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Rutul is spoken by 20.000 people. The vast majority of them live in the mountainous south of the Dagestan Republic in southern Russia. Some speakers also live in Azerbaijan.

Rutul belongs to the Lezgian subgroup of the Northeast Caucasian language family.

Main dialects are Shina, Borch, and Ixreko-Muxrek.

The self-designation of the people is mjukhadar .

Rutul is one of the 14 official state languages of the Dagestan Republic.

The case system of Rutul is very rich because of the great number of locative cases. The morphology of the verb, however, is relatively simple.

Rutul is an ergative language.

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