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Besleney villages of Circassia around 1830-1850; "1" denotes nine villages resettled from the mountains by General Gregory von Saß [es; ru; hu]; "2" denotes villages whose names are unknown; The area of village concentration in the upper reaches of the Laba River tributaries is now part of Krasnodar Krai between Adygea to the north and Karachay-Cherkessia to the south

The Besleney (Circassian: Bes?ynyj IPA: [basn?j]; Russian: Besleneevcy) (also known as Beslenei or Baslaney) are one of the twelve major Circassian tribes, representing one of the twelve stars on the green-and-gold Circassian flag.[1] By character, culture and language, the Besleney are closest to Kabardians.[2] The noble families of the Besleney were Kanoko and Shaloho, ancestors of Kabardian Prince Beslan, (the son of legendary Prince Inal),[] who established his own tribe of the same name.


The majority of the Besleney live in the valley of Bolshaya and Malaya Laba Rivers and on the bank of Urup in the Russian Republics of Karachay-Cherkessia, Krasnodar Krai and Adygea.[3] They also extend to the valleys of Chetem, Fars, Psefir, Kuban (Western Circassia).


The Besleney people speak the Besleney sub-dialect (Adyghe: ) of the Kabardian Adyghe dialect (East Circassian). However, because the Besleney tribe lived at the center of Circassia, the Besleney dialect also shares a large number of features with dialects of the West Adyghe dialect. Like the Adyghe Shapsug sub-dialect, there exist a palatalized voiced velar plosive [], a palatalized voiceless velar plosive [k?] and a palatalized velar ejective [k?'], which were merged to [d], [t] and [t'] in other Circassian dialects.[4] The Besleney dialect also has an alveolar lateral ejective affricate [t'], which corresponds to an alveolar lateral ejective fricative [?'] in most other varieties of Circassian.[5] The Besleney dialect has a voiceless glottal fricative [h] that corresponds to in other Circassian dialects.[6]

Meaning Besleney sub-dialect Standard Kabardian Standard Adyghe Shapsug sub-dialect
Cyrillic IPA Cyrillic IPA Cyrillic IPA Cyrillic IPA
horse t
sister ? tp p p p
wedding ? n?sa:ta n?sa:?a n?sa:?a n?sa:?a
day ma:x?a ma:x?a ? ma:fa ? ma:fa
black f'?t?s'a f'?t?s'a '?t?s'a '?s'a
shirt / dress a:na da:na da:na a:na
tree ? d? t t
four pt'?: ? p?'?: ? p?'?: ? p?'?:
man ? t'?: ?'?: ?'?: ?'?:
chicken ? gad ? dad ? tat? ? k?at
tail / seed ? k?'a t'a t'a ? k?'a
young man, boy t'a:la ?'a:?a t'a:?a t'a:la
new t'a ?'a t'a t'a

See also


  1. ^ "Circassians". 2010. Archived from the original on August 20, 2014. Retrieved 2016. The 12 Circassian tribes: Abadzeh Besleney Bzhedug Yegeruqay Zhaney Kabarday Mamheg Natuhay Temirgoy Ubyh Shapsug Hatukay. The twelve stars on the Adyghe Flag also refers to the twelve tribes.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  2. ^ John Colarusso. A Grammar of the Kabardian Language University of Calgary Press, 1992. p. 12. ISBN 9780919813991 "This highly divergent dialect..."
  3. ^ James Stuart Olson, et al., eds. "Adyghe".An Ethnohistorical Dictionary of the Russian and Soviet Empires. Greenwood Publishing, 1994. p. 15. ISBN 9780313274978 "The Beslenei (Beslenej) are located between the upper Urup and Khozdya rivers, and along the Middle Laba River, in the western reaches of the North Caucasus."
  4. ^ ? ? ? ? (in Russian)
  5. ^ UCLA Phonetics Lab Archive - Recording Details for Kabardian Baslanei dialect. In the first word list called kbd_word-list_1970_01.html the words "man" and "quarter" are pronounced as /t'?/ and /pt'a:na/ compare to Standard Kabardian /?'?/ and /p?'a:na/
  6. ^ ? ? ? ? (in Russian)

External links

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