LINGUIST List 4.758

Sun 26 Sep 1993

FYI: Uralic, Greenfield

Editor for this issue: <>


  1. , Current information on the Uralic languages
  2. Swann Philip, Greenfield on Language

Message 1: Current information on the Uralic languages

Date: Fri, 24 Sep 1993 16:54:00 Current information on the Uralic languages
From: <>
Subject: Current information on the Uralic languages

To those interested in Uralic linguistics:

The following table, prepared at the Department of Finno-Ugrian Studies,
University of Helsinki, presents an overall classification of the Uralic
languages with the recommended English glottonyms and current demographical
data. A more detailed version of the table has been published on the map
Geographical Distribution of the Uralic Languages (Finno-Ugrian Society,
Helsinki 1993).

Classification of the Uralic (Finno-Ugrian) languages,
with present numbers of speakers and areas of distribution

Sami languages ("Lappish")
Southern Sami 500 Norway, Sweden
Ume Sami very few Norway (extinct), Sweden
Pite Sami very few Norway (extinct), Sweden
Lule Sami 2,000 Norway, Sweden
Northern Sami 30,000 Norway, Sweden, Finland
Inari Sami 400 Finland
Kemi Sami extinct since 1800s Finland
Skolt Sami 500 Finland, Russia
Akkala (Babinsk) Sami very few Russia
Kildin Sami 1,000 Russia
Ter Sami 500 Russia

Finnic ("Baltic-Finnic") languages
Livonian very few Latvia
Estonian 1,000,000 Estonia and adjacent areas
Votian very few Russia
Finnish 5,000,000 Finland and adjacent areas
Ingrian 300 Russia
Karelian and Olonetsian 70,000 Finland, Russia
Ludian 5,000 Russia
Vepsian 6,000 Russia

Mordvin languages
Erzya 500,000 Russia
Moksha 250,000 Russia

Mari ("Cheremis") 550,000 Russia

Permian languages
Udmurt ("Votyak") 500,000 Russia
Komi ("Zyryan") and Permyak 350,000 Russia

Ugrian languages
Hungarian 14,000,000 Hungary and adjacent areas
Mansi ("Vogul") 3,000 Russia (extinct), Siberia
Khanty ("Ostyak") 13,000 Siberia

Samoyed languages
Nganasan ("Tavgi") 600 Siberia
Enets ("Yenisei Samoyed") very few Siberia
Yurats extinct since 1800s Siberia
Nenets ("Yurak") 27,000 Russia, Siberia
Selkup ("Ostyak Samoyed") 1,500 Siberia
Kamas extinct since 1989 Siberia
Mator extinct since 1800s Siberia

The map is distributed by the Bookstore Tiedekirja, Kirkkokatu 14, SF-00170
Helsinki, Finland, tel. int. +358 0 635 177, fax int. +358 0 635 017. Its price
is Fmk 50 (about US$ 10) +p&p.

In case of comments or questions, you may contact:

Tapani Salminen
Dept. of Finno-Ugrian Studies
P.O. Box 3 (Fabianinkatu 33)
Telephone +358 0 191 2894
Telefax +358 0 191 3329
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Message 2: Greenfield on Language

Date: Wed, 22 Sep 1993 10:59:54 Greenfield on Language
From: Swann Philip <>
Subject: Greenfield on Language

I recently completed a "continuing commentary" on the following paper:

Greenfield, P. M. (1991) Language, tools and brain: the
ontogeny and phylogeny of hierarchically organized behavior.
Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 14, 531-95

I have submitted this to BBS for publication and placed a
copy on our anonymous ftp server (,
dir /pub/tecfa-publications). The original article and my
commentary cover a wide range of issues in the biology of
language. Comments, arguments and such welcome. If you
don't have access to ftp, I can e-mail a copy.

Philip Swann
University of Geneva
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