- Abkhaz alphabet
Infobox Writing system
name = Abkhaz Alphabet
time = 1865 - present
languages = Abkhaz
Peter von Uslar, Aleksej Chochua
The Abkhaz alphabet is an
alphabetfor the Abkhaz languagewhich consists of 62 letters.
Abkhaz did not become a
written languageuntil the 19th century. Hitherto, Abkhazians, especially princes, had been using the Georgian languageand alphabet for issuing official documents. The Abkhaz word for alphabet is анбан (anban), which was borrowed from Georgian ანბანი (anbani).
The first dedicated Abkhaz alphabet was created in 1862 by the
Russian general Peter von Uslar. It had 37 letters and was based on the Cyrillic script. In 1909, it was expanded to 55 letters by Aleksey Chochuato adjust to the extensive consonantal inventory of Abkhaz.
In 1926, during the "
korenizatsiya" policy in the Soviet Union, the Cyrillic alphabet was replaced by a Latin-based alphabet devised by Nikolay Marr. It featured 77 letters and was called the "Abkhaz analytical alphabet". In 1928, this was replaced by another Latin-based alphabet. (See illustration at right.) From 1938 to 1954 the Abkhaz language was again written in the Georgian alphabet.
Since 1954, the Abkhaz language has been written in a new 62-letter adaptation of the Cyrillic alphabet (see chart below; there are additional digraphs for the Bzyp and Sadz dialects). Of these, 38 are graphically distinct; the rest are digraphs with <Unicode|ь> and <Unicode|ә> which indicate
palatalizationand labialization, respectively. Unusually, the Cyrillic plosive letters К П Т represent ejective consonants; the non-ejectives (pulmonic consonants) are derived from these by means of a hook at the bottom of the letter. In the case of the affricates, however, the plain letter are pulmonic, and the derived letters ejective.
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