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ГъибдилIи мицци Ɣibdiƛi micci
Native toNorth Caucasus
RegionSouthwestern Dagestan
Native speakers
130 (2010)[1]
Northeast Caucasian
Language codes
ISO 639-3gdo

Godoberi (also spelled Ghodoberi; self-designation Gijbdilhi mitts; other names include also called годоберинский язык, ღოდობერიული ენა, годоберийский язык, гъибдилIи мицци, Ɣibdiƛi micci, Godoberin is an Andic language of the Northeast Caucasian language family spoken by the Godoberi in southwestern Dagestan, Russia. It is spoken by approximately 3,250 people.[2][3] There are only two dialects - Godoberi and Zibirhali, which differ mainly in pronunciation.[4] The Endangered Languages Project classifies the language as endangered based on the number of native speakers.[3]


The history of the Godoberis is unknown. The Godoberi language is the main thing distinguishes the cultural group from other groups in the area. When compared to other Andic languages, Godoberi is most similar to Chamalal and Botlikh. Some words are borrowed from by Avar, Turkish, and Arabic. After being incorporated into the Russian Empire in the 19th century and then ruled by the Soviet Union in the 20th century, there is a strong Russian influence in the Godoberi language.[4]

Geographic Distribution

Native speakers of Godoberi live in two villages: Godoberi (Gjudu in Godoberi) and Zibirhali (Shalu in Godoberi). These villages are located in the mountains on the left bank of the Andi-Koisu River in Southwest Dagestan, a republic of Russia.[4][3]


Godoberi is not a written language, and it is used only in the home. Schools teach Avar and Russian. Native speakers of Godoberi use Avar or Russian as a written language. These two languages are also used when speaking to people from neighboring communities. The number of Godoberi speakers appears to have been stable for the last 40 years. [4]


Diphthongs are found only in Godoberi and in no other Daghestanain languages (example: c'ai 'fire').[5] There are 13 phonemic vowels: i, e, a, o, u, i:, e:, a:, o:, u:, ˜i, ã, ˜u. The accent system is extremely complex, especially for nouns.[5]

prosodic patterns in Godoberi[5]
initial stress


initial stress
















Nominative gédu 'cat' íča 'mare' ímu 'father' qučá 'sheepskin' buRá 'bull' haí 'eye' łerú 'feather' set'íl 'finger' ziní 'cow'
Genitive géduLi 'cat' íčLi 'mare' imúLi 'father' qučiLí 'sheepskin' buRáLi 'bull' háiLi 'eye' łéruLi 'feather' sét'ilaLi 'finger' zináLi 'cow
Dative gédułi 'cat' íčałi 'mare' ímułi 'father' qučiłí 'sheepskin' buRałí 'bull' haiłi 'eye' łérułli 'feather' sét'ilałi 'finger' zínałi 'cow'
Ergative gédudi 'cat' íčadi 'mare' imudí 'father qučidí 'sheepskin' buRadí 'bull' haidí 'eye łérudi 'feather' sét'iladi 'finger zinadí 'cow'


Singular words have three genders: masculine, feminine, and neuter. Plural words lack those three genders and instead have two noun classes: human or inanimate object. There are two types of adjectives: primary and participles. A majority of the primary adjectives do not have gender. The four types of participles are past, present, future, and non-future negative.[5] The numerical system does not vary greatly from other languages. Verb morphology is also regular compared to other languages in the Andic language family.


Godoberi alphabet
Аа Ãã Бб Вв Гг ГIгI Гьгь Гъгъ
Дд Ее Жж Зз Ии И̃и̃ Йй Кк
КIкI Кькь Къкъ Лл ЛIлI Лълъ Мм Нн
Оо Пп Рр Сс Тт ТIтI Уу У̃у̃
Фф Хх ХIхI Хьхь Хъхъ Чч ЧIчI Шш
Щщ Ъъ Ээ Юю Яя


  1. ^ Godoberi at Ethnologue (23rd ed., 2020)
  2. ^ Godoberi language at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  3. ^ a b c "Ghodoberi". Endangered Languages Project.
  4. ^ a b c d Kolga, Margus (2001). The Red Book of the Peoples of the Russian Empire. Tallinn: NGO Red Book.
  5. ^ a b c d Kibrik, Aleksandr (1996). Godoberi. Munchen: Lincom.

Further reading