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Languages of the Caucasus

Caucasian languages are spoken in the geographic area between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. The Caucasian language family has three subfamilies: Northwest (NWC, or West), South (SC, or Kartvelian), and Northeast (NEC, or East, also Nakh-Daghestanian) Caucasian. Whether the three subgroups form a genetic or genealogical unit is debatable. Due to their geographic contiguity at the boundary of Europe and Asia, they are treated as members of a single family. The family consists of roughly 38 languages: 5 in NWC (Abkhaz, Abaza, Adyghe, Kabardian, and now-extinct Ubykh), 4 in SC (Georgian, Svan, Mingrelian, Laz), and 29 in NEC (Nakh subgroup: Chechen, Ingush, Batsbi; Daghestani subgroup: Avar-Andic-Tsezic, Lak-Dargi; Lezgic subgroups). The striking family properties are a high number of consonants versus a small number ...

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