Enets is a Samoyedic language spoken along the Yenisei River in Krasnoyarsk Krai in Siberia in the Russian Republic. The two dialects of Enets - Forest Enets (madu) and Tundra Enets (bai) - with considerable lexical differences between them. There are also a few speakers of Karastin Enets, which is a mixture the forest and tundra dialects. There are about 70 speakers of Enets altogether: about 10 of the tundra dialect and 60 of the forest dialect, and most of them are middle-aged or elderly. They all speak Russian as a second language, and some also speak the languages of neighbouring tribes, such as Nenets, Evenki or Nganasan.
Enets is closely related to Nganasan and Nenets, was once considered a dialect of Nenets until the mid-20th Century. Enets contains many loanwords from Nenets, and also from Dolgan, Evenki and Russian, and there is significant code-switching and mixing between Enets and Russian among Enets speakers.
A way of writing Enets with the Cyrillic alphabet was devised during the 1980s and has been used to produce a number of books. During the 1990s there was an Enets supplement was published in the newspaper Советский Таймыр (Soviet Taimyr), and brief Enets broadcasts on local radio.
Information about Enets pronunciation compiled by Wolfram Siegel
Information about the Enets language and people
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Page last modified: 23.04.21
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