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Georgian (ქართული ენა, romanized: kartuli ena, pronounced [kʰartʰuli ɛna]) is a Kartvelian language spoken by Georgians. It is the official language of Georgia. Georgian is written in its own writing system, the Georgian script. Georgian is the literary language for all regional subgroups of Georgians, including those who speak other Kartvelian languages: Svans, Mingrelians and the Laz.

Classification

Georgian is the most prevalent of the Kartvelian languages, a family that also includes Svan and Megrelian (chiefly spoken in Northwest Georgia) and Laz (chiefly spoken along the Black Sea coast of Turkey, from Melyat, Rize, to the Georgian frontier).

Dialects

Dialects of Georgian are from Imereti, Racha-Lechkhumi, Guria, Adjara, Imerkhevi (in Turkey), Kartli, Kakheti, Saingilo (in Azerbaijan), Tusheti, Khevsureti, Khevi, Pshavi, Fereydun Shahr (in Iran), Mtiuleti and Meskheti.

History

Part of a series on
Georgians
ქართველები
Nation
Georgia
Ancient Kartvelian people
Subgroups
Culture
Languages
Religion
Symbols
History of Georgia

The history of the Georgian language can conventionally be divided into:[3]

  • Early Old Georgian: 5th–8th centuries
  • Classical Old Georgian: 9th–11th centuries
  • Middle Georgian: 11th/12th–17th/18th centuries
  • Modern Georgian: 17th/18th century – present

Georgian shares an ancestral language with Mingrelian/Laz and Svan. Georgian as separate from the other Kartvelian languages would have emerged in the 1st millennium BC in the area known later as the Kingdom of Iberia. A multidisciplinary team (Mayor et al. 2014) suggested that some of the seemingly nonsense inscriptions on the early Classical Athenian vases associated with depictions of Scythians and Amazons might have been written in ancient Georgian, thus representing the earliest written evidence for that language.[4] The idea has been dismissed by Kassian as "improbable".[5] The earliest allusion to spoken Georgian may be a passage of the Roman grammarian Marcus Cornelius Fronto in the 2nd century: Fronto imagines the Iberians addressing the emperor Marcus Aurelius in their "incomprehensible tongue".[6]

The evolution of Georgian into a written language was a consequence of the conversion of the Georgian elite to Christianity in the mid-4th century. The new literary language was constructed on an already well-established cultural infrastructure, appropriating the functions, conventions, and status of Aramaic, the literary language of pagan Georgia, and the new national religion.[3] The first Georgian texts are inscriptions and palimpsests dating to the 5th century. Georgian has a rich literary tradition. The oldest surviving literary work in Georgian is the 5th century Martyrdom of the Holy Queen Shushanik (წამებაჲ წმიდისა შუშანიკისი დედოფლისაჲ) by Kartvelian languages, a family that also includes Svan and Megrelian (chiefly spoken in Northwest Georgia) and Laz (chiefly spoken along the Black Sea coast of Turkey, from Melyat, Rize, to the Georgian frontier).

Dialects

Dialects of Georgian are from Imereti, Racha-Lechkhumi, Guria, Adjara, Imerkhevi (in Turkey), Kartli, Kakheti, Saingilo (in Azerbaijan), Tusheti, Khevsureti, Khevi, Pshavi, Fereydun Shahr (in Iran), Mtiuleti and Meskheti.

History

Part of a series on
Georgians
ქართველები
Nation
Georgia
Ancient Kartvelian people
Subgroups
Culture
  • Music
  • Media
  • Sport
  • Calligraphy
  • Cinema
  • Dialects of Georgian are from Imereti, Racha-Lechkhumi, Guria, Adjara, Imerkhevi (in Turkey), Kartli, Kakheti, Saingilo (in Azerbaijan), Tusheti, Khevsureti, Khevi, Pshavi, Fereydun Shahr (in Iran), Mtiuleti and Meskheti.

    History