Paleosiberian languages

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Paleosiberian languages

(pā'lēōsībēr`ēən), also called Paleoasiatic or Hyperborean languages, family of languages spoken by about 15,000 indigenous inhabitants of Siberia. Of these, most live in extreme NE Siberia, and fewer than 1,000 live farther W near the Yenisei River. Only a few languages survive of this once extensive family, which formerly was spread over a considerable area of N Asia. Among the Paleosiberian languages still in use are Chukchi, Koryak, Kamchadal, Yukaghir, and Gilyak. These tongues have characteristics that recall a number of Native American languagesNative American languages,
languages of the native peoples of the Western Hemisphere and their descendants. A number of the Native American languages that were spoken at the time of the European arrival in the New World in the late 15th cent.
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. For example, they are polysynthetic. In a polysynthetic language, a number of word elements are joined together to form a composite word that functions like a sentence in Indo-European languages. Most Paleosiberian languages did not have their own writing system in the past. Today their scripts are all based on the Cyrillic alphabet.

Bibliography

See R. Jakobson et al., Paleosiberian Peoples and Languages (1957, repr. 1981).

References in periodicals archive ?
The depths of the Early Paleozoic sedimentary basins of the Paleoasian Ocean: lithofacies and bioindicator estimates.
Washington, December 9 (ANI): In a new study, scientists have analyzed land plant fossils to show that the Paleoasian Ocean disappeared about 251 million years ago.
The collision between the Siberian Plate and North China Plate was a significant geological event in earth history, which led to the final closure of the Paleoasian Ocean and the formation of the Eurasian continent.
An immense ocean of thousands kilometers wide, namely the Paleoasian Ocean, separated these two paleo-lands.
Deng and his collaborators concluded that the time of the Paleoasian Ocean's disappearance is the end of the Permian, about 251 million years ago, based on their study of land plant fossils.
This means that the Paleoasian Ocean, once a barrier of plant immigration, must have disappeared in the Late Permian, and those plants grew previously in North China paleo-land now immigrated to the Siberian paleo-land.