къӀаваннаб мицӀцӀи qwavannab miċċi[1]
Native toNorth Caucasus
RegionSouthern Dagestan
Ethnicity11,800 Andi (2010 census)[2]
Native speakers
5,800 (2010 census)[2]
Language codes
ISO 639-3ani
Coordinates: 42°43′N 46°17′E / 42.717°N 46.283°E / 42.717; 46.283

Andi is a Northeast Caucasian language belonging to the Avar–Andic branch spoken by about 5,800 ethnic Andi (2010) in the Botlikh region of Dagestan. The language is spoken in the villages Andi (along the river Andi-Koisu),[3] Gunkha, Gagatl, Ashali, Rikvani, Chanko, Zilo, and Kvanxidatl.[4]

There are four main dialects, Munin, Rikvani, Kvanxidatl, and Gagatl, which appear quite divergent. However, the dialects can be said to vary between villages: the "upper-group" contains Andi, Gagatl, Rikvani, and Zilo (where Andi and Zilo are considered their own dialects), whereas the "lower-group" contains Munin and Kvanxidatl. The upper-group lacks the affricate sound кьI.[4]

Although Andi is usually non written, there are attempts to write the language using Russian Cyrillic script. Speakers generally use Avar or Russian as their literary language(s).[2]

Andi has 7 different series of localization: the meaning "inside" changes by number (singular -ла/-а, plural -хъи: гьакъу-ла 'in a home', гьакъоба-хъи 'in houses'). Number categories are expressed through ablaut (имуво воцци в-усон 'The father found the brother', but имуво воццул в-осон 'The father found the brothers'). In the village Andi, there is a difference between the speech of men and women; a man will say, for example, дин meaning 'I', мин meaning 'you', гьекIа 'person', but a woman will say ден 'I', мен 'you', гьекIва 'person'.[4]


Andi has 43 consonants:[5]

Labial Dental/
Velar Uvular Pharyngeal/
lenis fortis lenis fortis lenis fortis lenis fortis
Nasal m n
Plosive voiceless p  t  k    ʔ
voiced b d ɡ
ejective   kːʼ
Affricate voiceless tsː   tʃː 
ejective tsʼ  tsːʼ tʃʼ  tʃːʼ qχʼ  qχːʼ
Fricative voiceless s    ʃ  ʃː  x χ  χː  h
voiced v z ʒ ʁ (ʕ)
Lateral continuant ɬ 
affricate tɬː  tɬːʼ
Trill r
Approximant l j

There are five vowels: /a, e, i, o, u/.


  1. ^ Margus Kolga; Igor Tõnurist; Lembit Vaba; Jüri Viikberg (1993). "The Andis". The Red Book of the Peoples of the Russian Empire.
  2. ^ a b c Andi at Ethnologue (19th ed., 2016) Closed access icon
  3. ^ The peoples of the Red Book: Akhvakhs
  4. ^ a b c "Andijskij Yazyk".
  5. ^ Consonant Systems of the North-East Caucasian Languages: Andi

Further reading