Godoberi language

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ГъибдилIи мицци Ɣibdiƛi micci
Native toRussia
RegionSouthwestern Dagestan
Native speakers
130 (2010 census)[1]
Northeast Caucasian
Language codes
ISO 639-3gdo

Godoberi (also spelled Ghodoberi) (self-designation Gijbdilhi mitts) (also called годоберинский язык, ღოდობერიული ენა, годоберийский язык, гъибдилIи мицци, Ɣibdiƛi micci, Godoberin) is an Andic language of the Northeast Caucasian language family spoken by the Godoberi in southwestern Dagestan, Russia. It is spoken by approximately 130 people.[1][3] There are only two dialects which are Godoberi and Zibirhali, and the main difference is in pronunciation.[4] The Endangered Languages Project classifies the language as endangered based on the number of native speakers.[3]


The anthropological development of the Godoberis is unknown. The Godoberi language is what distinguishes the cultural group from other groups in the area. When compared to other Andic languages, Godoberi is considered the most similar to Chamalal and Botlikh languages. Some words are influenced by Avar, Turkish, and Arab. After being incorporated into the Russian Empire in the 19th century and then ruled by the Soviet Union in the 20th century, there is a strong Russian influence in the Godoberi language.[4]

Geographic Distribution[edit]

The native speakers of Godoberi live in two villages Godoberi (Gjudu in Godoberi) and Zibirhali (Shalu in Godoberi). These villages are located in the northwest mountains on the left bank of the Andi-Koisu River in southwest Dagestan, a republic of Russia.[4]


Godoberi is not a written language, and it is used only in the home. Schools teach the children Avar and Russian, and this is an influential factor in the death of the language. The native speakers of Godoberi use Avar or Russian as a written form of communication. These two languages are also used when speaking to people from neighboring communities.[4]


The Godoberi language has five vowels: i, u, e, o, a. Diphthongs, two vowels combined in one syllable to make one sound, are found only in Godoberi and no other Daghestanain languages (example: c'ai 'fire').[5] Monophthongs are also found in Godoberi. There are 13 total: i, e, a, o, u, i:, e:, a:, o:, u:, ˜i, ã, ˜u. The accentual system is extremely complex especially for nouns.[5]

prosodic patterns in Godoberi[5]
initial stress


initial stress
















Nominative gédu 'cat' íča 'mare' ímu 'father' qučá 'sheepskin' buRá 'bull' haí 'eye' łerú 'feather' set'íl 'finger' ziní 'cow'
Genitive géduLi 'cat' íčLi 'mare' imúLi 'father' qučiLí 'sheepskin' buRáLi 'bull' háiLi 'eye' łéruLi 'feather' sét'ilaLi 'finger' zináLi 'cow
Dative gédułi 'cat' íčałi 'mare' ímułi 'father' qučiłí 'sheepskin' buRałí 'bull' haiłi 'eye' łérułli 'feather' sét'ilałi 'finger' zínałi 'cow'
Ergative gédudi 'cat' íčadi 'mare' imudí 'father qučidí 'sheepskin' buRadí 'bull' haidí 'eye łérudi 'feather' sét'iladi 'finger zinadí 'cow'



Singular words are divided into three gender classes: masculine, feminine, and neuter. Plural words are not divided into gender classes, but they are divided as human or object. There are two types of adjectives: primary and participles. A majority of the primary adjectives do not denote gender classes. The four types of participles are past, present, future, and non-future negative.[5] The numerical system does not vary greatly from other languages. Verb morphology is also regular compared to other languages in the Andic language family.


  1. ^ a b Godoberi at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Godoberi". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ a b "Ghodoberi". Endangered Languages Project.
  4. ^ a b c d Kolga, Margus (2001). The Red Book of the Peoples of the Russian Empire. Tallinn: NGO Red Book.
  5. ^ a b c d Kibrik, Aleksandr (1996). Godoberi. Munchen: Lincom.

Further reading[edit]