UNESCO RED BOOK ON ENDANGERED LANGUAGES: NORTHEAST ASIA

by Juha Janhunen (nearly all entries) and Tapani Salminen (two entries and general editing) <tasalmin@cc.helsinki.fi>

© Juha Janhunen and Tapani Salminen <tasalmin@cc.helsinki.fi> 1993--1999. All rights reserved. The report may be used for private study purposes, and for that use stored in electronic form. No part of the report may be printed, reproduced, or transmitted in any form without the prior consent of the authors.

Please read the background information and use the indexes for easier access.

Northern Mansi

  1. Variant(s): Northern Man'si, (old generic name also covering Eastern, Southern, and Western Mansi:) Vogul; also known by the names of the main dialectal varieties, including: Sygva Mansi, Sosva Mansi, Ob Mansi, and Upper Loz'va Mansi

  2. Geographical location: on the western tributaries to the lower Ob, mainly along the Sosva, and in the central and northern Ural mountains, within the forest zone; administratively mainly within the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous District of Tyumen' Oblast, Russia

  3. Relationships: /Mansi/Finno-Ugrian (Uralic)

  4. Present state of the language: SERIOUSLY ENDANGERED

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: Mansi is, with some justification, often considered to be a single language with four main groups of dialects; the linguistic differences within Mansi are, indeed, smaller than those within the otherwise comparable cases of Khanty, Selkup, and Ket (qq.v.); together with Khanty, Mansi is traditionally classified as forming the Ob-Ugrian branch of Ugrian, but the genetic basis of this classification remains questionable

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 28 Dec. 1993

Eastern Mansi

  1. Variant(s): Eastern Man'si, (old generic name also covering Northern, Southern, and Western Mansi:) Vogul; also known by the names of the main dialectal varieties, including: Konda Mansi and Yukonda Mansi

  2. Geographical location: in the basin of the river Konda, a western tributary to the lower Irtysh

  3. Relationships: /Mansi/Finno-Ugrian (Uralic)

  4. Present state of the language: NEARLY EXTINCT

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks:

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 28 Dec. 1993

Western Mansi

  1. Variant(s): Western Man'si, (old generic name also covering Eastern, Northern, and Southern Mansi:) Vogul; also known by the names of the main dialectal varieties, including: Pelym Mansi, Middle and Lower Loz'va Mansi, and Vagil'sk Mansi

  2. Geographical location: in the region of the source rivers of the Tavda, a tributary to the lower Tobol'-Irtysh

  3. Relationships: /Mansi/Finno-Ugrian (Uralic)

  4. Present state of the language: POSSIBLY EXTINCT [since the middle of the 20th century]

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks:

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 28 Dec. 1993

Southern Mansi

  1. Variant(s): Southern Man'si, (old generic name also covering Eastern, Northern, and Western Mansi:) Vogul; also known by hydrographical association as: Tavda Mansi

  2. Geographical location: in the region of the lower Tavda, a tributary to the lower Tobol'-Irtysh

  3. Relationships: /Mansi/Finno-Ugrian (Uralic)

  4. Present state of the language: EXTINCT since the middle of the 20th century

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks:

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 28 Dec. 1993

Northern Khanty

  1. Variant(s): Northern Khant or Khante, (old generic name also covering Eastern and Southern Khanty:) Ostyak, Ostiak, Ugrian Ostyak, not to be confused with Yenisei Ostyak or Ket (q.v.), nor with Ostyak Samoyed or Selkup (q.v.); also known by the names of the main dialectal varieties, including: Ob Khanty, Kazym Khanty, Berezovo Khanty, Sherkaly Khanty, and Nizyam Khanty

  2. Geographical location: in the lower Ob basin and on its tributaries; administratively mainly within the Khanty-Mansi Autonomous District of Tyumen' Oblast, Russia

  3. Relationships: /Khanty/Finno-Ugrian (Uralic)

  4. Present state of the language: ENDANGERED

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: though often considered to be a single language, Khanty is actually a group of three mutually unintelligible conglomerations of dialects that may well be counted as separate languages; together with Mansi (q.v.), Khanty is traditionally classified as forming the Ob-Ugrian branch of Ugrian, but this classification is to be understood in an areal and historical, rather than in a genetic framework; a particularly close areal and typological affinity exists between Northern Khanty and Northern Mansi

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 28 Dec. 1993

Southern Khanty

  1. Variant(s): Southern Khant or Khante, (old generic name also covering Eastern and Northern Khanty:) Ostyak, Ostiak, Ugrian Ostyak; also known by the names of the main dialectal varieties, including: Dem'yanka Khanty, Konda Khanty, and Irtysh Khanty

  2. Geographical location: in the lower Irtysh basin and on its tributaries

  3. Relationships: /Khanty/Finno-Ugrian (Uralic)

  4. Present state of the language: POSSIBLY EXTINCT

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks:

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 28 Dec. 1993

Eastern Khanty

  1. Variant(s): Eastern Khant or Khante, (old generic name also covering Northern and Southern Khanty:) Ostyak, Ostiak, Ugrian Ostyak; also known by the names of the main dialectal varieties, including: Vakh-Vasyugan Khanty, Salym Khanty, and Surgut Khanty

  2. Geographical location: along the western and eastern tributaries to the middle Ob, from the Vasyugan to the Pim

  3. Relationships: /Khanty/Finno-Ugrian (Uralic)

  4. Present state of the language: SERIOUSLY ENDANGERED

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks:

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 28 Dec. 1993

Nganasan

  1. Variant(s): Tavgi, Tavgi Samoyed, Avam Samoyed

  2. Geographical location: the northernmost language of the Eurasian continent; on central Taimyr, in the regions of the Pyasina and Taimyra river systems, within the Taimyr (Dolgano-Nenets) Autonomous District of Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia; in two main groups (western and eastern), corresponding to a slight dialectal difference

  3. Relationships: /Samoyed/Finno-Ugrian (Uralic)

  4. Present state of the language: SERIOUSLY ENDANGERED

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: together with Nenets and Enets (qq.v.) often considered to constitute a special subbranch termed Northern Samoyed

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 26 Dec. 1993

Tundra Enets

  1. Variant(s): Somatu, Madu, (historical names:) Turukhan Samoyed, Khantai or Chantai Samoyed, (old generic name also covering Forest Enets:) Yenisei Samoyed

  2. Geographical location: in the tundra zone on the lower Yenisei, within the Ust'-Yenisei raion of the Taimyr (Dolgano-Nenets) Autonomous District of Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia; with a historical movement towards the north comparable to that of Forest Enets (q.v.)

  3. Relationships: /Enets/Samoyed/Finno-Ugrian (Uralic)

  4. Present state of the language: NEARLY EXTINCT

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: on the taxonomy within Samoyed, cf. Forest Enets

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 26 Dec. 1993

Forest Enets

  1. Variant(s): Bai, (historical names:) Mangazeia Samoyed, Baikha or Baicha Samoyed, Karasina Samoyed, (old generic name also covering Tundra Enets:) Yenisei Samoyed

  2. Geographical location: in the forest zone on the lower Yenisei, within the Dudinka raion of the Taimyr (Dolgano-Nenets) Autonomous District of Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia; historically, the speakers of the idiom have gradually moved towards the north along the Yenisei basin; this movement has during the last 150 years involved a distance of approx. 500 kms

  3. Relationships: /Enets/Samoyed/Finno-Ugrian (Uralic)

  4. Present state of the language: NEARLY EXTINCT

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: Forest Enets and Tundra Enets are officially counted as dialects of a single language, but they have a number of fundamental differences; areally, Forest Enets reveals an orientation towards Nenets (q.v.), while Tundra Enets adheres to Nganasan (q.v.); together with Nenets and Nganasan, the idioms of the Enets group are often considered to constitute a special subbranch termed Northern Samoyed

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 26 Dec. 1993

Yurats

  1. Variant(s): Yurak, (Russian:) Jurackij; the appellation Yurak has historically also been used for Nenets, with which Yurats in the technical sense is not to be confused

  2. Geographical location: in the tundra zone to the west of the lower Yenisei

  3. Relationships: /Samoyed/Finno-Ugrian (Uralic)

  4. Present state of the language: EXTINCT since the early 19th century

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: [possibly] an archaic member of the Enets group; areally, Yurats occupies a position transitional between Enets and Nenets; although it has also been classified as an aberrant dialect of Nenets, its primary diagnostic features are common with Enets

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 26 Dec. 1993

Tundra Nenets

  1. Variant(s): (for Nenets) Yurak (derogatory), Samoyed (obsolete)

  2. Geographical location: the Russian Federation: Europe: Nenets District, the Kolguev Island, a part of Mezen' County, and formerly the Novaya Zemlya Islands of Arkhangel'sk Province, extending to Komi Republic; Siberia: Yamal Nenets District, excluding southwestern and southeastern corners, of Tyumen' Province; western Taymyr District of Krasnoyarsk Region

  3. Relationships: /Nenets/Samoyed/Finno-Ugrian (Uralic)

  4. Present state of the language: ENDANGERED

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks:

  7. Compiler: Tapani Salminen, Helsinki, 31 Dec. 1993

Forest Nenets

  1. Variant(s): (for Nenets) Yurak (derogatory), Samoyed (obsolete)

  2. Geographical location: the Russian Federation: Siberia: Pur County of Yamal Nenets District of Tyumen' Province, extending to adjacent counties and Khanty Mansi District

  3. Relationships: /Nenets/Samoyed/Finno-Ugrian (Uralic)

  4. Present state of the language: SERIOUSLY ENDANGERED

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks:

  7. Compiler: Tapani Salminen, Helsinki, 31 Dec. 1993

Northern Selkup

  1. Variant(s): Taz Selkup, Tas Selkup, (also:) Sel'kup, Sölkup, Sölqup, Söl'qup, (old generic name also covering Central and Southern Selkup:) Ostyak Samoyed, not to be confused with Ugrian Ostyak or Khanty (q.v.), nor with Yenisei Ostyak or Ket (q.v.)

  2. Geographical location: in the basin of the river Taz (flowing to the Arctic Ocean), as well as in the Baikha-Turukhan river system, to the west of the upper Yenisei, partly within the tundra zone; administratively mainly within the Krasnosel'kup raion of the Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous District of Tyumen' Oblast, Russia

  3. Relationships: /Selkup/Samoyed/Finno-Ugrian (Uralic)

  4. Present state of the language: ENDANGERED

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: the only member of the Selkup group of idioms that, for the moment, is not yet threatened by imminent extinction; together with Kamas and Mator (qq.v.), Selkup is often considered to constitute a special subbranch termed Southern Samoyed; the three main varieties of Selkup have traditionally been counted as dialects of a single language; their differences are, however, comparable to those between, for instance, Ket, Yug, and Pumpokol (qq.v.)

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 28 Dec. 1993

Central Selkup

  1. Variant(s): Tym Selkup, Middle Selkup, (old generic name also covering Northern and Southern Selkup:) Ostyak Samoyed

  2. Geographical location: in the basin of the upper Ob and on its tributaries, from the Chaya in the south to the Tym in the north; with each river basin having a dialect of its own

  3. Relationships: /Selkup/Samoyed/Finno-Ugrian (Uralic)

  4. Present state of the language: NEARLY EXTINCT

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: [in the original report, Upper Ob Selkup was grouped together with Tym Selkup to constitute "Ob Selkup", but traditionally Upper Ob Selkup and Ket Selkup have been classified together as Southern Selkup, which is followed here]

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 28 Dec. 1993

Southern Selkup

  1. Variant(s): Ket Selkup, Ket' Selkup, (old generic name also covering Northern and Central Selkup:) Ostyak Samoyed; not to be confused with Ket and Pumpokol (qq.v.; the word Ket of Ket Selkup refers to the hydronym Ket', while the name of the Ket group of Yeniseian languages is of an entirely different, appellative origin)

  2. Geographical location: in the basin of the river Ket', an eastern tributary to the upper Ob

  3. Relationships: /Selkup/Samoyed/Finno-Ugrian (Uralic)

  4. Present state of the language: NEARLY EXTINCT

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: consists of two dialect groups, Upper Ob Selkup and Ket Selkup [according to the original report, the classificatory status of Upper Ob Selkup with regard to Ket Selkup is disputed, and though often classified together with the southern dialects of Ob Selkup, Ket Selkup is rather to be understood as a separate, and in many respects aberrant, language of the Selkup group]

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 28 Dec. 1993

Kamas

  1. Variant(s): Kamassian, Kamas-Koibal (KK); Koibal is a regional and dialectal variety occasionally considered to form an entity in its own right; Kamas and Koibal are ethnohistorically more or less congruous, but linguistically not to be confused with, the Kamas and Koibal tribal varieties of Khakas (q.v.)

  2. Geographical location: in the eastern part of the Minusinsk region, within modern Krasnoyarsk Krai, where the area of Kamas became gradually restricted to the Kan and Mana river basins and their sources on the northwesternmost slopes of the Eastern Sayan mountains; the last Kamas-speaking community lived here in a single village, Abalakovo

  3. Relationships: /Samoyed/Finno-Ugrian (Uralic)

  4. Present state of the language: EXTINCT since 1989

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: together with Mator (q.v.) often considered to constitute a special subbranch termed Sayan Samoyed

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 25 Dec. 1993

Mator

  1. Variant(s): Motor, Mator-Taigi-Karagas (MTK); Taigi and Karagas, as well as Soyot, were regional and possibly dialectal varieties occasionally considered to form entities in their own right; Karagas or Karagas Samoyed is ethnohistorically more or less congruous, but linguistically not to be confused with, Karagas Turk, cf. Tuvan: Tofa (q.v.)

  2. Geographical location: on the northern slopes of the Eastern Sayan mountains, extending from the eastern part of the Minusinsk region in the west (Mator proper) to the Baikal region in the east (Karagas Samoyed)

  3. Relationships: /Samoyed/Finno-Ugrian (Uralic)

  4. Present state of the language: EXTINCT since the 1840s

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: together with Kamas (q.v.) often considered to constitute a special subbranch termed Sayan Samoyed

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 25 Dec. 1993

Yakut

Dolgan

  1. Variant(s): Dolghan, Dulgan, Dulghan

  2. Geographical location: on southern and southeastern Taimyr, in the region of the Kheta-Khatanga river system, within the Taimyr (Dolgano-Nenets) Autonomous District of Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia

  3. Relationships: a dialect of Yakut/N/Turkic

  4. Present state of the language: POTENTIALLY ENDANGERED

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: the northernmost Turkic language; essentially a dialect of Yakut, but for ethnohistorical and administrative reasons counted as a separate language; Yakut, in general, is a rare example of an aboriginal language in Siberia that cannot be regarded as immediately endangered, though the situation is fragile; Dolgan is also exceptionally vigorous among the languages of the 26 so-called "Peoples of the Far North" in Russia; nevertheless, in view of the small number of speakers, as well as the demographical and ecological problems of the Taimyr region, it can hardly be considered safe

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 23 Dec. 1993

Khakas

  1. Variant(s): Xakas, Khakassian, Minusinsk Tatar, Abakan Tatar, Abakan Turkic, (historical name:) Yenisei Kirgiz; tribal varieties: Kacha, Sagai, Kyzyl, Kamas, Koibal, Beltir

  2. Geographical location: in the western half of the Minusinsk steppe region on the upper Yenisei, within the Khakas Republic (Khakassia), southern Siberia

  3. Relationships: /N/Turkic

  4. Present state of the language: ENDANGERED [locally NEARLY EXTINCT]

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: the principal member of the Khakas branch of northern Turkic, also comprising Chulym Tatar and Manchurian Kirgiz (qq.v.); very close to the Mrass dialect of Shor (q.v.); historically (in the 16th to 19th centuries), part of the speakers of Mrass Shor have crossed the Kuzneckiy Alatau to the Minusinsk region, where their descendants are now considered to form a special Shor dialect group within the composition of Khakas

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 24 Dec. 1993

Manchurian Kirgiz

  1. Variant(s): Heilongjiang Kirgiz, Fuyu or Fuyü or Fu-yü Kirgiz, (also:) Kirghiz, Kyrgyz, Gďrgďs, (Chinese pinyin:) Jierjisi, Fuyu Keerkezi

  2. Geographical location: on the eastern bank of the lower Nonni, within the county of Fuyu, Heilongjiang, China; another group of speakers used to live in the Imin region of Hulun Buir, modern Inner Mongolia

  3. Relationships: an aberrant diaspora variant of Khakas (q.v.)

  4. Present state of the language: NEARLY EXTINCT in the Nonni region, EXTINCT since the early 20th century in the Imin region

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: the easternmost Turkic language; until the late 17th century, the linguistic ancestors of the Manchurian Kirgiz seem to have constituted an integral part of the Khakas-speaking population, then known as the Yenisei Kirgiz, in the upper Yenisei basin; the arrival of the Russians (1703) forced them southwards, where they came to form a satellite to the Ölöt tribe of the Oirat federation in Jungaria; the satellite relationship continued, when some speakers of Yenisei Kirgiz followed a group of Oirat-speaking Ölöt transferred to Manchuria (after 1758); the satellite relationship of Manchurian Kirgiz to Manchurian Ölöt is functionally reminiscent of that of Evenki: Solon to Dagur (qq.v.)

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 20 Dec. 1993

Chulym Tatar

  1. Variant(s): Chulym Turk, Chulym Turkic, Meletsk Tatar; officially counted as a variety of Siberian Tatar (q.v.)

  2. Geographical location: on the middle Chulym, a tributary to the upper Ob; the lower Chulym is inhabited by speakers of Siberian Tatar

  3. Relationships: /N/Turkic

  4. Present state of the language: NEARLY EXTINCT

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: an aberrant member of the Khakas branch of northern Turkic, also comprising Khakas and Manchurian Kirgiz (qq.v.); historically it seems that Chulym Tatar was separated from the connection of Khakas only by the advent of the Russian conquerors (in the late 17th to early 18th century); since then, the two idioms have developed in different directions, with Chulym Tatar undergoing interaction with the neighbouring languages, notably Selkup (q.v.) and Siberian Tatar

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 24 Dec. 1993

Tuvan: Tofa

  1. Variant(s): Tofalar, Tufa, Karagas Turk, Turkic Karagas, Karagass, Karagassian; linguistically not to be confused with the Karagas variety of Mator (q.v.)

  2. Geographical location: on the northern slopes of the Eastern Sayan mountains, to the south of the city of Nizhneudinsk, in a region inofficially known as Tofalaria

  3. Relationships: /Tuvan/N/Turkic

  4. Present state of the language: NEARLY EXTINCT

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: an aberrant and in some respects archaic member of the Tuvan branch of northern Turkic; ethnohistorically, the modern Tofa-speaking community seems to have been formed upon a substrate population that until the 18th century spoke Mator

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 25 Dec. 1993

Tuvan

Tsaatan

  1. Variant(s): Mongolian Reindeer Tuvan, (Mongolian:) Caatan; often not distinguished, but apparently to be kept distinct from, Tuvan: Khövsgöl Uryangkhai (q.v.)

  2. Geographical location: to the west of Lake Khövsgöl, in the mountainous western half of Khövsgöl Aimak, northern Mongolia

  3. Relationships: a dialect of Tuvan/N/Turkic

  4. Present state of the language: SERIOUSLY ENDANGERED

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks:

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 25 Dec. 1993

Khövsgöl Uryangkhai

  1. Variant(s): Khövsgöl or Kubsugul Uriangkhai, Khövsgöl Tuvan, (Mongolian also:) Tuxa, not to be confused with Tuvan: Altai Uryangkhai (q.v.); also to be kept distinct from Tuvan: Tsaatan (q.v.)

  2. Geographical location: to the east of Lake Khövsgöl, in the eastern half of Khövsgöl Aimak, northern Mongolia

  3. Relationships: a dialect of Tuvan/N/Turkic

  4. Present state of the language: SERIOUSLY ENDANGERED

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks:

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 25 Dec. 1993

Altai Uryangkhai

  1. Variant(s): Altai Uriangkhai, Altai Tuvan, (Chinese pinyin:) Tuwa, (also:) Monchak, Monjak, Mondzhak; in China officially counted as a variety of Mongolian, (Chinese pinyin:) Menggu; not to be confused with Tuvan: Khövsgöl Uryangkhai (q.v.), nor with Northern Altai and Southern Altai (qq.v.); ethnohistorically, the ethnonym Uryangkhai refers to all the Turkic groups of the Sayan-Baikal-Lena region, including the speakers of Tuvan proper and even Yakut

  2. Geographical location: in two groups, on both sides of the southern Altai mountains, the one group living within the Ölgei (Olgii) Aimak of western Mongolia (Mongolian Altai), and the other group in the northernmost part of Sinkiang, China (Chinese Altai)

  3. Relationships: a diaspora dialect of Tuvan

  4. Present state of the language: SERIOUSLY ENDANGERED

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: originally (since the early 19th century) a single diaspora group of Tuvan proper; the Tuvan Turkic idioms spoken in Mongolia and China are virtually uninvestigated from the taxonomical point of view; preliminary data would suggest that they represent two distinct subbranches; Altai Uryangkhai would seem to belong to a single subbranch with Tuvan proper, and it is, in fact, often simply considered to be a diaspora dialect of the latter, while Khövsgöl Uryangkhai and Tsaatan, together with Tofa, would seem to belong to a basically different subbranch

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 25 Dec. 1993

Northern Altai

  1. Variant(s): traditionally known by the names of the main tribal varieties: Tuba, Kumandy, and Chalkan, each with a number of alternative appellations

  2. Geographical location: in the northeastern river valleys of the Altai region (Russian Altai), divided between the Altai (Gorno-Altai) Republic and Kemerovo Oblast, Russia

  3. Relationships: /N/Turkic

  4. Present state of the language: ENDANGERED [locally NEARLY EXTINCT]

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: a conglomeration of tribal dialects constituting the northern section of the Altai branch of northern Turkic, also comprising Southern Altai (q.v.); very close to the Kondoma dialect of Shor (q.v.); Northern Altai and Southern Altai are two basically separate entities, which only during the Soviet period were "united" into a single language, and their speakers into a single "nationality", with a uniform written standard

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 25 Dec. 1993

Southern Altai proper

  1. Variant(s): traditionally known by the names of the main tribal varieties: Altai proper and Telengit, each with a number of alternative appellations; historically also referred to by a variety of generalizing names, including: Altai Tatar, Altai Kalmuck, and Oirot, not to be confused with Mongol Oirat and Kalmuck, nor with Tatar

  2. Geographical location: in the central and southwestern river valleys of the Altai region (Russian Altai), mainly within the Altai (Gorno-Altai) Republic, southern Siberia

  3. Relationships: /N/Turkic

  4. Present state of the language: ENDANGERED [locally NEARLY EXTINCT]

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks:

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 25 Dec. 1993

Southern Altai: Teleut

  1. Variant(s): Telengut, (Chinese pinyin:) Tielingute; historically also known as White Kalmuck

  2. Geographical location: dispersed by political developments in the 17th and 18th centuries, and now mainly spoken to the north of the actual Altai region; concentrated in the western part of Kemerovo Oblast, but also extending to Novosibirsk Oblast; a tiny diaspora group (probably since the 18th century) of Teleut origin has been registered within the Altai District of northern Sinkiang (Xinjiang), China

  3. Relationships: a dialect of Southern Altai

  4. Present state of the language: ENDANGERED [locally POSSIBLY EXTINCT]

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: often considered to be an integral part of Southern Altai (q.v.), but, in view of ethnohistorical, administrative, and dialectal differences better to be treated as a separate entity

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 25 Dec. 1993

Shor

  1. Variant(s): Sor, Kuznetsk Tatar, not to be confused with Tatar and Siberian Tatar

  2. Geographical location: along the rivers flowing from the southwestern slopes of the Kuzneckiy Alatau mountains, within Kemerovo Oblast, Russia; the Shor-speaking territory, inofficially known as Shoria briefly held the status of an autonomous district (1925--1939), but was subsequently turned into one of the greatest industrial regions of the Soviet Union (the so-called Kuzbass region)

  3. Relationships: /N/Turkic

  4. Present state of the language: SERIOUSLY ENDANGERED

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: a conglomeration of two basically very different northern Turkic dialects, identified by river names as Kondoma Shor (the southern dialect) and Mrass Shor (the northern dialect); the former adheres in important diagnostic respects to Northern Altai (q.v.), while the latter belongs to the context of Khakas (q.v.); from the linguistic point of view it is, therefore, questionable, whether Shor is a distinct language; on the other hand, the two dialects of Shor do share a number of areal features which have consolidated their mutual relation; an attempt has also been made to unify the two dialects by a common written standard (in Cyrillic script, dialectally based on Kondoma Shor)

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 25 Dec. 1993

Siberian Tatar

  1. Variant(s): West Siberian Tatar; also known by a variety of local river and steppe names, such as (from west to east): Tura Tatar, Tiumen' Tatar, Tobol' or Tobolsk Tatar, Ishim Tatar, Irtysh Tatar, Om' or Omsk Tatar, Tara Tatar, Baraba Tatar, and Tom' or Tomsk Tatar; two of the easternmost dialects are known by the special names Küärik and Kecik

  2. Geographical location: in the steppe and forest steppe belts of southwestern Siberia, from the southern Urals in the west to the upper Ob region in the east; also spoken on the lower Chulym, where there is a transition towards Chulym Tatar (q.v.)

  3. Relationships: a dialect of Tatar

  4. Present state of the language: ENDANGERED [locally NEARLY EXTINCT]

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: a chain of dialects often considered to be an integral part of Tatar, itself not an endangered language for the moment; the linguistic differences between Siberian and European Tatar are, however, considerable, and opinions about mutual intelligibility vary; the desire to view the two as a single linguistic entity often seems to be stronger among speakers of European Tatar than among those of Siberian Tatar

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 26 Dec. 1993

Oirat: Manchurian Ölöt

  1. Variant(s): Heilongjiang Ölöt, Mannai Ölöt, (also:) Ölet, Olot, (Written Mongolian:) Yeke Mingghan, (Modern Mongolian:) Yikh Mianggan; in China officially counted as a variety of Mongolian, (Chinese pinyin:) Menggu

  2. Geographical location: on the eastern bank of the lower Nonni, within the county of Fuyu, Heilongjiang, China; another group of speakers used to live in the Imin region of Hulun Buir, Inner Mongolia

  3. Relationships: a diaspora variant of Ölöt, a tribal dialect of Oirat, the Western Mongolic language of the Altai region

  4. Present state of the language: NEARLY EXTINCT in the Nonni region, EXTINCT since the early 20th century in the Imin region

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: Oirat was the principal language of the Oirat tribal confederation in Jungaria in the 17th to 18th centuries; after conquering Jungaria (1758), the Manchu government of China transferred a group of Oirat-speaking Ölöt to Manchuria; here the transferred population was further divided into two sections, the one placed in the Nonni region and the other in the Imin region; Ölöt in Manchuria has been influenced by the local Mongolic languages and dialects, and there is some uncertainty as to how the idiom should be classified; it does, nevertheless, preserve a number of important features diagnostic of Oirat

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 21 Dec. 1993

Buryat: Eastern Buryat

  1. Variant(s): Eastern Buriat, (Chinese pinyin:) Buliyate, in Mongolia and China officially counted as a variety of Mongolian, (Chinese pinyin:) Menggu

  2. Geographical location: in Transbaikalia, extending from Lake Baikal in the west to the Onon basin in the east; also in northeastern Mongolia (since the 19th century) and northwestern Manchuria, China (after 1917); on the Russian side the Eastern Buryat population is today concentrated in the regions known as the Buryat Republic (Buryatia) and the Aga Buryat Autonomous District of Chita Oblast; on the Chinese side the speakers of Eastern Buryat live in the region of the river Xinihe (Shinehen), a tributary to the Imin-Hailar-Argun system in southern Hulun Buir, Inner Mongolia

  3. Relationships: part of Buryat/N/Mongol

  4. Present state of the language: POTENTIALLY ENDANGERED

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: the Buryat-speaking territory is, nevertheless, continuously shrinking, and there are very few monolingual individuals

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 21 Dec. 1993

Buryat: Western Buryat

  1. Variant(s): Western Buriat, (historically in Russian:) bratskij

  2. Geographical location: in Cisbaikalia, to the north of the Eastern Sayan mountains and in the Angara region; officially concentrated in the Ust'-Orda (Ust'-Ordynskij) Autonomous District of Irkutsk Oblast; a displaced dialect of Western Buryat is also spoken in the Barguzin valley of Transbaikalia

  3. Relationships: part of Buryat/N/Mongol

  4. Present state of the language: ENDANGERED [locally NEARLY EXTINCT]

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: Western and Eastern Buryat are officially counted as a single language, but their differences are large enough to prevent immediate mutual intelligibility; internally, Western Buryat, with a variety of dialects, is more heterogeneous than Eastern Buryat

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 22 Dec. 1993

Buryat: New Bargut

  1. Variant(s): New Barghut, (Chinese pinyin:) Xin Baerhu, officially counted as a variety of Mongolian, (Chinese pinyin:) Menggu

  2. Geographical location: in the southwestern part of the Barga steppe region, within the Right and Left Xin Baerhu Banners of Hulun Buir Aimak, Inner Mongolia, China

  3. Relationships: part of Buryat/N/Mongol

  4. Present state of the language: ENDANGERED

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: like Old Bargut, New Bargut is an early (18th century) Manchurian branch of Eastern Buryat that has developed under increasing influence of the northern dialects of Mongolian proper

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 23 Dec. 1993

Buryat: Old Bargut

  1. Variant(s): Old Barghut, (Chinese pinyin:) Chen Baerhu, officially counted as a variety of Mongolian, (Chinese pinyin:) Menggu

  2. Geographical location: in the northern part of the Barga steppe region, within the Chen Baerhu Banner of Hulun Buir Aimak, Inner Mongolia, China

  3. Relationships: part of Buryat/N/Mongol

  4. Present state of the language: SERIOUSLY ENDANGERED

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: like New Bargut, Old Bargut is an early (17th century) Manchurian branch of Eastern Buryat that seems to have developed in relative isolation, though recently under increasing influence of the northern dialects of Mongolian proper

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 23 Dec. 1993

Khamnigan Mongol

  1. Variant(s): Khamnigan, Kamnigan, Xamnigan, (Chinese pinyin:) Hamunikan

  2. Geographical location: three main groups of speakers identifiable by regional adherence as the Siberian (Russian), Manchurian (Chinese), and Mongolian Khamnigan, all in the Onon-Argun region of Transbaikalia

  3. Relationships: /N/Mongol

  4. Present state of the language: ENDANGERED in Manchuria, POSSIBLY EXTINCT in Mongolia and Siberia; the following data apply to the Manchurian group of speakers, who are today mainly confined within the Chen Baerhu Banner of Hulun Buir Aimak, Inner Mongolia, China:

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: the above data apply to the Manchurian group of speakers, who are today mainly confined within the Chen Baerhu Banner of Hulun Buir Aimak, Inner Mongolia, China; an archaic branch of northern Mongol, comprising two dialects areally involved in a complex symbiotic relationship with Evenki: Khamnigan Evenki (q.v.)

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 13 Dec. 1993

Dagur

  1. Variant(s): Daghur, Dahur, Daur, Daor, (Chinese pinyin:) Dawoer

  2. Geographical location: in central and northwestern Manchuria, China, administratively divided between Hulun Buir Aimak, Inner Mongolia (in the Nonni and Imin basins), and the province of Heilongjiang (in the Nonni basin); officially concentrated in the Dagur Autonomous Banner of Hulun Buir; there is also a small remnant population in the Aihui region (in the middle Amur basin)

  3. Relationships: /N/Mongol

  4. Present state of the language: ENDANGERED [locally NEARLY EXTINCT]

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: an aberrant and in some respects archaic branch of northern Mongolic; there is considerable but poorly investigated dialectal variation

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 23 Dec. 1993

Sinkiang Dagur

  1. Variant(s): Turkestan Dagur, earlier not distinguished from Evenki: Ongkor Solon, (Chinese pinyin:) Suolun

  2. Geographical location: in the Ili (Yili) region of Sinkiang (Xinjiang), within the Kazakh Autonomous District of the Xinjiang Uigur Autonomous Region, China

  3. Relationships: a diaspora group (since 1763) of Dagur (q.v.) from Manchuria

  4. Present state of the language: SERIOUSLY ENDANGERED

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks:

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 23 Dec. 1993

Even

  1. Variant(s): Ewen, Lamut, Lamoote, (historical names:) Dog Tungus, Pedestrian Tungus

  2. Geographical location: in northwestern Siberia, from the Lena to the Anadyr', with a small diaspora group in the Bystraya region of central Kamchatka

  3. Relationships: /N/Tungus

  4. Present state of the language: ENDANGERED [locally NEARLY EXTINCT]

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks:

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 16 Dec. 1993

Even: Arman

  1. Variant(s): Arman', (Russian:) Armanskij

  2. Geographical location: in a small coastal pocket at the Okhotsk Sea, to the southwest of Magadan city

  3. Relationships: a dialect of Even

  4. Present state of the language: EXTINCT since recently, no exact date available

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: an archaic variety of Even (q.v.), with some features in common with Evenki (q.v.), and perhaps to be classified as a transitional idiom between the two languages

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 16 Dec. 1993

Evenki

  1. Variant(s): Ewenki, Evenk, (Chinese pinyin:) Ewenke, (old generic name covering also Evenki: Khamnigan Evenki:) Tungus, Tunguz, Tongoose

  2. Geographical location: the widest-spread language of Siberia, spoken by a population sparsely covering the whole taiga zone from the Yenisei in the west to the lower Amur and Sakhalin in the east, and from Taimyr and the lower Lena in the north to Baikal and the upper Amur in the south; a small group of speakers, known as the Manchurian Reindeer Tungus (often erroneously called "Yakut"), live on the Chinese side of the upper Amur

  3. Relationships: /Evenki/N/Tungus

  4. Present state of the language: ENDANGERED [locally POSSIBLY EXTINCT]

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: in spite of the vast area, the dialectal differences within Evenki are small

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 15 Dec. 1993

Evenki: Orochen

  1. Variant(s): Orochon, Orochën, (Chinese pinyin:) Elunchun, (nativized pinyin:) Oroqen; N.B. not to be confused with Oroch, Orok (qq.v.); dialectal varieties occasionally considered to form entities in their own right: Birarchen or Birare, Kumarchen or Manegir or Manyagir

  2. Geographical location: in the Khingan region of northern Manchuria, China; administratively divided between Hulun Buir Aimak, Inner Mongolia (Orochen proper: esp. in the Orochen Autonomous Banner), and the province of Heilongjiang (subgroups along the Amur basin: Birarchen, Selpechen, and Kumarchen)

  3. Relationships: a dialect of Evenki

  4. Present state of the language: NEARLY EXTINCT [locally EXTINCT]

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: a heterogeneous conglomeration of Manchurian varieties of Evenki (q.v.); some Evenki-speaking groups living to the north of the Amur are also occasionally referred to as Orochen, but they should rather be classified as speakers of Evenki

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 15 Dec. 1993

Evenki: Khamnigan Evenki

  1. Variant(s): Khamnigan Tungus, Horse Tungus, Tungus Evenki, (Chinese pinyin:) Tonggusi Ewenke

  2. Geographical location: three main groups of speakers identifiable by regional adherence as the Siberian (Russian), Manchurian (Chinese), and Mongolian Khamnigan, all in the Onon-Argun region of Transbaikalia

  3. Relationships: a dialect of Evenki

  4. Present state of the language: ENDANGERED in Manchuria, POSSIBLY EXTINCT in Mongolia and Siberia; the following data apply to the Manchurian group of speakers, who are today mainly confined within the Chen Baerhu Banner of Hulun Buir Aimak, Inner Mongolia, China:

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: the above data apply to the Manchurian group of speakers, who are today mainly confined within the Chen Baerhu Banner of Hulun Buir Aimak, Inner Mongolia, China; two originally separate dialects of Evenki (q.v.), areally involved in a complex symbiotic relationship with Khamnigan Mongol (q.v.); while there are no monolingual speakers of Khamnigan Evenki, monolingualism in Khamnigan Mongol does occur; this situation has the closest parallel in the relation of Evenki: Solon to Dagur (qq.v.)

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 14 Dec. 1993

Negidal

  1. Variant(s): Neghidal, Ilkan Beye, El'kan Beye, Elkembei

  2. Geographical location: in the Amgun' basin, to the west of the lower Amur

  3. Relationships: /Evenki/N/Tungus

  4. Present state of the language: NEARLY EXTINCT

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: an aberrant variety of Evenki (q.v.), with areal features in common with other languages of the lower Amur region

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 16 Dec. 1993

Solon

  1. Variant(s): Manchurian Solon, Solon Evenki, (Chinese pinyin:) Suolun Ewenke

  2. Geographical location: in central and northwestern Manchuria, China, administratively divided between Hulun Buir Aimak, Inner Mongolia (in the Imin basin), and the province of Heilongjiang (in the Nonni basin); officially concentrated in the Ewenke Autonomous Banner of Hulun Buir

  3. Relationships: /Evenki/N/Tungus

  4. Present state of the language: ENDANGERED [locally NEARLY EXTINCT]

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: an aberrant and in some respects archaic branch of Evenki (q.v.); areally involved in a satellite relationship to Dagur (q.v.); there is considerable but poorly investigated dialectal variation; the position of Evenki: Solon as the first language among a population largely bilingual in Dagur has a close parallel in the case of Evenki: Khamnigan Evenki (q.v.)

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 15 Dec. 1993

Ongkor Solon

  1. Variant(s): Onkor Solon, Sinkiang or Turkestan Solon, (official name in China:) Ewenke

  2. Geographical location: in the Ili (Yili) region of Sinkiang (Xinjiang), within the Kazakh Autonomous District of the Xinjiang Uigur Autonomous Region, China

  3. Relationships: a diaspora group (since 1763) of Solon (q.v.) from Manchuria

  4. Present state of the language: POSSIBLY EXTINCT

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks:

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 15 Dec. 1993

Manchu

  1. Variant(s): Manchou, Manju, (Chinese pinyin:) Man; also called Spoken Manchu, as opposed to the corresponding standardized literary language known as Written Manchu; as a spoken language, Manchu is successive to earlier Jurchen, (Chinese pinyin:) Nüzhen or Ruzhen

  2. Geographical location: originally scattered all over historical Manchuria, China, with small remnant groups of speakers today preserved in the Aihui region (in the middle Amur basin) and Fuyu county (in the Nonni basin) of the province of Heilongjiang, as well as, possibly, in some localities within the province of Liaoning; linguistically assimilated groups and individuals identifying themselves with the Manchu nationality are registered in all parts of China

  3. Relationships: /Tungus

  4. Present state of the language: NEARLY EXTINCT

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: only the diaspora variety of Manchu: Sibe possibly viable

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 16 Dec. 1993

Sibe

  1. Variant(s): Shibe, Sibo, Sibin, (Chinese pinyin:) Xibo; often included within the concept of Spoken Manchu

  2. Geographical location: in the Ili (Yili) region of Sinkiang (Xinjiang), within the Kazakh Autonomous District of the Xinjiang Uigur Autonomous Region, China

  3. Relationships: a diaspora group (since 1763) of Manchu (q.v.) from Manchuria

  4. Present state of the language: ENDANGERED

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks:

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 16 Dec. 1993

Udege

  1. Variant(s): Udige, Udehe, Udihe, Ude; earlier also called Taz or Tazy, (Chinese pinyin:) Dazi, a term which today primarily refers to a local Chinese-speaking population of mixed origins

  2. Geographical location: in the southern and central sections of the Sikhote Alin mountain range, to the east of the Ussuri river, within the Maritime and Khabarovsk Regions (Krai) of the Russian Far East

  3. Relationships: /Udege/SE/Tungus

  4. Present state of the language: NEARLY EXTINCT

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks:

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 16 Dec. 1993

Udege: Kyakala

  1. Variant(s): Kiakala, Kiakla, (Chinese pinyin:) qiakala

  2. Geographical location: scattered over northeastern Manchuria, China, today also in cities, between the Ussuri and Sungari basins

  3. Relationships: a dialect of Udehe

  4. Present state of the language: EXTINCT probably in the early 20th century, no exact date available

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: a Manchurian variety of Udehe, possibly transitional towards Manchu; the linguistic details remain unclarified, and historically the ethnonym Kyakala has also been applied to the speakers of Udege

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 16 Dec. 1993

Oroch

  1. Variant(s): Orochi, not to be confused with Orok, Evenki: Orochen (qq.v.); (autoethnonym:) Naani, not to be confused with Nanai (q.v.)

  2. Geographical location: in the northern section of the Sikhote Alin mountain range, to the east of the lower Amur, within the Khabarovsk Region (Krai) of the Russian Far East

  3. Relationships: /Udege/SE/Tungus

  4. Present state of the language: NEARLY EXTINCT

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks:

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 17 Dec. 1993

Nanai

  1. Variant(s): Nanay, Nanei, Nani, (authentic shape:) Naanai, Naani; (also:) Gold, Gol'd, Goldi

  2. Geographical location: in the middle and lower Amur basin, within the Khabarovsk Region (Krai) of the Russian Far East

  3. Relationships: /Nanai/SE/Tungus

  4. Present state of the language: SERIOUSLY ENDANGERED

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: a special southern dialectal group is formed by the Nanai-speaking population on the river Bikin

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 17 Dec. 1993

Nanai: Hejen

  1. Variant(s): Hedjen, (Chinese pinyin:) Hezhe, (also:) Gold, cf. Nanai; historically the Hejen population has been referred to as the "Fish-skin Tatars", (Chinese pinyin:) Yupi Dazi, an appellation which has also been applied, in a more general sense, to all the aboriginal groups inhabiting the lower Sungari and lower Amur basins

  2. Geographical location: in the lower Sungari and Ussuri basins, within the Province of Heilongjiang, China

  3. Relationships: a dialect of Nanai

  4. Present state of the language: NEARLY EXTINCT

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: the relationship between Nanai and Hejen involves a geographical and political difference (Russia vs. China), which is also reflected by the different basis of bilingualism among the two groups (Russian vs. Chinese); areally, there is a transition from Hejen towards the Bikin group of Nanai dialects on the Russian side

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 17 Dec. 1993

Nanai: Kili

  1. Variant(s): Kiler, Kur-Urmi

  2. Geographical location: in the region of the Kur and Urmi rivers, to the north of the middle Amur basin

  3. Relationships: a dialect of Nanai

  4. Present state of the language: NEARLY EXTINCT

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: in difference from the other members of the Nanai branch, Kili forms a transition towards northern Tungus, and it has even been characterized as a mixed language with Evenki (q.v.) phonology and Nanai morphology (and syntax)

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 18 Dec. 1993

Ulcha

  1. Variant(s): Ulchi, Olcha, Olchi, Mangun, Mangoon, (autoethnonym:) Naani; cf. Nanai, Oroch (qq.v.)

  2. Geographical location: in the lower Amur basin, within the Khabarovsk Region (Krai) of the Russian Far East

  3. Relationships: /Nanai/SE/Tungus

  4. Present state of the language: NEARLY EXTINCT

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: although Ulcha is officially recognized as a separate language, its relationship to Nanai involves a dialectal transition very similar to that present between Nanai and Hejen

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 18 Dec. 1993

Orok

  1. Variant(s): (Japanese:) Orokko, not to be confused with Oroch, Evenki: Orochen (qq.v.); (autoethnonym:) Ulta, Ul'ta, Uilta, (Japanese:) Uiruta, not to be confused with Ulcha (q.v.)

  2. Geographical location: in the central part of Sakhalin, within Sakhalin Oblast, Russia; there used to be Orok speakers also in the southern part of the island (Karafuto), from where individuals were evacuated (after 1945) to Hokkaido, Japan; the descendants of this small emigrant population have by now lost the Orok language

  3. Relationships: /Nanai/SE/Tungus

  4. Present state of the language: NEARLY EXTINCT

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: an aberrant member of the Nanai branch

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 18 Dec. 1993

Ket

  1. Variant(s): Northern Ket, Imbatsk Ket, (old generic name also covering Ket: Pumpokol and Yug:) Yenisei Ostyak, not to be confused with Ugric Ostyak or Khanty (q.v.), nor with Ostyak Samoyed or Selkup (q.v.)

  2. Geographical location: on the middle and upper Yenisei and its tributaries, mainly between the Yelogui and Turukhan basins; today concentrated in a few villages, notably Kellog and Farkovo, in northern Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia

  3. Relationships: /N/Yeniseian

  4. Present state of the language: SERIOUSLY ENDANGERED

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: often considered to be an isolate, but actually the principal surviving member of a previously larger family, also comprising Ket: Pumpokol and Yug, as well as Arin and Kott (qq.v.); Ket (and Yeniseian) is particularly interesting from the areal and typological points of view; it is the only language (language family) in Northeast Asia with a fully developed and apparently ancient tone system; it also has an extremely complicated morphological structure involving, among other things, the category of grammatical gender

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 27 Dec. 1993

Yug

  1. Variant(s): Southern Ket, Sym Ket, (old generic name also covering Ket and Pumpokol): Yenisei Ostyak

  2. Geographical location: in the basins of the rivers Sym, Kas, and Dubches, western tributaries to the middle Yenisei opposite to the Podkamennaya Tunguska

  3. Relationships: /N/Yeniseian

  4. Present state of the language: NEARLY EXTINCT

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: Yug used to be counted as a dialect of Ket (q.v.), but the differences between the two idioms are now increasingly often understood in terms of a language-level distinction

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 27 Dec. 1993

Pumpokol

  1. Variant(s): (Russian:) Pumpokol'skij

  2. Geographical location: on the upper Ket', an eastern tributary to the upper Ob

  3. Relationships: /N/Yeniseian

  4. Present state of the language: EXTINCT since the early 19th century

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: the position of Pumpokol within Yeniseic is disputed, but it is probably to be viewed as an idiom rather closely related to Ket and Yug (qq.v.); it has, however, also been classified as a separate primary branch of the family, even more distantly related to Ket and Yug than Kott and Arin (qq.v.)

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 27 Dec. 1993

Kott

  1. Variant(s): Assan, Asan, Agul Tatar, (earlier Russian also:) kanskij

  2. Geographical location: in the basin of the river Kan, an eastern tributary to the upper Yenisei: possibly also extending further towards the east, into the upper Angara basin not far from Lake Baikal

  3. Relationships: /S/Yeniseian

  4. Present state of the language: EXTINCT since the 1850s

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: Kott is the only grammatically recorded language of what seems to have been an entire southern branch of Yeniseian, also comprising Arin (q.v.); Assan is often thought to have been a regional or dialectal variety of Kott, but the two appellations are more or less interchangeable in the sources

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 27 Dec. 1993

Arin

  1. Variant(s): (Russian:) Arinskij

  2. Geographical location: in the upper Yenisei basin, to the north of the Minusinsk region

  3. Relationships: /S/Yeniseian

  4. Present state of the language: EXTINCT since the late 18th century

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: historical sources contain the names of several other Yeniseic tribes, whose languages or dialects may or may not have been close to Arin

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 27 Dec. 1993

Yukagir: Tundra Yukagir

  1. Variant(s): Northern Yukagir or Yukaghir, Wadul, (erroneously:) Odul; (historically also:) Omok

  2. Geographical location: in the tundra zone, in a belt extending from the lower Indigirka in the west close to the lower Kolyma basin in the east; administratively within the Yakut (Sakha) Republic (Yakutia); previously in a much wider area in the Lena-Yana-Indigirka-Kolyma region

  3. Relationships: /Yukagir

  4. Present state of the language: NEARLY EXTINCT

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: Yukagir, like Ket (qq.v.), is often erroneously considered to be an isolate, but it is more appropriately understood as a small family with Tundra Yukagir and Forest Yukagir (q.v.) as the only two surviving members; attempts to demonstrate the existence of a genetic connection between Yukagiric and other families have not given generally accepted results; the term Omok has been variously applied to Yukagir, in general, or to a specific tribal idiom that may be classified as an extinct eastern dialect of Tundra Yukagir

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 28 Dec. 1993

Yukagir: Forest Yukagir

  1. Variant(s): Southern or Kolyma Yukagir, (also:) Yukaghir, Odul

  2. Geographical location: in the forest zone, on the sources of the Kolyma; administratively divided between the Yakut (Sakha) Republic (Yakutia) and Magadan Oblast of Russia; previously in a much wider area in the upper Kolyma region

  3. Relationships: /Yukagir

  4. Present state of the language: NEARLY EXTINCT

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: the linguistic difference between Forest and Tundra Yukagir (q.v.) is great enough to make any immediate intelligibility impossible

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 28 Dec. 1993

Chuvan

  1. Variant(s): Chuvants, Chuvantsy

  2. Geographical location: on western Chukotka, in a belt extending from the Anadyr Bay in the Bering region to the Chaunskaya Guba on the Arctic coast

  3. Relationships: /Yukagir

  4. Present state of the language: EXTINCT since the late 19th century

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: Chuvan was the northeasternmost of the many Yukagiric tribal idioms that until the 18th to 19th centuries were spoken widely over northeastern Siberia, from the lower Lena to the lower Anadyr'; linguistically, Chuvan seems to have been relatively close to modern Tundra Yukagir, but distinct from the latter

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 28 Dec. 1993

Chukchee

  1. Variant(s): Chukchi, Chukcha, (Russian:) Chukotskij, (also:) Luoravetlan, Luorawetlan; the Chukchee population is geographically and economically divided into two groups known as the Maritime or Coastal or Sea Chukchee and the Inland or Reindeer Chukchee; there is no corresponding dialectal division, however

  2. Geographical location: all over Chukotka, from the Arctic coast to the Bering Sea region; within the Chukchee Autonomous District of Magadan Oblast, Russia

  3. Relationships: /Chukchee-Koryak

  4. Present state of the language: ENDANGERED

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks:

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 28 Dec. 1993

Kerek

  1. Variant(s):

  2. Geographical location: previously in a large belt along the Bering Sea coast between the Olyutor Bay and the Anadyr Bay, today only as a relict in a single locality, Maino-Pil'gyn (Mojno-Pil'gino), within the Bering raion of the Chukchee Autonomous District of Magadan Oblast, Russia

  3. Relationships: /Chukchee-Koryak

  4. Present state of the language: NEARLY EXTINCT

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: Kerek used to be classified as a dialect of Chukchee, but it has idiosyncratic features suggesting, on the one hand, a non-Chukchee-Koryak (probably Eskimo-Aleut) substrate, and, on the other hand, transitionality towards Koryak; the superficial similarity of Kerek with Chukchee can also be due to secondary Chukchee areal influence on Kerek

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 28 Dec. 1993

Koryak

  1. Variant(s): Koriak, Korak, Nymylan; like the speakers of Chukchee (q.v.), the Koryak population is divided into two ecological groups known as the Coastal Koryak and the Reindeer or Chavchuven Koryak; in this case, dialectal differences are also involved

  2. Geographical location: on northern Kamchatka, from the Okhotsk Sea to the Bering Sea, extending to the upper Anadyr basin in the north; administratively mainly within the Koryak Autonomous District of Kamchatka Oblast, Russia

  3. Relationships: /Chukchee-Koryak

  4. Present state of the language: ENDANGERED [locally NEARLY EXTINCT]

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks:

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 28 Dec. 1993

Alyutor

  1. Variant(s): Aliutor, Olyutor, Oliutor

  2. Geographical location: in the region of the Kamchatkan Isthmus; administratively mainly within the Olyutor raion of the Koryak Autonomous District of Kamchatka Oblast, Russia

  3. Relationships: a dialect of Koryak

  4. Present state of the language: ENDANGERED [locally NEARLY EXTINCT]

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: Alyutor in a narrow sense is a single idiom that used to be classified as an aberrant Koryak dialect, but is today more often considered to constitute a separate language; in a wider sense, Alyutor may be understood as a language also comprising a number of other related dialects, notably those spoken along the coast of western Kamchatka

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 28 Dec. 1993

Itelmen

  1. Variant(s): Western Kamchadal; in a different sense, the ethnonym Kamchadal is also used to refer to the old Russian-speaking immigrant population of Kamchatka, which may or may not have absorbed Itelmen-speaking elements in the past

  2. Geographical location: in a small pocket on the western coast of central Kamchatka, in the southern part of the Koryak Autonomous District

  3. Relationships: /Kamchatkan

  4. Present state of the language: NEARLY EXTINCT

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: Itelmen (Western Kamchadal) is the only surviving member of the Kamchatkan family, also comprising Southern Kamchadal and Eastern Kamchadal (qq.v.); the genetic relationship of the Kamchatkan family with Chukchee-Koryak is still under investigation but [often taken for granted]

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 19 Dec. 1993

Kamchadal: Southern

  1. Variant(s):

  2. Geographical location: in the southern part of Kamchatka, possibly mainly on the eastern coast

  3. Relationships: /Kamchatkan

  4. Present state of the language: EXTINCT since the late 18th century

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks:

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 19 Dec. 1993

Kamchadal: Eastern

  1. Variant(s): Northern Kamchadal

  2. Geographical location: on the eastern coast of central Kamchatka, and in the basin of the river Kamchatka

  3. Relationships: /Kamchatkan

  4. Present state of the language: EXTINCT since the late 18th century

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks: the relationship of Eastern Kamchadal to Itelmen (Western Kamchadal) and Southern Kamchadal (qq.v.) has variously been described as one of three dialects, three related languages, or even three totally unrelated languages; for the time being the assumption of a reasonably close genetic relationship may be taken as a suitable working hypothesis

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 19 Dec. 1993

Nivkh

  1. Variant(s): Nivx or Nivukhi, (old generic name:) Ghilyak, Ghiliak, Gilyak, Gelyak, (Japanese:) Giriyaaku

  2. Remarks: Nivkh is often regarded as an isolate, but, like Ainu (q.v.), it may also be viewed as a small family, comprising two closely related, but mutually unintelligible, languages; attempts to demonstrate the existence of a genetic connection between Nivkh and other families have not given generally accepted results

Amur Nivkh

  1. Geographical location: in the mouth region of the Amur, within Khabarovsk Region (Krai) of the Russian Far East

  2. Relationships: /Nivkh

  3. Present state of the language: NEARLY EXTINCT

  4. Sources:

  5. Remarks:

  6. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 28 Dec. 1993

Sakhalin Nivkh

  1. Geographical location: on northern Sakhalin, on both the western and the eastern coast, within Sakhalin Oblast, Russia; a small group of Sakhalin Nivkh speakers used to live in the southern part of the island (Karafuto), from where individuals were evacuated (after 1945) to Hokkaido, Japan; a few of these Sakhalin Nivkh emigrants survived until recently

  2. Relationships: /Nivkh

  3. Present state of the language: SERIOUSLY ENDANGERED

  4. Sources:

  5. Remarks: Sakhalin Nivkh comprises three dialects, which may geographically be identified as northern, central, and southern; the northern dialect (on the Peninsula of Schmidt) shows features transitional towards Amur Nivkh (q.v.)

  6. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 28 Dec. 1993

Ainu

  1. Variant(s): Aino, Aynu, (traditional Japanese:) Ezo, Yezo, Jesso

  2. Remarks: Ainu [may also be viewed as] a small family, comprising three languages geographically labelled as Hokkaido, Sakhalin, and Kuril Ainu; in spite of their obvious relationship, these languages can hardly have been mutually intelligible; on the other hand, attempts to demonstrate the existence of a more distant genetic connection between Ainu and other families have not given generally accepted results so far

Hokkaido Ainu

  1. Geographical location: originally all over the island of Hokkaido, today only in a few so-called native villages representing remnants of an earlier dialectal multitude; speakers of Hokkaido Ainu also used to inhabit the southern islands of the Kuril chain (esp. Kunashiri, Etorofu)

  2. Relationships: /Ainu

  3. Present state of the language: NEARLY EXTINCT

  4. Sources:

  5. Remarks:

  6. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 18 Dec. 1993

Sakhalin Ainu

  1. Variant(s): Karafuto Ainu, (earlier also:) Kuril, cf. Kuril Ainu

  2. Geographical location: in the southern part of Sakhalin (Karafuto), from 1905 to 1945 under Japanese administration; most of the Ainu population was evacuated (after 1945) from here to Hokkaido, Japan, where a few speakers of Sakhalin Ainu have survived until recently

  3. Relationships: /Ainu

  4. Present state of the language: POSSIBLY EXTINCT

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks:

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 18 Dec. 1993

Kuril Ainu

  1. Variant(s): North Kuril Ainu, Kurile Aino, (early Russian:) Kuril'skij (the island chain of the Kurils was named after its inhabitants and not vice versa)

  2. Geographical location: on the northern islands of the Kuril chain (esp. Shumshu, Paramushir) and up to the southern tip of Kamchatka (Cape Lopatka)

  3. Relationships: /Ainu

  4. Present state of the language: EXTINCT since the late 19th century, if not earlier

  5. Sources:

  6. Remarks:

  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 18 Dec. 1993