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Description

Bats

Bats is spoken by 2.500-3.000 speakers in the village Zemo-Alvani in the Akhmeta district (Akhmetis raioni) of north-eastern Georgia.

Bats belongs to the Nakh group of the Northeast Caucasian language family. Other members of the Nakh group are Chechen and Ingush.

The self-designation of the people is batsba nah ('Bats people'). They call their language batsba motjiti ('Bats language').

Bats is an oral language.

The sound system of Bats is characterised by a rich consonant inventory and a complex vowel system. Bats has 21 vowel phonemes. There is an opposition between nasal and non-nasal (plain) vowels.

The case system of Bats is very rich because of the great number of locative cases. Bats has eight noun classes. The morphology of the verb, however, is relatively simple. The verb agrees with the noun in number, person and class.

Bats is an ergative language: Subjects of intransitive verbs and direct objects use the absolutive case, subjects of transitive verbs, however, employ the ergative case. In Bats the use of the ergative structure is expanded to several intransitive verbs that require - or at least allow - subjects in the ergative case.

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