Bezhta
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
Glottologbezh1248
ELPBezhta
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

The Bezhta (or Bezheta) language (Bezhta: бежкьалас миц, bežƛʼalas mic, beƶⱡʼalas mic, pronounced [ˈbeʒt͡ɬʼɑlɑs mit͡s]), also known as Kapucha (from the name of a large village[2]), belongs to the Tsezic group of the North Caucasian language family. It is spoken by about 6,200 people in southern Dagestan, Russia[3]

Bezhta can be divided into three dialects – Bezhta Proper, Tlyadal and Khocharkhotin[3] – which are spoken in various villages in the region. Its closest linguistic relatives are Hunzib and Khwarshi.[4] Bezhta is unwritten, but various attempts have been made to develop an official orthography for the language. The Bezhta people use Avar as the literary language. The first book ever printed in Bezhta was the Gospel of Luke (1999).[5]

Phonology

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (January 2010)

Bezhta has a rich consonantal and – unlike its relatives Tsez and Avar – a relatively large vowel inventory (18 distinct vowel phonemes),[citation needed] compared to other languages of the same family.

Consonants:

  Bilabial Alveolar Alveolopalatal Velar Uvular Pharyngeal Glottal
central sibilant lateral
Nasal /m/ /n/
Plosive/

Affricate

ejective // // /t͡sʼ/ t͡ɬʼ ~ k͡𝼄ʼ /t͡ʃʼ/ // //
voiceless /p/ /t/ /t͡s/ t͡ɬ ~ k͡𝼄 /t͡ʃ/ /k/ /q/ /ʔ/
voiced /b/ /d/ /ɡ/
Fricative voiceless /s/ /ɬ/ /ʃ/ /x/ /χ/ /ħ/ /h/
voiced /z/ /ʒ/ /ʁ/ /ʕ/
Sonorant /r/ /l/ /j/ /w/

Morphology

This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. (January 2010)

Bezhta is mostly agglutinative and the vast amount of locative cases makes its case system particularly rich. The verb morphology is relatively simple. It is an ergative language.[citation needed]

Numerals

Unlike Tsez, Bezhta has a decimal system with the word for twenty being an exception.[citation needed]

  Latin Cyrillic
1 hõs гьоᵸс
2 qʼona къона
3 łana лъана
4 ṏqʼönä оьᵸкъоьнаь
5 łina лъина
6 iłna илъна
7 aƛna алIна
8 beƛna белIна
9 äčʼena аьчIена
10 acʼona ацIона
20 qona хъона
100 hõsčʼitʼ / -čʼitʼ гьоᵸсчIитI / -чIитI
1000 hazay гьазай

Sample of the Bezhta language

This is a passage taken from the Gospel of Luke[6] written in a Cyrillic orthography based on Avar and Chechen, a Latinized transcription and one in IPA.

CYRILLIC LATIN TRANSCRIPTION IPA TRANSCRIPTION TRANSLATION
Гьогцо гьоллохъа нисос: Hogco holloqa nisos: [hoɡ.t͡so holː.o.qɑ ni.sos Jesus said to the followers:
Доьъа богьцалаъ вагьда̄ ниса: Dö'a bohcala' wahdā nisa: dɜʔ.ɑ boh.t͡sɑ.lɑʔ wɑh.dɑː ni.sɑ When you pray, pray like this:
«Йа̄ Або, Дибо ца̄ᵸ аьдамла̄ илагьияб бикӀзи йовала, «Yā Abo, Dibo cā̃ ädamlā ilahiyab bikʼzi yowala, jɑː ʔɑ.bo, di.bo t͡sɑ̃ː ʔa.dɑm.lɑː ʔi.lɑ.hi.jɑb bikʼzi jo.wɑ.lɑ "O Father, we pray that your name will always be kept holy,
Дибо Парчагьлъи йоᵸкъала; Dibo Parčahłi yõqʼala; di.bo pɑr.t͡ʃɑh.ɬi jõ.qʼɑ.lɑ we pray that your kingdom will come;
Шибаб водиъ баццас баьба илол нилӀа; Šibab wodi' baccas bäba ilol niƛa; ʃi.bɑb wo.diʔ bɑt͡sː.ɑs ba.bɑ ʔi.lol ni.tɬɑ give us the food we need for each day;
Илла мунагьла̄кьас кьодос тилӀки, судлӀо нисода илена къацӀцӀола илол кешлъи йо̄вакьас кьодос тилӀбакца. Illa munahlāƛʼas ƛʼodos tiƛki, sudƛo nisoda ilena qʼacʼcʼola ilol kešłi yōwaƛʼas ƛʼodos tiƛbakca. ʔi.lːɑ mu.nɑh.lɑːtɬʼ.ɑs tɬʼo.dos ti.tɬki, sud.tɬo ni.sɔ.dɑ ʔi.le.nɑ qʼɑt͡sʼː.o.lɑ ʔi.lol keʃ.ɬi joː.wɑ.tɬʼɑs tɬʼo.dos ti.tɬbɑk.t͡sɑ forgive us the sins we have done, because we forgive every person that has done wrong to us.
Ми илос гьаьл бикъелална уьᵸхолъа̄къа.» Mi ilos häl biqʼelalna ü̃xołāqʼa.» mi ʔi.los hal bi.qʼe.lɑl.nɑ ʔɨ̃.χo.ɬɑː.qʼɑ] And don't let us be tempted."

References

  1. ^ Bezhta at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ Shirin Akiner, Islamic Peoples of the Soviet Union, 2nd ed. (KPI, Distributed by Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1986: ISBN 0-7103-0188-X), p. 253.
  3. ^ a b Ethnologue entry for Bezhta
  4. ^ Schulze, Wolfgang (2009). "Languages in the Caucasus" (PDF). p. 6. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 June 2012. Retrieved 7 May 2012.
  5. ^ Institute for Bible Translation. "Translators' News" (PDF). p. 1. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2004-09-01. Retrieved 2014-01-30.
  6. ^ "Gospel of Luke in Bezhta". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2006-03-12.