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Abkhaz-Adyghe etymology :

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Proto-West-Caucasian: *ʒ́a ( ~ ǯ-)
North Caucasian etymology: North Caucasian etymology
Meaning: cornel
Abkhaz: a-bgǝ́-ʒara
Abaza: zarǝ́
Adyghe: zājǝ
Kabardian: za
Comments: PAT *ʒ́a-rV (-rV is originally a collective suffix), cf. also the Abzh. variant a-bgǝ́-ʒǝr, Bzyb. a-bgǝ́-ʒ́ar (the compound means literally "fox's cornel"); PAK *za (Ad. reflects only the compound *za-jǝ́, where -jǝ is the "tree suffix", = Kab. zej 'cornel-tree').

    Reason for spirantization ʒ > z in Abaz. is not quite clear; perhaps it is due to Adygh influence, although the word as such can not be regarded as an Adygh loan (despite Lomtatidze 1944,209, Kondzharia 1969,8).

    The correspondence PAT *ʒ́ : PAT *z points to PWC *ʒ́ or *ǯ.


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