- Language: Laz
- Alternate names: Lazuri, Laze, Chan, Chanzan, Zan, Chanuri
- Language code: lzz
- Language family: Kartvelian, Georgian-Zan, Zan
- Number of speakers: 33,000 (Language use
- Script: Latin script, Georgian script
Laz belongs to the South Caucasian or Kartvelian language family. There have been various attempts to link the Kartvelian languages to other language families, for example with Basque or with Hurrian? and Urartian? of the ancient Near East and the ancient Caucasus, respectively.
A Laz verb can have person and number agreement with subject, direct object, and indirect object, although markers for all three arguments cannot appear in one verb form.
Like in other Kartvelian languages there is a certain number of verb paradigms called 'screeves', which express tense, aspect, and mood. On the basis of morphological criteria screeves are grouped in series. The term screeve is derived from a Georgian word meaning ‘row' and used to avoid the traditional term 'tense' with its pronounced temporal implications.
According to shared morphosyntactic and semantic features verbs are generally divided into four classes:
- medial, and
- inversion verbs.
Medial verbs take the same case marking as transitive verbs. Since they denote intransitive actions they commonly do not take a direct object (at least there is no obligatory direct object) Inversion verbs, which are generally affective verbs, have a logical subject in the dative case and the direct object is marked by the nominative.
There are three tense-aspect series/stems: present, aorist and perfect.