Saami, North

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A language of Norway

Alternate Names
North Sámi, Northern Saami, Saami, Same, Samic, “Lapp” (pej.), “Northern Lappish” (pej.), “Norwegian Lapp” (pej.)
Autonym
Sámegiella
Population

L1 users: 20,000 (Laakso et al 2013). Ethnic population: 30,000 (1995 M. Krauss). Total users in all countries: 25,700.

Location

Finnmark, Troms counties; Nordland county: Ofoten.

Language Status

2 (Provincial). Statutory provincial language in Sami Administrative District (1987, Sami Act, No. 12, Article 3).

Dialects

Ruija, Torne, Sea Lappish. Two-thirds of all Saami speak Ruija dialect.

Typology

SVO; prepositions and postpositions; noun head final; dual number; case-marking (8 cases); verb affixes mark person, number; passives; comparatives; 30 consonants, 7 vowels, 4 diphthongs; non-tonal.

Language Use

In central Finnmark Province, where North Saami has an official status, many children learn the language and are likely to continue to use it in adulthood (Salminen 2007). All ages. Also use Norwegian [nor].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 30%–60%. Literacy rate in L2: 75%–100%. Taught in primary schools. Bible: 1895.
Writing

Cyrillic script [Cyrl]. Latin script [Latn], primary usage.

Other Comments

Formerly called “Finns” which they consider derogatory.

Also spoken in:

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