Avar (МагIарул мацI)

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Re: Avar (МагIарул мацI)

Postby mōdgethanc » 2010-04-13, 20:27

Just a comment, because you're a Persian speaker I assume: some of the Arabic words are mispelled. They have ت where they should have ة.
Wow! I never realized Avar had so many cognates with Persian/Turkish/Arabic!
They're not cognates, they're loans - all of the above are completely unrelated. But it's still cool how well Avar manage to preserve the phonology of the original Arabic (something Persian doesn't do).

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Re: Avar (МагIарул мацI)

Postby eskandar » 2010-04-13, 21:08

Talib wrote:Just a comment, because you're a Persian speaker I assume: some of the Arabic words are mispelled. They have ت where they should have ة.

Actually, they are not misspelled; zhiguli provided the correct Persian spellings of the words. These words entered Avar through Persian, not Arabic. For example, if Avar had the word "летер" as a loan from English, and we gave the source as "letter", it wouldn't be a misspelling, even though the original word actually comes from Old French lettre; it's irrelevant, since the source word is "letter" not "lettre". Here, the source word for тIабигIат (for example) is طبیعت not طبيعة .

But it's still cool how well Avar manage to preserve the phonology of the original Arabic (something Persian doesn't do).

What makes you say that? From what I can see, Avar has reproduced the loanwords according to its own native phonemic inventory (just as Persian did and as most languages do when absorbing foreign loanwords). Avar's рухI may be pronounced /ruħ/ like Arabic (unlike Persian روح which is typically realized as /ruh/), but Avar's гъалатI is pronounced /ʁalatʼ/, which is slightly less close to the Arabic /ɣælætˤ/ than Persian's /ɣælæt/. So it looks like Avar has a few phonemes that Persian doesn't have (like /ʔ/ and /ħ/) which help it reproduce Arabic words, but it's also missing some that Persian has (like /ɣ/ and /æ/) which give Persian the advantage in reproducing Arabic words. Overall it doesn't seem like either Avar or Persian has more closely preserved the phonology of their Arabic loanwords.
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Re: Avar (МагIарул мацI)

Postby mōdgethanc » 2010-04-13, 21:22

Actually, they are not misspelled; zhiguli provided the correct Persian spellings of the words.
I know that. I meant that they would be mispelled in Arabic.

Since the original words are Arabic even if Avar borrowed them through the medium of Persian, I thought this bore mentioning.
What makes you say that? From what I can see, Avar has reproduced the loanwords according to its own native phonemic inventory (just as Persian did and as most languages do when absorbing foreign loanwords). Avar's рухI may be pronounced /ruħ/ like Arabic (unlike Persian روح which is typically realized as /ruh/), but Avar's гъалатI is pronounced /ʁalatʼ/, which is slightly less close to the Arabic /ɣælætˤ/ than Persian's /ɣælæt/. So it looks like Avar has a few phonemes that Persian doesn't have (like /ʔ/ and /ħ/) which help it reproduce Arabic words, but it's also missing some that Persian has (like /ɣ/ and /æ/) which give Persian the advantage in reproducing Arabic words. Overall it doesn't seem like either Avar or Persian has more closely preserved the phonology of their Arabic loanwords.
That word wouldn't be pronounced [ɣælætˤ]. It'd be more like [ɣɑlɑtˤ].

But anyway I was talking about preserving these differences at the phonemic level, not the phonetic. Avar might borrow Arabic's pharyngealized consonants as ejectives, but the distinction between the two is still retained, whereas in Persian they're simply merged.

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Re: Avar (МагIарул мацI)

Postby eskandar » 2010-04-13, 22:20

Talib wrote:But anyway I was talking about preserving these differences at the phonemic level, not the phonetic. Avar might borrow Arabic's pharyngealized consonants as ejectives, but the distinction between the two is still retained, whereas in Persian they're simply merged.

I see. In that case, you are right, but again Avar has only maintained those distinctions where it has room to do so with its native phonemes. Like Persian, it has collapsed the distinctions between /sˤ/ and /s/, /ð/ and /z/, and probably others that can't be ascertained from zhiguli's wordlist. Looking a bit closer at the list, it also seems that Avar has lost the distinction between geminate and non-geminate consonants; compare Avar тукен /tuken/ with Persian دکّان /dok:an/ versus the Arabic /duk:an/. (I wonder what's up with the initial consonant devoicing in тукен, but not in дин for example). Avar has also apparently lost most distinctions between vowel length and brightness found in Arabic.
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Re: Avar (МагIарул мацI)

Postby księżycowy » 2010-04-13, 22:23

zhiguli wrote:Haven't a clue. You might want to start at this page:

http://jaimoukha.synthasite.com/

It looks like the author has put out a self-teacher in French (in the Parlons series)

Thanks. And that reminds me that there (was, if not is) a French textbook for Chechen/Ingush too, maybe I'll start brushing up my French when I get around to my Russian too.

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Re: Avar (МагIарул мацI)

Postby mōdgethanc » 2010-04-13, 23:06

I see. In that case, you are right, but again Avar has only maintained those distinctions where it has room to do so with its native phonemes. Like Persian, it has collapsed the distinctions between /sˤ/ and /s/, /ð/ and /z/, and probably others that can't be ascertained from zhiguli's wordlist.
All right, you may be right that neither preserves the original phonology perfectly, but Avar does have certain chance resemblances, like pharyngeal consonants. I think that's neat since most of the languages Arabic loans words to don't have distinctly Semitic features like that.
Looking a bit closer at the list, it also seems that Avar has lost the distinction between geminate and non-geminate consonants (I wonder what's up with the initial consonant devoicing in тукен, but not in дин for example).
And why the vowel is /e/ when Persian has /a/ there.

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Re: Avar (МагIарул мацI)

Postby eskandar » 2010-04-14, 0:49

Talib wrote:All right, you may be right that neither preserves the original phonology perfectly, but Avar does have certain chance resemblances, like pharyngeal consonants. I think that's neat since most of the languages Arabic loans words to don't have distinctly Semitic features like that.

Well, the only pharyngeal consonants Avar has are /ʕ/ and /ħ/, which are shared by a few other languages that have Arabic (or Perso-Arabic) loanwords; other Arabic-influenced languages that have both phonemes include Chechen, Kurdish, some Berber languages, and Somali. (By the way, I hope it doesn't seem like I'm trying to give you a hard time by keeping after you here :)).
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Re: Avar (МагIарул мацI)

Postby mōdgethanc » 2010-04-14, 2:10

Pharyngeal consonants are very rare outside of the Afro-Asiatic and Caucasian families, which makes it notable that they were not borrowed from Arabic but already existed in the language.

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Re: Avar (МагIарул мацI)

Postby zhiguli » 2010-06-06, 18:11

An article from the New York Times about ethnic jokes in Dagestan:

In Dagestan, Laugh Track Echoes Across Mountains

By ELLEN BARRY
Published: February 16, 2010

MAKHACHKALA, Russia — A funny thing happened to Magomedkhan M. Magomedkhanov, an ethnographer from the Russian republic of Dagestan, on a recent visit to the United States. Surrounded by distinguished colleagues at Harvard University and sensing that there was only one way to put everyone at ease, he dusted off a favorite joke about a Jew in a pit full of wild animals.

As the silence congealed into something approximating hostility, Mr. Magomedkhanov was reminded that he was no longer in Dagestan.

He grew up among the Archi, a 1,200-member ethnic group that speaks a language of unknown origin and, for at least seven centuries, was connected to the outside world only by rugged mountain paths. This is fairly typical of Dagestan, a collection of 14 major and several dozen minor ethnic groups that formed in tide pools and cul-de-sacs off one of humankind’s great migration streams.

All this has proven exceptionally fertile ground for ethnic humor. Dagestanis can tell ethnic jokes for hours, returning to beloved themes like the muscle-bound denseness of the Avars, the naked commercialism of the Dargins, the bookish pusillanimity of the Lezgins, the slyness of Lakhs and so on. And that’s not counting jokes about especially dumb villages.

One example: An Avar is carrying a wounded Dargin off the battlefield. The Dargin entreats his friend to leave him behind, lest they both be killed, and asks the one favor of shooting him so he does not suffer. The Avar, finally convinced, pulls out his firearm but finds he has no ammunition. The Dargin roots in his pockets and pulls out a bullet. “I’ll sell it to you,” he says.

Or this one: An Avar is driving through Makhachkala with a Lakh in the passenger seat. Spotting a red light, he pumps the accelerator and speeds through it. “You just ran a red light!” the Lakh says. “Avars don’t stop for red lights,” the Avar explains, and speeds through another. In a few minutes, they come to a green light, and the Avar stops. “Why did you stop?” the Lakh asks. “You can’t be too careful,” his friend says, “an Avar might be coming the other way.”

Some say the joke-telling tradition grew out of topography. Before the Soviets connected village groupings, or jamaats, with paved roads, bards would hike from one to another, singing ditties about the neighbors’ peculiar clothes or mannerisms, said Enver F. Kisriev, a Dagestani sociologist at the Russian Academy of Sciences. Jamaats were so wildly differentiated — for example, Tsovkra, the village of tightrope-walkers, or Kharbuk, the village of dagger makers — that for centuries they had no choice but to trade across linguistic and ethnic barriers. This bred a bone-deep tolerance, he said.

“In Dagestan, everyone knows there are people who think in a completely different way,” Mr. Kisriev said. “A Russian person who lives deep in the countryside and has never seen a Caucasian person — for him, everything is unexpected and alien. In Dagestan, that feeling doesn’t exist. We are never surprised at the way people act.”

If Dagestanis feel relaxed joking about their nationalities, from the distance of Moscow they look like a minefield. Soviets bureaucrats managed Dagestan by painstakingly distributing influence between important clans, and to this day, upsetting that equilibrium can lead to disaster. Lezgins, for example, traditionally led the region’s federal tax service, and when Moscow appointed a Russian to the post last year, they protested in such numbers that the police persuaded his motorcade to turn around at the republic’s border.

When Vladimir Radchenko, the appointee, was able to show up for work, he was abducted — briefly, but long enough to convince decision makers in Moscow that the best candidate for the job was a Lezgin, after all. The appointment was quietly repealed. This complexity may explain why Russia’s president, Dmitri A. Medvedev, hesitated for months before announcing his choice for the republic’s next president (his nominee, a Dargin, will replace an Avar).

Nationalities historically meant very little to Dagestanis, Mr. Kisriev said, but they flared up in the vacuum left by the Soviet collapse, as local clans built political forces along ethnic lines.

“Traditionally, you turn to the authorities or to the police for protection,” he said. “But if that power comes crashing down, people begin returning to their traditional networks” — in this case the jamaat, or village structure, which, starting in the 1990s, would send buses of armed men to protect a member in trouble, he said.

In this atmosphere, ethnic jokes serve as a safety valve; failure to enjoy them is viewed as “a shortcoming in a man’s character,” said Mr. Magomedkhanov, whose scholarly works include “Tattooed Mountain Women and Spoon Boxes of Dagestan.”

One anecdote has a guy approaching his neighbor Gitya, an Avar. He says, “Gitya, I heard a great joke the other day, but it’s about Avars. I don’t want to offend you, so I’ll tell it about Azeris.” He tells the joke, and Gitya laughs so hard that tears stream down his face. “Man,” Gitya gasps, catching his breath. “Those Azeris sure are idiots!”

There are, of course, limitations on the practice. One is that not one joke mocks a woman; in fact, it would be considered a monstrous offense even to ask a Dagestani if his wife was in good health. And if you are thinking of offending a Dagestani, consider that full-on brawls are so common that some restaurants in Makhachkala list the cost of replacing chairs and tables on their menus.

Magomed Sagatov, 52, who lives in the village of Gunib, gave a dry little smile when asked about humor. Standing on his balcony, he could point to the four or five nearest villages through the mist on the snow-covered hills.

“When you’ve had to live 1,000 years with your neighbors,” he said, “you learn not to make offensive jokes.”

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Re: Avar (МагIарул мацI)

Postby Unknown » 2011-11-16, 16:18

.
Last edited by Unknown on 2014-11-30, 17:35, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Avar (МагIарул мацI)

Postby Massimiliano B » 2013-05-12, 0:50

A video with samples of the Avar phonemes (in Russian):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zFmSj1CSU2E


An old video in Avar:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i32omtMzV3U

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Re: Avar (МагIарул мацI)

Postby Massimiliano B » 2013-06-19, 23:16

A theatrical performance in Avar:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0Mvw7D48FQ

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Re: Avar (МагIарул мацI)

Postby Massimiliano B » 2014-12-03, 0:50

It's very interesting and useful! I like to see an Avar text in Latin script and in IPA transcription!

Tihotapec, do you speak Avar?

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Re: Avar (МагIарул мацI)

Postby Massimiliano B » 2014-12-21, 9:17

No, I don't speak Avar. I cannot find resources in English. Do you know of any?

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Re: Avar (МагIарул мацI)

Postby beched » 2015-04-07, 21:37

Hi!

Nice to see such an interest in Avar. I'm fluent native speaker of Avar language, though I don't know it very well.
I mean, I spoke it (and only it) as a child (up to 2-4 years old), then I mostly spoke Russian. It's a bit difficult for me to understand fiction books or poetry because of their rich vocabulary and because literary language is a certain nothern dialect of Avar (Bolmacʼ).
I use to practice Avar in the mountain village Gunib annually, and I mostly speak a particular southern dialect (so-called Andalal language), which is my mother's language.

Indeed, there're loads of loanwords from Arabian and Persian in Avar, they came during islamization. Nowadays many words are replaced by russian analogues in the speech, even though people know native words.

3 years ago I've launched quite a nasty SMT system for Avar<->Russian translation: http://dalang.ru/Translate

If you've got any questions, I'll try to answer.

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Re: Avar (МагIарул мацI)

Postby Massimiliano B » 2015-04-16, 8:16

Hi beched! Why don't you write some lessons here :) ?


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