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(also Ostyaks; self-designation, khante), an Ugric people. The Khanty live along the Ob’ and Irtysh rivers and the rivers’ tributaries in Tomsk Oblast and the Yamal-Nenets and Khanty-Mansi autonomous (formerly national) okrugs of Tiu-men’ Oblast. According to the 1979 census, the Khanty number 21,000; they speak Khanty.
The Khanty comprise three ethnographic groups: northern, southern, and eastern. The southern Khanty, who live along the Irtysh River, have intermingled with the local Russian and Tatar population. The eastern and especially the northern Khanty have retained features of the traditional culture of the 19th century, which may be seen in their dwellings, means of transport, and art.
The Khanty emerged as a people late in the first millennium B.C. when Ugric tribes settled in the area and intermingled with the indigenous population; the two groups produced the Ust’-Polui culture. The Khanty, who are related to the Mansi, work in fishing kolkhozes, agricultural kolkhozes, reindeer-raising sovkhozes, and vegetable and dairy sovkhozes; they also hunt and fish.
REFERENCESNarody Sibiri. Moscow-Leningrad, 1956.
Sokolova, Z. P. “Khanty.” Voprosy istorii, 1971, no. 8.
(also Ostyak), the language of the Khanty. Khanty is spoken in Khanty-Mansi and Yamal-Nenets autonomous okrugs (formerly national okrugs) of Tiumen’ Oblast and in Aleksan-drovskoe and Kargasok raions of Tomsk Oblast. According to the 1970 census, there are more than 14,000 speakers of Khanty, which together with Vogul (Mansi) makes up the Ob-Ugric group of Finno-Ugric languages.
Khanty is remarkable for its great variety of dialects. The western group comprises the Obdorsk, Ob’, and Irtysh dialects; the eastern group comprises the Surgut and Vakh-Vasiugan dialects, which are in turn divided into 13 subdialects. The various dialects of Khanty differ greatly in phonetics, morphology, and lexicon. In the western dialects certain nonfricative consonants become fricatives; for example, the western χut (“fish”) and šop (“truth”) correspond to the eastern kul and čap, respectively. The western dialects have no vowel gradation in the root, as can be seen from the contrast between the western amp/ampem (“my dog”) and the eastern ämp/impem. In addition, the western dialects lack several sounds found in the eastern dialects, such as front ä and labialized å. The western dialects exhibit syncretism of case endings and have three cases—an unmarked nominative case, a dative-lative case, and an ablative-instrumental case. The eastern dialects, on the other hand, may have as many as eight cases. Differences in the lexicon extend to the basic vocabulary; for example, the western χop (“boat”) and unә (“big”) contrast with the eastern rәt and oλλo, respectively.
The first writing system, which appeared after the October Revolution of 1917, was a Latin script adopted in 1930; it was replaced in 1937 by a Cyrillic script. Three dialects—Kazym, Shuryshkar, and Central Ob—have a literary form. Radio and television broadcasts and newspapers are in the Kazym dialect.
REFERENCESTereshkin, N. I. Ocherki dialektov khantyiskogo iazyka, part 1: Vakhovskii dialekt. Moscow-Leningrad, 1961.
Steinitz, W. Ostjakische Grammatik und Chrestomathie mit Wörterverzeichnis, 2nd ed. Leipzig, 1950.
Karjalainen, K. F. Ostjakisches Wörterbuch, I–II. Helsinki, 1948.
IU. N. KARAULOV