Chuvash manual (Phonology, Grammar).
Chuvash language [CHOO-vahsh] (Чăваш чěлхи, also known as Chuwash, Chovash, Chavash or Çuaş) is a Turkic language spoken west of the Urals in central Russia. It is the most divergent of all the Turkic languages. Chuvash is the native language of the Chuvash people and an official language of Chuvashia. It is spoken by about two million people.
The Chuvash alphabet uses the Cyrillic script, comprising all letters used in Russian plus four extra letters. Modern Chuvash Alphabet
А Ă Б В Г Д Е Ё Ě Ж З И Й К Л М Н О П Р С Ç Т У Ÿ Ф Х Ц Ч Ш Щ Ъ Ы Ь Э Ю Я
а ă б в г д е ё ě ж з и й к л м н о п р с ç т у ÿ ф х ц ч ш щ ъ ы ь э ю я
The most ancient writing system was Runic, which disappeared after the Volga Bulgars converted to Islam. Later, Arabic was used. After the Mongol invasion, writing disappeared. Occasionally, runic script was used. The modern alphabet was created in 1873 by I. Ya. Yakovlev. In 1938, the alphabet underwent a significant modification to its current form.
There‘s also Latin variants of Chuvash Alphabet, which are also used nowadays, but no official Latin script exists as it is not allowed in Russia for minor languages to have Latin alphabets officially. However, for the sake of making it convenient for English-speakers and those who don't know Cyrilllic letters we'll use CVLat
, that is Chuvashized Latin Script on this site and Chăvashtet:
A Ă C E Ě H I J K L M N P R Ş S Š T U Ü V Y + F Ĭ O Ö X Z
We recommend CVLat as it has less symbols than the Russian Alphabet and flatters phonetic construction of Chuvash and is more understandable for both Chuvash and English speakers.
More about Chuvash Latin Script Dialects of Chuvash
There are two dialects of Chuvash: Virjal or Upper (pronouncing both u
, totă "full", tută "flavor") and Anatri or Lower (pronouncing only u
, tută "full, flavor"). The literary language has features of both dialects. The Chuvash who live outside Chuvash Republic have their own dialects. They resemble both Virjal and the Anatri dialects. Foreign Influences
Though being a Turkic Language Chuvash greatly influenced by Finnic languages and Russian. In modern lexicon of Chuvash there are Russian, Tatar, Mari, Mongolic, besides Arab, Mongol and Persian words that were borrowed before Tatar and Russian invasions.
As the Chuvash Language is the only preserved language of Bulgaric group we can say that it lent Chuvash words in Russian, Mari, Tatar, etc. too. For example, the word книга
/`kniga/ in Russian is borrowed from Bulgaric languages by Kievan Rus" People as Kiev once belonged to Khazaria, a bulgaric empire. In Chuvash language the word is kěnеkе
. Chuvash Stress
More about On Chuvash Stress
(an article of Michael Dobrovolsky, The University of Calgary)