Copyright © 1998-2008 Institute of Linguistics (Russian Academy of Sciences) & Kazuto Matsumura (Univ. of Tokyo)

Indigenous Minority Languages of Russia

Koryak: Bibliographical guide

About the Koryak language

Koryak, together with Chukchi, Kerek and Alutor (the latter two languages often considered as dialects of Koryak), belongs to the Chukchi-Koryak group of the Chukchi-Kamchatkan family.

Where the speakers live

Koryak is spoken in the northern part of the Kamchatka Peninsula and in some adjacent territories: at the coast of the Bering Sea (the Navarin Cape being the Southern border of their traditional location), the Parapol valley and the basin of the river Penzhina.

In 1930, the Koryak autonomous area was established on the territories of the traditional habitat of Koryaks. The geographical borders of the Koryak autonomous area are as follows: the mountain ranges of Pal-Pal and Russkiy ("Russian") in the north, the river of Gizhiga and the Omolon-Kolyma watershed in the west, the rivers of Icha and Khaylyul in the south, and the cost of the Bering Sea in the east.

The Koryak autonomous area includes four districts: Tigil (the administrative center is the village of Tigil), Penjina (the administrative center is Kamenskoye), Olutor (the administrative center is the village of Tilichiki) and Karagin (the administrative center is the village of Karaga).

The administrative center of the autonomous area is the town of Palana.

Up to now, the Koryak autonomous area is a major territory where Koryak is spoken, since it is a territory compactly inhabited by the Koryaks.

Beside the Koryak autonomous area, Koryak is spoken in the Magadan region. Some Koryaks also live in different regions of the Russian Federation as well as in the states of the former Soviet Union.






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