More on endangered languages and ethnic groups – UNESCO reports 1. FOREST ENETS (100 speakers 22 years ago)

Forest Enets

  1. Variant(s): Bai, (historical names:) Mangazeia Samoyed, Baikha or Baicha Samoyed, Karasina Samoyed, (old generic name also covering Tundra Enets:) Yenisei Samoyed
  2. Geographical location: in the forest zone on the lower Yenisei, within the Dudinka raion of the Taimyr (Dolgano-Nenets) Autonomous District of Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia; historically, the speakers of the idiom have gradually moved towards the north along the Yenisei basin; this movement has during the last 150 years involved a distance of approx. 500 kms
  3. Relationships: /Enets/Samoyed/Finno-Ugrian (Uralic)
  4. Present state of the language: NEARLY EXTINCT
        (a) children speakers: none
        (b) mean age of youngest speakers: from 40 years up
        (c) distribution by sex: no known difference
        (d) total number of speakers: less than 50, possibly only a few; members of the ethnic group: approx. 100
      (e) degree of speakers’ competence: the last speakers are mainly trilingual, speaking also Russian and Tundra Nenets; interference from the latter two languages tends to influence what is left of native language skills in Forest Enets
  5. Sources:
        (i) information (about the language) and (ii) published material (of the language): N. M. TERESHHENKO: Eneckij jazyk, Jazyki mira: ural’skie jazyki, Moskva 1993
      (iii) competent scholar(s) and institution(s): Eugene HELIMSKI (XELIMSKIJ), Russian University of Humanities, Moscow, Russia
  6. Remarks: Forest Enets and Tundra Enets are officially counted as dialects of a single language, but they have a number of fundamental differences; areally, Forest Enets reveals an orientation towards Nenets (q.v.), while Tundra Enets adheres to Nganasan (q.v.); together with Nenets and Nganasan, the idioms of the Enets group are often considered to constitute a special subbranch termed Northern Samoyed
  7. Compiler: Dr. Juha Janhunen, Helsinki, 26 Dec. 1993

    Update: 50 speakers, all over 45 years old.



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