Adyghe phonology

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Adyghe is a language of the Northwest Caucasian family which, like the other Northwest Caucasian languages, is very rich in consonants, featuring many labialized and ejective consonants. Adyghe is phonologically more complex than Kabardian, having the retroflex consonants and their labialized forms.

Consonants[edit]

Bilabial & Labiodental Bidental Dental & Alveolar Palato-alveolar Alveolo-palatal Retroflex (Laminal) Velar Uvular Pharyngeal Glottal
plain lab. pal. asp.[disambiguation needed] plain lab. pal. asp.[disambiguation needed] lat. pal. lat. plain lab. asp.[disambiguation needed] plain lab. asp. lab. plain lab. asp.[disambiguation needed] plain lab. asp. lab. pal. pal. asp. plain lab. asp.[disambiguation needed] asp. lab. plain lab. pal.
Nasal m n
Plosive voiceless p t k kʰʷ kʲʰ q qʰʷ ʔ ʔʷ ʔʲ
voiced b d g ɡʷ (ɢʷ)
ejective pʷʼ tʷʼ kʷʼ kʲʼ qʷʼ
Affricate voiceless t͡s t͡sʷ t͡sʰ t̠͡ʃ t̠͡ʃʷ t̠͡ʃʰ ȶ͡ɕ ȶ͡ɕʷ ȶ͡ɕʰʷ ʈ͡ʂ ʈ͡ʂʰ q͡χ q͡χʷ
voiced d͡z d͡zʷ d̠͡ʒ (ȡ͡ʑ) ɖ͡ʐ
ejective t͡sʼ t͡ɬʼ t̠͡ʃʼ ȶ͡ɕʼ ʈ͡ʂʼ ʈ͡ʂʷʼ
Fricative voiceless f h̪͆ s ɬ ʃ ʃʷ ɕ ɕʷ ʂ ʂʷ x χ χʷ ħ h
voiced v z ɮ ʒ ʒʷ ʑ ʑʷ ʐ ʐʷ ɣ ɣʲ ʁ ʁʷ (ʕ/◌ˤ)
ejective ɬʼ ʃʼ ʃʷʼ ɕʼ
Approximant regular (ɹ) l j ɰʷ
compressed (ɰᵝʷ/◌ᵝʷ)
Trill r

Consonants found only in loanwords.
Consonants found in Shapsugh, Natukhai, Uzunyayla, and Baslaney dialects.
Consonants found in Shapsugh and Natukhai dialects.
Consonants found in some dialects/allophonic contexts, specifics unclear.
Consonants found in Baslaney dialect.
Consonants found in Baslaney and Kfar Kama dialects.
Consonants found in Black Sea Shapsugh dialect.
Consonants found in Abzakh and Kabardian dialects.
Consonants found in Abzakh dialect.
Consonants found in Kabardian dialect.
Consonants found in Hakuchi and in some other dialects/allophonic contexts, specifics unclear.
Consonants found in Shapsugh and Bzhedug dialects.

Notes
сщагъ "I carried him to" → счагъ [sət͡ʃaːʁ]
сшӏагъ "I knew": → счӏагъ [sət͡ʂʼaːʁ]
сшӏэрэп "I don't know": → счӏэрэп [sət͡ʂʼarap]
сшӏошӏыгъ "I thought" → счӏошӏыгъ [sət͡ʂʷʼaʃʼəʁ]
шъушӏагъ "you (pl.) knew" → шъучӏагъ [ʃʷt͡ʂʼaːʁ].
  • The first and second person prefixes с [s], т [t], п [p] and шъу [ʃʷ] may become voiced з [z], д [d], б [b] and жъу [ʒʷ] before the consonant гъ [ʁ]. For example:
сгъэкӏуагъ "I made him go" → згъэкӏуагъ [zʁakʷʼaːʁ]
тгъэкӏуагъ "we made him go" → дгъэкӏуагъ [dʁakʷʼaːʁ]
пгъэкӏуагъ "you made him go" → бгъэкӏуагъ [bʁakʷʼaːʁ]
шъугъэкӏуагъ "you (pl.) made him go" → жъугъэкӏуагъ [ʒʷʁakʷʼaːʁ].
  • The phoneme [f] ⟨ф⟩ found in the Adyghe dialects correspond to [xʷ] ⟨ху⟩ in Kabardian. For example:
тфы [tfə] "five" ↔ тху [txʷə]
фыжьы [fəʑə] "white" ↔ хужь [xʷəʑ]
цӏыфы [t͡sʼəfə] "person" ↔ цӏыху [t͡sʼəxʷ].
  • In many Adyghe dialects (e.g. Bzhedug, Shapsug, Natukhia and Abzakh) there exist [t͡ɕʷ] ⟨чъу⟩ that corresponds to standard Temirgoy [t͡sʷ] ⟨цу⟩. For example, the Temirgoy word цуакъэ [t͡sʷaːqa] is чъуакъэ [t͡ɕʷaːqa] in the other Adyghe dialects.
  • All dialects possess a contrast between plain and labialized glottal stops. A very unusual minimal contrast, and possibly unique to the Abzakh dialect of Adyghe, is a three-way contrast between plain, labialized and palatalized glottal stops.
  • The Black Sea dialect of Adyghe contains a very uncommon sound: a bidental fricative [h̪͆], which corresponds to the voiceless velar fricative [x] found in other varieties of Adyghe.
  • The Hakuchi dialect of Adyghe contains uvular ejective [qʼ] and a labialized uvular ejective [qʷʼ], which corresponds to the [ʔ] and [ʔʷ] in other dialects.

Vowels[edit]

In contrast to its large consonant inventory, Adyghe has only three phonemic vowels in a classic vertical vowel system.

Central
Close-mid ə
Open-mid ɜ
Open a

References[edit]