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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(also known as Lower Circassian, or Kiakh), the language of the Adygeians. It belongs to the Abkhazo-Adyg group of Caucasian (Iberio-Caucasian) languages. It is spoken in the Adygei Autonomous Oblast and in the Lazarevskii and Tuapse raions of the Krasnodar Krai of the RSFSR. Adygei is spoken by about 87,000 people (1959). The language has four dialects: Abadzekh, Bzhedukh, Temirgoi, and Shapsug. Literary Adygei was based on and is being developed from the Temirgoi dialect.

The phonetics of Adygei is distinguished by an abundance of consonants (as many as 66 in the dialects), but there are only two vowels—short e and y —in the primary roots. The long vowels e, i, a, o, and u are formed by syllable contraction. In the definite declension the noun declines through four cases—direct, indirect, instrumental, and translative—and through two cases, rarely three, in the indefinite declension. The Adygei verb is rich in such forms as person, number, tense, mood, and voice. A multipersonal conjugation occurs when two or several personal prefixes or markers of the subject or of the direct and indirect objects are incorporated simultaneously into the conjugated form of the verb.

Multiple predicates incorporating prefixes of person, location, direction, personal relation, and sometimes noun root typify the Adygei language. The sentence structure varies depending on whether the predicate is transitive or intransitive (the subject is accordingly in the indirect or direct case; the predicate is intransitive, with an indirect object). The relative attribute stands before the word modified, and the qualitative attribute after the word modified. The usual sentence order is subject, direct object, remaining terms, and predicate.

The vocabulary of the modern Adygei language exhibits primary roots of the open syllable type. The majority of Adygei words are formed by combining these groups. After the October Revolution a script based on the Arabic alphabet was formed; this was replaced by a Latin script in 1927 and by a Russian script in 1938.


Iakovlev, N., and D. Ashkhamaf. Grammatika adygeiskogo literaturnogo iazyka. Moscow-Leningrad, 1941.
Rogava, G. B. K voprosu o strukture imennykh osnov kategoriiakh grammatich klassov v adygeiskikh (cherkesskikh) iazykakh. Tbilisi, 1956. (Includes bibliography.)
Russko-Adygeiskii slovar’. Moscow, 1960.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The Adana Circassian Culture Foundation launched the work for the opening of the kindergarten offering education in Adyghe in 2012 and applied to UNICEF for support, according to Taraf.
The first three chapters explore the history of the Adyghe, their socioeconomic development, and their status between Russia and the Ottoman Empire in the first quarter of the 19th century.
Adyghe, a Circassian culture fund, and Unicycle Productions are responsible for respectively bringing and organizing Circassian Circle for APAP/NYC.
Bydd e hefyd yn cwrdd grwp cerddorol o dras Adyghe sy n ceisio cadw hen draddodiad yn fyw.
Bydd e hefyd yn cwrdd grwep cerddorol o dras Adyghe sy'n ceisio cadw hen draddodiad yn fyw.
Speaking to The Star, Presidents Murat Zyazikov of Ingushetia, Aslan T'hakocheneh of Adyghe Republic, and Arisen Kanokov of Kabardaina-Balkaria expressed their appreciation for the warm welcome they received in Jordan from King Abdullah and the Jordanian people.The three presidents described the relations with Jordan as brotherly, especially since many Circassians and Chechens are living in Jordan as Jordanian citizens.
Pkhachich-adygskie treshchotki: k 80-letiiuavtonomii Adygei = Adyghe (Circassian) clappers.
Among specific topics are the fluidity of recursion and its implications, recursion and iteration, just how big natural languages are, a Bayesian exploration of how recursive language is, an evolutionary perspective on clauses that refuse to recur, a proposal for distinguishing the differences between human and non-human animal learners, kinds of recursion in Adyghe morphology, cognitive grouping and recursion in prosody, and recursion in severe agrammatism.
Bydd e hefyd yn cwrdd grwe p cerddorol o dras Adyghe sy'n ceisio cadw hen draddodiad yn fyw..
More recently, there is Dzambulat Kosubaev's novel Abrag, translated from Adyghe and written in experimental style: Koshubaev, Abrek (Nal'chik: Elbrus, 2004).