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the language of the Shortzy. According to the 1970 census, Shor is spoken by more than 12,000 people in Kemerovo Oblast of the RSFSR, primarily in the northern foothills of the Altai, in the Kuznetskii Alatau, along the Tom’ River and its tributaries, and in the border region between the Khakass and Gorno-Altai autonomous oblasts. Shor, which belongs to the Khakass subgroup of the northeastern group of Turkic languages, has two dialects: the Mras, or z-dialect, which formed the basis of the literary language used in the 1920’s and 1930’s, and the Kondoma y-dialect, which in turn embraces several subdia-lects.

In Shor, vowels are distinguished as long or short, as in ool (“son”) and ol (“he,” “that one”). Stops and fricatives are unvoiced in initial and final position and voiced or semivoiced in intervocalic position, as in kap (“bag”) and kabí (“his bag”). In the declension system there is an instrumental case with the affixes -ba/-be, -pa/-pe, and -ma/-me, as in maltabá (“by means of an axe”). The system of tenses includes a potential future tense with the affix -kadíg, a past tense indicating an incompleted action with the affix -kalak, and a normal past tense with the affixes -chang/-cheng. Adverbial participles have the affixes -ala/-ele, as in turala (“as soon as he got up”).

A writing system based on the Cyrillic alphabet was introduced in 1927; a Latin alphabet was used from 1929 to 1938 when a new Cyrillic alphabet was created. There once existed an alphabet that was devised for a Shor primer published by missionaries in 1885.


Dyrenkova, N. P. Grammatika shorskogo iazyka. Moscow-Leningrad, 1941.
Shorskii fol’klor. Transcribed, translated, and with an introductory article and annotations by N. P. Dyrenkova. Moscow-Leningrad, 1940.
Babushkin, G. F., and G. I. Donidze. “Shorskii iazyk.” In Iazyki narodov SSSR, vol. 2. Moscow, 1966.


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