Nenets language

Nenets language

nativename=ненэця" вада
region=Nenets Autonomous Okrug, Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrug, Krasnoyarsk Krai, Komi Republic, Murmansk Oblast
nation=Nenets Autonomous Okrug

Nenets ("autonym": ненэця" вада) is a language spoken by the Nenets people in northern Russia. It belongs to the Samoyedic languages which form the Uralic language family with the Finno-Ugric languages. There are two major dialects—Tundra Nenets and Forest Nenets—with low mutual intelligibility between the two. Tundra Nenets has the larger group of speakers.

Geographical distribution

Nenets is spoken by 27,273 people, of which 26,730 people are native speakers. It is spoken in the wide area in North Russia including Nenets and Yamalo-Nenets Autonomous Okrugs, Krasnoyarsk Krai, Komi Republic, and the eastern parts of Murmansk Oblast on the Kola peninsula.


Nenets has a CV(C) syllable structure. In other words, a syllable may contain an initial consonant, a medial vowel, and an optional terminal consonant. Examples include "ya" ("earth"), "wada" ("word"), and "ŋarka" ("big"). The schwa or reduced vowel may sometimes appear in lieu of a terminal consonant. Although the language does not technically permit syllables to begin with vowels, in practice this sometimes occurs in western dialects, particularly due to the loss of initial ŋ, e.g. western "arka" ("big") versus standard east-central "ŋarka".

The syllabic structure is fairly consistent in all dialects, however. There are no long vowels or diphthongs, nor initial nor final consonant clusters, nor medial clusters containing more than two consonants.


External links

* [ Tundra Nenets homepage]
* [ Forest Nenets-English glossary]
* [ Ethnologue report]
* [ The Russian-Nenets Audio Phrasebook]
* [ Comparative Nenets-Nganasan dictionary (with Russian and English equivalents)]

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Nenets — [ nɛnɛts] noun (plural same or Nentsy or Nentsi) 1》 a member of a nomadic people of Siberia. 2》 the Samoyedic language of the Nenets. Origin the name in Russ …   English new terms dictionary

  • Language in the Russian Federation —    While the Russian language is the dominant medium of communication in education, media, literature, public life, and the economy of the Russian Federation, the country is home to dozens of languages spoken nowhere else in the world. While only …   Historical Dictionary of the Russian Federation

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  • Nenets — ISO 639 3 Code : yrk ISO 639 2/B Code : ISO 639 2/T Code : ISO 639 1 Code : Scope : Individual Language Type : Living …   Names of Languages ISO 639-3

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