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The Kets And Their Language

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Chapter Summary

Linguists and specialists on Siberia are generally familiar with the name Ket, which designates a small ethnic group on the Yenisei and their language. This language was "formerly" called Yenisei-Ostyak. All Yeniseic languages save Ket are now definitely extinct, and, apart from well-described Yugh and reasonably well-attested Kott, fragmentary word-lists constitute our whole knowledge about them. Ket is still spoken in a number of settlements on or near the lower reaches of the Yenisei between Sym in the South and Maduyka in the North. Kets and Sel'kups are tied by a long common history of mutual exogamy; consequently, interethnic relations between Kets and Sel'kups have always been friendly and cooperative, a sizable number of ethnic Sel'kups speak Ket fluently, some additionally to Sel'kup and Russian, some as their only non-Russian language. In non-phonological sections, the transcription used closely reflects the phonological system.

Keywords: Kets; Kott; Sel'kups; Yenisei-Ostyak; Yugh



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