Besleney villages of Circassia around 1830–1850; "1" denotes nine villages resettled from the mountains by General Gregory von Saß [es; ru; hu]; "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

The Besleney (Circassian: Bеслъэней, Bestləney, IPA: [basɬənəj]; Russian: Бесленеевцы Besleneevcy) (also known as Beslenei or Baslaney) are one of the twelve major Circassian tribes, representing one of the twelve stars on the green-and-gold Circassian flag.[1] By character, culture and language, the Besleney are closest to Kabardians.[2] The noble families of the Besleney were Kanoko and Shaloho, ancestors of Kabardian Prince Beslan, (the son of legendary Prince Inal),[citation needed] who established his own tribe of the same name.


The majority of the Besleney live in the valley of Bolshaya and Malaya Laba Rivers and on the bank of Urup in the Russian Republics of Karachay-Cherkessia, Krasnodar Krai and Adygea.[3] They also extend to the valleys of Chetem, Fars, Psefir, Kuban (Western Circassia).


See also: Besleney Kabardian dialect

The Besleney people speak the Besleney sub-dialect (Adyghe: Бэслъыныйбзэ) of the Kabardian Adyghe dialect (East Circassian). However, because the Besleney tribe lived at the center of Circassia, the Besleney dialect also shares a large number of features with dialects of the West Adyghe dialect. Like the Adyghe Shapsug sub-dialect, there exist a palatalized voiced velar plosive [ɡʲ], a palatalized voiceless velar plosive [kʲ] and a palatalized velar ejective [kʲʼ], which were merged to [d͡ʒ], [t͡ʃ] and [t͡ʃʼ] in other Circassian dialects.[4] The Besleney dialect also has an alveolar lateral ejective affricate [t͡ɬʼ], which corresponds to an alveolar lateral ejective fricative [ɬʼ] in most other varieties of Circassian.[5] The Besleney dialect has a voiceless glottal fricative [h] that corresponds to [x] in other Circassian dialects.[6]

Meaning Besleney sub-dialect Standard Kabardian Standard Adyghe Shapsug sub-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
chicken гьэд gad джэд d͡ʒad чэты t͡ʃatə кьэт kʲat
tail / seed кӏьэ kʲʼa кӏэ t͡ʃʼa кӏэ t͡ʃʼa кӏьэ kʲʼa
young man, boy кӏалэ t͡ʃʼaːla щӏалэ ɕʼaːɮa кӏалэ t͡ʃʼaːɮa кӏалэ t͡ʃʼaːla
new кӏэ t͡ʃʼa щӏэ ɕʼa кӏэ t͡ʃʼa кӏэ t͡ʃʼa

See also


  1. ^ "Circassians". 2010. Archived from the original on August 20, 2014. Retrieved 17 May 2016. The 12 Circassian tribes: Abadzeh Besleney Bzhedug Yegeruqay Zhaney Kabarday Mamheg Natuhay Temirgoy Ubyh Shapsug Hatukay. The twelve stars on the Adyghe Flag also refers to the twelve tribes.((cite web)): CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  2. ^ John Colarusso. A Grammar of the Kabardian Language University of Calgary Press, 1992. p. 12. ISBN 9780919813991 "This highly divergent dialect..."
  3. ^ 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."
  4. ^ Консонантная система уляпского говора в сопоставлении с аналогами других диалектов адыгских языков (in Russian)
  5. ^ UCLA Phonetics Lab Archive - Recording Details for Kabardian Baslanei dialect. In the first word list called kbd_word-list_1970_01.html the words "man" and "quarter" are pronounced as /t͡ɬʼə/ and /pt͡ɬʼaːna/ compare to Standard Kabardian /ɬʼə/ and /pɬʼaːna/
  6. ^ Консонантная система уляпского говора в сопоставлении с аналогами других диалектов адыгских языков (in Russian)