Khanty

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A language of Russian Federation

Alternate Names
Hanty, Khant, Khanti, Ostyak, Xanty
Population

9,580 (2010 census). Mostly speakers of Northern Khanty, 2,000 speakers of Eastern Khanty and probably no speakers left in Southern Khanty (Salminen 2007). Ethnic population: 30,900 (2010 census).

Location

Khanty-Mansiyskiy Avtonomnyy Okrug, Yamalo-Nenetskiy Avtonomnyy Okrug, and Tomskaya Oblast’; east past the Mansi [mns] language area, along Ob river.

Language Status

6b (Threatened).

Dialects

Eastern Khanti, Northern Khanti, Southern Khanti, Vach (Vasyugan). Intelligibility difficult between geographically distant dialects. 3 dialect groups; ‘Vach’, archaic. Dialect used in writing rejected by many speakers.

Language Use

20%–60% of the ethnic group speaks Khanty. In Eastern Khanty, some child speakers but many shift to Russian [rus] at school age. Northern Khanty is still used in the home but boarding school system often forces a shift to Russian among younger generations. In Southern Khanty, transmission of the language to children stopped long ago. Assimilated to Siberian Tatar [tat] and Russian. Few domains. Used by few children. Positive attitudes. Also use Russian [rus].

Language Development
Russian used in schools. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible portions: 1868–2011.
Writing

Cyrillic script [Cyrl].

Other Comments

Traditional religion.