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(also Lamut), the language of the Evens (Lamut). According to the 1970 census, Even is spoken by approximately 7,000 people along the coast of the Sea of Okhotsk and in neighboring regions. Together with Evenki and Negidal, it belongs to the northern group of the Manchu-Tungus languages. It has three dialect groups: eastern, western, and central. The eastern group includes the Ola dialect, on which the literary language is based.
Even is an agglutinative language in which grammatical relationships are expressed by the addition of suffixes to word stems. The Ola dialect distinguishes 18 consonants and up to 20 vowel phonemes, including ia and ie (phonemes that incorporate a glide whose articulation resembles that of the phoneme’s primary, syllabic, element). Even exhibits palatal and labial vowel harmony. There are 13 nominal (noun) cases and a ramified system of possessive forms, which express personal, reflexive, and alienable possession.
Verbs are classified by conjugational features as verbs of action, verbs of state, and inchoative verbs. There are more than 15 aspects and six voices of the verb, as well as six participial forms, eight forms of adverbial participles, and negative and interrogative verbs. The attribute precedes the modified word and agrees with it in number and case. The vocabulary of the western dialects shows the influence of Yakut and Yukaghir, and the dialects of Kamchatka have undergone the influence of Koriak; Russian words began entering the Even language in the 17th century.
A Latin writing system was devised in 1931 and was used until 1936, when a Cyrillic alphabet was introduced.
REFERENCESTsintsius, V. I. Ocherk grammatiki evenskogo (lamutskogo) iazyka, part 1. Leningrad, 1947.
Tsintsius, V. I., and L. D. Rishes. Russko-evenskii slovar’ (s prilozheniem grammaticheskogo ocherka). Moscow, 1952.
Benzing, J. Lamutische Grammatik mit Bibliographie, Sprachproben und Glossar. Wiesbaden, 1955.
E. A. KHELIMSKII