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

Indigenous Minority Languages of Russia

Yupik: Bibliographical guide

About the Yupik language

Both Siberian Yupik and Naukan belong to the Yupik group of the Eskimo branch of the Eskaleut language family.

Eskimo is a conventional name for each of the group of cognate languages spoken on the territory along the Polar circle from the Eastern point of Chukotka Peninsula to Greenland. Asiatic Eskimos speak three cognate languages: two languages of the nearest filiation — Chaplino (Unazik or Siberian Yupik, in the English language tradition) and Naukan (some researchers regard them as one language — Asiatic Eskimo), and Old Sireniki, practically extinguished nowadays. Asiatic Eskimo belongs to the group of Yupik languages together with two other languages of the Alaska Eskimos — Alutiik and Yupik of Central Alaska. The Yupik group, Old Sireniki and the Inuit group (spoken in the Northern part of Alaska, in Canada and in Greenland) constitute the Eskimo branch of the Eskaleut language family.

Where the speakers live

Asiatic Eskimo is spoken in the Chukotka autonomous area of the Magadan region in Russia and on St. Lawrence Island in the USA. Siberian Yupik speakers (or, according to the Russian scholarly tradition, speakers of the Chaplino language, or the Chaplino dialect of Asiatic Eskimo) live in the settlements of Novoje Chaplino, Sireniki, Providenija and Uelkal, and in the town of Anadyr, as well as in the villages of Gambell and Savoonga on St. Lawrence Island. The speakers of the Naukan language, or the Naukan dialect of Asiatic Eskimo, live in the settlements of Lorino, Lavrentija and Uelen (Chukotka, Russia).





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