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Altai, Southern

A language of Russian Federation (Asia)

ISO 639-3alt

Population  20,000 (1993 J. Janhunen). Ethnic population: 67,239 (including Northern Altai [atv], but excluding 2,399 Talangits and 2,650 Teleuts, 2002 census).
Region  Gorno-Altai Ao mountains, Mongolia and China border.
Language map  Western Asian Russia, reference number 36
Alternate names   Altai, Oirot, Oyrot
Dialects  Altai Proper (Altai-Kizhi, Altaj Kizi, Maina-Kizhi, Southern Altai), Talangit (Talangit-Tolos, Chuy). Not inherently intelligible with Northern Altai [atv], though there is a dialect subgroup between them.
Classification  Altaic, Turkic, Northern
Language use  Traditional domains. All ages. Written Altai based on Southern Altai, but is rejected by Northern Altai children. Also use Russian.
Language development  As medium in a few schools and a subject in a few schools. NT: 2003.
Writing system  Cyrillic script. Mongolian script.
Comments  Different from Oirat [xal] (Kalmyk-Oirat), a Mongolian language. Animal husbandry: cattle; agriculturalists; hunters. Traditional religion, Christian, secularist.
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