Ubykh


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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Ubykh

 

the language of the Ubykhs. Ubykh is related to the Abkhazo-Adyg languages.

The phonetic features of Ubykh include a system of two vowels (close ∂ and open a), a consonant system of 80 phonemes, stops that form a three-way opposition (voiced-unvoiced aspirated-unvoiced glottalized), and spirants that form a two-way opposition (voiced-unvoiced aspirated).

Nouns in Ubykh have the categories of number, case, definite-ness or indefiniteness, and possession. Sentence subjects are in the nominative case when the verb is intransitive; when the verb is transitive, the direct object is in the nominative. The ergative takes the same case as the subject with a transitive verb and combines the functions of the dative and other oblique cases. The verb has a compound and polysynthetic system of inflection and word formation. Verbs are distinguished as transitive or intransitive and static or dynamic; they have causative, potential, version, conjunctive, and reflexive forms, as well as locational and directional preverbs. The distribution of subject and object affixes in the verb depends on the verb’s transitivity or intransitivity.

REFERENCES

Kumakhov, M. A. “Ubykhskii iazyk.” In lazyki narodov SSSR, vol. 4 (see Appendix). Moscow, 1967. (Contains bibliography.)
Dumézil, G. La langue des Oubykhs. Paris, 1931.
Vogt, H. Dictionnaire de la langue oubykh. Oslo, 1963.

M. A. KUMAKHOV

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