This is a compilation of data regarding the grammar of the Abkhaz language. Please contribute by expanding the sections, verifying the accuracy of information or by simply sending us your suggestions.
Source: Abkhaz phonology
Abkhaz has a very rich consonant inventory, counting up to 67 consonants in the Bzyp dialect.
Below is the IPA phoneme chart of the consonant phonemes of Abkhaz:
|plain||labial.||plain||labial.||plain||labial.||palatal.||plain||labial.||palatal.||plain||labial.||phar.||lab. + phar.||plain||labial.|
Phonemes in green are found in the Bzyp and Sadz dialects of Abkhaz, but not in Abzhywa; phonemes in blue are unique to the Bzyp dialect. The total number of consonant phonemes in Abkhaz is, therefore, 58 in the Abzhywa dialect, 60 in the Sadz dialect, and 67 in Bzyp. The Sadz dialect also has distinctive consonant gemination; for example, Sadz Abkhaz contrasts /a.χʷa/ ashes vs. /a.χʷːa/ worm, where Abzhywa and Bzyp Abkhaz have only the one form /a.χʷa/ for both; it seems that many Sadz singletons reflect positions where a consonant has been dropped from the beginning of a cluster in the Proto-Northwest Caucasian form (compare Ubykh /tχʷa/ ashes). Some scholars (for instance, Chirikba 2003) prefer to count the Sadz consonant inventory at well over 100 (thus forming the largest consonant inventory in the Caucasus, outstripping Ubykh's 80-84) by treating the geminated consonants as a set in their own right. (Note, however, that this practice is not usual in counting the consonant inventory of a language.)
The non-pharyngealised dorsal fricatives of Abkhaz may be realised as either velar or uvular depending upon the context in which they are found; here, they have been ranged with the uvulars. Also, while the labialised palatal approximant /ɥ/ is here placed with the approximants, it is actually the reflex of a labialised voiced pharyngeal fricative, preserved in Abaza, and a legacy of this phoneme's origin is a slight constriction of the pharynx for some speakers, resulting in the phonetic realisation [ɥˤ].
Abkhaz has only two distinctive vowels: an open vowel /a/ and a closed vowel /ɨ, ə/. These basic vowels have a wide range of allophones in different consonantal environments, with allophones [i] and [e] next to palatals, [u] and [o] next to labials, and [y] and [ø] next to labiopalatals. /a/ also has a long variant /aː/, which is the reflex of old sequences of */ʕa/ or */aʕ/, preserved in Abaza.
The prefix a- makes the noun definite, while the suffix -ḳ marks the noun as indefinite. Ex.:
There is no indication of gender in nouns, although pronouns distinguish between masculine and feminine in 2nd and 3rd persons.