Arnold Chikobava Institute of Linguistics was founded on the basis of already founded (1936) N. Marr Institute of Language, History and Material Culture (ILHMC) in 1941, with connection of the Georgian Academy of Sciences after division of ILHMC. Firstly it was Acad. N. Marr Institute of Language, since 1950 it was named Institute of Linguistics of the Georgian Academy of Sciences, since 1988 - Arn. Chikobava Institute of Linguistics of the Georgian Academy of Sciences, since 2006 - Arn. Chikobava Institute of Linguistics.
In different time the institute was headed by: A. Shanidze (1941-1942), V. Topuria (1943-1949), G. Akhvlediani (1949-1950), Arn. Chikobava (1950-1952), Iv. Gigineishvili (1952-1953), K. Lomtatidze (1953-1963, 1975-1087), V. Panchvidze (1963-1974),
B. Jorbenadze (1987-1993), G. Kvaratskhelia (1993-2006).
The main point of the institute is to study Georgian from the normative and historical viewpoint, as well, to research the problems of phonetics, grammatical structure, syntax, vocabulary and dialectology of other Kartvelian (Megrelian-Chan, Svan) and Ibero-Caucasian (Abkhaz-Adyghe, Nakh, Daghestanian) languages in synchronic and diachronic aspect, also connection of these languages with other ones from typological viewpoint.
Institute of Linguistics is only scientific institution, where more than 30 languages (among them 15 are written languages) of the Ibero-Caucasian (Paleocaucasian) family are researched. Results of research are published in the form of monographs and in scientific collections. The main scientific organs of the institute are "Ibero-Caucasian Linguistics" (founded in 1946),( 35th volume is being printed) and “Annual of the Ibero-Caucasian Linguistics” (organ of the Georgian Academy of Sciences, founded in 1946). Also collections of the Institute: "Problems of structure of the Kartvelian languages" (VIII, 2003), "Kartvelological collection of papers “ (II, 2003), "Problems of Georgian word culture” (XII, 2004), also collections of works in general linguistics and exprimental phonetics, etymological researches (6 collections were published) and dialectology (3 collections were published).
Fundamental researches, which determined development of linguistic conception in Georgia, were founded at the institute:
a) problems of phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, lexicology of the Ibero-Caucasian languages are elaborated. Results of researches were published in the form of monographs and articles;
b) eight-volume Georgian Explanatory Dictionary (on the basis of which one-volume dictionary was compiled and published in 1985), translative, dialectal, branch and terminological dictionaries are published;
c) Kartvelian languages and their dialects are monographically studied, dialectal texts are published;
d) noteworthy researches were dedicated to typological studying of languages;
e) standards of the Georgian literary language which were proved by the permanent state commission of establishing the modern Georgian literary language standards, were systematized. Researches dedicated to scientific grounding of the literary language standards are published in the periodical collection "Problems of the Georgian speech culture";
f) fundamental problems of theoretic linguistics, principles of genealogical classification of languages, methods of linguistical research, problems of a language, psycholinguistics and sociolinguistics were elaborated;
g) computeral elaborating of phonetics, grammar and vocabulary is being carried out.
Noteworthy researches and various works carried out by the institute gained great authority to Georgian linguistic school. The institute is famous in the world as a scientific centre of researching the Kartvelian and mountanian Caucasian languages. Foreign caucasiologists share and support the results and principles of the Georgian linguistic school. This conditioned inviting Georgian linguists to take part in international scientific conferences and symposiums.
On the institute’s initiative regional scientific sessions which were dedicated to the problems of systems and history of the Ibero-Caucasian languages were held since 1965 once every two years in different scientific centres of the Caucasus. 13 sessions are held up today.
In 1991 the 1st international symposium of caucasiologists was held. In 1998 international symposium was held under the UNESCO leadership, which was dedicated to the 100th anniversary of Arn. Chikobava’s birth. About 150 researchers took part in the symposium.
Two institute scientific sessions, republic dialectologic session and conference “Georgian and computeral technology” are held by the institute every year (the read papers are published in the form of materials).
Institute of linguistics has permanent scientific contacts with different foreign scientific centres. Georgian scientists are invited at the world scientific conferences and symposiums. In latest period more than 20 collaborators of the institute were invited to Germany, France, England, Sweden, Israel, Iran, Turky, Holland, Russia and others. Young scientists were on a scientific trip in Holland, France, Germany and Sri Lanka. One group of collaborators carried out several programmes together with Linguistics and Phonetics Department of the Lund University, also with Universities of Frankfurt and Munich.
The main goal of the institute is to compile dialectal and branch dictionaries of the Kartvelian languages. To this point the institute carries out the first stage of the lexicological section of the Georgian state programme. “Tushian Dictionary (2003), “Khevsurian Dictionary” (2005) have been already published, the 1st volume of new edition of the “Georgian Explanatory Dictionary” and “Georgian-Russian Dictionary” are being prepared.
The Institute compiled: “Kartlian Dictionary”, “Ingilo Dictionary”, “Chan Dictionary”, “Pshavian Dictionary”, “Gurian Dictionary”.
In 1956-1959 three-volume “Russian-Georgian Dictionary” was published, in 1988 - one-volume of this dictionary.
Also “Georgian morphemic and modal elements dictionary” (1988), “Georgian verbal stems dictionary” (1990), “Georgian deverbative dictionary" (1991), were published, “Georgian noun stems dictionary” is prepared for publication. At last period "Georgian orthographic dictionary", "Georgian journalism stylebook", 'Problems of Georgian word culture' (two volumes) were published.
Under the institute's leadership encyclopedia "Georgian Language" is prepared for publication. This is the noteworthy generalizing work on Georgian. It manifests the main stages of development the structure of Georgian and Georgian linguistic conception, also the centres of culture and sciences which did their bit in developing and formation of the Georgian literary language.
The institute carries out systematic work on normalization and unification of Georgian scientific-technical terminology. In the epoch of the science developing the important task of the institute is to find and introduce the semantically exact, formativly pliable term adapted to inner nature of a language. To this point the institute has great experience and tradition, which is suitable condition for next deepening and broudening the terminological work. Independence of the country demanded necessity of formation of corresponding terminology and standards in official sphere.
Institute of the Academy of Sciences has published two cumulative dictionaries ("Agriculture terminology”(1959) and “Technical terminology” (1957 and 1977). Also terminological dictionaries of trade, economics, commodities, zoology, silicates, chemistry and technology, polygraphy, oil-industry, building, soil science technics are published. At last period terminology of many branches was editted, among them are terms and explanations of metallurgy, energetics, standartization, quality of product and certification, English-Georgian dictionary of state administration, psychiatric encyclopedia, etc.
With the goal of computeral providing of lexicological and lexicographic work, data fund of vocabulary stock is being filled, complex programmic systems - 'linguistic processors' for authomatic phonological, morphologic, and syntactical analysis of a text are carried out. Electronic prototypes of ideographic thesaurus of Georgian, Svan and Laz dictionaries are actualized. The institute has the bases of lexical data of the Abkhaz-Adyghe, Udi, Chechen, Ingush languages.
There are two boards at the Institute of linguistics: Institute Scientific Board and Dissertation Board of Philological Sciences, which gives scientific degrees toward four speciality: Georgian, Kartvelian linguistics, Ibero-Caucassian linguistics and theory and history of linguistics, also in the same specialities – post-gradute studentship. The Institute of Linguistics grows up scientific personnel not only for institute, but for other scientific institutions and high-schools of Georgian and the Northern Caucasus.