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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a city in Tashtyp Raion, Khakass Autonomous Oblast, Krasnoiarsk Krai, RSFSR, situated in an intermontane hollow on the upper Abakan River. It is connected to the Novokuznetsk-Abakan railroad by a branch line through the Askiz station and to the city of Ak-Dovurak, Tuva ASSR, by a highway. Its population was 15,900 in 1968. Abaza began as a settlement around an iron ore treatment plant in 1956 and became a city ten years later. It has an ore-concentration factory. The ore is shipped to Novokuznetsk metallurgical enterprises.



the language of the Abaza people, belongs to the northwest (Abkhazo-Adyg) group of Caucasian (Iberio-Caucasian) languages. Spoken mainly in the Karachaevo-Cherkess Autonomous Oblast. Roughly 20,000 people speak it. The principal vowels in the Abaza language are two: a and y. On the basis of the assimilation and fusion of a and y with semivowels, the vowels e, o, i, u, and so on may form. The system of consonants is highly complicated. Abaza has two dialects, Tapanta and Ashkhar.

The language exhibits a developed synthetic structure. The predicate can simultaneously include two or more personal and class prefixes, place-indicating prefixes, and so on, as well as suffixes expressing different shadings of an action or state. The sentence order is subject, direct object, predicate. The sequence of personal and class prefixes in the predicate varies depending on whether the verb is transitive or intransitive. The verb exhibits a complicated system of tenses and moods and a considerable number of prefix grammatical categories, shaped by prefixes such as causative and conjunctive. Personal pronouns and personal pronominal prefixes are usually divided into three classes—masculine, feminine, and natural objects or phenomena—and sometimes into two classes—humans and objects, and natural phenomena. Nouns exhibit definite, indefinite, and singular forms. Despite the absence of cases expressing syntactical relations—for example, nominative, ergative, or dative—there are rudiments of distinct case forms. The function of subordinate clauses is usually fulfilled by participles, verbal adverbs, and other infinitive formations of the verb. Writing in the Abaza language began in 1932 on the basis of a Latin alphabet, which was converted in 1938 to Russian characters.


Genko, A. N. Abazinskii iazyk: Grammaticheskii ocherk narechiia tapanta. Moscow, 1955.
Lomtatidze, K. V. Abazinskii iazyk. In lazyki narodov SSSR, vol. 4.
Iberiisko-kakazskie iazyki. Moscow, 1967.
Serdiuchenko, G. P. Iazyk abazin. Moscow, 1955.
Russko-abazinskii slovar’. Moscow, 1956.
Adzinov, N. Abazinsko-russkii slovar’. Moscow, 1967.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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