Explanation of terms
Udi belongs to the Lezgian (or Southern) branch of the autochthonous
East Caucasian language family. The local designation is udin muz "Udi
Area of distribution
Totally there are up to 8,100 ethnic Udis today (7,971 Udis in Azerbaijan
Today, Udi is spoken in three villages in Transcaucasia as well as in a number of diaspora places in Russian Federation, Armenia and Kazakhstan.
The original habitat of the ethnic Udis in Northern Azerbaijan is now confined to the village of Nidzh (Nij), located on the road from Sheki (in the West) to Qabala (formely Kutkashen) in the East. In Nidzh, the ethnic Udis represent a rather compact unity of roughly 4,500 people, 80% of whom reclaim to use Udi in one context or the other. A significant number of ethnic Udis lived also in another Azerbaijan village Vartashen (now Oghuz). But because of the Armenian Azerbaijani clashes in 1989 most of approximately 3,000 Vartashen Udis were expelled. Some families fled to neighbouring Nidzh, others left Azerbaijan and settled in Armeina, the Russian Federation or in Kazakhstan.
Most of the Udi speakers are bi- or even multilingual.
Within the Lezgian branch, Udi occupies a so-called marginal position
reflecting the fact that the language separated from the Lezgian "branch"
soon after this branch disintegrated into at least three "dialects": Early
Udi, Early Archi and Early Samur.
The consonant system of Udi
The vowel system of Udi
Copyright ARMAZI Project / Manana Tandashvili, / Lana Ahlborn Frankfurt / Tbilisi 2002. All rights reserved.
საავტორო უფლება ეკუთვნის "არმაზის" პროექტს და მანანა თანდაშვილს,/ ლანა ალბორნს ფრანკფურტი / თბილისი 2002 წ.