Yakut language

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Not to be confused with Saka language.
Yakut
Sakha
Саха тыла Saxa tıla
Native to Russia
Region Sakha
Ethnicity 480,000 Yakuts (2010 census)[1]
Native speakers
450,000 (2010 census)[1]
Turkic
Cyrillic
Official status
Official language in
Sakha Republic (Russia)
Language codes
ISO 639-2 sah
ISO 639-3 sah
Glottolog yaku1245[2]
SakhaDolganWorld.jpg
Locations of Yakut (dark blue) and Dolgan (blue)
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters.

Yakut, also known as Sakha, is a Turkic language with around 360,000 native speakers spoken in the Sakha Republic in the Russian Federation by the Yakuts.

Like all Turkic languages, Yakut is an agglutinative language and employs vowel harmony.

Classification[edit]

Yakut is a member of the Northern Turkic family of languages, which includes Shor, Tuvan, and Dolgan in addition to Yakut. Like Turkish, Yakut has vowel harmony, is agglutinative and has no grammatical gender. Word order is usually subject–object–verb. Yakut has been influenced by Tungusic and Mongolian languages.[3]

Geographic distribution[edit]

Yakut is spoken mainly in the Sakha Republic. It is also used by ethnic Yakut in Khabarovsk Region and a small diaspora in other parts of the Russian Federation, Turkey, and other parts of the world. Dolgan, a close relative of Yakut, considered by some[who?] a dialect, is spoken by Dolgans in Krasnoyarsk Region. Yakut is widely used as a lingua franca by other ethnic minorities in the Sakha Republic – more Dolgans, Evenks, Evens and Yukagirs speak Yakut than their own languages. About 8% of the people of other ethnicities than Yakut living in Sakha claimed knowledge of the Yakut language during the 2002 census.[4]

Phonology[edit]

One characteristic feature of Yakut is vowel harmony. For example, if the first vowel of a Yakut word is a front vowel, the second and other vowels of the same word are usually the same vowel or another front vowel: кэлин (kelin) "back": э (e) is open unrounded front, и (i) is close unrounded front. Yakut initial s- corresponds to initial h- in Dolgan and played an important operative rule in the development of proto-Yakut, ultimately resulting in initial Ø- < *h- < *s-. Ubrjatova (1985) suggests that the rule was either reintroduced through Evenki contact, or may be a substratal feature of the Yakut language itself. An example is shown in the word meaning 'not': Dolgan huoq and Yakut suox. This phonetic observation gave rise to two acknowledgements:[5]

  1. that the original phenomenon in proto-Yakut may have likewise been the result of substratal influence.
  2. that the change of *s > h (debuccalization) is, however, well known and is far from unusual, being characteristic of such languages as Greek in its development from Proto-Indo-European, as well as such Turkic languages as Bashkir, e.g. höt 'milk' < *süt.

Consonants[edit]

Consonant phonemes of Yakut
Bilabial Dental Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
Plosive voiceless p t c k
voiced b d ɟ ɡ
Fricative voiceless s x h
voiced ɣ
Approximant plain l j
nasalized ȷ̃
Flap ɾ

Vowels[edit]

Vowel phonemes of Yakut
Front Back
unrounded rounded unrounded rounded
Close short i y ɯ u
long ɯː
Open short e ø a o
long øː
Diphthong ie ɯa uo

Writing system[edit]

Main article: Yakut scripts

Yakut is written using the Cyrillic script: the modern Yakut alphabet, established in 1939 by the Soviet Union, consists of the usual Russian characters but with 5 additional letters: Ҕҕ, Ҥҥ, Өө, Һһ, Үү.

Сахалыы сурук-бичигэ Saqalıı suruk-biçige (Yakut alphabet)

Letter Name IPA Note ! Turkic Latin translit.[citation needed]
А а а /a/ A a
Б б бэ /b/ B b
В в вэ /v/ found only in Russian loanwords [6] V v
Г г гэ /ɡ/ G g
Ҕ ҕ ҕэ /ʁ/ Ğ ğ
Д д дэ /d/ D d
Дь дь дьэ /ɟ/ C c
Е е е /e, je/ found only in Russian loanwords Ye ye or e
Ё ё ё /jo/ found only in Russian loanwords Yo yo
Ж ж жэ /ʒ/ found only in Russian loanwords J j
З з зэ /z/ found only in Russian loanwords Z z
И и и /i/ İ i
Й й ый /j, ȷ̃/ Nasalization of the glide is not indicated in the orthography Y y or Ỹ ỹ
К к кы /k/ K k
Л л эл /l/ L l
М м эм /m/ M m
Н н эн /n/ N n
Ҥ ҥ ҥэ /ŋ/ Ñ ñ
Нь нь ньэ /ɲ/ Ny ny
О о о /o/ O o
Ө ө ө /ø/ Ö ö
П п пэ /p/ P p
Р р эр /ɾ/ R r
С с эс /s/ S s
Һ һ һэ /h/ H h
Т т тэ /t/ T t
У у у /u/ U u
Ү ү ү /y/ Ü ü
Ф ф эф /f/ found only in Russian loanwords F f
Х х хэ /q~x/ Q q (X x)
Ц ц цэ /ts/ found only in Russian loanwords Ts ts
Ч ч че /c/ Ç ç
Ш ш ша /ʃ/ found only in Russian loanwords Ş ş
Щ щ ща /ɕː/ found only in Russian loanwords Şş şş
Ъ ъ кытаанах бэлиэ /◌./ found only in Russian loanwords "
Ы ы ы /ɯ/ I ı
Ь ь сымнатар бэлиэ /◌ʲ/ natively in дь and нь (see above); otherwise only in Russian loanwords '
Э э э /e/ E e
Ю ю ю /ju/ found only in Russian loanwords Yu yu
Я я я /ja/ found only in Russian loanwords Ya ya

Grammar[edit]

Syntax[edit]

The typical word order can be summarized as subject adverbobjectverb; possessorpossessed; nounadjective.

Nouns[edit]

Nouns have plural and singular forms. The plural is formed with the suffix /-LAr/, which may surface as [-лар (-lar)], [-лэр (-ler)], [-лөр (-lör)], [-лор (-lor)], [-тар (-tar)], [-тэр (-ter)], [-төр (-tör)], [-тор (-tor)], [-дар (-dar)], [-дэр (-der)], [-дөр (-dör)], [-дор (-dor)], [-нар (-nar)], [-нэр (-ner)], [-нөр (-nör)], or [-нор (-nor)], depending on the preceding consonants and vowels. The plural is used only when referring to a number of things collectively, not when specifying an amount. Nouns have no gender.

Pronouns[edit]

Personal pronouns in Yakut distinguish between first, second, and third persons and singular and plural number.

Singular Plural
1st мин (min) биһиги (bihigi)
2nd эн (en) эһиги (ehigi)
3rd human кини (kini) кинилэр (kiniler)
non-human ол (ol) олор (olor)

Although nouns have no gender, the pronoun system distinguishes between human and non-human in the third person, using кини (kini, 'he/she') to refer to human beings and ол (ol, 'it') to refer to all other things.[7]

Questions[edit]

Question words in Yakut remain in-situ; they do not move to the front of the sentence. Sample question words include: туох (tuox) "what", ким (kim) "who", хайдах (xaydax) "how", хас (xas) "how much", ханна (xanna) "where", and ханнык (xannık) "which".

Vocabulary[edit]

Yakut (Cyrillic) Yakut (Latin) Turkish English Mongolian (Cyrillic)

/Mongolian (Latin)

аччык aççık açlık hunger
aac ass hungry
аат aat ad name
балык balık balık fish
балыксыт balıksıt balıkçı fisherman
yy uu su water ус /us
тимир timir demir iron төмөр /tömör
күөл küöl göl lake нуур /nuur
атах atax ayak foot
мурун murun burun nose
баттах battax saç hair үс /üs
илии ilii el hand
күн kün gün day, sun
муус muus buz ice мөс /mös
ыт ıt it dog
сүрэх sürex yürek heart зүрх /zürkh
сарсын sarsın yarın tomorrow
бүгүн bügün bugün today
былыт bılıt bulut cloud
хаар xaar kar snow
хаан xaan kan blood
эт et et meat
тиис tiis diş tooth
ат at at horse
таас taas taş stone
үүт üüt süt milk сүү /süü
ынах ınax inek cow үнээ /ünee
хара xara kara black хар /khar
сыттык sıttık yastık pillow
быһах bıhax bıçak knife
бытык bıtık bıyık mustache
кыс, кыһын kıs, kıhın kış, kışın winter
туус tuus tuz salt
тыл tıl dil tongue, language хэл /khel
cаха тылa saxa tıla saha dili, sahaca Yakut language
кыыс kııs kız girl, daughter
уол uol oğul, oğlan son, boy
үөрэтээччи üöreteeççi öğretici, öğretmen teacher
үөрэнээччи üöreneeççi öğrenci student
уһун uhun uzun long, tall
кулгаах kulgaax kulak ear
сыл sıl yıl year жил /jil
киһи kihi kişi human, man хүн /hün
суол suol yol road, way
асчыт asçıt aşçı cook
тараах taraax tarak comb
орто orto orta middle
күн ортото kün ortoto gün ortası midday, noon
күл kül gülmek to laugh
өл öl ölmek to die
ис is içmek to drink
бил bil bilmek to know
көр kör görmek to see хар /khar
үөрэн üören öğrenmek to learn
үөрэт üöret öğretmek to teach
ытыр ıtır ısırmak to bite
хас xas kazmak to dig
тик tik dikiş dikmek, dikmek to sew
кэл kel gelmek to come
салаа salaa yalamak to lick
тараа taraa taramak to comb
биэр bier vermek to give
бул bul bulmak to find
диэ die demek to say
киир kiir girmek to enter
иһит ihit işitmek to hear
ас as açmak to open
тут tut tutmak to hold

Numbers[edit]

In this table, the Yakut numbers are written in Latin transcription (see Writing system).

Old Turkic Turkish Yakut English
bir bir biir one
eki iki ikki two
üç üç üs three
tört dört tüört four
beş beş bies five
altı altı alta six
yeti yedi sette seven
sekiz sekiz ağis eight
tokuz dokuz toğus nine
on on uon ten

Literature[edit]

The first printing in Yakut was a part of a book by Nicolaas Witsen published in 1692 in Amsterdam.

In 2005, Marianne Beerle-Moor, director of the Institute for Bible Translation, Russia/CIS, was awarded the “Civil Valour” Order for the translation of the New Testament into Yakut.[8]

Oral traditions[edit]

The Yakut have a tradition of oral epic in their language called "Olonkho", traditionally performed by skilled performers. Only a very few older performers of this Olonkho tradition are still alive. They have begun a program to teach young people to sing this in their language and revive it, though in a modified form.[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Yakut at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Yakut". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ Forsyth, James (1994). A History of the Peoples of Siberia: Russia's North Asian Colony 1581-1990. Cambridge University Press. p. 56. ISBN 9780521477710. Their language...Turkic in its vocabulary and grammar, shows the influence of both Tungus and Mongolian 
  4. ^ Russian Census 2002. 6. Владение языками (кроме русского) населением отдельных национальностей по республикам, автономной области и автономным округам Российской Федерации (Knowledge of languages other than Russian by the population of republics, autonomous oblast and autonomous districts) (Russian)
  5. ^ Ubrjatova, E. I. 1960 Opyt sravnitel'nogo izuc˙enija fonetic˙eskix osobennostej naselenija nekotoryx rajonov Jakutskoj ASSR. Moscow. 1985. Jazyk noril'skix dolgan. Novosibirsk: "Nauka" SO. In Turkic Languages 2 (2): 1-32. Historical Aspects of Yakut (Saxa) Phonology. Gregory D. S. Anderson. University of Chicago.
  6. ^ Krueger, John R. (1962). Yakut Manual. Bloomington: Indiana U Press. 
  7. ^ Kirişçioğlu, M. Fatih (1999). Saha (Yakut) Türkçesi Grameri. Ankara: Türk Dil Kurumu. ISBN 975-16-0587-3. 
  8. ^ "about". Institute for Bible Translation, Russia/CIS. Retrieved 5 Nov 2011. 
  9. ^ Robin Harris. 2012. Sitting "under the mouth": decline and revitalization in the Skha epic tradition "Olonkho". Doctoral dissertation, University of Georgia.

External links[edit]

Language-related[edit]

Content in Yakut[edit]