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Encyclopedia > Itelmen language
Itelmen (итэнмэн Itənmən)
Spoken in: Russia 
Region: Kamchatka Peninsula
Total speakers: Fewer than 100
Language family: Chukotko-Kamchatkan
 Southern
  Itelmen
Language codes
ISO 639-1: none
ISO 639-2: mis
ISO/DIS 639-3: itl 

Itelmen, also sometimes known as Kamchadal, is a language belonging to the Chukotko-Kamchatkan family traditionally spoken in the Kamchatka Peninsula. Fewer than 100 native speakers, mostly elderly, in a few settlements in the southwest of the Koryak Autonomous Region, remained in 1993. The 2002 Russian census counts 3180 ethnic Itelmen, virtually all of which are now monolingual in Russian. However, there are attempts to revive the language, and it is being taught in a number of schools in the region. Kamchatka is the land of volcanoes. ... Current distribution of Human Language Families Most languages are known to belong to language families. ... The Chukotko-Kamchatkan languages are a language family of Siberia. ... ISO 639-1 is the first part of the ISO 639 international-standard language-code family. ... ISO 639-2:1998 Codes for the representation of names of languages — Part 2: Alpha-3 code Twenty-two of the languages have two three-letter codes: a code for bibliographic use (ISO 639-2/B) a code for terminological use (ISO 639-2/T). ... ISO 639-3 is in process of development as an international standard for language codes. ... The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) is a system of phonetic notation devised by linguists to accurately and uniquely represent each of the wide variety of sounds (phones or phonemes) used in spoken human language. ... Phonetics (from the Greek word φωνή, phone = sound/voice) is the study of sounds (voice). ... Technical note: Due to technical limitations, some web browsers may not display some special characters in this article. ... The Chukotko-Kamchatkan languages are a language family of Siberia. ... Kamchatka is the land of volcanoes. ... Koryakia is an autonomous district of Kamchatka Oblast in the Russian Federation. ... The Itelmen are an ethnic group that live on the Kamchatka peninsula in the Russian Federation. ... Language revival is the revival, by governments, political authorities, or enthusiasts, to recover the spoken use of a language that is no longer spoken or learned at home. ...

Contents


Classification

Itelmen is not closely related to other Chukotko-Kamchatkan languages, and forms a distinct southern branch of the family. Some linguists have questioned whether it is related at all, treating it instead as a language isolate. It has some general morphological similarities with Chukchi and Koryak, which comprise the northern branch of Chukotko-Kamchatkan but also some striking contrasts, especially in the area of phonology. Originally there were three distinct dialects, or closely related languages, in western, eastern and southern Kamchatka, but only Western Itelmen remains. A language isolate is a natural language with no demonstrable genealogical (or genetic) relationship with other living languages; that is, one that has not been demonstrated to descend from an ancestor common to any other language. ... Morphology is a subdiscipline of linguistics that studies word structure. ... Chukchi (Luoravetlan (in native language), Chukot, Chukcha) is a Palaeosiberian language spoken by circa 10,400 people (2001) (Chukchi) in the easternmost extremity of Siberia, mainly in the region called Chukotka. ... Koryak is a Palaeosiberian language spoken by circa 5,200 people (2001) (Koryak) in the easternmost extremity of Siberia, mainly in the region called Koryakia. ... Phonology (Greek phone = voice/sound and logos = word/speech), is a subfield of linguistics closely associated with phonetics. ...


History

Originally Itelmen was spoken throughout Kamchatka, and possibly also in the northern Kuril Islands. Vladimir Atlasov, who annexed Kamchatka and established military bases in the region, estimated in 1697 that there were about 20,000 ethnic Itelmens. The explorer Stepan Krasheninnikov, who gave the first detailed description of the Itelmen language and culture, identified the three main dialects, but explained that all Itelmens could understand each other. For the political history of the sovereignty conflict, see Kuril Islands dispute. ... Vladimir Vassilievich Atlasov (according to some accounts - Otlasov) (Атласов (Отласов), Владимир Васильевич in Russian)(born between 1661 and 1664 - died in 1711), Russian explorer, Siberian Cossack. ... Stepan P. Krasheninnikov Stepan Petrovich Krasheninnikov (1711 - 1755) was a Russian explorer and geographer who gave the first full description of Kamchatka in the early eighteenth century. ...


From the time of Atlasov, Russian fur traders began to settle in the region. There were frequent clashes between Cossacks and Itelmens, who rebelled against Russian domination. Many Itelmen were forcibly converted to Christianity, and by the early nineteenth century all Itelmen were forced to adopt Russian names. Intermarriage with Russian settlers led to the development of a creole known as Kamchadal, traces of which remain in the Russian dialect now spoken in Kamchatka. Christianity is a monotheistic religion centered on the life, teachings, and actions of Jesus, the Christ, as recounted in the New Testament. ...


During the Soviet era the process of assimilation intensified, as Itelmen communities were moved by force and children were sent to boarding schools, where they were required to speak Russian. By the end of the 1930s Russian was the medium of instruction in all schools, and children grew up speaking Russian as their main language. State motto (Russian): Пролетарии всех стран, соединяйтесь! (Transliterated: Proletarii vsekh stran, soedinyaytes!) (Translated: Workers of the world, unite!) Capital Moscow Official language None; Russian (de facto) Government Federation of Socialist republics Area  - Total  - % water 1st before collapse 22,402,200 km² Approx. ...


However it was also during this period that Itelmen was written down for the first time. In 1930 a Latin-based alphabet was designed for all the native languages of northern Siberia, and in 1932 a 27-letter Itelmen alphabet was created. A few textbooks were written in this alphabet during the 1930s, but it was quickly abandoned. More recently a Cyrillic-based alphabet, designed in 1986 and consisting of 32 letters, has been used.


Present situation

Itelmen is now highly endangered, and most speakers are aged over sixty and live in scattered communities. However there is a movement to revive the language, and educational materials are being developed. Modern Itelmen has been heavily influenced by Russian, lexically, phonologically and grammatically. An endangered language is a language with so few surviving speakers that it is in danger of falling out of use. ...


Phonology

Itelmen has a larger phonological inventory than other Chukotko-Kamchatkan languages, and permits complex consonant clusters in some environments, but lacks the system of vowel harmony characteristic of Chukchi and Koryak. In linguistics, a consonant cluster is a group of consonants which have no intervening vowel. ... Vowel harmony (also metaphony) is a type of long-distance assimilatory phonological process involving vowels. ...


Volodin (1997) gives the following consonant inventory, shown here with both the Cyrillic and IPA forms:

Bilabial Alveolar Palatal Velar Uvular
Plain voiceless stop п /p/ т /t/ к /k/ к, /q/
Ejective stop п' // т' /t'/ к' /k'/ к,' /q'/
Plain voiceless affricate ч //
Ejective affricate ч' /tʃ’/
Voiceless fricative ф /ɸ/ с /s/ х /x/ х, /χ/
Voiced fricative в /β/ з /z/ й /j/
Nasal м /m/ н /n/ нь /ɲ/ н, /ŋ/
Lateral л /l/ ль л, /ʎ/
Rhotic р /r/

In addition to the consonants shown above, some sources also include the glottal stop /ʔ/, as well as glottalised nasal and lateral phonemes, including /ʔm/, /ʔn/, and /ʔl/. 's' and 'z' may be apical, post-alveolar fricatives rather than alveolar fricatives. There may also be distinct labialised consonant phonemes. The voiceless bilabial plosive is a type of consonantal sound used in many spoken languages. ... The voiceless alveolar plosive is a type of consonantal sound used in many spoken languages. ... The voiceless velar plosive is a type of consonantal sound used in many spoken languages. ... The voiceless uvular plosive is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. ... The bilabial ejective is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. ... The alveolar ejective is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. ... The velar ejective is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. ... The uvular ejective is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. ... The voiceless alveolar plosive is a type of consonantal sound used in many spoken languages. ... The voiceless bilabial fricative is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. ... The voiceless alveolar fricatives are a type of consonantal sound. ... The voiceless velar fricative is a type of consonantal sound used in some spoken languages. ... The voiceless uvular fricative is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. ... The voiced bilabial fricative is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. ... The voiced alveolar fricatives are a type of consonantal sound. ... The palatal approximant is a type of consonantal sound, used in very many spoken languages. ... The bilabial nasal is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. ... The alveolar nasal is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. ... The palatal nasal is a type of consonant, used in some spoken languages. ... The velar nasal is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. ... The alveolar lateral approximant is a type of consonantal sound used in some spoken languages. ... The palatal lateral approximant is a type of consonantal sound used in some spoken languages. ... The alveolar trill is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages (such as Russian, Spanish, Armenian, and Polish). ... The glottal stop or voiceless glottal plosive is a type of consonantal sound, used in many spoken languages. ...


There are five vowels: /a/, /e/, /i/, /o/, and /u/, with the status of [ə] unclear. Vowels Near-close Close-mid Mid Open-mid Near-open Open Where symbols appear in pairs, the one to the right represents a rounded vowel. ...


Morphology and syntax

Bibliography

  • Volodin, Aleksandr P. 1976. Itel’menskij jazyk. Leningrad: Izd. Nauka.
  • Volodin, Aleksandr P. & Klavdija N. Chalojmova. 1989. Slovar’ itel’mensko-russkij i russko-itel’menskij. Leningrad: Prosveščenie. ISBN 5-09-000106-5

External links

  • Ethnologue report
  • How to save the Itelmen language
  • The Red Book of the Peoples of the Russian Empire
  • Ительменский язык
  • ИТЕЛЬМЕНСКИЙ ЯЗЫК (А. П. Володин)
  • Bobalijk Papers

  Results from FactBites:
 
Endangered Languages of Siberia - The Koryak language (1815 words)
The Koryak language in contrast to the Chukchi language, and the Alyutor and Kerek languages is characterized by considerable dialectal variety.
Lexically the Koryak language is close to the Chukchi language, dialects of the settled Koryak, mainly the Palana dialects are close in their vocabulary with the Alutor language, which is sometimes considered to be a dialect of the Koryak language.
The Koryak language nowadays functions as the language of oral communication between representatives of the elder and middle generations, the command of the language in the younger generation is not high.
Itelmens - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (217 words)
The Itelmen, sometimes known as Kamchadal, are an ethnic group who are the original inhabitants living on the Kamchatka peninsula in the Russian Federation.
The Itelmen language (ethnonym: Itelmen) was distantly related to Chukchi and Koryak, forming the Chukotko-Kamchatkan language family, but it is now virtually extinct, the vast majority of ethnic Itelmens being native speakers of Russian.
By 1993, there were less than 100 elderly speakers of the language left, but some 2,400 people considered themselves ethnic Itelmen in the 1989 census.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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