Word stress in Lezgi

I have already said a bit about Lezgi pronunciation, but unfortunately nothing about the placement of stress in Lezgi words. Let’s fill that gap now.

General information

Lezgi stress is dynamic, that is the stressed syllable is pronounced a bit longer and louder than the other parts of the word. Stress usually falls on the second syllable of the root, but many Arabic and Turkish loanwords are stressed on the last syllable and Russian loanwords often retain their original stress. Some case-forming and word-forming suffixes are always stressed, some others are not. There are also some other exceptions. See below for details (sorry for not including Cyrillic at this stage – I will update the post later). I will mark stress by putting the stressed vowels in capitals.

Stress in verbs

Quite simple – the second syllable of the root is usually stressed: aqwAz (second a stressed) – stop! alcIf – settle!; bashlAmisha – begin!; inAndirmisha – make sb. believe!

Verbs with -ar are an exception in that the first syllable is stressed: gAdarun – throw; xkAdarun – jump.

Stress in nouns, adjectives and the rest

Also on second syllable: aq’Ul ‘inteligence’; chetIn ‘difficult’; jashAjish ‘life’; xyshrEkan ‘spider’; qalAbulux ‘panic’.

Loans ending in -i or -at are stressed on the last syllable: haqiqI;’real’; tarixI ‘historical’; zijarAt ‘pilgrimage’; hukumAt ‘government’; teshkilAt ‘organization’

The same goes for many other Oriental (Turkish, Persian, Arabic) loanwords: barabAr ‘equal’; zhehennEm ‘hell’; inqilAb ‘revolution’ alishwerIsh ‘commerce’

But some other (less than 50 words in all) Oriental words are stressed on the first syllable: Asul ‘fundamental’ shEher ‘town’ fAhum ‘reason’; bAde ‘grandmother’; c’Ajlapan ‘lightning’; dIshehli ‘woman’…

Adverbs, particles, interjections

Many adverbs,particles and interjections are stressed on the first syllable as well: Amma ‘but’; bElki ‘perhaps’; gIla ‘now’; hAtta ‘even’; xEjlin ‘a lot’; Inshallah ‘God willing’; Alla ‘wow (surprise)’; Amin ‘amen’; Aferin ‘well done’


Usually, when a suffix (eg. plural forming -ar /-er) is added to a one-syllable word, that suffix is stressed.

Suffixes -lu; -suz; -dar; -kar; and prefix bej- (with three exceptions) are always  stressed

Most suffixes creating various verbal forms are not stressed eg.: -zawa; -nawa; -iz (infinitive); -un (masdar); -da (future) -mir (prohibitve)… also not stressed are -ni ‘and’; -ni ‘? (question marker)’; -t’a ‘if’; -wal (abstract nouns); -dakaz and -diz (adverb forming suffixes); -chi and -xana