Northeast Caucasian languages
The Northeast Caucasian languages, also called East Caucasian, Caspian, or Dagestan, are a family of languages spoken mostly in Dagestan, Northern Azerbaijan and Georgia. This family is known for the complex phonology (up to 60 consonants or up to 30 vowels in some languages), stop consonants, noun classes, ergative sentence structure, and large number of noun cases, including several locative cases.
The Dagestan languages can be divided into three main groups, roughly West to East: Avar-Andi-Dido, Lak-Dargwa, and Lezgian. All figures below are approximate.
The Avar-Andi-Dido group
This group is spoken in the Western part of Dagestan.
None of the Andi or Dido languages are written; Avar is used as the literary language.
These languages are spoken in the Central Dagestan highlands.
Both Lak and Dargwa are written languages.
These languages are spoken in the Southeast Dagestan highlands and in Northern Azerbijan.
Among this group, only Lezgi and Tabassaran are written.
Some linguists have proposed to join this family with the Northwest Caucasian languages into a hypothetical Common North Caucasian family. This theory is not yet widely accepted; the words that are claimed to be cognates may be actually loan words.