(also Albanian), literary language of the ancient Caucasian Albanians. Memorials of Agvani are rare and fragmentary inscriptions of the sixth to eighth centuries from western raions of the Azerbaijan SSR. Deciphering of these inscriptions was begun only recently. The typological similarity between the Agvani alphabet and the Armenian and Georgian alphabets makes it possible to treat the Agvani alphabet as one of the variants of Aramaic script, oriented on the principles of the Greek alphabet. The statistical structure of Agvani text, composition, and sound correlations of the alphabet (containing 52 graphemes), as well as certain facts about the Agvani language preserved in Armenian and Georgian literature (names of the months, proper names, individual grammatical forms), imply that the Agvani language is the ancient form of the Udi language or some other closely related Dagestan language.
G. A. KLIMOV