I was watching this video of a woman speaking Circassian on Youtube :


i'm not a linguist but to me, it sounded like Sumerian or a very old semitic language and also there is a comment in that video saying that it is indeed "one of the oldest languages".

In the description of the video, it said that it is a language isolate.

I read the articles about Circassian, Kabardian and Adyghe but there is nothing about the origins and the history of those languages.

Please, have you some information about this language : is it Kabardian or Adyghe?

What is its origin, is my intuition true? is it related to old semitic?


I'm curious how you know what Sumerian sounded like, or what the extinct Semitic languages sound like. It does not sound like Modern Hebrew, nor in my opinion like Arabic or Tigre (Ethiopian Semitic). I do see the vague similarity to unrelated Chechen. The feature that you are probably noticing that makes you think "Semitic" is the back of the mouth articulations: pharyngeals and uvulars. You will also notice occurrence of [ɬ], which would exclude most of Semitic besides Modern South Arabian, and also excludes Chechen. The lack of [ʕ], at least within that chunk of speech, suggests that whatever that language is does not have [ʕ].

Everybody claims to have "one of the oldest languages". It is plausible that people have been living in that place speaking that language or its immediate predecessors for a long time (5 millennia): compare that to Norwegian, which has been spoken in Norway for 2-3 thousand years, or English, spoken in England for less than 2,000 years. The problem is that there are numerous old archaeological sites in the Caucasus, and they are not labeled as to the language of the local inhabitants, so we have no idea how long that collection of languages has been spoken in that particular area.

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  • I've seen some youtube videos of some people speaking what It maybe a reconstructed Sumerian and old semitic languages so I got the idea that anytime I hear a [ħ] then it is a semitic language, my assumption was totally wrong, Thank you for the answer – Diptox Mar 5 '18 at 18:20

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