Nganasan

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A language of Russian Federation

Alternate Names
Nya, Tavgi Samoyed
Population

130 (2010 census). A group of about 100 lead a semi-nomadic life in Dudypta river region near Ust’-Avam (Salminen 2007). Ethnic population: 860 (2010 census).

Location

Siberia, Taimyr peninsula, Krasnoyarskiy Kray, Duinka region, Ust-Avam and Volochanka villages; Khatang region, Novaya village; northernmost people in Russia, near Yakut [sah], Dolgan [dlg], Nenets [yrk], and (Tundra) Enets [enh] language areas.

Language Maps
Language Status

8b (Nearly extinct).

Dialects

Avam (West Nganasan), Khatang.

Language Use

There are very few child speakers except in the semi-nomadic group, whose members use it more actively. Outside this group, only those 40 and older are fully fluent (Salminen 2007). Limited use in the home. Mainly adults. Neutral to mildly positive attitudes. Ethnic pride expressed; status enhanced by knowledge of Nganasan. Also use Russian [rus]. Middle-aged and younger are fully bilingual in Russian (Salminen 2007). Also use Dolgan [dlg]. Used as L2 by Tundra Enets [enh].

Language Development
Taught in primary schools as L2 to Avam-Nganasan children. Dictionary. Grammar.
Writing

Cyrillic script [Cyrl].

Other Comments

2 ethnic groups: Avam and Vadeyev. From 1960s–1980s resettled in villages formerly used as winter quarters or trading posts along migratory routes in 1940s. Previous intermittent contact with Tundra Enets and Nenets, and formerly officially were considered part of them. Resettlement brought close contact with Russian, Ukrainian [ukr], Belarusian [bel], and Tatar [tat]. Traditional religion.