Ibero-Caucasian languages

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The term Ibero-Caucasian (or Iberian-Caucasian) was proposed by Georgian linguist Arnold Chikobava for the union of the three language families that are specific to the Caucasus area, namely

The Northeast family is assumed to include the Nakh languages (Batsbi, Chechen, and Ingush), which were formerly classified as a separate North-central Caucasian family.

The Ibero-Caucasian group would also include three extinct languages: Hattic, which has been connected by some linguists to the Northwest (Circassian) family, and Hurrian and Urartian, which have been connected to the Northeast (Nakh-Dagestanian) family. See the articles on the two families for more discussion.

Contents

Family status

The affinities between the three families above are still disputed. A connection between the Northeast and Northwest phyla is seen as likely by many linguists; see the article on the North Caucasian languages for details.

On the other hand, there are no known affinities between South Caucasian and the northern languages, which are two unrelated phyla even in Greenberg's deep classification of the world's languages. "Ibero-Caucasian" therefore remains at best a convenient geographical designation, not a linguistic phylum.

Family name

The "Iberian" in the family name refers to Caucasian Iberia — a kingdom centered in Eastern Georgia which lasted from the 4th century BC to the 5th century AD, and is not related to the Iberian Peninsula.

See also

Main research centers

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