ed.), Coordinating constructions. Amsterdam: Benjamins.
(forthc.) Hunzib // C. Lehmann, G. Booij, J. Mugdan (eds.) Morphology. A Handbook on Inflection and Word Formation. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
(forthc.) Tense and aspect in Akusha Dargi // H.I. Aronson (ed.) Proceedings of the First Chicago Conference on Caucasia.
(forthc.) A Dargi codex of customary law and its contribution to linguistics // Gammer M. and Wasserstein D. Proceedings of the conference "Dagestan in the world of Islam", Tel Aviv/Helsinki.
(forthc.) The East Caucasian language family // H. E. van den Berg (ed.), Special issue of Lingua on Caucasian languages.
(forthc.) Spatial prefixes in Dargi (East Caucasian) // Dressler W., Kiefer F. (eds.), Special issue of Acta Linguistica Hungarica.