Yukaghir, Northern


A language of Russian Federation

Alternate Names
Jukagir, Northern Yukagir, Odul, Tundra, Tundre, Wadul, Yukagir

370 (2010 census). Census includes Southern Yukaghir [yux]. Ethnic population: 1,600 (2010 census). Census includes Southern Yukaghir [yux].


Sakha (Yakutiya), lower Kolyma county, Andryushkino and Kolymskoye.

Language Maps
Language Status

8b (Nearly extinct).


None known. Distinct from Southern Yukaghir (Kolyma) [yux]. May be distantly related to Altaic or Uralic.


SOV; postpositions; genitives, articles, adjectives, numerals, relatives before noun heads; question word not initial or final; 2 prefixes, 6 suffixes; word order focus preverbal, subjects and topics tend to be initial; affixes indicate case of noun phrases; person and number of subject indicated by obligatory verb phrases; split-intransitivity: intransitive subjects encoded as transitive when nonfocus; focus marked the same way for intransitive subjects and direct objects, and only those, otherwise accusative; resultative; reflexive; reciprocal; causative; comparative; CV, CVCCVV; nontonal.

Language Use

In Andryushkino there may be a few younger speakers (Salminen 2007). Home. Older adults. Neutral or mildly positive attitudes. No sense of shared ethnic identity between the two Yukaghir varieties [yux] and [ykg]. Reindeer herdsmen and others also use Even [eve]. Also use Chukchi [ckt], Russian [rus], Yakut [sah]. Used as L2 by Chukchi [ckt].

Language Development
Taught in primary schools through 4th grade in Andriushkino settlement; as an elective through 8th grade in Nelemnoye. Dictionary. Grammar.

Cyrillic script [Cyrl].

Other Comments

In 19th century their territory shrank due to merging clans, military clashes, assimilation with the Even, and later, collectivization. From 1950s–1980s the state sent children to boarding school. Ethnic autonym: Odul. Christian, traditional religion.