Lezgic languages

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Linguistic classificationNortheast Caucasian
  • Lezgic
Glottologlezg1248  (Samur)
arch1244  (Archi)
Northeast Caucasian languages.png

The Lezgic languages are one of seven branches of the Northeast Caucasian language family. Lezgin are literary languages aside from being extant (currently spoken).


  • Peripheral: Archi – 970 speakers[1]
  • Samur[2] (Nuclear Lezgic)
    • Eastern Samur
      • Udi – 6,600 speakers
      • Lezgin–Aghul–Tabasaran[2]
    • Southern Samur
    • Western Samur

The voicing of ejective consonants[edit]

The Lezgic languages are relevant to the glottalic theory of Indo-European, because several have undergone the voicing of ejectives that have been postulated but widely derided as improbable in that family. The correspondences have not been well worked out (Rutul is inconsistent in the examples), but a few examples are:

  • Non-Lezgic: Avar tstsʼar; Lezgic: Rutul dur, Tsakhur do 'name'
  • Non-Lezgic: Archi motʃʼor, Lak tʃʼiri; Lezgic: Rutul mitʃʼri, Tabassaran midʒir, Aɡul mudʒur 'beard'
  • Non-Lezgic: Avar motsʼ; Lezgic: Tabassaran vaz 'moon'

A similar change has taken place in non-initial position in the Nakh languages.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ethnologue report for Archi
  2. ^ a b Languages in the Caucasus, by Wolfgang Schulze (2009) Archived 2011-06-10 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ Paul Fallon, 2002. The synchronic and diachronic phonology of ejectives, p 245.

External links[edit]