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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(Ostyak Samoyed), the language of the Selkups, spoken in the region between the Ob’ and Enisei rivers by 2,200 persons (1970 census).

Selkup belongs to the Samoyedic group of Uralic languages. It has three main dialects: Taz, which formed the basis for the writing system created in the 1930’s, Tym, and Ket. The Taz dialect has 25 vowel and 16 consonant phonemes. Stress is mobile and usually conditioned by the phonemic and morphemic composition of the word. The language is characterized by hetero-clitic nouns; for example, ten (“vein,” “tendon”) becomes tini-t in the plural. Some verbs are also heteroclitic. Homorganic nasals and obstruents alternate at the ends of morphemes. Nouns have three numbers, approximately ten cases, and personal possessive and predicative forms; the noun paradigm includes regularly formed collective, adjectival, adverbial, comitative, and abessive forms. The verb has four tenses, eight moods, and more than 15 aspects. Transitivity, reflexivity, passivity, and causativity are expressed by affixation or change of conjugation type. The usual word order is subject-direct object-predicate and determinandum-determinatum. In vocabulary and semantics there are numerous traces of contacts with the Khanty (Ostyak) and Ket languages.


Prokof’ev, G. N. Sel’kupskaia grammatika. Leningrad, 1935.
Erdélyi, i. Selkupisches Wörterverzeichnis. Budapest, 1969.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
--2017, On the Non-Possessive Use of Possessive Suffixes in Central and Southern Selkup.--Tomsk Journal of Linguistics and Anthropology 2 (25), 58-66.
Number of cognates of Estonian stems in related languages (excluding Finnic languages Samoyed: Mator Kamas Enets Nganasa Nenets Selkup clear 60 80 82 91 95 98 dubious 17 28 27 26 46 42 sum 77 108 109 117 141 140 Finno-Ugric Hungarian Mansi Khanty Udmurt Mari Komi clear 134 163 165 173 194 195 dubious 51 61 64 53 46 73 sum 185 224 229 226 240 268 Finno-Ugric Moksha Erzy Saami clear 256 267 386 dubious 54 58 97 sum 310 325 483
With regard to habeo- or esseverbs, there is the verb eqo 'to be' in Selkup and the "predicative possession is essentially based on existential constructions" (Budzisch 2015: 45, Honti 2008: 173).
Although there are indeed inner-Samoyedic parallels which unite Nganasan and Selkup morphosyntactically, a meaningful parallel can also be found in Dolgan.
Furthermore, Siberian Tatar may be an influence on the Ob-Ugric languages and Selkup.
Mordvin kal 'fish'; Mari kol 'fish'; Mansi kol/%ul/kul 'fish'; Khanty kul/xut'/xul 'fish'; Hungarian hal 'fish'; Nenets Xal'e/kare 'fish'; Enets kade/kare/kare 'fish'; Nganasan kole/kuale/kualle 'fish'; Selkup kel/qel/ qeli/kuel/qeli 'fish'; Kamas kola 'fish'; Mator kele 'fish'.
This is evident in the Selkup reflexes, for instance; Bykonya 's Selkup dialect dictionary gives the forms ObSh, ObCh, Ty puz, ObS, Vas puze, Tur, Elputi, Ket puca ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 2005 : 197), with the diverse meanings 'inside, interior; soul; stomach; navel; seed; core; pipe (instrument); barrel (of a gun)'.
The Selkup word apparently reflects PSam *kae; the phonological development of the word in Samoyed is discussed in Aikio 2012 : 245.
In Selkup "the position of stress demonstrates a dualistic phonetic-morphological dependence" ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] 1980:137).
Selkup. The unstressed pre-verbal particle qaj expresses polar interrogation (cf.
Nominative is particularly characteristic of the Forest Nenets direct object and of the Selkup Taz dialect direct object ([TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII.] 1973 : 178-181).
2) Distinguishing between indefinite and definite conjugations: Mordvin, Ob-Ugric (Mansi, Hanti), Southern-Samoyedic (Selkup, Kamass, Mator) languages.