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the language of the Tats; spoken in the Azerbaijan SSR, the Dagestan ASSR, and the Northern Caucasus.
Tat is related to the southwestern Iranian languages. It is spoken by approximately 11,000 people (1970 census). The language has an analytical structure similar to Persian and Tadzhik. Tat’s distinctive phonetic features include opposition of stable and unstable vowels, the presence of rhotacism, and a tendency toward assimilation of vowels, similar to Turkic synharmony. A unique feature of the system of grammatical forms are verb forms made from the infinitive. Of the two types of attributive constructions that are known in the Iranian languages, Tat makes wider use of the type with a prepositional attributive, which corresponds structurally to an analogous construction in the Talysh language.
There are two dialects of Tat, which emerged in accordance with the historical division of the Tats into Muslims (in the Azerbaijan SSR) and Judaists. The Jewish Tat dialect is one of the literary languages of Dagestan. The Tat writing system was based on the Latin alphabet until 1938, when the current Russian-based alphabet was created.
REFERENCESMiller, V. F. Tatskie etiudy, parts 1–2. Moscow, 1905–07.
Miller, B. V. Taty, ikh rasselenie igovory. Baku, 1929.
Griunberg, A. L. Iazyk severoazerbaidzhanskikh tatov. Leningrad, 1963.
L. A. PIREIKO