The Standard Abkhazian

It is commonly acknowledged that standard abkhazian language was created by Dyrmit Urys-ipa Gulia, the first abkhazian writer who published the first original book in abkhazian language in 1911. Gulia was born in 1874 in abkhazian village of Warcha. The village was situated nearly in the center of Abkhazia. In 1877-1878 as a result of turkish-russian war the majority of abkhazians were forced to live their motherland for Turkey. The same happened to the family of Gulia. But several years later Gulia's family returned to Abkhazia, however they were not allowed to live in Warcha, so they stayed in the village of Adzyubzha that is near Warcha and part of Abzhua (Eastern) region of Abkhazia. As a result Dyrmit Gulia's writings had a strong influence of central and eastern dialects(read info on abkhazian dialects here). So originally the nature of the standard abkhazian was mixed. However the great majority of abkhazian writers till our days originate from Abzhua region. Nevertheless there always was a substantial influence of the Bzyp dialect (Western region) on the literal abkhazian, especially, in vocabullary.

The abkhazian alphabet has been changed several times. Initially it was based on russian alphabet, then the latin alphabet was adopted. In the tragical period of repressions 1937-1953 the georgian alphabet was used for abkhazian. In 1953 the modernized version of the first alphabet was returned. Slight changes were imposed within the last decade.

The main Abkhazian writers of the first generation (the begining of the 20-th century) are Dyrmit (Dmitri) Urys-ipa (Esyf-ipa) Gulia, Iwa Abas-ipa Koghonia, Samson Kwagw-ipa Chanba, Mikha Ahmat-ipa Lakrba, Dzadz Khwanakya-ipa Darsalia, Mushni Lawrent-ipa Ahashba, Ivan Binaququ-ipa Papaskyyr, Lewarsa Bida-ipa Kutsnia, Leonti Bakhwa-ipa Labakhuwa, Stepan Mikha-ipa Kuchberia, Kyaazym Agumaa.One of the outstanding Abkhazian writers is Bagrat Wasil-ipa Shinkwba who wrote the greatest Abkhazian novel "The last of the departed" ("Ацынҵәарах") which is dedicated to westcaucasian muhajirs and first of all to the extinct Ubykh people. The new generation of Abkhazian writers is represented by Alyksa Gogua, Shyalodia Ajinjal, Mushni Laswria, Vitali Amarshan and others.
The Abkhazian literature has a strong influence of soviet culture and russian literature. In Soviet era a great amount of Abkhazian books was published.
Nowadays Abkhazian literature and Abkhazian writers are going through a hard period of struglle for existance. And even now many books are being published in Abkhazian language in spite of the lack of readers, especially young.

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