Dargwa language

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дарган мез dargan mez[needs IPA]
Native to Russia
Region Dagestan
Ethnicity 590,000 Dargins (2010 census)[1]
Native speakers
490,000 (2010 census)[1]
Official status
Official language in
Dagestan (Russia)
Language codes
ISO 639-3 dar (also Dargin languages)
Glottolog darg1241  (also Dargin languages)[2]

The Dargwa or Dargin language is spoken by the Dargin people in the Russian republic Dagestan. It is the literary and main dialect of the dialect continuum constituting the Dargin languages. The four other languages in this dialect continuum (Kajtak, Kubachi, Itsari, and Chirag) are often considered variants of Dargwa. Ethnologue lists these under Dargwa, but recognizes that these may be different languages. Its people are Sunni Muslims. Dargwa uses a Cyrillic script.

According to the 2002 Census, there are 429,347 speakers of Dargwa proper in Dagestan, 7,188 in neighbouring Kalmykia, 1,620 in Khanty–Mansi AO, 680 in Chechnya, and hundreds more in other parts of Russia. Figures for the Lakh dialect spoken in central Dagestan[3] are 142,523 in Dagestan, 1,504 in Kabardino-Balkaria, 708 in Khanty–Mansi.[verification needed]




Consonant phonemes of Dargwa[4]
Labial Dental Alveolar Palatal Velar Uvular Epi-
Nasal m n
Plosive voiced d ɡ ɢ
voiceless p t k q ʡ ʔ
Affricate voiced d͡z d͡ʒ
voiceless t͡s t͡ʃ
ejective t͡sʼ t͡ʃʼ
Fricative voiceless f s ʃ ç x
voiced v z ʒ ɣ ʁ ʢ
Trill r
Approximant l j
  • Note that the source is rather ambiguous in its using the term "laryngeal" for a presumed column of consonants that includes both a "voiced" and a "glottalized" plosive. A voiced glottal plosive cannot be made, because the glottis needs to be closed, and an ejective consonant requires an additional closure further up the vocal tract. Pending clarification, this row has been transcribed here as an epiglottal column and a glottal stop, both found in many other East Caucasian languages.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Dargwa at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Dargwa". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Echols, John (Jan–Mar 1952). "Lakkische Studien by Karl Bouda". Language. Linguistic Society of America. 28 (1): 159. doi:10.2307/410010. Retrieved 4 February 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Consonant Systems of the Northeast Caucasian Languages on TITUS DIDACTICA

External links