Avar language

Avar (Магӏарул мацӏ, Maǥarul macʼ, [maʕarul mat͡sʼ], "language of the mountains" or Авар мацӏ, Awar macʼ, [awar mat͡sʼ], "Avar language"), also known as Avaric,[2][3] is a Northeast Caucasian language of the Avar–Andic subgroup that is spoken by Avars, primarily in Dagestan. In 2010, there were approximately 1 million speakers in Dagestan and elsewhere in Russia.

It is spoken mainly in the western and southern parts of the Russian Caucasus republic of Dagestan, and the Balaken, Zaqatala regions of north-western Azerbaijan.[1] Some Avars live in other regions of Russia. There are also small communities of speakers living in the Russian republics of Chechnya and Kalmykia; in Georgia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Jordan, and the Marmara Sea region of Turkey. It is spoken by about 762,000 people worldwide. UNESCO classifies Avar as vulnerable to extinction.[4]

It is one of six literary languages of Dagestan, where it is spoken not only by the Avar, but also serves as the language of communication between different ethnic groups.

There are two main dialect groups:[citation needed] the northern, which includes Khunzakh, Kazbek, Gunib, Gumbet and others;[which?] and the southern, which includes Andalal, Gidatl', Antsukh, Charoda, Tlyarata, Tsumada, Tsunta and others.[which?]

Adverbs do not inflect, outside of inflection for noun class in some adverbs of place: e.g. the /b/ in /ʒani-b/ "inside" and /t͡se-b-e/ "in front". Adverbs of place also distinguish locative, allative, and ablative forms suffixally, such as /ʒani-b/ "inside", /ʒani-b-e/ "to the inside", and /ʒani-sa/ "from the inside". /-go/ is an emphatic suffix taken by underived adjectives.

There are competing analyses of the distinction transcribed in the table with the length sign ⟨ː⟩. Length is part of the distinction, but so is articulatory strength, so they have been analyzed as fortis and lenis.[citation needed] The fortis affricates are long in the fricative part of the contour, e.g. [tsː] (tss), not in the stop part as in geminate affricates in languages such as Japanese and Italian [tːs] (tts). Laver (1994) analyzes e.g. t͡ɬː as a two-segment affricate–fricative sequence /t͡ɬɬ/ (/tɬɬ/).[6]

There were some attempts to write the Avar language in the Georgian alphabet as early as the 14th century.[7][8] The use of Arabic script for representing Avar in marginal glosses began in the 15th century. The use of Arabic, which is known as ajam, is still known today.[8]

As part of Soviet language re-education policies in 1928 the Ajam was replaced by a Latin alphabet, which in 1938 was in turn replaced by the current Cyrillic script. Essentially, it is the Russian alphabet plus one additional letter called palochka (stick, Ӏ). As that letter cannot be typed with common keyboard layouts, it is often replaced with a capital Latin letter i ( I ), small Latin letter L ( l ), or the numerical digit 1.

The Avar language is usually written in the Cyrillic script. The letters of the alphabet are (with their pronunciation given below in IPA transcription):[5][9]

The literary language is based on the болмацӏ (bolmacʼ)[citation needed]bo = "army" or "country", and macʼ = "language"—the common language used between speakers of different dialects and languages. The bolmacʼ in turn was mainly derived from the dialect of Khunzakh, the capital and cultural centre of the Avar region, with some influence from the southern dialects. Nowadays the literary language is influencing the dialects, levelling out their differences.[citation needed]

The most famous figure of modern Avar literature is Rasul Gamzatov (died November 3, 2003), the People's Poet of Dagestan. Translations of his works into Russian have gained him a wide audience all over the former Soviet Union.[citation needed]