Erzya language

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Erzya
erzänj kelj
эрзянь кель
Native toRussia
RegionMordovia, Nizhny Novgorod, Chuvashia, Ulyanovsk, Samara, Penza, Saratov, Orenburg, Tatarstan, Bashkortostan
Native speakers
36,726 (2010 census)[1][dubious ]
Cyrillic
Official status
Official language in
Mordovia (Russia)
Language codes
ISO 639-2myv
ISO 639-3myv
Glottologerzy1239[2]
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The Erzya language (Erzya: эрзянь кель, romanized: erzänj kelj, pronounced [ˈerʲzʲanʲ ˈkelʲ]) is spoken by about 37,000 people in the northern, eastern and north-western parts of the Republic of Mordovia and adjacent regions of Nizhny 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 states of Central Asia. Erzya is currently written using Cyrillic 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 the Uralic languages. Erzya is a language that is closely related to Moksha but has distinct phonetics, morphology and vocabulary.

Phonology[edit]

Consonants[edit]

The following table lists the consonant phonemes of Erzya together with their Cyrillic equivalents.[3]

Labial Alveolar Post-
alveolar
Palatal Velar
plain pal.
Nasal /m/ м /n/ н /nʲ/ нь /ŋ/ (н)
Plosive voiceless /p/ п /t/ т /tʲ/ ть /k/ к
voiced /b/ б /d/ д /dʲ/ дь /ɡ/ г
Affricate voiceless /t͡s/ ц /t͡sʲ/ ць /t͡ʃ/ ч
Fricative voiceless /f/ ф /s/ с /sʲ/ сь /ʃ/ ш /x/ х
voiced /v/ в /z/ з /zʲ/ зь /ʒ/ ж
Trill /r/ р /rʲ/ рь
Approximant /l/ л /lʲ/ ль /j/ й

Note on romanized transcription: in Uralic studies, the members of the palatalized series are usually spelled as ń, ť, ď, ċ, ś, ź, ŕ, ľ, while the postalveolar sounds are spelled č, š, ž (see Uralic Phonetic Alphabet).

Minimal pairs between /n/ and /ŋ/ include:

  • /janɡa/ "along the path", in which the alveolar /n/ of the stem is retained before the prolative case ending /ɡa/, vs. /jaŋɡa/, the connegative form of the verb /jaŋɡams/ "to break"
  • /jonks/ "good", subject or object complement in /ks/ translative, vs. /joŋks/ "direction; area". See Rueter 2010: 58.

Vowels[edit]

Erzya has a simple five-vowel system.[4]

Front Back
High i u
Mid e o
Low a

The front vowels /i/ and /e/ have centralized variants [ï] and [ë] immediately following a plain alveolar consonant, e.g. siń [sïnʲ] "they", seń [sënʲ] "blue".

Vowel harmony[edit]

As in many other Uralic languages, Erzya has vowel harmony. Most roots contain either front vowels (/i/, /e/) or back vowels (/u/, /o/). In addition, all suffixes with mid vowels have two forms: the form to be used is determined by the final syllable of the stem. The low vowel (/a/), found in the comparative case -шка (ška) "the size of" and the prolative -ка/-га/-ва (ka/ga/va) "spatial multipoint used with verbs of motion as well as position" is a back vowel and not subject to vowel harmony.

The rules of vowel harmony are as follows:

  1. If the final syllable of the word stem contains a front vowel, the front form of the suffix is used: веле (veĺe) "village", велесэ (veĺese) "in a village"
  2. If the final syllable of the word stem contains a back vowel, and it is followed by plain (non-palatalized) consonants, the back form of the suffix is used: кудо (kudo) "house", кудосо (kudoso) "in a house"

However, if the back vowel is followed by a palatalized consonant or palatal glide, vowel harmony is violated and the "front" form of the suffix is used: кальсэ (kaĺse) "with willow", ойсэ (ojse) "with butter". Likewise, if a front-vowel stem is followed by a low back vowel suffix, subsequent syllables will contain back harmony: велеванзо (veĺevanzo) "throughout its villages"

Thus the seeming violations of vowel harmony attested in stems, e.g. узере (uźere) "axe", суре (suŕe) "thread (string)", are actually due to the palatalized consonants /zʲ/ and /rʲ/.

One exception to front-vowel harmony is observed in palatalized non-final /lʲ/, e.g. асфальтсо (asfaĺtso) "with asphalt".

Morphology[edit]

Like all other Uralic languages, Erzya is an agglutinative language which expresses grammatical relations by means of suffixes.

Nouns[edit]

Nouns are inflected for case, number, definiteness and possessor. Erzya distinguishes twelve cases (here illustrated with the noun мода moda "ground, earth"). Number is systematically distinguished only with definite nouns; for indefinite nouns and nouns with a possessive suffix, only nominative case has a distinct plural.[4][3]

Case Indefinite Definite 1st pers. sg. poss. 2nd pers. sg. poss. 3rd pers. sg. poss.
singular plural singular plural singular plural singular/plural singular plural
nominative мода
moda
мода-т
moda-t
мода-сь
moda-ś
мода-tне
moda-ťńe
мода-м
moda-m
мода-н
moda-n
мода-т
moda-t
мода-зo
moda-zo
мода-нзo
moda-nzo
genitive мода-нь
moda-ń
мода-нть
moda-ńť
мода-тне-нь
moda-ťńe-ń
dative/allative мода-нень
moda-ńeń
мода-нтень
moda-ńťeń
мода-тне-нень
moda-ťńe-ńeń
inessive мода-со
moda-so
мода-сонть
moda-sońť
мода-tне-сэ
moda-ťńe-se
мода-со-н
moda-so-n
мода-со-т
moda-so-t
мода-со-нзo
moda-so-nzo
elative мода-сто
moda-sto
мода-стонть
moda-stońť
мода-tне-стэ
moda-ťńe-ste
мода-сто-н
moda-sto-n
мода-сто-т
moda-sto-t
мода-сто-нзo
moda-sto-nzo
illative мода-с
moda-s
мода-нтень
moda-ńťeń
мода-tне-с
moda-ťńe-s
мода-з-oн
moda-z-on
мода-з-oт
moda-z-ot
мода-з-oнзo
moda-z-onzo
prolative мода-ва
moda-va
мода-ванть
moda-vańť
мода-tне-а
moda-ťńe-va
мода-ва-н
moda-va-n
мода-ва-т
moda-va-t
мода-ва-нзo
moda-va-nzo
ablative мода-до
moda-do
мода-донть
moda-dońť
мода-tне-дe
moda-ťńe-ďe
мода-до-н
moda-do-n
мода-до-т
moda-do-t
мода-до-нзo
moda-do-nzo
lative мода-в
moda-v
- - - - -
translative мода-кс
moda-ks
мода-ксонть
moda-ksońť
мода-tне-кс
moda-ťńe-ks
мода-кс-oн
moda-ks-on
мода-кс-oт
moda-ks-ot
мода-кс-oнзo
moda-ks-onzo
abessive мода-втомо
moda-vtomo
мода-втомонть
moda-vtomońť
мода-тне-втеме
moda-ťńe-vťeme
мода-втомо-н
moda-vtomo-n
мода-втомо-т
moda-vtomo-t
мода-втомо-нзo
moda-vtomo-nzo
comparative мода-шка
moda-ška
мода-шканть
moda-škańť
мода-тне-шка
moda-ťńe-ška
мода-шка-н
moda-ška-n
мода-шка-т
moda-ška-t
мода-шка-нзo
moda-ška-nzo

Plural possessors follow the pattern of second person singular possessors.

Case 1st pers. pl. poss. 2nd pers. pl. poss. 3rd pers. pl. poss.
singular/plural singular/plural singular/plural
nominative мода-нoк
moda-nok
мода-нк
moda-nk
мода-ст
moda-st
inessive

(...)
мода-со-нoк
moda-so-nok
(...)
мода-со-нк
moda-so-nk
(...)
мода-со-ст
moda-so-st
(...)

Writing[edit]

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-1929 version of the Erzya alphabet included the additional letter Cyrillic ligature En Ge (Ҥ ҥ) in some publications, (cf. Evsevyev 1928).

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.[citation needed]
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/

A Latin alphabet was officially approved by the government of Nizhne-Volzhskiy Kray in 1932, but it 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

The other version of Latin alphabet exists:

a ä b c č cy d e f g h i j k l m n ny o ö p r ry s š sy t ty u ü v y z ž zy

See also[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • 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.
  • Makar E. Evsev'ev. Основы мордовской грамматика, Эрзянь грамматика. С приложением образцов мокшанских склонений и спряжений. Москва: Центральное издательство народов СССР, 1928.
  • Jack Rueter. Adnominal Person in the Morphological System of Erzya. Suomalais-Ugrilaisen Seuran Toimituksia 261. Helsinki: Suomalais-Ugrilainen Seura, 2010, ISBN 978-952-5667-23-3 [print], ISBN 978-952-5667-24-0 [online].
  • D.V. Tsygankin. Память запечатленная в слове: Словарь географических названий республики Мордовия. Saransk, 2005. ISBN 5-7493-0780-8.

References[edit]

  1. ^ [Перепись-2010 "Population of the Russian Federation by Languages (in Russian)"] Check |url= value (help). gks.ru. Russian Bureau of Statistics. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Erzya". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ a b Saarinen, Sirkka. "Erzya e-learning course" (PDF). Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. Retrieved 2019-03-05.
  4. ^ a b Zaicz, Gábor (1998). "Mordva". In Abondolo, Daniel (ed.). The Uralic Languages. London: Routledge. pp. 184–218.

External links[edit]