This blog is for everyone who uses words.

The ordinary-sized words are for everyone, but the big ones are especially for children.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

Nuts and Bolts: Udi.

Udi is spoken by about 8,000 people in parts of Azerbaijan, Russia, Georgia and Armenia. Most of its speakers live in the Azerbaijani village of Nij.
Early Udi has been around since at least 2,000 BC, so it's way, way, older than English. The Udi people are mentioned by Herodotus, Pliny the Elder and Ptolemy.
All that time - and only 8,000 speakers left.
Luckily I bring good news. Since 1992 Udi has been the main language in primary schools in Nij. To begin with the Cyrillic alphabet was used, but they've now switched to the Latin alphabet.
Does Udi matter?
Well, Udi uses a bit of grammar called an endoclitic, which was long claimed to be an impossibility, so that's something special.
But if you really want to know if Udi is important, just watch this link to a video of someone reading a story in Udi. (Sorry, the video itself won't load into this window.) I've no idea what the story is about, but I can tell it's a very good one.
It makes me glad that the language of Udi still exists in the world.
Word To Use Today: er...I don't think any Udi words have made their way into English. But saying Nij is fun.
Just as a matter of interest
 śel cil mo-no bu-q’un ar-mux pasč’aluğ-un
means The children of the kingdom are the good seed.

And you don't get much wiser than that.


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