Bezhta language

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бежкьалас миц
bežƛʼalas mic / beƶⱡʼalas mic
Pronunciation/ˈbeʒt͡ɬʼɑlɑs mit͡s/
Native toNorth Caucasus
RegionSouthern Dagestan
EthnicityBezhta people
Native speakers
6,800 (2006–2010)[1]
Northeast Caucasian
  • Tsezic
    • Bezhta–Hunzib–Khwarshi
      • Bezhta
Language codes
ISO 639-3kap
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Bezhta (also called Bezheta or Kapucha) is a Northeast Caucasian language spoken by the Bezhta people. About 7,000 people speak Bezhta.

Bezhta has three dialects. They are Bezhta proper, Tlyadal and Khocharkhotin.[2]

Phonology[change | change source]

Bezhta has many consonants, shown below in the International Phonetic Alphabet.

  Bilabial Alveolar Velar Alveolopalatal Uvular Pharyngeal Glottal
central lateral lateral central
Nasal m n              
Plosive voiceless p t k q ʔ
voiced b d ɡ
Affricate voiceless t͡s t͡ɬ ~ k͡ʟ̝̊ t͡ʃ
ejective t͡sʼ t͡ɬʼ ~ k͡ʟ̝̊ʼ t͡ʃʼ
Fricative voiceless s ɬ x ʃ χ ħ h
voiced z ʒ ʁ ʕ
Trill r
Approximant l w j

Bezhta has eight vowel qualities. These are /æ/, /ɑ/, /e/, /ø~ə/, /o/, /i/, /y~ɨ/ and /u/. All Bezhta vowels can also be nasalised. /æ/, /ɑ/, /e/, /o/, /i/ and /u/ can also be long, and /ɑ/ and /e/ can be long and nasalised.[3]

Writing[change | change source]

Bezhta is rarely written, and people who speak Bezhta usually write in Avar instead. When it is written, Bezhta is usually written in the Cyrillic script.[3]

References[change | change source]

  1. Bezhta at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. "Bezhta | Ethnologue Free".
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Bezhta language and alphabet".