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Tabasaran language

Description : Tabasaran (also written Tabassaran) is a Northeast Caucasian language of the Lezgic branch. It is spoken by the Tabasaran people in southern part of the Russian Republic of Dagestan. There are two main dialects: North (Khanag) and South Tabasaran. It has a literary language based on the Southern dialect, one of the official languages of Dagestan.Tabasaran is an ergative language. The verb system is relatively simple; verbs agree with the subject in number, person and (in North Tabasaran) clas... Page:t

Tabasaran
табасаран чIал tabasaran ҫ̇al
Native toRussia
RegionSouthern Dagestan
EthnicityTabasarans
Native speakers
130,000 (2010 census)
Language family
Northeast Caucasian
  • Lezgic
    • Samur
      • Eastern Samur
        • Lezgi–Aghul–Tabasaran
          • Tabasaran
Official status
Official language in
Dagestan (Russia)
Language codes
ISO 639-3tab
Glottologtaba1259
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters.

Tabasaran (also written Tabassaran) is a Northeast Caucasian language of the Lezgic branch. It is spoken by the Tabasaran people in southern part of the Russian Republic of Dagestan. There are two main dialects: North (Khanag) and South Tabasaran. It has a literary language based on the Southern dialect, one of the official languages of Dagestan.

Tabasaran is an ergative language. The verb system is relatively simple; verbs agree with the subject in number, person and (in North Tabasaran) class. North Tabasaran has two noun classes (also dubbed with the term "grammatical gender"), whereas Southern Tabasaran has none (i.e. one fewer than North Tabasaran, because no noun classes means that all nouns belong to the same class).

Geographical distribution

It is spoken in the basin of Upper Rubas-nir and Upper Chirakh-nir.

Phonology

Vowels

Consonants

Consonant phonemes of Tabasaran
LabialDentalPalatalVelarUvularEpiglottalGlottal
plainsibilantplainlabial
Nasalmn
Plosive/
Affricate
voicedbdd͡zd͡ʒd͡ʒʷɡɢ
voicelessptt͡st͡ʃt͡ʃʷkqʔ
fortist͡sːt͡ʃːt͡ʃːʷ
ejectivet͡sʼt͡ʃʼt͡ʃʷʼ
Fricativevoicelessfsʃʃʷxʜ
fortisʃːʃːʷ
voicedvzʒʒʷɣʢɦ
Approximantlj
Trillr

Writing system

Tabasaran is written using Cyrillic.

LetterIPA
А а/ɑ/
Аь аь/æ/
Б б/b/
В в/v/
Г г/ɡ/
Гг гг/ɣ/
Гъ гъ/ʕ/
Гь гь/h/
Д д/d/
Е е/ɛ/, /jɛ/
Ё ё/jo/
Ж ж/ʒ/, /dʒ/
Жв жв/ʒʷ/
З з/z/, /dz/
И и/i/
Й й/j/
К к/kʰ/
Кк кк/kː/
Къ къ/qːʰ/
Кь кь/qʼ/
Кӏ кӏ/kʼ/
Л л/l/
М м/m/
Н н/n/
О о/o/
П п/pʰ/
ПП пп/pː/
Пӏ пӏ/pʼ/
Р р/r/
С с/s/
Т т/tʰ/
Тт тт/tː/
Тӏ тӏ/tʼ/
У у/u/
Уь уь/y/
Ф ф/f/
Х х/ɦ/
Хъ хъ/qʰ/
Хь хь/x/
Ц ц/tsʰ/
Цц цц/tsːʰ/
Цӏ цӏ/tsʼ/
Ч ч/tʃʰ/
Чв чв/tʃʷʰ/
Чч чч/tʃːʰ/
Чӏ чӏ/tʃʼ/
Ш ш/ʃ/
Шв шв/ʃʷ/
Щ щ/ɕ/
Ъ ъ/ʔ/
Ы ы/ɨ/
Ь ь
Э э/ɛ/
Ю ю/y/, /ju/
Я я/æ/, /jɑ/

Note: The letters indicated in orange are encountered only in loanwords from Russian.

Grammar

Tabasaran is very probably an active language of the fluid-S type. It is reported to have 53 noun cases but see Comrie and Blake.

Samples

Uwu aldakurawu "Уву алдакураву" — "You are falling."

Uzuz uwu kkunduzuz "Узуз уву ккундузуз" — "I love you."

Uwu fudžuwa? "Уву фужува?" — "Who are you?"

Fici wuna? "Фици вуна?" — "How are you?"

Zakur ʕürza "Закур гъюрза" — "I'll come tomorrow"

Uzu kana qheza "Узу кана хъэза" — "I'll be back"

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