Ethnologue: Areas: Europe

Russia, Europe

Also includes Armenian 532,000, Assyrian Neo-Aramaic 10,000, North Azerbaijani 336,000, Belorussian 1,206,000, Estonian 56,000, Georgian 130,000, German 896,000,Greek 105,000, Latvian 29,000, Lithuanian 67,000, Osetin 402,000, Polish 94,000, Rumanian 178,000, Turkish, Turkmen, Udi 4,000 or more, Ukrainian 4,363,000, possibly Yiddish. Data accuracy estimate: B. The number of languages listed for Russia, Europe is 57. Of those, 56 are living languages and 1 is extinct.

ABAZA (ABAZIN, ABAZINTSY, ASHUWA) [ABQ] 34,800 in Russia (1989 census), about 95% speak it as mother tongue; 10,000 in Turkey (1995); 80 speakers out of 150 members of ethnic group in Germany; possibly 15 in USA; 45,000 in all countries. Karachay-Cherkess Republic. North Caucasian, Northwest, Abkhaz-Abazin. Dialects: TAPANTA, ASHKARAUA, BEZSHAGH. 'Abaza' is their name for themselves. 'Abazin, Abazintsy, Abazinskiy' are Russian names for them. Tapanta is the main dialect and source for the literary language. It has literary status. Uses a modified Cyrillic alphabet. Some dialects are partially intelligible with Abkhaz. 69.5% are fluent in Russian. Language use is more vigorous in Russia than in Turkey. Daily radio broadcasts. Newspaper. Some television broadcasts. Literature. Grammars. Dictionaries. Typology: SOV; ergative-absolutive agreement on the verb. Muslim. Work in progress.

ADYGHE (CIRCASSIAN, LOWER CIRCASSIAN, KIAKH, KJAX, WEST CIRCASSIAN, ADYGEI, ADYGEY) [ADY] 125,000 in Russia (1993 UBS), 96% speak it as mother tongue; 100,000 or more in Turkey (1995); 25,000 in Syria; 44,280 in Jordan; 8,000 in Iraq; 2,000 in Israel; 3,000 in USA; 2,000 in Germany; a few villages in Macedonia; 10 to 20 families in the Netherlands; a few families in France; 300,000 or more in all countries. Adygea Republic. Maikop is the capital. Reported to also be in Egypt, Australia. North Caucasian, Northwest, Circassian. Dialects: SHAPSUG (SAPSUG), XAKUCHI, BEZHEDUKH (BZEDUX, BZHEDUG, BEZHEHUX-TEMIRGOI, TEMIRGOJ, CHEMGUI), ABADZEX (ABADEKH, ABADZEG), NATUZAJ (NATUKHAI). Some literature. Official literary language in Adyghea along with Russian since 1994. Used for instruction in schools. Cyrillic alphabet is used in Russia. Dictionary. Grammar. Typology: SOV. Sunni Muslim. NT 1992. Bible portions 1977.

AGHUL (AGUL, AGHULSHUY, AGULY) [AGX] 19,000 in Russia and 32 in Azerbaijan (1979 census), 98% speak it as mother tongue. Southern Dagestan ASSR. North Caucasian, Northeast, Lezgian. Dialects: KOSHAN, KEREN, GEKXUN, AGUL. Not a literary language. Lezgi is used as the literary language. Sunni Muslim. Work in progress.

AKHVAKH (AXVAX) [AKV] 5,000 (1975 Ruhlen). Southern Dagestan ASSR. North Caucasian, Northeast, Avaro-Andi-Dido, Andi. Dialects: KAXIB, NORTHERN AKHVAKH, SOUTHERN AKHVAKH (TLYANUB, TSEGOB). Not a written language. Avar is used as the literary language. Dialects are diverse; speakers communicate in Avar. Muslim. Survey needed.

ANDI (ANDII, QWANNAB, ANDIY) [ANI] 10,000 (1993 UBS). Southern Dagestan ASSR. North Caucasian, Northeast, Avaro-Andi-Dido, Andi. Dialects: MUNIN, RIKVANI, KVANXIDATL, GAGATL, ZILO. Not a written language. Avar is used as the literary language. Dialects appear to be quite divergent. Muslim. Work in progress.

ARCHI (ARCHIN, ARCHINTSY) [ARC] 859 (1975 Ruhlen). Southern Dagestan ASSR. North Caucasian, Northeast, Lezgian. One of the most divergent of the Lezgian languages. Used in everyday family communication. Live in native territory. Traditional way of life. Not a written language. Avar is used as the literary language. Muslim.

AVAR (AVARO, DAGESTANI) [AVR] 601,000 in the former USSR, including 44,000 in Azerbaijan (1989 census); 959 in Kazakhstan; (1993 UBS), 98% speak it as mother tongue. Southern Dagestan ASSR and southern Azerbaijan, Terek and Sulak river areas. Also in Turkey. North Caucasian, Northeast, Avaro-Andi-Dido, Avar. Dialects: SALATAV, KUNZAKH (XUNZAX), KELEB, BACADIN, UNTIB, SHULANIN, KAXIB, HID, ANDALAL-GXDATL, KARAX (KARAKH), BATLUX, ANCUX (ANTSUKH), ZAKATALY (CHAR). Has literary status based on northern dialect, Kunzakh, which is used in Dagestan and as the lingua franca among speakers of the Avar group of languages. Education in it for the first two years except in the cities. Newspapers. Cyrillic alphabet is used. North Caucasian is also called 'Caucasian'. Language of wider communication. Sunni Muslim. Bible portions 1979-1996. Work in progress.

BAGVALAL (KVANADIN, KVANADA, BAGULAL, BAGVALIN, BARBALIN) [KVA] 5,500 (1962 Maxwell). Southern Dagestan ASSR. North Caucasian, Northeast, Avaro-Andi-Dido, Andi. Dialect: TLISI. Not a written language. Avar is used as a literary language. Close to Tindin but probably not inherently intelligible. Muslim. Survey needed.

BEZHTA (BEZHITA, BEZHETA, BEZHTI, BEXITA, BECHITIN, KAPUCHA, KUPUCA, KAPUCHIN) [KAP] 3,000 (1993 UBS). Southern Dagestan ASSR. North Caucasian, Northeast, Avaro-Andi-Dido, Dido. Dialects: BEZHTA, TLYADALY, KHOCHARKHOTIN. Not a written language. Avar is used as the literary language; bilingual proficiency undetermined. A separate language from Hunzib (B. Comrie 1989). Muslim. Work in progress.

BOTLIKH (BOTLIX) [BPH] 3,500 including Godoberi (1962 Maxwell). Southern Dagestan ASSR. North Caucasian, Northeast, Avaro-Andi-Dido, Andi. Dialects: BOTLIKH, ZIBIRKHALIN. Not a written language. Avar is used as literary language; bilingual proficiency undetermined. Close to Andi. Godoberi is a separate language (B. Comrie 1989). Muslim. Survey needed.

CHAMALAL (CAMALAL, CHAMALIN) [CJI] 5,500 (1962 Maxwell). Southern Dagestan ASSR. North Caucasian, Northeast, Avaro-Andi-Dido, Andi. Dialects: GADYRI (GACHITL-KVANKHI), GAKVARI (AGVALI-RICHAGANIK-TSUMADA-URUKH), GIGATL. Not a written language. Avar is used as literary language. Dialects are quite distinct. Muslim. Survey needed.

CHECHEN (NOKHCHIIN, NOKCHIIN MUOTT) [CJC] 944,600 speakers out of an ethnic population of 956,879 (1989 census); 8,000 in Turkey (1996); 3,000 in Jordan (1993); 1,000,000 in all countries; 97% speak it as mother tongue. The population of Chechnya is 1,200,000 (1994). Chechenia, north Caucasus. The capital is Syelzha Ghaala (Chechen name) or Grozny (Groznii; Russian name). 80% live in rural areas. Also in Kyrghyzstan, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Jordan, Syria, USA, and scattered speakers in Uzbekistan and Germany. North Caucasian, North Central, Chechen-Ingush. Dialects: PLOSKOST, ITUMKALA (SHATOI), MELKHIN, KISTIN, CHEBERLOI, AKKIN (AUX). The largest North Caucasian language. It has literary status. Used in schools, radio, newspapers, other publishing. Melkhi is the transitional dialect to Ingush. Chechen is at least partially intelligible with Ingush--more so with contact. Most speakers are quite fluent in Russian. Cyrillic alphabet is used. They call themselves 'Nakhchuo' (sg.) or 'Nokhchi' (pl.). There are many Russians, Ingush, Ossetins, and other peoples living among them. From 1944 to 1957 they were deported to Kazakhstan and Siberia, losing 1/4 to 1/2 of their population, and have lost much land, economic resources, and civil rights. They have been largely removed from the productive lowlands. Grammar. Dictionaries. Typology: Ergative case system; many consonants and vowels; extensive inflectional morphology, many nominal cases, several gender classes; complex sentences by chaining participial clauses; verbs have gender agreement with the direct object or intransitive subject, but no person agreement (Johanna Nichols). Alpine forest (highlands). Mountain slope, foothills, plains. Shepherds, agriculturalists: grain. Sunni Muslim: Sufi. Bible portions 1986-1995. Work in progress.

CHUVASH (BULGAR) [CJU] 1,774,000 in Russia (1993 Johnstone); 22,871 in Kazakhstan; 2,092 in Kyrghyzstan; 8,868 in Uzbekistan; 1,200 in Estonia; 1,809,000 in all countries. 82% of the ethnic group speak it as mother tongue. Chuvashia, east of Moscow, near the Volga River. Cheboksary is their capital. About half live in towns (1995). Altaic, Turkic, Bolgar. Dialects: ANATRI, VIRYAL. Has status of literary language. Chuvash magazines, newspapers, radio programs, TV. Cyrillic script. The only extant language in the Bolgar branch of Turkic. About 80% can use Russian as second language. Agriculturalists. Christian: Russian Orthodox; traditional religion. NT 1904-1911. Bible portions 1820-1996. Work in progress.

DARGWA (DARGIN, DARGINTSY, KHIURKILINSKII) [DAR] 365,000, in the former USSR (1993 UBS), 98% speak it as mother tongue; 863 in Azerbaijan; 636 in Kazakhstan; 1,419 in Kyrghyzstan; 1,599 in Turkmenistan; 634 in Ukraine; 1,337 in Uzbekistan; 371,000 in all countries. Southern Dagestan ASSR. Also in Turkey. North Caucasian, Northeast, Lak-Dargwa. Dialects: CUDAXAR (TSUDAKHAR), AKUSHA (URKARAX, URAKHA-AKHUSH, AKKHUSHA), URAXA-AXUSHA, KAJTAK (XAJDAK, KAITAK, KAYTAK), KUBACHI (KUBACHIN, KUBACHINTSY, UGHBUG), DEJBUK, XARBUK, MUIRIN, SIRXIN. Has literary status based on the Akusha dialect. Cyrillic alphabet is used. Newspapers. Kaytag and Kubachin were previously considered separate languages from Dargwa. Mountain slope. Agriculturalists. Sunni and some Shi'a Muslim. Bible portions 1996. Work in progress.

DIDO (DIDOI, TSEZ, CEZ, TSEZY, TSUNTIN) [DDO] 7,000 (1994 UBS). Southern Dagestan ASSR. North Caucasian, Northeast, Avaro-Andi-Dido, Dido. Dialect: SAGADIN. Not a literary language. Avar is used as the literary language. Sagadin dialect is most distinct. Slight dialect differences from village to village. Muslim. Survey needed.

DOMARI [RMT] 500,000 in all countries (1980 Kenrick). Karachi dialect is in the Caucasus, Luli and Maznoug in Uzbekistan. Also in Iran, Syria, Turkey, Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, Libya, India. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Central zone, Dom. Dialects: KARACHI, LULI, MAZNOUG. A Gypsy language. Muslim. Survey needed.

ERZYA (MORDVIN-ERZYA, MORDVIN, ERZIA) [MYV] 440.000 in Russia; 1,150 in Azerbaijan; 34,371 in Kazakhstan; 5,390 in Kyrghyzstan; 3,488 in Turkmenistan; 14,176 in Uzbekistan; 500,000 in all countries (1994 Tapani Salminen). Northern Mordvin ASSR. They are spread out, but there are compact groups of speakers. Uralic, Finno-Ugric, Finno-Permic, Finno-Cheremisic, Finno-Mordvinic, Mordvinic. Has status as literary language. Quite different from Moksha. Speakers are quite acculturated to national culture and the Russian language. Christian: Russian Orthodox, traditional religion. NT 1824. Bible portions 1821-1996. Work in progress.

FINNISH [FIN] 31,570 speakers out of 77,000 in the ethnic group in Russia (1979 census; 41% speak it as mother tongue); 4,700,000 in Finland; 300,000 in Sweden; 214,168 in USA; 36,725 in Canada; 6,000,000 in all countries (1991 WA). St. Petersburg area, Ingria region. Uralic, Finno-Ugric, Finno-Permic, Finno-Cheremisic, Finno-Mordvinic, Finno-Lappic, Balto-Finnic. Eastern dialects merge gradually into Karelian. Many are bilingual in Russian. Christian. Bible 1642-1991. NT 1548-1976. Bible portions 1891-1986.

GHODOBERI (GODOBERI, GODOBERIN) [GDO] 3,000 (1996). Southern Dagestan ASSR. North Caucasian, Northeast, Avaro-Andi-Dido, Andi. Used in daily family communication. Traditional territory and way of life. Not a written language. Avar is used as literary language. Close to Andi. A separate language from Botlikh (B. Comrie 1989). Muslim. Survey needed.

HINUKH (GINUKH, GINUX, GINUKHTSY, HINUX) [GIN] 200 (A.E. Kibrik 1991). Southern Dagestan ASSR. North Caucasian, Northeast, Avaro-Andi-Dido, Dido. Not a written language. Avar is used as the literary language; bilingual proficiency undetermined. Close to Tsez (Dido) but probably not inherently intelligible. Hinukh men marry Dido women. Hinukh women marry men from other ethnic groups. Hinukh has high prestige, and remains the language of the family. A viable language. Muslim. Survey needed.

HUNZIB (GUNZIB, XUNZAL, KHUNZALY, KHUNZAL, ENZEB) [HUZ] 2,000 (1995 H. Ven den Berg). Southern Dagestan ASSR. North Caucasian, Northeast, Avaro-Andi-Dido, Dido. Not a written language. Avar is used as the literary language; bilingual proficiency undetermined. A separate language from Bezhta (B. Comrie 1989). Grammar. Typology: 27 consonants, 16 vowels, word stress generally linked to prefinal vowel, 5 noun classes, agreement between nouns and coreferent adjectives, pronouns, verbs, and adverbs marked by prefixes, nominative-ergative system, demonstratives. Muslim. Survey needed.

INGRIAN (IZHOR) [IZH] 302 speakers (1989 census) out of 10,000 to 15,000 in the ethnic group. Baltic area, Kingisepp and Lomonosov areas of St. Petersburg Oblast. Uralic, Finno-Ugric, Finno-Permic, Finno-Cheremisic, Finno-Mordvinic, Finno-Lappic, Balto-Finnic. Dialects: SOYKIN, KHAVA, LOWER LUZH, OREDEZH (UPPER LUZH). Close to Karelian but the government considers them separate languages. Endangered. Christian. Survey needed.

INGUSH (GHALGHAY, INGUS) [INH] 230,315 mother tongue speakers (97%) out of an ethnic population of 237,438 (1989 census). Chechen Ingushetia, northern Caucasus, west of the Chechen. Vladikavkaz (Ordzhhonikidze) is the main city. Nazran in the lowlands is an important market town. 64.6% live in rural areas. Since 1992 up to 60,000 Ingush refugees are reported to be in Ingushetia. Also in Uzbekistan. North Caucasian, North Central, Chechen-Ingush. Has status as a literary language. Cyrillic alphabet. Somewhat intelligible with Chechen--more so with contact. Many speak Russian as second language. 'Ghalghay' is their name for themselves. From 1944 to 1957 they were deported to Kazakhstan and Siberia, losing 1/4 to 1/2 of their population, and have lost much land, economic resources, and civil rights. Many Russians, Ossetins, and Georgians live in Vladikavkaz--the Ingush were removed from there in late 1992. Grammar. Alpine highlands, plains. Mountain slope, foothills, lowlands. Hanafi Sunni Muslim. Work in progress.

JUDEO-TAT (JUDEO-TATIC, HEBREW TATI, JEWISH TAT, BIK, DZHUHURIC, JUWRI, JUHURI) [TAT] 7,000 in Russia (1989 census); 24,000 in Azerbaijan (1989 census); 40,000 in Israel (1994); 71,000 in all countries. 91% in Russia were reported to speak the language (1979 census). Dagestan ASSR, Nalchik in Kabardino-Balkar ASSR, in villages and ancient cities of the Caucasus mountains (Derbent, Makhachkale, Nalchik, Majalis, Pyatigorsk). Until recently they were in Grozny in Checheno-Ingush. None in Iran. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Western, Southwestern, Tati. Dialect: DERBEND. Difficult intelligibility with Mussulman Tat. Judeo-Tat is a literary language in Russia; Cyrillic alphabet is used. Derbend dialect is the basis for literary Judeo-Tat. Literature was produced officially from 1920 to 1940 in Roman alphabet. Recently private literature uses Hebrew script. There may also be a Christian dialect. Speakers of Judeo-Tat are called 'Bik'. They are known as 'Mountain Jews'. They call their language 'Juwri' or 'Juhuri'. Tradition says that they have lived in the Caucasus since 722 B.C. Different from Takestani of Iran. Radio broadcasts twice a week. Mountain slope. Agriculturalists: marena grass for dying (traditionally), fruit, cattle; hides; merchants. Jewish. Bible portions 1980. Work in progress.

KABARDIAN (BESLENEI, UPPER CIRCASSIAN, EAST CIRCASSIAN, KABARDINO-CHERKES, KABARDO-CHERKES) [KAB] 443,000 including 46,000 Cherkes in Russia (1993 UBS), 97% speak it as mother tongue; 202,000 in Turkey (1993); 2,000 speakers in USA mixed with Adygey (1981); 647,000 in all countries. Kabardino-Balkaria and Karachai-Cherkessia. Naltshik is the capital. Also in Saudi Arabia. North Caucasian, Northwest, Circassian. Dialects: GREATER KABARDIAN, BAKSAN, LESSER KABARDIAN, MALKA, MOZDOK, KUBAN, CHERKES, BESLENEI (BESLENEJ). Has literary status. Cyrillic alphabet. Sunni Muslim. NT 1993. Bible portions 1991.

KALMYK-OIRAT (KALMUK, KALMUCK, KALMACK, QALMAQ, KALMYTSKII JAZYK, KHAL:MAG, OIRAT, VOLGA OIRAT, EUROPEAN OIRAT, WESTERN MONGOLIAN) [KGZ] 174,000 Kalmyk in Russia (1993 UBS), 91% speak it as mother tongue; 139,000 Oirat in China (1987); 205,500 Oirat in Mongolia; 518,000 in all countries. The Kalmyk are in Kalmykia, the steppes between the Don and Volga rivers, lower Volga region, now the Astrakhan Province. The capital is Elista. Sart Qalmaq is an Oirat dialect spoken in Kyrghyzstan. Dorbot and Torgut are also in Mongolia and China. Also in Germany, Taiwan, and USA (Pennsylvania and New Jersey). Altaic, Mongolian, Eastern, Oirat-Khalkha, Oirat-Kalmyk-Darkhat. Dialects: BUZAWA, OIRAT, TORGUT (TORGUUD, TORGHUD, TORGHOUD), DÖRBÖT (DÖRBÖD, DERBET), SART QALMAQ. Kalmyk has literary status in Russia. Cyrillic script is used by the Dorbot and Torgut who live between the Volga and the Don, east of the Caspian and north of the Caucasus, in Kalmyk ASSR. Tibetan is used as religious language. In 1628 the Oirat moved from Dzungaria, Eastern Turkistan (Xinjiang, China) to the Volga, north and west of the Caspian Sea. Their language has diverged from other Mongolian languages and they are called 'Kalmyk' in Russia; 'Oirat' in China and Mongolia. In USA Kalmyk has not been heavily influenced by Russian as it has been in Russia. Different from other varieties in China called Oirat, which are sometimes called 'Asiatic Oirat'. Speakers in Russia use Russian as second language. Lamaist Buddhist. NT 1827-1894, out of print. Bible portions 1815-1995. Work in progress.

KARACHAY-BALKAR (KARACHAY, KARACHAI, KARACHAYLA, KARACHAITSY, KARACAYLAR) [KRC] 241,000 mother tongue speakers in the former USSR, 97% of the ethnic population, including 156,000 Karachay, 85,000 Balkar (1993 UBS); 983 in Armenia (1979); 184 in Azerbaijan (1979); 2,714 in Kazakhstan (1979); 1,973 in Kyrghyzstan (1979); 254 in Uzbekistan (1979). Karachi-Cherkessia and Kabardino-Balkaria. Karachaevsk-Cherkessk is the capital. The Balkar are isolated. Some in USA. Altaic, Turkic, Western, Ponto-Caspian. Dialects: BALKAR, KARACHAY. As a literary language a common Karachay-Balkar language was created. Balkar and Karachay are almost identical. Cyrillic alphabet. From 1944 to 1957 they were deported to Kazakhstan and Siberia, losing 1/4 to 1/2 of their population, and have lost much land, economic resources, and civil rights. Sunni Muslim. NT 1994. Bible portions 1978-1995.

KARATA (KARATIN, KIRDI, KARATAI) [KPT] 6,000 (1962 Maxwell). Southern Dagestan ASSR. North Caucasian, Northeast, Avaro-Andi-Dido, Andi. Dialects: TOKITA (TOKITIN), ANCHIX. Not a written language. Avar is used as the literary language. Karatin and Tokitin are quite different. Muslim. Survey needed.

KARELIAN (KARELY, KARELIAN PROPER, SOBSTVENNO-KAREL'SKIJ-JAZYK, SEVERNO-KAREL'SKIJ, KAREL'SKOGO JAZYKA) [KRL] 118,000 mother tongue speakers out of an ethnic population of 172,000 in Russia (1993 Johnstone); 10,000 in Finland (1994); 128,000 in all countries. Karelia, Tver (Kalinin), St. Petersburg, and Murmansk oblasts. Petrozavodsk is the capital. Uralic, Finno-Ugric, Finno-Permic, Finno-Cheremisic, Finno-Mordvinic, Finno-Lappic, Balto-Finnic. Dialects: NORTHERN KARELIAN, SOUTHERN KARELIAN, NOVGOROD, TVER (KALININ). A literary language. A primer was recently produced in Tver Karelian. Ludic and Livvi are separate languages. Many are bilingual in Russian, but those over 50 have difficulty understanding Russian. Some use Finnish as second language. Dictionary. Agriculturalists, animal husbandry, wood industry. Bible portions 1820-1996. Work in progress.

KHVARSHI (XVARSHI, KHVARSHIN) [KHV] 1,800 (Maxwell 1962). Southern Dagestan ASSR. North Caucasian, Northeast, Avaro-Andi-Dido, Dido. Dialects: XVARSHI, INXOKVARI. Used in daily family communication. Traditional territory and way of life. Not a written language. Avar is used as the literary language. Dialects are quite distinct. Muslim. Survey needed.

KOMI-PERMYAK (PERMYAK, KOMI-PERMYAT, KAMA PERMYAK, KOMI-PERM) [KOI] 116,000 mother tongue speakers (77%) out of an ethnic population of 151,000 (1979 census). Komi-Permyak National Okrug, west of the central Ural Mountains, south of Komi-Zyrian. Uralic, Finno-Ugric, Finno-Permic, Permic. Dialects: ZYUDIN, NORTH PERMYAK (KOCHIN-KAM), SOUTH PERMYAK (INYVEN). Some literature available. Ancient literary and cultural traditions. 80% cognate with Komi-Zyrian and Udmurt. More densely populated and mixed, higher education, and more assimilated to national culture than Komi-Zyrian. Possible difficulty in understanding among dialects. Agriculturalists, some industrialists. Christian: Russian Orthodox, traditional religion. Bible portions 1866-1882. Work in progress.

KOMI-ZYRIAN (KOMI) [KPV] 262,200 mother tongue speakers (76%) out of an ethnic population of 345,000 (1993 UBS). Komi ASSR, 60' N. Lat., nearly to the Arctic Ocean. South of Yurak, west of the Vogul (Mansi) peoples. Capital is Syktywkar. Uralic, Finno-Ugric, Finno-Permic, Permic. Dialect: YAZVA. Has status as a literary language. 80% cognate with Komi-Permyat and Udmurt. Komi is used in the Institute for Language and Literature of the Komi branch of the Adademy of Science. Speakers use Russian as second language. Some use Yurak in the north. Pastoralists: reindeer; hunters, fishermen, lumbermen, traders. Christian: Russian Orthodox, traditional religion. NT 1979. Bible portions 1823-1995.

KUMYK (KUMUK, KUMUKLAR, KUMYKI) [KSK] 282,000 in Russia (1993 UBS); 554 in Kazakhstan. Southern Dagestan ASSR, northern and eastern Caucasian plain. Also in Turkey. Altaic, Turkic, Western, Ponto-Caspian. Dialects: KHASAVYURT, BUINAKSK, KHAIKENT. Dialects are apparently quite divergent. Kumyk has literary status. Cyrillic script. Different from the Kumux dialect of Lak. Most speakers use Russian as second language. Education is in Russian, with some in Kumyk in heavily populated Kumyk areas. Literacy rate in Russian high, in Kumyk it is higher where the majority speak Kumyk. Weekly newspaper, occasional radio broadcasts. One theater has Kumyk language plays. Dictionaries. Grammars. Plains. Sunni Muslim. Bible portions 1888-1996. Work in progress.

LAK (LAKI, KAZIKUMUKHTSY) [LBE] 112,100 mother tongue speakers (95%) out of an ethnic population of 118,000 in Russia; 1,205 in Azerbaijan (1993 UBS); 246 in Georgia (1979); 617 in Kazakhstan (1979); 257 in Kyrghyzstan (1979); 861 in Tajikistan (1979); 1,590 in Turkmenistan (1979); 574 in Ukraine (1979); 1,762 in Uzbekistan (1979 census); 300 in Turkey (1996). Southern Dagestan ASSR. North Caucasian, Northeast, Lak-Dargwa. Dialects: KUMUX (KUMKH), VICXIN (VITSKHIN), VIXLIN (VIKHLIN), ASHTIKULIN, BALXAR-CALAKAN (BALKAR-TSALAKAN). It has literary status based on the Kumux dialect. Cyrillic alphabet. Dialects are close. Sunni Muslim. Bible portions 1996. Work in progress.

LEZGI (LEZGIAN, LEZGHI, LEZGIN, KIURINSTY) [LEZ] 257,000 in Russia (1996); 171,400 in Azerbaijan (1996); 3,650 in Georgia; 2,570 in Kazakhstan; 1,599 in Kyrghyzstan; 10,400 in Turkmenistan; 1,708 in Ukraine; 1,585 in Uzbekistan; 1,200 in Turkey (1996); 451,000 in all countries. Southern Dagestan ASSR, the western Caspian Sea coast, central Caucasus. North Caucasian, Northeast, Lezgian. Dialects: KIURI, AKHTY, KUBA, GJUNEJ, GARKIN, ANYX, STAL. Has literary status based on the Kiuri dialect. Cyrillic alphabet. Some dialects are reported to not be inherently intelligible with other. Mountain slope. Agriculturalists. Sunni and some Shi'a Muslim. Bible portions 1990-1996. Work in progress.

LIVVI (OLONETSIAN, OLONETS, LIVVIKOVIAN, LIVVIKOVSKIJ JAZYK) [OLO] 80,000 in all countries out of a population of 140,000 (1992). Karelian Republic. 'Olonets' is the Russian name of their capital, which they call 'Anus'--'Aunus' in Finnish. Also in Finland. Uralic, Finno-Ugric, Finno-Permic, Finno-Cheremisic, Finno-Mordvinic, Finno-Lappic, Balto-Finnic. Ludic is transitional between Livvi and Veps. A distinct language from Karelian Proper and Ludic. Being developed as a literary language. Many speakers are bilingual in Russian. Radio broadcasts, TV, newspaper, primers, textbooks, poetry. Dictionary. Bible portions 1992-1995. Work in progress.

LUDIAN (LYUDIKOVIAN, LYUDIC, LUDIC) [LUD] Karelian ASSR. Uralic, Finno-Ugric, Finno-Permic, Finno-Cheremisic, Finno-Mordvinic, Finno-Lappic, Balto-Finnic. Ludian is transitional between Olonetsian and Veps. A separate language from Karelian (Juha Janhunen 1990). May be separate from Olonetsian. Survey needed.

MARI, HIGH (CHEREMISS, MARI-HILLS, GORNO-MARIY) [MRJ] 66,000 (1993 UBS). Mari ASSR, Gorno-Mariy, and some in Bashkortostan. Capital is Joschkar-Ola. Uralic, Finno-Ugric, Finno-Permic, Finno-Cheremisic, Cheremisic. Dialects: KOZYMODEMYAN, YARAN. Has literary status. Speakers have difficulty reading Low Mari because of lexical differences. There are also phonological and morphological differences. Agriculturalists, lumbermen. Christian, traditional religion. NT 1824. Bible portions 1821-1895. Work in progress.

MARI, LOW (CHEREMIS, MARI, MARI-WOODS, EASTERN MARI, LUGOVO MARI) [MAL] 525,480 mother tongue speakers (87%) out of an ethnic population of 604,000 (1993 UBS); 9,089 in Kazakhstan. Mari ASSR, left bank of Volga, Bashkir, Tatar, Udmurt ASSR, Perm, Sverov, Kirov Oblasts. Capital is Yoshkar-Ola, 500 km. east of Moscow. Uralic, Finno-Ugric, Finno-Permic, Finno-Cheremisic, Cheremisic. Dialect: GRASSLAND MARI (SERNUR-MORKIN, YOSHKAR-OLIN, VOLGA). Has literary status. Used in schools, books, newspapers, radio. Christian: Russian Orthodox, traditional religion. NT 1986. Bible portions 1870-1995.

MOKSHA (MORDVIN-MOKSHA, MORDOV, MORDOFF, MOKSHAN) [MDF] 428,333 (1970). Mordovia, southern. Saramsk is the capital. Uralic, Finno-Ugric, Finno-Permic, Finno-Cheremisic, Finno-Mordvinic, Mordvinic. Considerable difference with Erzya. Speakers use Russian as second language. The Tengushen are Erzya ethnically, but speak Moksha. Christian. Bible portions 1879-1996. Work in progress.

NOGAI (NOGAY, NOGHAY, NOGHAI, NOGHAYLAR, NOGAITSY, NOGALAR) [NOG] 67,500 mother tongue speakers (90%) out of an ethnic population of 75,000 (1993 UBS); 155 in Kazakhstan; 151 in Uzbekistan. Northern Caucasus, Cherkes AO. Altaic, Turkic, Western, Aralo-Caspian. Dialects: WHITE NOGAI (AK), BLACK NOGAI (KARA), CENTRAL NOGAI. The literary language is based on White Nogai, Black Nogai, and Central Nogai. Dialect differences are slight. Cyrillic script. Speakers use Russian as second language. Sunni Muslim. Bible portions 1996. Work in progress.

ROMANI, VLACH [RMY] 10,000 Kalderash in Russia, Ukraine, and Moldova; 1,500,000 in all countries (1986 estimate). Russian SFSR, Eastern and western Ukraine, Odessa, Transcarpathia, Moldova, Russian SFSR, Romania, Bosnia- Herzegovina, Italy, England, Germany, France, Sweden, Norway, Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Poland, Albania, Greece, USA, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Central zone, Romani, Vlax. Dialects: CENTRAL VLACH ROMANI, KALDERASH. A Gypsy language. Vlach from the former USSR are called 'Rusurja'. Ethnic groups: Sárvi (left-bank Ukraine), Volóxuja (right-bank Ukraine), Chache (Moldavia), Kalderari (Moldavia, Ukraine, Odessa, Transcarpathia), Lovári (Ukraine). About 300,000 Gypsies from the former USSR speak a variety of Romani, Lomavren, or Domari as first or second language (Gunnemarck and Kenrick). Christian. NT 1984-1986. Bible portions 1930-1986.

RUSSIAN (RUSSKI) [RUS] 153,655,000 in the republics of the former USSR; including 137,397,000 ethnic Russians, (1979 census), and an additional 16,300,000 non-Russians who speak Russian as their mother tongue; 70,000 in Armenia; 475,000 in Azerbaijan; 1,134,000 in Belarus; 474,834 in Estonia; 372,000 in Georgia; 6,227,000 in Kazakhstan; 916,000 in Kyrghyzstan; 861,600 in Latvia; 344,000 in Lithuania; 562,000 in Moldova; 237,000 in Tajikistan; 349,000 in Turkmenistan; 11,335,000 in Ukraine; 1,661,000 in Uzbekistan; 360,000 in Germany; 450,000 to 500,000 in Israel (1994); 334,615 in USA (1970 census); 31,745 in Canada (1971 census); 13,504 in China (1990 census); 4,000 in Mongolia (1993); 18,000 in Bulgaria; 3,000 in Norway; 60,000 in Poland; 14,000 in Uruguay; 170,000,000 in all countries, first language speakers; 288,000,000 including second language speakers (1995 WA). Also in Czech Republic, India. Indo-European, Slavic, East. Dialects: NORTH RUSSIAN, SOUTH RUSSIAN. The Chuvan are a Yukagiric people now speaking Russian. The Meshcheryak are ethnically Erzya, but speak Russian. The Teryukhan are ethnically Erzya in Gorkiy, but speak Russian. National language. Typology: SVO. Christian. Braille Bible portions. Braille Scripture in progress. Bible 1680-1993. NT 1821-1991. Bible portions 1815-1993.

RUSSIAN SIGN LANGUAGE [RSL] Moscow, Armavir, Gorky, Kazan, Kirov, Kolomna, Kujbyshev, St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk, Rostov on Don, Sverdlovsk have schools for the deaf. Also used in Bulgaria. Deaf sign language. Originated in 1806. Related to Austrian and French sign languages, but different. There are deaf associations and athletic clubs. Signed interpretation required in court, and used at important public events. Many sign language classes for hearing people. Some use on TV. There is an organization for sign language teachers. Elementary schools for deaf children since 1878. There is a manual system for spelling. Dictionary. Films, video.

RUTUL (RUTAL, RUTULY, RUTULTSY, MYKHANIDY, CHAL, MUKHAD) [RUT] 20,000 in Russia (1993 UBS), 99% speak it as mother tongue; 111 in Azerbaijan. Southern Dagestan ASSR. North Caucasian, Northeast, Lezgian. Dialects: SHINA, BORCH, IXREKO-MUXREK. Not a literary language. Lezgin is used as the literary language. Dialects are not sharply defined. Sunni Muslim. Work in progress.

SAAMI, KILDIN ("KILDIN LAPPISH", "LAPP", SAAM) [LPD] 1,000 (1987 T. Salminen); 2,000 all Saami in Russia (1987 Swedish Saami Association). Uralic, Finno-Ugric, Finno-Permic, Finno-Cheremisic, Finno-Mordvinic, Finno-Lappic, Lappic, Central. An officially recognized literary language. Have own writing system and literacy. Many are bilingual in Russian. The name "Lapp" is derogatory; 'Saami' is preferred.

SAAMI, SKOLT ("SKOLT LAPPISH", "RUSSIAN LAPP", "LAPP", SAAM, LOPAR, KOLTA, SKOLT) [LPK] 500 in Russia (1987); 500 in Finland (1987); 1,000 in all countries. Northern and western Kola Peninsula around Petsamo. Uralic, Finno-Ugric, Finno-Permic, Finno-Cheremisic, Finno-Mordvinic, Finno-Lappic, Lappic, Central. Dialects: NOTOZER, YOKAN. Many in Russia are bilingual in Russian. The name "Lapp" is derogatory; 'Saami' is preferred. Christian. Bible portions 1878-1988. Work in progress.

SAAMI, TER ("TER LAPPISH", "LAPP", SAAM) [LPT] 500 (1987 T. Salminen). Uralic, Finno-Ugric, Finno-Permic, Finno-Cheremisic, Finno-Mordvinic, Finno-Lappic, Lappic, Central. Many are bilingual in Russian. The name "Lapp" is derogatory; 'Saami' is preferred. Survey needed.

SERBO-CROATIAN (SERBIAN) [SRC] 5,000 in Russia (1959 census); 21,000,000 in all countries (1995). Primarily in Yugoslavia. Also in Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Greece, Italy, Sweden, Turkey, USA, Canada, Australia. Indo-European, Slavic, South, Western. Cyrillic script. Christian, Muslim. Bible 1804-1968. NT 1563-1983. Bible portions 1564-1987.

SLAVONIC, OLD CHURCH [SLN] Indo-European, Slavic, South, Eastern. Used as liturgical language of various Orthodox and Byzantine Catholic churches. Christian. Bible 1581-1751. NT 1580. Bible portions 1491-1580. Extinct.

TABASSARAN (TABASARAN, TABASARANTSY, GHUMGHUM) [TAB] 95,000 mother tongue speakers (97%) out of an ethnic population of 98,000 in Russia (1993 UBS); 279 in Azerbaijan; 225 in Kazakhstan; 177 in Turkmenistan; 224 in Uzbekistan. Southern Dagestan ASSR. North Caucasian, Northeast, Lezgian. Dialects: SOUTH TABASARAN, NORTH TABASARAN (KHANAG). Has status of literary language based on the South Tabassaran dialect. Cyrillic alphabet. Sunni Muslim. Bible portions 1996. Work in progress.

TATAR (TARTAR) [TTR] 5,715,000 speakers (86%) out of an ethnic group of 6,645,588 in the former USSR (1989 census), including 6,017,000 ethnic Tatar, of whom 86% speak Tatar as mother tongue, and an additional 370,000 Bashkir speak it as mother tongue; 31,787 in Azerbaijan; 3,102 in Georgia; 328,000 in Kazakhstan; 70,000 in Kyrghyzstan; 80,000 in Tajikistan; 40,434 in Turkmenistan; 90,542 in Ukraine; 468,000 in Uzbekistan; 5,000 in Latvia; 4,000 in Estonia; 5,100 in Lithuania; 7,000 to 10,000 in New York City and San Francisco, USA; 1,000 in China (1990); 1,000 in Finland (1995); 350 in Afghanistan; 8,000,000 in all countries (1995 WA). Tatarstan, from Moscow to eastern Siberia. Capital is Kazan (Kasan), on the Volga River. Also in Belarus, Moldova, Turkey and Finland. Altaic, Turkic, Western, Uralian. Dialects: MIDDLE TATAR (KAZAN), WESTERN TATAR (MISHER), EASTERN TATAR (SIBERIAN TATAR). Has literary status, based on the Kazan dialect, which is the most prestigious. Eastern Tatar is divided into 3: Tobol- Irtysh, Baraba, and Tom. Tobol-Irtysh is divided into 5: Tyumen, Tobol, Zabolotny, Tevriz, and Tara (Tumasheva). Mixed dialects are: Astrakhan, Kasimov, Tepter, and Ural (Poppe). 43,000 Astrakhan have assimilated to the Middle dialect. Kasim (5,000) is between Middle and Western Tatar. Tepter (300,000) is reported to be between the Tatar and Bashkir languages. Uralic Tatar (110,000) is spoken by the Kerashen Tatar. Cyrillic script. High literacy rate. Distinct from Crimean Tatar (Crimean Turkish). The Karatai are ethnically Erzya who speak Tatar. Agriculturalists, oil workers, coal miners. Sunni Muslim, some Christians. Braille code available. Bible portions 1864-1995. Work in progress.

TINDI (TINDAL, TINDIN) [TIN] 5,000 (1962 Maxwell). Southern Dagestan ASSR. North Caucasian, Northeast, Avaro-Andi-Dido, Andi. Used in daily family communication. Traditional territory and way of life. Not a written language. Avar is used as the literary language. Bagvalal is closely related, but probably not inherently intelligible. Muslim. Survey needed.

TSAKHUR (TSAXUR, CAXUR, TSAKHURY) [TKR] 7,000 in Russia; 13,000 in Azerbaijan (1989 census); 73 in Uzbekistan; 20,000 in all countries. Southern Dagestan ASSR and Azerbaijan. North Caucasian, Northeast, Lezgian. Dialects: KIRMICO-LEK, MIKIK, MISLES. A written language. The most widely scattered of the smaller ethnic groups. Muslim. Work in progress.

UDMURT (VOTIAK, VOTYAK) [UDM] 550,000 mother tongue speakers (77%) out of an ethnic population of 750,000 in the former USSR (1989 census); 15,786 in Kazakhstan. Udmurtia, 1,000 km. northeast of Moscow, bounded by the Kama and Cheptsa rivers, near the Ural Mts. Izhyevsk (Ischewsk) is the capital. Uralic, Finno-Ugric, Finno-Permic, Permic. Dialects: NORTH UDMURT (VESERMYAN, UDMURT), SOUTH UDMURT (SOUTHWESTERN UDMURT). Has literary status. Speakers use Russian as second language. The Besermyan are Udmurt-speaking Tatar. Agriculturalists. Christian, traditional religion, secular. Bible portions 1847-1995. Work in progress.

VEPS (VEPSIAN, "CHUDY", "CHUHARI", "CHUKHARI") [VEP] 2,320 speakers (1979 census) out of 13,500 in the ethnic group (1989 census). The remaining persons speak Russian as first language. Other reports indicate the number of speakers is higher. Among Russian speakers, on the boundary between St. Petersburg and Vologda oblasts and in Karelian Republic. Half reportedly went to Finland during World War II. Uralic, Finno-Ugric, Finno-Permic, Finno-Cheremisic, Finno-Mordvinic, Finno-Lappic, Balto-Finnic. Dialects: SOUTHERN VEPS, CENTRAL VEPS, PRIONEZH (NORTH VEPS). Most speakers are bilingual in Russian. A growing sense of ethnic identity and desire to revive Veps. Taught in some primary schools, but not compulsory. Radio broadcasts, TV, newspaper, book of poems, school primers for grades 1-3. Grammar. Dictionaries. Christian. Bible portions 1992-1996. Work in progress.

VOD (VOTIAN, VOTE, VODIAN, VOTIAN, VOTISH, VOTIC) [VOD] 25 (1979 Valt). Kingisepp area of St. Petersburg. Uralic, Finno-Ugric, Finno-Permic, Finno-Cheremisic, Finno-Mordvinic, Finno-Lappic, Balto-Finnic. Dialects: EAST VOD, WEST VOD. Intelligible with Estonian of the northeast coast. Nearly extinct.


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Part of the Ethnologue, 13th Edition, Barbara F. Grimes, Editor.
Copyright © 1996, Summer Institute of Linguistics, Inc. All rights reserved.

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