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(also Yenisei Samoyed), the language of the Entsi. According to a 1975 estimate, Enets is spoken by 200,000 people, who inhabit the right bank area of the Enisei’s lower course, in the Taimyr (Dolgan-Nenets) Autonomous Okrug (formerly Taimyr [Dolgan-Nenets] National Okrug). Enets belongs to the Samoyed group of the Uralic languages and comprises two widely divergent dialects: Somatu (also Tundra, Khantaika, or Turuk-han Enets) and Pe-bai (also Forest, Baikha, Karasino, or Man-gazeia Enets).
The phonetic features of the Somatu dialect, which distinguish Enets from the other Uralic and neighboring non-Uralic languages, are a predominance of open syllables and an abundance of sequences consisting of two, three, or more vowels. Enets is an agglutinative language with highly developed fusion and stem gradation. In grammar and lexicon it resembles the Nenets and Nganasani languages; this similarity is due to the close affinity of the three languages and to contacts between them. The Pe-bai dialect shows traces of Eniseian influence—for example, the borrowed pronouns for first and second person. Enets has no writing system.
REFERENCESProkof’ev, G. N. “Enetskii (eniseisko-samoedskii) dialekt.” In lazyki i pis’mennost’ narodov Severa, part 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1937.
Tereshchenko, N. M. “Enetskii iazyk.” In lazyki narodov SSSR, vol. 3. Moscow, 1966.
Castrén, M. A. Grammatik der samojedischen Sprachen. St. Petersburg, 1854.
E. A. KHELIMSKII