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Ossetic language. On line

Several years ago I met a young man from Belgium, Thierry, who was very interested in the language of Ossetes. He asked me questions, and I answered them. That was the way how the following texts appeared. Later the texts were used by other interested persons: from the U.S.A., Israel, France and other countries. To understand some facts you would better know some French, though it is not necessary. I wish you pleasent reading.

All the available materials in one RAR-archive (~20 Kb)

Modern Ossetic folklore (in Ossetic)

Ossetic (Ирон æвзаг [Iron avzhag])
Spoken in: Russia, Georgia, Turkey
Region: North Ossetia, South Ossetia
Total speakers: ~500,000
Genetic classification: Indo-European languages

 Iranian languages
  North Eastern Iranian languages
    Ossetic

Official status
Official language of: North Ossetia (federal subject of Russia)
Regulated by: -
Language codes
ISO 639-1 OS
ISO 639-2 OSS
See also: Language - List of languages

Ossetic or Ossetian is an Iranian language spoken on the slopes of the Caucasus mountains on the borders of Russia and Georgia.

The area in Russia is known as North Ossetia-Alania (capital: Vladikavkaz), while the area in Georgia is called South Ossetia (capital: Tskhinvali). Ossetian speakers number about 500,000, 60 percent of whom live in Alania, and 15 percent in South Ossetia.

Ossetian, together with Tati-Persian and Talyshi is one of the main Iranian languages with a sizeable community of speakers in the Caucasus. It is descended from the language of the Alans, a group within the nomadic Sarmatians. It is believed to be the only surviving descendent of a Sarmatian language.

There are two important dialects: Iron and Digor -- the former being the more widely spoken. Written Ossetian may be immediately recognized by its use of the æ, a letter to be found in no other language using the Cyrillic alphabet. A third dialect of Ossetic, Jassic, was formerly spoken in Hungary.

The literary form of the language has 35 phonemes -- 26 consonants, 7 vowels and 2 diphthongs.

The fresher version of this article might be available at the Free Encyclopedia

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