Altai, Southern


A language of Russian Federation

Alternate Names
Altai, Oirot, Oyrot
алтай тили‎ (Altay tili), алтайча‎ (Altajča)

57,400 (2010 census). Ethnic population: 74,200 (2010 census). Includes Northern Altai [atv].


Altai republic: Gorno-Altai Ao mountains, along China and Mongolia border.

Language Status

2 (Provincial).


Altai Proper (Altai-Kizhi, Altaj Kizi, Maina-Kizhi, Southern Altai), Talangit (Chuy, Talangit-Tolos, Telengit), Teleut. No intelligiblility of Northern Altai [atv].

Language Use

Home, and with other Altai. Used by all. Also use Russian [rus].

Language Development

Written Altai based on Southern Altai, but is rejected by Northern Altai children. Taught in primary schools as a medium in a few schools and as a subject in a few schools. Literature. Grammar. NT: 2003.


Cyrillic script [Cyrl]. Mongolian script [Mong].

Other Comments

Different from Oirat [xal] (Kalmyk-Oirat), a Mongolian language. Traditional religion.

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