As a side effect of a fruitless search for material on Armeno-Kipchak, I stumbled on Wolfgang Schulze‘s excellent online grammar of Udi, which Ethnologue calls “one of the most divergent of the Lesgian languages.” I’m particularly taken with the sample text, which is followed by interlinear analysis and translation:

ostavar ostavar ait-p-es-ax uk’-a-n-te ic^ z/om-oxo arux-ne bar-sa.
strong strong word-say-inf-dat2 say:fut-opt-3sg:a-sub (>as if) refl mouth-abl fire-3sg:a come=out-pres
in order to say very strong words, as if FIRE comes out of his mouth

And with the appended lexical analysis, which gives the etyma of borrowed words (te < Armenian et’e ‘that’; yesir < Arabic asir ‘imprisoned’) and reconstructions for indigenous words. Don’t miss it, O fans of Caucasian languages!


  1. Isn’t Udi one of the candidates for the surviving version of the language of Caucasian Albania? That’s Albania in the classical world, roughly equal to modern day Azerbaijan, although I did once find a Macedonian (FYROM) nationalist site claiming that modern Albanians really had migrated from the Caucasus to the Balkans, with a handy map to prove it (!).

  2. Why yes, yes it is, and the good Doktor Schulze deals with that as well:
    “However, it should be noted that up to now we have not arrived at a safe interpretation of even a single of these documents, be it on the basis of Udi or another Lezgian language. Also see Manana Tandashvili’s contribution for examples of the Alvan script. All we know for sure ist that some officials in the kingdom of Alvan have used a language different from Armenian and Georgian which – according to the sources – shared some phonetic features with those languages that are generally described as ‘Southeast Caucasian’. There are some look-alikes between e.g. some names of the months as documented in a medivial manuscript (see Gippert, Jost: Old Armenian and Caucasian Calendar Systems [III.]: The Albanian Month Names- Annual of Armenian Linguistics 9 1988, 35-46) and certain Udi terms, but this evidence is not sufficient to finely declare the Alvan inscriptions as ‘Udi’ [the language of the palympsests seem to be more Udi-like than that of the inscriptions].”

  3. I’m really going to have to get Movses’ book. I can get it from ILL. After all these years looking forward to it, it’s bound to be a bit of a disappointment.

  4. For those interested, here’s a link to a number of articles, from “Azerbaijan International” magazine [quarterly], regrding Caucasian Albanian and Udin.

  5. See
    for more details on Caucasian Albanian and the question of ‘Old Udi’. By the way: The decipherment of the Caucasian Albanian Palimpsest, carry out by me and Jost Gippert (Frankfurt) has now nearly been finished. Results will be published as soon as possible in:
    Jost Gippert, Wolfgang Schulze, Zaza Aleksidze & Jean-Pierre Mahé 2005. An edition of the Caucasian Albanian Palimpsest from Mt. Sinai. Photographs, transliteration, glossed transcription, Armenian, Georgian, Greek and Syric parallels, translation, etymological glossary [working title]. Two Volumes. Turnhout: Brepols.
    Best wishes,

  6. Thanks for the further information! Here‘s the direct link.

  7. See now zizka/John Emerson’s review of Movses’ book on the Caucasian Albanians.

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