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Tabassaran is spoken by less than 100.000 people. The overwhelming majority of the speakers reside in the mountainous south of the Dagestan Republic in southern Russia. The rest of them live in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

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

There is a dialect split between Southern Tabassaran and Northern Tabassaran.

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

It became a written language with an Arabic based writing system at the beginning of the 20th century. After the October revolution it first used a Latin alphabet which was later replaced by Cyrillic letters. The literary language is for the most part based on the southern dialect.

The case system of Tabassaran is very rich because of the great number of locative cases. The noun has about 48 cases. North Tabassaran has two noun classes, Southern Tabassaran has no noun classes at all. The morphology of the verb, however, is relatively simple. The verb agrees with the noun in number, person and class.

Tabassaran is an ergative language.

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