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Chamalal
чамалалдуб мичӏчӏ (çamalaldub miçʿçʿ)
Native toNorth Caucasus
RegionSouthwestern Dagestan[1]
EthnicityChamalal people
Native speakers
500 (2010)[2]
Northeast Caucasian
Language codes
ISO 639-3cji
Glottologcham1309
ELPChamalal

Chamalal (also called Camalal or Chamalin) is an Andic language of the Northeast Caucasian language family spoken in southwestern Dagestan, Russia by approximately 500 ethnic Chamalals. It has three quite distinct dialects, Gadyri, Gakvari, and Gigatl.[2]

History

Chamalal is spoken in southwestern Dagestan, Russia by indigenous Chamalals since the 8th or 9th century. The ethnic population is approximately 5,000, with around 500 speakers. The language has a 6b (threatened) status.

Geographic distribution

The approximately 500 ethnic speakers live in eight villages in the Tsumadinsky District on the left bank of the Andi-Koisu river in the Dagestan Republic and in the Chechnya Republic. The speakers are mostly Muslim, primarily following Sunni Islam since the 8th or 9th century.

Official status

There are no countries with Chamalal as an official language.

Dialects/Varieties

Chamalal has three distinct dialects: Gadyri (Gachitl-Kvankhi), Gakvari (Agvali-Richaganik-Tsumada-Urukh), and Gigatl (Hihatl). There are also two more dialects: Kwenkhi, Tsumada.

Derived languages

Gigatl (Hihatl) and Chamalal proper (with Gadyri, Gakvari, Tsumada and Kwenkhi dialects) are considered to be sublanguages.

Writing System

Chamalal is an unwritten language. Avar and Russian are used in school, and Avar is also used for literary purposes.

Bibliography

References

Further reading