Tsez TSUNTA DISTRICT,
Tsez (or Dido) is the threatened language of the group of Muslim people in the mountainous Tsunta district of southwestern Dagestan in Russia. The effects of modernisation have resulted in this group adopting Western clothing and technology, moving to the lowlands and switching to Russian.
A Northeast Caucasian language with about 15,000 speakers, Tsez belongs to the Dagestanian branch of the Nakh-dagestanian language family. It is described as having one of the most complicated sound systems – and by far the most complex case system – of any language. The name is said to derive from the Tsez word for ‘eagle’, indicating that the Tsez live high up in the mountains, where eagles also hover.
In the written form, Tsez is poorly represented, thus the language lacks a literary tradition. It is not taught in Dagestani schools; instead, Avar is taught for the first five years, and Russian thereafter. However, attempts
A Dagestanian girl waiting for her dancing round during Tatarstan’s Republic Day celebration in Kazan have been made to develop a stable orthography for the Tsez language, mainly for the purpose of recording traditional folklore. Unfortunately, despite such efforts, the younger generation tends to be more fluent in Russian than Tsez, which is probably due to the lack of education in and about the language, leading to a loss of traditional culture among the people.
The vocabulary shows many traces of influences from Avar, Georgian, Arabic and Russian, mainly through loanwords and, in the case of Russian, in grammar and style. There are also loanwords of Turkic origin.
below [ Tsez] is described as having one of the most complicated sound systems – and by far the most complex case system – of any language.