LINGUIST List 10.1480

Thu Oct 7 1999

Books: Samoyed Languages

Editor for this issue: Scott Fults <scottlinguistlist.org>


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Directory

  1. LINCOM EUROPA, Samoyed Langs - Ago Kuennap, Enets
  2. LINCOM EUROPA, Samoyed Langs - Ago Kuennap, Kamass

Message 1: Samoyed Langs - Ago Kuennap, Enets

Date: Mon, 04 Oct 1999 21:15:06 +0200
From: LINCOM EUROPA <LINCOM.EUROPAt-online.de>
Subject: Samoyed Langs - Ago Kuennap, Enets

ENETS
Ago Kuennap, University of Tartu

 Enets is one of the Samoyed languages, fairly little
investigated but of considerable interest from the point of view of
historical linguistics. The native speakers of Enets live in Siberia,
on the eastern bank of the Yenisey River, close to the estuary of the
river.
 The written records about Enets were first fixed in the 17th
century. Now there are about 200 Enetses, from them nearly 100 can
yet speak Enets. All the Enetses can speak Russian and/or Nenets,
partly also Nganasan. In the 18th century the number of the Enets
population is supposed to have exceeded 3,000. The Enetses have never
had their own written language or school instruction in their mother
tongue.
 From all the other Samoyed languages, Nenets and Nganasan are
the closest to Enets. Enets has received most of the outside influence
from Nenets, more recently from Russian. Enets has two dialects: Bai
(Forest) and Madu (Tundra). The dialects primarily differ phonetically
and lexically, partly also morphologically. The present outline has
been compiled on the basis of the Bai dialect.
 In the Enets phonology the opposition of short and long vowels
can be observed. Although there is a fairly good survey about the
grammar of Enets, very few longer texts have been recorded. Enets is
typologically a rather common Uralic language. Agglutination
predominates over flection, synthetical features over analytical ones.
 The parts of speech in Enets are nouns, adjectives, numerals,
pronouns, verbs, adverbs, postpositions, conjunctions, particles and
interjections. Grammatical gender is lacking. The category of case is
primarily expressed by means of suffixes, there are seven cases. The
nouns are used with the possessive suffix. There are also subject and
object conjugations with differences in personal suffixes. The nouns
may also be conjugated (nominal conjugation). The Enets modes are
indicative, exadhortative, conjunctive, debitive, optative,
imperative, auditive, interrogative and quotative. The tenses can be
expressed by a common verbal aspect but in the preterite and future
tenses separate suffixes can also be used.
 The separate orientation can be expressed by a trinominal
distribution of locatives: to where? where? from where? In case of
verbal negation a separate negative auxiliary is used. The verbal
forms can indicate the subject person and, in addition to its number,
also the number of the object. Enets has no compound sentences:
instead of a subordinate clause participial, gerundial and infinitival
constructions are used. An attribute precedes its main word. In Enets
there are numerous loan words from Nenets, particularly concerning
reindeer rearing, Nganasan loans in connection with reindeer hunting
and Russian loans related to more modern spheres of activity.

This outline is the first extensive modern survey about Enets. AGO
K´┐ŻNNAP is Professor of Uralic Languages of the University of. He has
published numerous papers and a few books on Samoyed languages.

ISBN 3 89586 229 0. 
Languages of the World/Materials 186. 
Ca. 50pp. EUR 25.46 / USD 32.50 / DM 49.30 

Ordering information for individuals: Please give us your creditcard no.
/ expiry date or send us a cheque. Prices in this information include
shipment worldwide by airmail. A standing order for this series is
available with special discounts offered to individual subscribers. 

LINCOM EUROPA, Paul-Preuss-Str. 25, D-80995 Muenchen, Germany; FAX +4989
3148909; 
http://home.t-online.de/home/LINCOM.EUROPA
LINCOM.EUROPAt-online.de.
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue

Message 2: Samoyed Langs - Ago Kuennap, Kamass

Date: Mon, 04 Oct 1999 21:16:56 +0200
From: LINCOM EUROPA <LINCOM.EUROPAt-online.de>
Subject: Samoyed Langs - Ago Kuennap, Kamass

KAMASS
Ago Kuennap, University of Tartu

 Kamass is one of the Samoyed languages, extinct to date,
relatively little investigated but of considerable interest from the
point of view of historical linguistics. The Samoyed and Finno-Ugric
languages together form the Uralic family of languages. The Kamass
native speakers lived in Siberia, on the northern slopes of the Sayan
mountains. Earlier they were reindeer rearers of shamanistic faith. Up
to date they have changed to using Russian or some local Turkic
language and become agriculturists.

 The first written records about the Kamass language date back
to the year of 1721. The author of this outline is the last gleaner of
the Kamass linguistic facts whose last informant died in 1989. Kamass
is supposed to have had the Koibal dialect, the latter, however, has
left us nothing more in writing than about 600 words. Likewise, the
main Kamass dialect itself was divided into two subdialects.

 The number of the native speakers of Kamass was very small
years ago already, perhaps a couple of hundreds only. Kamass never had
an alphabet of its own, to say nothing about having its own written
language or school instruction.

 In Kamass a strong phonetical and lexical influence by the
neighbouring Turkic languages can be observed. Due to the scarcity of
Kamass written records, it is possible to report only an approximate
phonological characterization and a few basic features of syntax. On
the other hand, a comparatively good picture can be obtained about its
morphology and lexicology, there are also a few longer texts
available.

 Typologically, Kamass is an agglutinative language with
numerous flective markers. Synthetical features predominate over
analytical ones. On the whole, Kamass is a rather typical Uralic
language. The parts of speech in Kamass are nouns, adjectives,
numerals, pronouns, verbs, adverbs, postpositions, conjunctions,
particles and interjections. Grammatical gender is lacking. There are
three numbers: singular, dual and plural.
 
 The category of case is predominantly expressed by suffixes,
there are seven cases. Nouns can be used with possessive suffixes. The
tenses can be used mostly by means of suffixes but, occasionally, may
also be expressed by verbal aspects. Transitive and intransitive verbs
may have different personal suffixes, in part. There are four modes:
indicative, conjunctive, optative and imperative. The space
orientation is expressed by a trinominal distribution of locatives: to
where? where? from where? In case of verbal negation a separate
negative auxiliary verb is used. The typical word order is SVAdO. The
definite object is usually expressed by a suffixal accusative, the
indefinite one by a 0-suffixal nominative. A compound sentence is not
typical of Kamass: gerundial constructions can be found instead of a
subordinate clause. About one-third of the word-stock has been
borrowed from Turkic languages. The outline is the first extensive
modern treatment of the Kamass language.

ISBN 3 89586 230 4. 
Languages of the World/Materials 185. 
Ca. 50pp. EUR 25.46 / USD 32.50 / DM 49.80.


Ordering information for individuals: Please give us your creditcard no.
/ expiry date or send us a cheque. Prices in this information include
shipment worldwide by airmail. A standing order for this series is
available with special discounts offered to individual subscribers. 

LINCOM EUROPA, Paul-Preuss-Str. 25, D-80995 Muenchen, Germany; FAX +4989
3148909; 
http://home.t-online.de/home/LINCOM.EUROPA
LINCOM.EUROPAt-online.de.
Mail to author|Respond to list|Read more issues|LINGUIST home page|Top of issue
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