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Forest Nenets language: Wikis

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Forest Nenets
ненэцяʼ вада, nenetsya' vada
Spoken in Northern Russia
Total speakers 41,302[1]
Language family Uralic
Language codes
ISO 639-1 None
ISO 639-2
ISO 639-3 yrk

Forest Nenets is a Samoyedic language spoken in northern Russia, around the Agan, Pur, Lyamin and Nadym rivers, by the Nenets people.[2] It is closely related to the Tundra Nenets language, and the two are still sometimes seen as simply being dialects of a single Nenets language, despite there being low mutual intelligibility between the two. The next closest relatives are Nganasan and Enets, after them Selkup, and even more distantly the other Uralic languages, the Finno-Ugric languages.

Contents

Phonology

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Vowels

The vowel phonemes of the Forest Nenets dialect are:[3]

Front Back
Short Long Short Long
High i u
Mid (e) (o)
Low æ æː ɑ ɑː
  • This applies to stressed syllables. In unstressed syllables length is not contrastive, and there are only five vowel qualities /æ ɑ ə i u/. Word stress is not fixed to a certain position of a root, and this leads to alternations of stressed mid vowels with unstressed high vowels.
  • Long vowels are slightly more common than short vowels.
  • The short mid vowels are marginal, occurring only in a small number of monosyllabic words and commonly merged into the corresponding high vowels. This is additionally complicated by the short high vowels becoming lowered to mid height before /ə/.
  • Salminen (2007) notes that due to these two facts, the long vowels should be considered basic, and the short vowels as the more marked phonemes.
  • In monosyllabic words, only short vowels are however found.
  • /æː/ and its unstressed counterpart may be realized as a diphthong [ae] or [aɛ]. Short /æ/ is usually [aj] (and is also written as ай, though this spelling also represents the sequence /ɑj/), but alternates with its long counterpart in the same way as the other short vowels. /eː/ also has a diphthongal allophone [ie].
  • /æ(ː)/ only occurs in non-palatal syllables.

Some western dialects lack æ, replacing it with e.

Reduced vowel

In much of the literature on Forest Nenets and its sister dialect, Tundra Nenets, a so-called reduced vowel is mentioned. This reduced vowel was thought to have two distinct qualities depending on whether it was found in stressed or unstressed position. In stressed position it was transcribed as <ø> and represented a reduced variant of an underlying vowel, and in unstressed position it was transcribed as <â> and represented a reduced variant of /a/. Recently, however, it has become clear that the reduced vowels are in fact short vowels, counterparts to their respective long vowels. Today <â> should simply be replaced by <a>, while <ø> simply represents a short vowel, although it is not specified which short vowel in this orthography.[4]

Consonants

Unvoiced plosives k kʲ / c p t
Voiced plosives ɡ ɡʲ / ɟ b d
Affricates ts tsʲ / tɕ
Fricatives s sʲ / ɕ ʒ ʑ
Nasals m n nʲ / ɲ ŋ
Liquids l lʲ / ʎ r
Semi-vowels h hʲ / ç w j ʔ

The /ʲ/ mark denotes palatalization, or a movement towards palatal articulation or secondary palatal articulation.

Orthography

Nenets is written with an adapted form of the Cyrillic alphabet, incorporating the supplemental letters Ӈ, ʼ, and ˮ.

А а

а

Б б

бе

В в

ве

Г г

ге

Д д

де

Е е

е

Ё ё

ё

Ж ж

же

З з

зе

И и

и

Й й

й

й й К к

ка

Л л

ел

М м

ем

Н н

ен

Ӈ ӈ

еӈ

О о

о

П п

пе

Р р

ер

С с

ес

Т т

те

У у

у

Ф ф

еф

Х х

ха

Ц ц

це

Ч ч

че

Ш ш

ша

Щ щ

ща

Ъ ъ

ъ

Ы ы

ы

Ь ь

ь

Э э

э

Ю ю

ю

Я я

я

ʼ ˮ

References

  1. ^ Ethnologue - This figure includes both Forest Nenets and Tundra Nenets.
  2. ^ Salminen, Tapani, Ackerman, Farrell (2006). "Nenets". in Brown, Keith. Encyclopedia of Languages & Linguistics. 8 (2 ed.). Oxford, England: Elsevier. pp. 577-579. 
  3. ^ Salminen, Tapani (2007). Notes on Forest Nenets phonology. 253. Helsinki, Finland: Suomalais-Ugrilainen Seura. http://www.sgr.fi/sust/sust253/sust253_salminen.pdf. 
  4. ^ Salminen, Tapani (1993). On identifying basic vowel dinstinctions in Tundra Nenets. Finnisch-Ugrische Forschungen. 51. Helsinki: Suomalais-Ugrilainen Seura. pp. 177-187. 

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