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.


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

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References in periodicals archive ?
For students and scholars of linguistic typology and historical linguistics, and specialists in Paleosiberian language studies.
A concomitant reference to to the number of the objects in the verbal forms (in Mordvin, Ob-Ugric and Northern Samoyedic) as well as to a person of the object (in Mordvin and partly in Hungarian) occurs first of all in Northern-Siberian languages, in a number of Paleosiberian languages, among them (see Pusztay 1995 : 91-93).
Namely, its possible equivalents in a number of Altaic and Paleosiberian languages are also front-vocal (see [TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 1971 : 17, 264-265; Collinder 1977 : 73; Poppe 1977 : 222; Bomhard, Kerns 1994 : 580-581; Greenberg 2000 : 214-217; Marcantonio 2002 : 239; Klesment, Kunnap, Soosaar, Taagepera 2003 : 378).