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Erzya
Эрзянь Кель / erzänj kelj / eŕźań keĺ
Spoken in Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan
Region Mordovia, Nizhny Novgorod, Chuvashia, Ulyanovsk, Samara, Penza, Saratov, Orenburg, Tatarstan, Bashkortostan
Total speakers Ethnologue:

in Russia 440,000
worldwide 517,575

Language family Uralic
Language codes
ISO 639-1 None
ISO 639-2 myv
ISO 639-3 myv

The Erzya language (эрзянь кель) is spoken by about 500,000 people in the northern and eastern and north-western parts of the Republic of Mordovia and adjacent regions of Nizhniy Novgorod, Chuvashia, Penza, Samara, Saratov, Orenburg, Ulyanovsk, Tatarstan and Bashkortostan in Russia. A diaspora can also be found in Armenia, Estonia as well as in Kazakhstan and other newly independent states of Central Asia. Erzya is currently written using the Cyrillic alphabet with no modifications to the variant used by the Russian language. In Mordovia, Erzya is co-official with Moksha and Russian.

The language belongs to the Mordvinic branch of Finno-Volgaic languages, a sub-branch of the Uralic languages. Erzya is closely related to Moksha, but is distinct in its phonetics, morphology and vocabulary.

Contents

Phonology

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Vowels

Front Central Back
Close i ɨ u
Mid e   o
Open   a  

Consonants

  Labial Alveolar Post-
alveolar
Palatal Velar
Hard Soft
Nasals /m/ /n/ /nʲ/     /ŋ/
Plosives Voiceless /p/ /t/ /tʲ/     /k/
Voiced /b/ /d/ /dʲ/     /ɡ/
Affricates Voiceless   /ts/ /tsʲ/ /tʃ/    
Fricatives Voiceless /f/ /s/ /sʲ/ /ʃ/   /x/
Voiced /v/ /z/ /zʲ/ /ʒ/    
Trills   /r/ /rʲ/    
Approximants   /l/ /lʲ/   /j/  

Writing

The modern Erzya alphabet is the same as for Russian:

А
/a/
Б
/b/
В
/v/
Г
/ɡ/
Д
/d/
Е
/je/
Ё
/jo/
Ж
/ʒ/
З
/z/
И
/i/
Й
/j/
К
/k/
Л
/l/
М
/m/
Н
/n/
О
/o/
П
/p/
Р
/r/
С
/s/
Т
/t/
У
/u/
Ф
/f/
Х
/x/
Ц
/t͡s/
Ч
/t͡ʃ/
Ш
/ʃ/
Щ
/ʃt͡ʃ/
Ъ
/-/
Ы
/ɨ/
Ь
/◌ʲ/
Э
/e/
Ю
/ju/
Я
/ja/

The pre–1927 version of the Erzya alphabet included the additional letters a with dieresis (ä) and schwa (ə):

The highlighted letters were used in loanwords from Russian only, with the specification that the soft sign ь appearing after non-alveolar consonants is a sign of loan words.
А
/a/
Б
/b/
В
/v/
Г
/ɡ/
Д
/d/
Е
/je/
Ё
/jo/
Ж
/ʒ/
З
/z/
И
/i/
Й
/j/
К
/k/
Л
/l/
М
/m/
Н
/n/
нг
/ŋ/
О
/o/
П
/p/
Р
/r/
С
/s/
Т
/t/
У
/u/
Ф
/f/
Х
/x/
Ц
/t͡s/
Ч
/t͡ʃ/
Ш
/ʃ/
Щ
/ʃt͡ʃ/
Ъ
/-/
Ы
/ɨ/
Ь
/◌ʲ/
Э
/e/
Ю
/ju/
Я
/ja/
ä
/æ/
ə
/ə/

Latin alphabet (officially approved by government of Nizhne-Volzhskiy kray in 1932, but was never used) a в c ç d ә e f g y i j k l m n o p r s ş t u v x z ƶ ь

See also

External links

Erzya language edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Bibliography

  • A.I. Bryzhinskiy, O.V. Pashutina, Ye.I. Chernov. Писатели Мордовии Биобиблиографический справочник. Saransk: Mordovskoye Knizhnoye Izdatelystvo, 2001. ISBN 5-7595-1386-9.
  • Vasilij D'omin. Сюконян тенк... Эрзянь писательде ёвтнемат. Saransk, 2005. ISBN 5-7595-1665-5.
  • Ksenija Djordjevic & Jean-Leo Leonard. Parlons Mordve. Paris: L'Harmattan, 2006, ISBN 2-296-00147-5.
  • D.V. Tsygankin. Память запечатленная в слове: Словарь географических названий республики Мордовия. Saransk, 2005. ISBN 5-7493-0780-8.

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