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(also Komi), the language of the Komi, who live in the Komi ASSR. It belongs to the Permian subgroup of the Finno-Ugric language family. It is spoken by 266,000 persons (1970, census). Zyrian has had a writing system since the 14th century, although it was based on various dialects and orthographies. A literary language finally took shape after the Great October Socialist Revolution on the basis of the Syktyvkar-Vychegda sub-dialect, which occupies an intermediate position among the subdialects. Zyrian uses the Russian alphabet, supplemented by the two letters ö and i. The phonology is marked by the absence of emphasis on stressed vowels and by the presence of the soft lisping consonants s’ and z’ and the four affricates č, dz, tš, and dž. The vocabulary is characterized by an abundance of monosyllabic words (roots), and the morphology is characterized by a single declension and conjugation. A republic newspaper, three raion newspapers, a magazine, textbooks, sociopolitical literature, and fiction are published in Zyrian.
REFERENCESSovremennyi komi iazyk, parts 1–2. Syktyvkar, 1955–64.
Lytkin, V. I. “Komi-zyrianskii iazyk.” In the collection Zakonomernosti razvitiia literaturnykh iazykov narodov SSSR v sovetskuiu epokhu [vol. 2]. Moscow, 1969.
Timushev, D. A., and N. A. Kolegova. Komi-russkii slovar’. Moscow, 1961.
Russko-komi slovar’. Edited by D. A. Timushev. Syktyvkar, 1966.
V. I. LYTKIN