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(also Laz), the unwritten language of the Laz (Chan). Chan is a Kartvelian language; with Megrelian, it is often regarded as a dialect of San, or Mingrelo-Chan. Three dialects of Chan are spoken on the Black Sea coast of Turkey: Khopa, Vitse-Arkhaba, and Atina.
Chan has a simple vowel system (a, e, i, o, and u) and 32 consonants. Nominal stems are stable, and there are seven cases: nominative, ergative, dative, genitive, ablative, instrumental, and allative. Categories of the verb include person, number, tense, version, voice, potential, causative, and aspect; the category of mood includes 14 modal and tense forms. Directional preverbs are common. The vocabulary of Chan abounds in Turkisms and contains Georgian and Greek loanwords.
REFERENCESMarr, N. Ia. Grammatika chanskogo (lazskogo) iazyka c khrestomatiei i slovarem. (Materialy po iafeticheskomu iazykoznaniu, 2.) St. Petersburg, 1910.
Kiziria, A. I. “Zanskii iazyk.” In lazyki narodov SSSR, vol. 4. Moscow, 1967.
Ch’ik’obava, Arn. Chanuris gramatikuli analizi tek’stebil’urt’. Tiflis, 1936.
M. E. ALEKSEEV