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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the language of the Udmurts, who live in the Udmurt, Bashkir, Tatar, and Mari ASSR’s and in Kirov, Perm’, and Sverdlovsk oblasts. Udmurt is spoken by 582,000 people (1970 census).

Udmurt belongs to the Permian branch of the Finno-Ugric languages of the Uralic family. It has two dialects: the northern, which includes the contact vernacular of a special ethnic group— the Besermians—and the southern, which includes the dialects of the peoples of the Viatka and Kama river regions. Udmurt is distinguished from other Permian languages by stress on the final syllable of a word, the appearance of the middle vowel ö only in the first syllable of a word, the regular correspondence of* [dz] and 3 [dz] with the initial r of parent forms, certain features of verb morphology, the presence of two conjugational forms, a conditional mood ending with the suffix -sal, and a future tense with the suffix -ol-lo-. The Udmurt lexicon contains many Turkic loanwords that have been incorporated via Old Bulgarian and Tatar.

Udmurt has used a writing system based on the Cyrillic alphabet since the second half of the 18th century. Prerevolutionary Udmurt literature was published in various dialects. The present-day literary language represents a synthesis of the northern and southern dialects with some incorporation of the features of the intermediate subdialects.


Bubrikh, D. V. Istoricheskaia fonetika udmurtskogo iazyka. Izhevsk, 1948.
Grammatika sovremennogo udmurtskogo iazyka, [part 1.] Izhevsk, 1962.
Tepliashina, T. I. “Udmurtskii iazyk.” In lazyki narodov SSSR, vol. 3. Moscow, 1966. (Contains bibliography.)
Grammatika sovremennogo udmurtskogo iazyka: Sintaksis prostogo predlozheniia. Izhevsk, 1970.
Grammatika sovremennogo udmurtskogo iazyka: Sintaksis slozhnogo predlozheniia. Izhevsk, 1974.
Udmurtsko-russkiislovar’. Moscow, 1948.
Russko-udmurtskii slovar’. Moscow, 1956.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.