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Besleney villages of Circassia around 1830–1850; "1" denotes nine villages resettled from the mountains by General Gregory von Saß (ru); "2" denotes villages whose names are unknown; The area of village concentration in the upper reaches of the Laba River tributaries is now part of Krasnodar Krai between Adygea to the north and Karachay-Cherkessia to the south

Besleney or Baslaney (Circassian: Бэслъыный Besłynyj IPA: [basɬənəj]; Russian: Бесленеевцы Besleneevcy) are one of the Circassian tribes (sub-ethnic groups).[1]


The majority of the Besleney live in the valley of Bolshaya and Malaya Laba Rivers in the Caucasus and on the bank of Urup.[2] They also extend to the valleys of Chetem, Fars, Psefir, Kuban (Western Circassia). By character and culture, the Besleney are close to Kabardians and the Besleney dialect of Circassian is sometimes considered one of the three Kabardian dialects.[3] The noble families of the Besleney were: Kanoko, Tazartuk, and Shaloho, ancestors of Beslan, the son of legendary Prince Inal.[4]


The Besleney people speak the Besleney dialect (Adyghe: Бэслъыныйбзэ). Besleney is most closely related to the Kabardian dialects, and is usually considered a dialect of Kabardian. However, because the Besleneys are from the center of Circassia, the Besleney dialect also shares a large number of features with dialects of Adyghe. Like the Adyghe Shapsug dialect, there exist a palatalized voiced velar plosive [ɡʲ] and a palatalized voiceless velar plosive [kʲ], which were merged to [d͡ʒ] and [t͡ʃ] in other Circassian dialects.[5] The Besleney dialect also have an alveolar lateral ejective affricate [t͡ɬʼ], which corresponds to an alveolar lateral ejective fricative [ɬʼ] in most other varieties of Circassian.[5]

Meaning Baslaney dialect Standard Kabardian Standard Adyghe Shapsug dialect
Cyrillic IPA Cyrillic IPA Cyrillic IPA Cyrillic IPA
horse чъы t͡ʂə шы ʃə шы ʃə шы ʃə
sister чъыпхъу t͡ʂəpχʷ шыпхъу ʃəpχʷ шыпхъу ʃəpχʷ шыпхъу ʃəpχʷ
wedding нысачъэ nəsaːt͡ʂa нысашэ nəsaːʃa нысашэ nəsaːʃa нысашэ nəsaːʃa
day махуэ maːxʷa махуэ maːxʷa мафэ maːfa мафэ maːfa
black фӏыцӏэ fʼət͡sʼa фӏыцӏэ fʼət͡sʼa шӏуцӏэ ʃʷʼət͡sʼa шӏусӏэ ʃʷʼəsʼa
shirt / dress гьанэ ɡʲaːna джанэ d͡ʒaːna джанэ d͡ʒaːna гьанэ ɡʲaːna
tree джыг d͡ʒəɣ жыг ʒəɣ чъыгы t͡ʂəɡə чъыгы t͡ʃəɣə
four птлӏы pt͡ɬʼəː плӏы pɬʼəː плӏы pɬʼəː плӏы pɬʼəː
man тлӏы t͡ɬʼəː лӏы ɬʼəː лӏы ɬʼəː лӏы ɬʼəː
tail / seed кьэ kʲa кӏэ t͡ʃʼa кӏэ t͡ʃʼa кьэ kʲa

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kadir I. Natho. Circassian History. Xlibris Corporation, 2009. p.89. ISBN 9781465316998
  2. ^ James Stuart Olson, et al., eds. "Adyghe".An Ethnohistorical Dictionary of the Russian and Soviet Empires. Greenwood Publishing, 1994. p. 15. ISBN 9780313274978 "The Beslenei (Beslenej) are located between the upper Urup and Khozdya rivers, and along the Middle Laba River, in the western reaches of the North Caucasus."
  3. ^ John Colarusso. A Grammar of the Kabardian Language University of Calgary Press, 1992. p. 12. ISBN 9780919813991 "This highly divergent dialect..."
  4. ^ Kadir I. Natho. Circassian History. Xlibris Corporation, 2009. p.96. ISBN 9781465316998 "Prince Inal, the progenitor of the...Besleney...princes..."
  5. ^ a b UCLA Phonetics Lab Archive - Recording Details for Kabardian Baslanei dialect. In the first word list called kbd_word-list_1970_01.html the word "dress" is pronounced as /ɡʲaːna/ compare to Standard Kabardian /d͡ʒaːna/. The words "man" and "quarter" are pronounced as /t͡ɬʼə/ and /pt͡ɬʼaːna/ compare to Standard Kabardian /ɬʼə/ and /pɬʼaːna/

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