ქართველური ენები

Kartvelian Languages



more infomation see under ქართული ტექსტი

Kartvelian languages represent the southern group of Caucasian languages. This group consists of three languages: Georgian, Svan and Laz (Chan)-Megrelian.

Georgian, the national language of Georgians,  belongs to the Kartvelian (Iberian) group of Iberian-Caucasian languages . Georgian language is the only
old-written language among Iberian-Caucasian languages.

The georgian language has an old literary tradition going back to the 5th century A.D., and a script of its own. The literary language is based on the Kartlian dialect.


Explanation of terms

The sle-designation is Kartveli  ქართველი, pl. Kartvelebi  ქართველები  (older Kartvelni  ქართველნო). The name is applied to all the Kartvelian peoples; its derative "Sakartvelo" denotes traditionally the Georgian state and political territory.

Area of distribution

The georgian language is found in the central and western Transcaucausus and in part of the Caucasian highlands. Politically, the main mass lives in Georgia, extending into the adjoining districts of Azerbaidzhan (Kakh region) and in the north-eastern Turkey (district of Artvin, Ardahan, Ardanuch, Olti).
The Distribution with indication of georgian ethnic names is the following:

1. East Georgians: Kakhetians are spread in the easternmost part of Georgia, in the eastern part of of the Kura and Aragvi rivers, Kartlians - in the area of Georgia minus those of the other tribes,  Ingilo live between the Alazani and the main Caucasian chain; Tush - on the upper course of the Andijskoe Koisu; Khevsur - on the upper course of the eastern part of Aragvi and Argun; Pshav - on the sourth of the Khevsur on the Aragvi and upper Iori; Mokhev and Mtiul - on the upper Terek, in the west of Aragvi and Ksani.

2. West Georgians: Imeretians live between the main Caucasian chain, the Suram range,  the Adzharo-Akhaltsikh range and the Tskhenis-Tskali river; Racha - on the upper Rioni; Lechkhum - in the western part of Racha; Gurians - in the south of lower Rioni, attaining the Black Sea between Poti and Kobuleti; Adzhar - in the south of the Gurians, on the eastern part of Batumi.


Dialect varieties

The Georgian language falls into  different dialects. Traditionally, the latter are divided in the Eastern and the Western groups (some distinguish the Southern
group in addition). This division is  based mainly on ethnic and geographic classificational principle. The linguistic criterion of dialects' classification lies in  the
so called  unity of dialects' differences.

There exist 18 dialects in Georgian: Acharian, Gurian, Tushian, Imeretian, Imerkhevian, Ingilo, Kakhian, Lechkhum, Meskhian, Mtiulian-Gudamakrian,
Mokhe, Rachvelian, Phereidanian, Phshavian, Kartlian, Kizlar-Mozdokian, Khevsurian, Javakhian.

The consonant system of Georgian

The vowel system of

Copyright ARMAZI Project / Manana Tandashvili, / Lana Ahlborn Frankfurt / Tbilisi 2001. All rights reserved.

საავტორო უფლება ეკუთვნის "არმაზის" პროექტს და მანანა თანდაშვილს,/   ლანა ალბორნს  ფრანკფურტი / თბილისი 2001 წ.