Enets


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Enets

 

(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.

REFERENCES

Prokof’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

References in periodicals archive ?
see, hunt) temporal use d'a -tki other language function Forest Tundra Tundra Enets Enets Nenets directionality d'ed no jed?
Whereas the locational case system in Nganasan acquired a fourth case, the case system did not acquire a new dimension, as directionality was encoded previously by a postposition for which etymological cognates are attested in Forest Enets and Tundra Nenets.
Furthermore, Nganasan, Dolgan, Forest Enets, Evenki and partly Tundra Enets show a transition from anlaut *j- > *d'-.
2013, Materials on Forest Enets, an Indigenous Language of Northern Siberia, Helsinki (MSFOu 267).
2014, The Counterfactive Mood in Forest Enets and Its Origin.
The History of the Dolgan, Forest Enets and Kola Sami Literary Languages.
As already mentioned, the pronominal system of Tundra Enets differs from Forest Enets in that the pronoun stem for 2Sg is related to the reconstructed Proto-Samoyedic/Proto-Uralic stem, while the stem for 3P seems to be an innovation specific to Tundra Enets.
Turning to Forest Enets, scholars agree that the stems for 2P and 3P independent pronouns derive from Ket.
This then means, that the borrowed stems uu and bu followed the same morphological pattern as the inherited 1Sg Forest Enets pronoun mod' which for non-singular reference is accompanied by dual and plural Px.
23) As Forest Enets and Ket/Yugh pronouns for 2Sg and 3Sg are phonetically almost identical in the nominative and as Ket/Yugh pronouns in other cases have a slightly different form, it is safe to conclude that nominative forms were borrowed.
The second question concerns vowel length in Forest Enets 2Sg and 3Sg pronouns.
Whereas vowel length in Forest Enets is distinctive although its functional load is low, half long vowels are unknown and this might explain the vowel's realization as either short or long as no minimal pairs in this position are known.