Ethnologue: Areas: Asia

Russia, Asia

Also includes Kazakh 636,000, Tajiki 38,000, Turkmen, Northern Uzbek 61,588. See Russia in Europe for population statistics and the list of languages in the European region. Data accuracy estimate: B. The number of languages listed for Russia, Asia is 42. Of those, 40 are living languages and 2 are extinct.

AINU [AIN] (1,500 in Russia; 15,000 in Japan; 16,500 in all countries in ethnic group). South Sakhalin Island and southern Kuril Islands. Language Isolate. Dialects: SAKHALIN (SAGHILIN), TARAIKA, HOKKAIDO (EZO, YEZO), KURIL (SHIKOTAN). Ainu has not been determined to be related linguistically to any other language. Sources list up to 19 dialects. Ainu in Japan speak Japanese. Different from the Ainu spoken in China. NT 1897. Bible portions 1889-1896. Extinct.

ALEUT (UNANGANY, UNANGAN, UNANGHAN) [ALW] 10 vigorous speakers 50 years old and older, of whom most speak the Attuan dialect; There are other semi-speakers, all 40 years and older (1987 M. Krauss); 300 in the ethnic group in Russia (1991 A.E. Kibrik); 90 speakers out of 2,000 in the ethnic group in USA (1990 census). Nikolskoye settlement, Bering Island, Commander (Komandor) Islands. Eskimo-Aleut, Aleut. Dialects: BERINGOV (BERING, ATKAN), MEDNOV (COPPER, COPPER ISLAND ALEUT, ATTUAN, CREOLIZED ATTUAN). From 1820 to 1840 dozens of Aleut families were brought from various islands to the Commander Islands. Until the 1960's there were two villages on Bering and Medny islands. From the 1950's to the 1980's children were sent by the state to boarding schools. Aleut is taught in school until the fourth grade. Most ethnic group members in Russia speak Russian as mother tongue. An Aleut-Russian pidgin developed on Medny Island. Christian. Bible portions 1840-1903.

ALTAI, NORTHERN (TELEUT, TELENGUT) [ATV] (71,600 including Southern Altai; 1993 UBS). Gorno-Altai AO mountains, bordering on Mongolia and China. Altaic, Turkic, Northern. Not intelligible with Southern Altai. Considered a separate language outside the region. Southern Altai is rejected by children. Traditional religion, secularist.

ALTAI, SOUTHERN (OIROT, OYROT, ALTAI) [ALT] 71,600 mother tongue speakers (86%) out of the ethnic population, including Northern Altai (1993 UBS). Gorno-Altai AO mountains, bordering on Mongolia and China. Altaic, Turkic, Northern. Dialects: ALTAI PROPER (ALTAI-KIZHI, ALTAJ KIZI, MAINA-KIZHI, SOUTHERN ALTAI), TALANGIT (TALANGIT-TOLOS, CHUY). Has literary status. Cyrillic alphabet. Northern Altai and Southern Altai are not inherently intelligible, although there is a dialect continuum between them. Written Altai is based on Southern Altai, but is rejected by Northern Altai children. Teleut is considered a separate language outside the A.O. Different from Oirat (Kalmyk-Oirat), a Mongolian language. Russian is used as the second language by all except older people as a contact language, for literature, and urban professional and cultural life. Altai is used in the familiar sphere and with speakers of other Turkic varieties. Mountain slope. Cattle raisers, agriculturalists, hunters. Traditional religion, secularist. Bible portions 1910. Work in progress.

ALUTOR (ALYUTOR, ALIUTOR, OLYUTOR) [ALR] 100 to 500 elderly speakers out of 800 in the ethnic group (1991 A.E. Kibrik). Koryak National District, northeast Kamchatka Peninsula, many in Vyvenka and Rekinniki villages, and individual families in Tilichiki, Ossora, and Palana. Some speakers are separated at considerable distances and without regular contact. Chukotko-Kamchatkan, Northern, Koryak-Alyutor. Dialects: ALUTORSKIJ, KARAGINSKIJ, PALANSKIJ. The elderly speak Alutor actively and some are monolinguals; the middle-aged know it passively; those younger than 35 know only Russian. Children were sent to boarding schools during the 1950's to the 1970's. Koryak is taught in school. Considered a dialect of Koryak until recently. Endangered. Survey needed.

BASHKIR (BASQUORT) [BXK] 948,720 in all countries speakers, 67% of 1,416,000 in the total ethnic group (1993). 1,345,000 in the ethnic group in Russia (1993 Johnstone); 21,442 in Kazakhstan; 3,250 in Kyrghyzstan; 5,412 in Tajikistan; 2,607 in Turkmenistan; 3,672 in Ukraine; 35,000 in Uzbekistan. 370,000 ethnic Bashkir speak Tatar as mother tongue. Baskir ASSR, between the Volga River and Ural Mountains, and beyond the Urals. Uda is the capital. Over 61% of the people live in cities. Altaic, Turkic, Western, Uralian. Dialects: KUVAKAN (MOUNTAIN BASHKIR), YURMATY (STEPPE BASHKIR), BURZHAN (WESTERN BASHKIR). It has literary status based on the Kuvakan dialect. Cyrillic script. Close to Tatar. The people call themselves 'Bashkort'. Oil workers, agriculturalists; traditionally cattle raisers. Sunni Muslim. Bible portions 1899-1995. Work in progress.

BURIAT, RUSSIA (BURYAT, BURIAT-MONGOLIAN, NORTHERN MONGOLIAN) [MNB] 318,000 mother tongue speakers (90%) out of an ethnic population of 422,000 (1990 National Geographic). Buryat-Mongol ASSR, east of Lake Baikal, Siberia, bordering on Mongolia. Ulan Ude is the capital. Altaic, Mongolian, Eastern, Oirat-Khalkha, Khalkha-Buriat, Buriat. Dialects: EKHIRIT, UNGA, NINZNE-UDINSK, BARGUZIN, TUNKA, OKA, ALAR, BOHAAN (BOKHAN), BULAGAT. A literary language, heavily influenced by Russian. The Buriat in newspapers is that of the area around Irkutsk, west of Lake Baikal. The Buriat east of the lake is less influenced by Russian and is more like that in Mongolia. However, Buriats on both sides of the lake are fully literate in the literary style. The dialect differs considerably from those spoken in Mongolia and China, which are influenced by other languages. Khori is the main dialect in Russia. Speakers in Russia apparently understand each other well. Cyrillic script. The younger generation in cities are fluent in Russian, which is the contact language with the outside world. Buriat is used with Buriat people. East: cattle, horse raisers; west: agriculturalists. Buddhist Lamaist (east), traditional religion (west). Bible 1846. NT 1846. Bible portions 1819-1995. Work in progress.

CHUKOT (CHUKCHA, CHUCHEE, CHUKCHEE, LUORAVETLAN, CHUKCHI) [CKT] 12,480 mother tongue speakers (78%) out of an ethnic population of 16,000 (1993 UBS); Maritime Chukchi are 25% of the speakers, Reindeer Chukchi 75%. Chukchi Peninsula, Chukot and Koryak National Okrug, northern Yakut ASSR, northeastern Siberia. Chukotko-Kamchatkan, Northern, Chukot. Dialects: UELLANSKIJ, PEVEKSKIJ, ENMYLINSKIJ, NUNLIGRANSKIJ, XATYRSKIJ, CHAUN, ENURMIN, YANRAKINOT. Has literary status. School at Anadyr. Russian, Yakut, Lamut, and Yukagir are also spoken. Chukchi in Magadan area are nomadic. Although those under 50 speak Russian with varying proficiency, nomadic groups resist Russian language and culture. Difficult access. Reindeer herdsmen. Shamanism. Work in progress.

CHULYM (CHULYM-TURKISH, CHULIM, MELETS TATAR, CHULYM TATAR) [CHU] Basin of the Chulym River north of the Altay Mts., a tributary of the Ob River. Altaic, Turkic, Western, Uralian. Dialects: LOWER CHULYM, MIDDLE CHULYM. Closely related to Shor; some consider them one language. The government considers them separate. Spoken in villages. Also spoken by the Kacik (Kazik, Kuarik). Russian is the second language. Survey needed.

DOLGAN [DLG] 5,000 (1994 UBS). Yakut ASSR. Altaic, Turkic, Northern. A separate language from Yakut. Russian is the second language. Dolgan is the contact language on the Tajmyr Peninsula, and is spoken also by Evenki, Nganasan, and long-term Russian residents. There are two Cyrillic orthographies: one based on Yakut and one on Russian. Several publications in Dolgan. Traditional religion, shamanism. Work in progress.

ENETS (YENISEI SAMOYEDIC) [ENE] 90 speakers (1989 Juha Janhunen). Taimyr National Okrug. Along the Yenisei River's lower course, upstream from Dudinka. The 'Forest' dialect is in the Potapovo settlement of the Dudinka region, 'Tundra' in the Vorontzovo settlement of the Ust-Yenisei region. Uralic, Samoyedic, Northern Samoyedic. Dialects: BAY (PE-BAE, FOREST ENETS), MADU (SOMATU, TUNDRA ENETS). Two 'dialects' barely intelligible to each other's speakers. About half of the middle-aged people speak Enets, but no children or adolescents. It is transitional between Yura and Nganasan. For a time it was officially considered part of Nenets. Taught in school. All speakers are bilingual or trilingual. In summer they wander between the left bank of the Yenisei River and the Yenisei Gulf; in winter in the grove tundras between the left tributaries of the Yenisei and Pyasino Lake on the Kheta River on the Taimyr Peninsula. Russian and Nenets people also live in some settlements. Those who assimilate with the Nenets keep the traditional way of life, those with the Russians are acculturating to modern ways. Intermarriage with other ethnic groups is uncommon. Work in progress.

EVEN (LAMUT, EWEN, EBEN, ORICH, ILQAN) [EVE] 7,170 mother tongue speakers (56%) out of an ethnic population of 12,800 (1979 census). Yakutia and the Kamchatka Peninsula, widely scattered over the entire Okhotsk Arctic coast. Altaic, Tungus, Northern, Even. Dialects: ARMAN, INDIGIRKA, KAMCHATKA, KOLYMA-OMOLON, OKHOTSK, OLA, TOMPON, UPPER KOLYMA, SAKKYRYR, LAMUNKHIN. Some literature available. Ola is the basis for the literary language, but that is not accepted by speakers of other dialects. A dialect continuum. Use of Even indicates solidarity. It was incorrectly reported to be a Yukagir dialect. Reindeer herdsmen, hunters. Christian: Russian Orthodox. Bible portions 1880. Work in progress.

EVENKI (EWENKI, TUNGUS, CHAPOGIR, AVANKI, AVANKIL, SOLON, KHAMNIGAN) [EVN] 12,000 mother tongue speakers (43%) out of an ethnic population of 28,000 in Russia (1979 census); 10,000 in China (1990); 2,000 in Mongolia; 24,000 in all countries. Evenki National Okrug, Sakhalin Island. Capital is Ture. Altaic, Tungus, Northern, Evenki. Dialects: YERBOGOCEN, NAKANNA, ILIMPEYA, TUTONCANA, PODKAMENNAYA TUNGUSKA, CEMDALSK, VANAVARA, EAYKIT, POLIGUS, UCHAMA, CIS-BAIKALIA, SYM, TOKMO-UPPER LENA, NEPA, LOWER NEPA TUNGIR, KALAR, TOKKO, ALDAN TIMPTON, TOMMOT, JELTULAK, UCHUR, AYAN-MAYA, KUR-URMI, TUGURO-CHUMIKAN, SAKHALIN, ZEYA-BUREYA. Podkamennaya Tunguska is the basis for the literary language. Manegir may be a dialect or related language. Speakers are bilingual in Russian, Yakut, or Buriat. Nearly all are literate. Significant dialect differences from China. Shamanist, lamaist, Christian. Work in progress.

GILYAK (NIVKH, NIVKHI) [NIV] 400 or slightly more mother tongue speakers (1991) out of an ethnic population of 5,000 (1993 UBS). Sakhalin Island, many in Nekrasovka and Nogliki villages, small numbers in Rybnoe, Moskalvo, Chir-Unvd, Viakhtu, and other villages, and along the Amur River in Aleevka village. Language Isolate. Dialects: AMUR, EAST SAKHALIN, NORTH SAKHALIN. The language has been written. Forced resettlement has weakened language use. Some are scattered and without regular contact with other speakers. Gilyak is taught through second grade in the settlements at Nogliki and Nekrasovka. Not taught at Amur. All members of the ethnic group are reported to be bilingual or monolingual in Russian. The Amur and East Sakhalin dialects have difficult inherent intelligibility with each other. North Sakhalin is between them linguistically. Most speakers are older than 50 years. Endangered. Fishermen, agriculturalists (recently). Survey needed.

ITELMEN (ITELYMEM, WESTERN ITELMEN, KAMCHADAL, KAMCHATKA) [ITL] 100 or fewer speakers, primarily the older generation, out of an ethnic population of 1,500 (1991 A.E. Kibrik). Southern Kamchatka Peninsula, Koryak Autonomous District, Tigil region, primarily in Kovran and Upper Khairiuzovo villages, west coast of the Kamchatka River. Chukotko-Kamchatkan, Southern. Dialects: SEDANKA, KHARYUZ, ITELMEN, XAJRJUZOVSKIJ, NAPANSKIJ, SOPOCNOVSKIJ. From the 1950's to the 1980's the state sent all children to boarding schools. Itelmen is taught in school through fourth grade. All are reported to be bilingual in Russian, and acculturated. Shamanism. Work in progress.

KAMAS (KAMASSIAN) [XAS] 1 speaker, about 92 years old (1987 T. Salminen). Sayan Mts., Abalakovo village. Uralic, Samoyedic, Southern Samoyedic. Dialects: KAMASSIAN, KOIBAL. Originally spoken in Siberia. Different from the Kamassian dialect of Khakas. Nearly extinct.

KARAGAS (TOFA, TOFALAR, SAYAN SAMOYED, KAMAS, KARAGASS) [KIM] 600 (1959 census). Siberia. Altaic, Turkic, Northern. The official name is Tofa or Tofalar. Speakers use Russian as second language. Christian: Russian Orthodox. Survey needed.

KEREK [KRK] 3 speakers from 60 to 63 years old (1991 A.P. Volodin in Kibrik); 200 to 400 in 1900. Cape Navarin, in Chukot villages. Chukotko-Kamchatkan, Northern, Koryak-Alyutor. Dialects: MAINYPILGINO (MAJNA-PIL'GINSKIJ), KHATYRKA (XATYRSKIJ). Kerek is now classified as a separate language. Previously it had been considered a dialect of Chukot. Speakers are now assimilated into Chukot. Nearly extinct.

KET (YENISEI OSTYAK, YENISEY OSTIAK) [KET] 990 mother tongue speakers (80% to 85%) out of an ethnic population of 1,200 (1991 A.E. Kibrik). Upper Yenisei Valley, Krasnoyarski drai, Turukhansk and Baikitsk regions, Sulomai, Bakhta, Verkhneimbatsk, Kellog, Kangatovo, Surgutikha, Vereshchagino, Baklanikha, Farkovo, Goroshikha, and Maiduka villages. East of the Khanti and Mansi, eastern Siberia. Yenisei Ostyak. Ket is taught in five schools. Speakers use Russian as second language. Traditional way of life has changed. No other extant related languages. The Arin, Assan, Kott peoples became extinct in the 19th century. Traditional religion. Survey needed.

KHAKAS (KHAKHAS, KHAKHASS, ABAKAN TATAR, YENISEI TATAR) [KJH] 64,800 mother tongue speakers (81%) out of an ethnic population of 80,000 in Russia (1993 UBS); about 10 fluent speakers in China (1988); 64,800 in all countries. Khakassia, north of the Altai Mts., and a few north of the Oblast. Ababan is the capital. Altaic, Turkic, Northern. Dialects: SAGAI (SAGAJ), BELTIR, KACHA (KACA), KYZYL, SHOR, KAMASSIAN. A literary language based primarily on Sagai. Cyrillic script. Animal husbandry: sheep, goats, cattle, horses; industrialists. Traditional religion, Russian Orthodox. Bible portions 1995. Work in progress.

KHANTY (KHANTI, HANTY, XANTY, OSTYAK) [KCA] 13,500 mother tongue speakers (1989 Juha Janhunen), out of an ethnic population of 22,000 (1979 census). Khanty-Mansi National Okrug. Farther east than the Mansi, along the Ob River. Uralic, Finno-Ugric, Ugric, Ob Ugric. Dialects: NORTHERN KHANTI, EASTERN KHANTI, SOUTHERN KHANTI, VACH (VASYUGAN). Intelligibility is difficult between geographically distant dialects. Three dialect groups. Vach is an 'archaic' dialect. Has literary status. The dialect used in writing is rejected by many speakers. Russian is used in school. Hunters, fishermen, cattle raisers. Traditional religion. Bible portions 1868. Work in progress.

KORYAK (NYMYLAN) [KPY] 6,210 mother tongue speakers (69%) out of an ethnic population of 9,000 (1993 UBS). Koryak National Okrug, south of the Chukot; northern half of Kamchatka Peninsula and adjacent continent. Chukotko-Kamchatkan, Northern, Koryak-Alyutor. Dialects: CAVCUVENSKIJ (CHAVCHUVEN), APOKINSKIJ (APUKIN), KAMENSKIJ (KAMEN), XATYRSKIJ, PAREN, ITKAN, PALAN, GIN. Has status as literary language. Chavchuven, Palan, and Kamen are apparently not inherently intelligible. Speakers use Russian as second language. Coast: fishermen, hunters; inland: cattle raisers. Traditional religion, Christian. Work in progress.

MANSI (VOGUL, GOGULICH, MANSIY, VOGULY) [MNS] 3,000 mother tongue speakers out of an ethnic population of 8,200 (1989 census). Western Siberia between Komi-Zyrian and west of the Urals, between Urals and Ob River. Uralic, Finno-Ugric, Ugric, Ob Ugric. Dialects: NORTHERN VOGUL (SOS'VA, SOSYVIN, UPPER LOZYVIN), SOUTHERN VOGUL (TAVDIN), WESTERN VOGUL (PELYM, VAGILY, MIDDLE LOZYVIN, LOWER LOZYVIN), EASTERN VOGUL (KONDIN). Has literary status based on the Sos'va dialect. Closest to Hungarian. Speakers use Russian as second language. Russian is used in education. Intelligibility between geographically distant dialects is difficult. Hunters, fishermen, cattle raisers. Traditional religion. Bible portions 1868-1882. Work in progress.

MATOR [MTM] Sayan Mountains region. Uralic, Samoyedic, Southern Samoyedic. Dialects: MATOR, TAIGI, KARAGAS. Became extinct at the beginning of the 19th century.

MONGOLIAN, HALH (KHALKHA, HALH, CENTRAL MONGOLIAN) [KHK] 1,774 in Russia (1959); 2,329,300 in Mongolia (1995); 2,330,000 in all countries. Buryat ASSR and Issyk-Kul Oblast of Kyrghyzstan. Altaic, Mongolian, Eastern, Oirat-Khalkha, Khalkha-Buriat, Mongolian Proper. Dialects: KHALKHA (HALH), DARIGANGA, URAT, UJUMUCHIN. Halh serves as the basis for modern literary Mongolian. Buddhist. NT 1990. Bible portions 1979-1991.

NANAI (NANAJ, GOLD, GOLDI, HEZHEN, HEZHE, HECHE) [GLD] 6,600 mother tongue speakers (55%) out of an ethnic population of 12,000 in Russia (1993 UBS); 40 elderly speakers out of an ethnic population of 4,245 in China (1990 census); 7,230 in all countries. In the extreme Soviet far east, confluence of the Amur and Ussuri rivers, scattered in Ussuri Valley and Sikhote-Alin, settled more densely in the Amur Valley below Khabarovsk. Altaic, Tungus, Southern, Southeast, Nanaj. Dialects: SUNGGARI, TORGON, KURO-URMI, USSURI, AKANI, BIRAR, KILA, SAMAGIR. Torgon is the basis of the literary language. The dialects are quite distinct. Speakers use Russian as second language. Older people use Chinese. 'Hezhe' in China maya refer to Udihe. Shamanism. Bible portions 1884. Work in progress.

NEGIDAL (NEGIDALY) [NEG] 200 speakers, mainly older, out of 500 in the ethnic group (1991 I.V. Nedyalkov in A.E. Kibrik). Lower reaches of the Amur River, in two regions of the Khabarovsk krai (Ulch (Kamenka settlement and Im), and in the Paulina Osipenko region. Altaic, Tungus, Northern, Negidal. Dialects: NIZOVSK, VERKHOVSK. From the 1950's to the 1980's the state sent all children to boarding schools. Traditional way of life. Contacts and intermarriage with the Ulch, Nanai, and Nivkh in the Amur area. Endangered. Traditional religion. Survey needed.

NENETS (NENEC, NENTSE, NENETSY, YURAK, YURAK SAMOYED) [YRK] 27,000 mother tongue speakers out of an ethnic population of 34,000 (1989). Northwest Siberia, tundra area from the mouth of the northern Dvina River in northeastern Europe to the delta of the Yenisei in Asia, and a scattering on the Kola Peninsula; Nenets, Yamalo-Nenets, and Taimyr national okrugs. Uralic, Samoyedic, Northern Samoyedic. Dialects: FOREST YURAK, TUNDRA YURAK. 80% use Nenets in daily life. It has the status of literary language. Speakers use Russian as second language. Speakers are mainly nomadic. Snow and freezing temperatures 260 days of the year. Reindeer herdsmen. Christian, traditional religion. Work in progress.

NGANASAN (TAVGI SAMOYED) [NIO] 1,000 mother tongue speakers out of an ethnic population of 1,300 (1989 census). Taimyr National Okrug, Taimyr Peninsula, Siberia, Ust-Avam village in the Dudinka region; Volochanka and Novaya villages in the Khatang region. They are the northernmost people in Russia, near the Yakut, Dolgan, and Evenki peoples. Uralic, Samoyedic, Northern Samoyedic. Dialects: AVAM, KHATANG. Two ethnic groups: Avam and Vadeyev. Ethnic pride is expressed. Status is enhanced by knowledge of the Nganasan language. The older and middle and a third of the younder generations have full command of the language. It is even more so in Volochanka. Dolgan is a separate language, but is also used by Nganasan speakers. They were resettled in several villages they had formerly used as winter quarters or trading posts along their migratory routes in the 1940's. Before that they had intermittent contact with the Tundra Enets and the Nenets, and had passive bilingualism or trilingualism with those languages. They were formerly officially considered to be part of Nenets. Resettlement has brought close contact with Russian, Ukrainian, Belorussian, and Tatar peoples, and bilingualism in Russian. Nganasan is taught in school to ethnic Nganasan who do not use it as mother tongue. Traditional religion, shamanism.

OROCH (OROCHI) [OAC] 490 mother tongue speakers (41%) out of an ethnic population of 1,200 (1979 census). Eastern Siberia in the Khabarovski krai along the rivers that empty into the Tatar Channel, on Amur River not far from the city of Komsomolsk-na-Amure. Many live in the Vanino region in Datta and Uska-Orochskaya settlements. Some live among the Nanai. Altaic, Tungus, Southern, Southeast, Udihe. Dialects: KJAKELA (KJAKAR, KEKAR), NAMUNKA, ORICHEN, TEZ. The majority of the children speak only Russian. The larger of the two groups lives in the region of Sovetskaja Gavan' on the rivers flowing into the Tatar Strait separating Sakhalin Island from the mainland. Not taught in school. The older and middle-aged people speak the language, but not those up to 20 years old. Russians, Ukrainians, and Evenki live among them. The same writing system is used as for the Udihe. For a time it was officially considered part of Udihe. Distinct from Orok. Traditional religion, Buddhism, Christian. Survey needed.

OROK (OROC, ULTA, UJLTA) [OAA] (317 in the ethnic group; 1979 official report). Sakhalin Island, Poronajsk District, Poronajsk town, Gastello and Vakhrushev settlements; Nogliki District, Val village, Nogliki settlement. Also on Hokkaido Island, Japan. Altaic, Tungus, Southern, Southeast, Nanaj. Dialects: PORONAISK (SOUTHERN OROK), VAL-NOGLIKI (NOGLIKI-VAL, NORTHERN OROK). Significant differences between dialects. The older generation has high proficiency in Orok, the middle generation partial proficiency, and children and adolescents have no ability in Orok. Speakers have been scattered and have relinquished their traditional way of life. Prevalent intermarriage with Russians, Nivkh, Nanai, Evenksi, Negidal, and Korean people. For a time Orok was officially considered part of Nanai. Distinct from Oroch. Endangered. Survey needed.

SELKUP (OSTYAK SAMOYED) [SAK] 1,700 mother tongue speakers (1989) out of an ethnic population of 4,500 (1991 A.E. Kibrik). Tom Oblast, Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District, Krasnoyarski krai and Tomskaya oblast. The northern dialect is spoken in Krasnoselkup region, Krasnoselkup, Sidorovsk, Tolka, Ratta, and Kikiyakki villages; part of the Purovsk region, Tolka Purovskaya village; adjacent regions of the Krasnoyarski krai; Kureika village, Kellog, and Turukhan River basin and Baikha. The southern dialect (Tym) is spoken in a range of villages in the northern part of the Tomskaya oblast. Uralic, Samoyedic, Southern Samoyedic. Dialects: TAZ (TAZOV-BAISHYAN), TYM (KETY), NARYM, SREDNYAYA OB-KET. A dialect continuum with difficult or impossible intelligibility between the extremes. The main dialects are the northern and southern ones. Speakers in the south are separated from others. The northern dialect is taught in the schools through fourth grade, and is spoken by 90% of the Selkup in that region. Young adults and those younger have not all mastered it entirely. The southern dialect is spoken by 30% of the Selkup in the south, with only 10% speaking it fluently. The writing system has been updated. Selkup was formerly used as lingua franca by the Ket, Evenki, Nenets, and Khanty. Selkup use Russian as second language. Christian, shamanism.

SHOR (SHORTSY, ABA, KONDOMA TATAR, MRAS TATAR, KUZNETS TATAR, TOM-KUZNETS TATAR) [CJS] 9,760 mother tongue speakers (61%) out of an ethnic population of 16,000 (1979 census). Altai Krai, Khakass AO and Gorno-Altai AO, on the River Tomy. Altaic, Turkic, Northern. Dialects: MRASSA, KONDOMA. Mras is the basis for the literary language. Some sources combine Shor and Chulym. Shor is distinct from the Shor dialect of Khakas. A language association has been founded. A chair of Shor was formed in the Pedagogical Institute in Novokuzneck. Christian: Russian Orthodox. Work in progress.

TUVIN (TUVA, TUVAN, TUVIA, TYVA, TOFA, TOKHA, SOYOT, SOYON, SOYOD, TANNU-TUVA, TUBA, TUVINIAN, URIANKHAI, URIANKHAI-MONCHAK, URYANKHAI, DIBA, KÖK MUNGAK) [TUN] 206,000 in Russia (1993 Johnstone), 99% speak it as mother tongue; 27,000 in Mongolia (1993 Johnstone); 400 in China (1990); 233,400 in all countries. Tuvin AO. Capital is Kyzl. Altaic, Turkic, Northern. Dialects: CENTRAL TUVIN, WESTERN TUVIN, NORTHEASTERN TUVIN (TODZHIN), SOUTHEASTERN TUVIN, TUBA-KIZHI. Has literary status. Cyrillic script. Sharp dialect differences. Speakers use Russian as second language, and Mongolian near the border. Until 1944 Tuva was a formally independent state. Hunters, cattle and horse raisers. Lamaist Buddhist. Bible portions 1995. Work in progress.

UDIHE (UDEKHE, UDEGEIS) [UDE] 100 speakers, 50 years old and older, out of 1,600 in the ethnic group (1991 A.E. Kibrik). Siberian far east; Khabarovski krai, Gvasiugi settlement, Lazo region; Arsenievo settlement, Nanai region; Primorski krai, Krasny Yar settlement in the Pozharsk region, Agzu settlement in the Terneisk region. Altaic, Tungus, Southern, Southeast, Udihe. Dialects: KHUNGARI, KHOR, ANJUSKI, SAMARGIN, BIKIN, IMAN, SIKHOTA ALIN. They were resettled into artificial villages, in a Russian-speaking region, with some Ukrainian and Nanai people. Children were sent to boarding schools. They use the same writing system as Orok. Khor is the basis for the literary language. Dialect differences are not great. 'Hezhe' in China may refer to this. Shamanism. Nearly extinct.

ULCH (ULCHI, ULCHA, ULYCH, OLCH, OLCHA, OLCHIS, HOCHE, HOL-CHIH) [ULC] (2,500 in the ethnic group; 1979 census). Ulch region of the Khabarosvki krai along the Amur River and its tributaries, along the coast of the Tatar Channel. Bogorodskove is the capital. Also at Bulava, Dudi, Kalinovka, Mariinskoe, Nizhnaya Gavan, Savinskoe, Mongol, Solontsy, Kolchom, Sofiyskoe, Tur, and Ukhta. Altaic, Tungus, Southern, Southeast, Nanaj. The older generation knows the language, middle-aged less well, adolescents and young adults passively, children under 20 do not speak it. Taught in first grade. Close contact with Russian, Ukrainian, Nanai, Nivkh (Gilyak), Negidal, and others. The lingua franca is Russian. Survey needed.

YAKUT (SAKHA, YAKUT-SAKHA) [UKT] 363,000 mother tongue speakers (95%) out of an ethnic population of 382,000 (1993 UBS)). Yakutia, near the Arctic Ocean, nearly the entire length of the basin of the middle Lena River and the Aldan and Kolyma rivers; 2,000 miles long. Jakutsk (Yakutsk) is the capital. Altaic, Turkic, Northern. Has status as a literary language. Cyrillic script. Yakut is preferred by most speakers for most purposes. It is used as second language by some Evenki, Even, and Yukaghir people. A town koine has developed in Jakutsk, which older speakers reject. Speakers are bilingual in Russian. Russian is used in higher education. A higher percentage of teachers and officials than nearby language groups. Grammar. Nomadic, fishermen, hunters, agriculturalists. Traditional religion, secular, Christian: Russian Orthodox. Bible portions 1858-1995. Work in progress.

YUGH [YUU] 2 or 3 semi-speakers out of an ethnic group of 10 to 15 (1991 G.K. Verner in Kibrik). Turukhan region of the Krasnoyarsk krai at the Vorogovo settlement. Previously they lived along the Yenisei River from Yeniseisk to the mouth of the Dupches. Yenisei Ostyak. No published descriptions of the language (1991). Nearly extinct.

YUKAGHIR, NORTHERN (YUKAGIR, JUKAGIR, ODUL, TUNDRA, TUNDRE, NORTHERN YUKAGIR) [YKG] 150 Tundra over 50 years old, out of 1,100 in the ethnic group (1989 census). Yakutia and the Kamchatka Peninsula. Yukaghir. Not inherently intelligible with Southern Yukaghir (Kolyma), and no sense of ethnic identity between speakers of the two. Even is the literary language used. It may be distantly related to Altaic or Uralic. In the 19th centure their territory shrank because of merging clans, military clashes, assimilation with the Even, and later, collectivization. From the 1950's to the 1980's the state sent all children to boarding school. Speakers below 50 years use Russian as second language. All can speak Yakut. Reindeer herdsmen and some other families can speak Even. Yukaghir is taught through fourth grade in the Adnriushkino settlement and as an elective through eighth grade in Nelemnoye. 'Odul' is their name for themselves. Endangered. Christian, traditional religion. Work in progress.

YUKAGHIR, SOUTHERN (YUKAGIR, JUKAGIR, ODUL, KOLYMA, KOLYM, SOUTHERN YUKAGIR) [YUX] 50 speakers over 35 to 40 years old (1989 census). Yakutia and the Kamchatka Peninsula. Yukaghir. Not inherently intelligible with Northern Yukaghir. All can speak Russian as second language, especially those below 40. Those above 35 can speak Yakut, and those over 60 can speak Even. Russian is used as a literary language. Christian, traditional religion. Survey needed.

YUPIK, CENTRAL SIBERIAN (YOIT, YUK, YUIT, ASIATIC ESKIMO, SIBERIAN YUPIK) [ESS] 300 speakers out of 1,200 to 1,500 population in Russia (1991 A.E. Kibrik); including 200 Chaplino (1991 Kibrik); 1,808 speakers (1990 census), out of 1,000 population in Alaska; 1,100 in all countries. Chukchi National Okrug, coast of the Bering Sea, Wrangel Island. The Chaplino live in Providenie region in Novo-Chaplino and Providenie villages. Eskimo-Aleut, Eskimo, Yupik, Siberian. Dialects: AIWANAT, NOOHALIT (PEEKIT), WOOTEELIT, CHAPLINO. Has literary status. School at Anadyr. Resettlement has weakened language use, but recent contacts with Alaska have increased prestige. Chaplino is taught in schools through fourth grade. Older people have active command of the language; those 35 to 50 years of age have a passive knowledge, and children only know what they have learned in school. Chaplino and Naukan speakers have 60% to 70% inherent intelligibility with each other. Sirenik is a separate language. Shamanism. Bible portions 1974-1980. Work in progress.

YUPIK, NAUKAN (NAUKAN, NAUKANSKI) [YNK] 75 (1990 L.D. Kaplan) to 100 speakers (1991 A.E. Kibrik) out of an ethnic population of 350. Chukota region, Laurence, Lorino, and Whalen villages, scattered. Formerly spoken in Naukan village and the region surrounding East Cape, Chukot Peninsula, but they have been relocated. Eskimo-Aleut, Eskimo, Yupik, Siberian. 60% to 70% intelligibility with Chaplino. Survey needed.

YUPIK, SIRENIK (SIRENIK, SIRENIKSKI, OLD SIRENIK, VUTEEN) [YSR] 2 elderly fluent speakers (1991 A.E. Kibrik). Chukot Peninsula, Sireniki village. Eskimo-Aleut, Eskimo, Yupik, Siberian. Other Eskimo residents of Sirenik village now speak Central Siberian Yupik. Nearly extinct.


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Part of the Ethnologue, 13th Edition, Barbara F. Grimes, Editor.
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