The languages of the Caucasus
Linguistic distribution of languages in the Russian Caucasus
The Caucasian languages to which Chechen belongs (and Ingush) are divided into two sub-families: the northern and southern languages .
The northern family is divided into two groups:
1. Chechenolezghian languages (also known as the Northeast Caucasic languages ). Included in this group are Central Caucasian languages such as Chechen , Ingush and Bat, the latter being spoken in Tushetia (თუშეთი) province in Georgia. There are also various Dagestan language groups such as Avar, Andi, Lak, Dargwa , Artchi (spoken by about 1000 people in a village in the radius of Tcharod). We also find in this family, several languages of southern Dagestan such as Küri, Lezghien, Agoul, Tabassaran, Budukh, Jek, Khinagoul, Routoul and Takhour. Finally, we also find languages of South Dagestan such as Udi (+ - 5000 speakers) and Hinaluk.
2. The Abasgokerkel languages (also known as Western Caucasic languages ). This group of languages includes Adyghé (Circassian), Kabard, Circassian and Abkhaz.
The southern family
The southern family is particularly homogeneous. The languages of this group are spoken in the south of the Caucasus, along the Black Sea as well as in the high valleys of the Caucasus. Phonetically, they are much simpler than the languages of the northern family.
This group includes 4 Kartvelian languages (named after "Georgian"): Georgian , Mingrelian, Laz and Svane.