The Language and people of Mehweb
This paper describes the sociolinguistic situation of Mehweb, a lect of the Dargwa branch of East Caucasian, spoken in the Republic of Daghestan. In the course of several field trips to the village of Mehweb (officially, Megeb), sociolinguistic interviews were conducted in Mehweb and four neighbouring Avar- and Lak-speaking villages. The paper describes the demographic situation in Mehweb, the villagers’ official status, their social and economic life in the past and at present. The multilingual repertoire of Mehwebs and their neighbours is described in both qualitative and quantitative terms. I conclude that, while there are no signs of language loss, the traditional patterns of multilingualism in Mehweb are highly endangered.