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Chechen is spoken by about 1.000.000 people worldwide. Most of the speakers live in the Chechen Republic in southern Russia. 944.600 people were reported to speak Chechen in the last census of the Soviet Union. A significant exiled Chechen community with 3.000 speakers lives in Jordan. Chechen communities are scattered throughout the whole Middle East. Many Chechens live as refugees in refugee camps inside of Russia.

Chechen and Ingush, together with Bats, constitute the Nakh branch of the Northeast Caucasian language family.

The self-designation of the speakers is Nokhchi (sg. Nokhchuo).

The main dialects of Chechen are Ploskost, Itumkala (Shatoi), Melkhin, Kistin, Cheberloi, Akkin.

Chechen became a written language with an Arabic based writing sytem at the beginning of the 20th century. In 1928 a Latin based script came into use. From 1936 until now Chechen has been written with Cyrillic letters. The Plostkost dialect is the basis of the written language.

The sound system of Chechen is characterised by a rich consonant inventory and a complex vowel system with allophonic variation (33 vowel phonemes) and diphtongs.

Chechen has a dozen or more cases and six noun classes. The case system is ergative. The noun uses 'Ablaut' (i.e. substitution of the stem vowel) to form the stem of the oblique cases.

The numbers are vigesimal.

The verbal morphology, however, is rather simple. Verbs do not agree in person. Sometimes there is gender agreement with the intransitive subject or the transitive direct object. The verb uses 'Ablaut' (i.e. substitution of the stem vowel) to express iterative aspect.

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