Будад мез budad mez
Native toAzerbaijan
RegionQuba Rayon
Ethnicity1,000 (1990)[1]
Native speakers
200 (2010)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3bdk

Budukh or Budugh (Будад мез, Budad mez[2]) is a Samur language of the Northeast Caucasian language family spoken in parts of the Quba Rayon of Azerbaijan. It is spoken by about 200 of approximately 1,000 ethnic Budukhs.[1]

Budukh is a severely endangered language,[3][4] and classified as such by UNESCO's Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger.[5]


Gender and agreement

Authier (2010) reports that Budugh has six 'gender-number' classes:

Verbs normally agree with their absolutive argument (intransitive subject or transitive object) in gender. In the following examples, the verb 'beat' shows animate agreement with 'donkey' and non-human plural agreement with 'donkeys'.

Ma'lla'-cır lem ğùvotu-ri
Mullah-erg donkey animate:beat:present
'Mullah beat the donkey'
Ma'lla'-cır lemér ğùtu-ri
Mullah-erg donkey nonhumanplural:beat:present
'Mullah beat the donkeys'

Compare these examples with the following, where the verb agrees with the intransitive subject:

Ma'lla' vìxhici
Mullah masculine:go:narrative_tense
'Mullah went.'
Lem vüxhücü
donkey animate:go:narrative_tense
'The donkey went.'

Verb agreement

Budukh verbs typically agree with a single argument, the absolutive. In the agreement paradigms, the majority of verbs show no overt agreement for the masculine, neuter, and nonhuman plural. Consider the following paradigm for the verb 'keep' in the perfective (Authier 2009):

M/N/NPL ˤa-q-a
F ˤa-ra-q-a
A ˤa-va-q-a
HPL ˤa-ba-q-a

In this paradigm, /ˤa/ is a preverb which must appear with the verb root /q/ 'keep', and the agreement morphology appears between the preverb and the root. Due to historical changes, the relationships between the various members of an agreement paradigm are often more complex and show changes of vowel and/or consonant. The following perfective paradigm for 'go' shows this (with the reconstructed form shown after the *)

M vi-xhi
F v-r-xhi
A vüxhü < *vi-v-xhi
N/NPL vidki < *vi-d-xhi
HPL vibki < *vi-b-xhi

Word order

Budukh is an SOV language, as seen in the following example:

Ma'lla'-cır lemér ğùtu-ri
Mullah-erg donkey nonhuman plural:beat:present
'Mullah beat the donkeys'

It has possessors before possessed nouns:

Mallá-co rij
Mullah-adlocative daughter
'the mullah's daughter'

Adjectives appear before the nouns that they modify:

q'usú Mallá'
old mullah
'the old mullah'


  1. ^ a b c Budukh at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ "The Budukhs". The Red Book of the Peoples of the Russian Empire.
  3. ^ Published in: Encyclopedia of the world’s endangered languages. Edited by Christopher Moseley. London & New York: Routledge, 2007. 211–280.
  4. ^ The sociolinguistic situation of the Budukh in Azerbaijan
  5. ^ UNESCO Interactive Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger Archived 22 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine