Linguistic expeditions 2010
EVENKI-SELKUP EXPEDITION 2010
We worked in the villages of Bely Yar, Stepanovka, Katayga, Centralnyi in the Upper-Ket district and in the villages of Kargasok, Novoyughino, Napas, Molodyozhnyi in Kargasok district.
The main objectives of the expedition were a sociolinguistic survey of the villages, and documentation of the Sym dialect of Evenki and of the Ket and Tym dialects of Selkup, and with autochthonous population.
During the fieldwork (31days including transportation) the
participants worked with native speakers, half-speakers and quarter-speakers of
the autochthonous languages of the region representing the Sym dialect of Evenki,
the Ket and Tym dialects of Selkup and the Vasiugan dialect of Khanty for more
than 300 hours. Besides, in the framework of the sociolinguistic survey of the
local communities of autochthonous populations of the villages we questionnaires
were filled 232 questionnaires interviewing our respondents from those
Situation in the Region
Population 20500, among them:
Evenkis 60 (6-7 people speak Evenki to a certain extent, two people are Evenki full-speakers)
Selkups 383 (among them two Selkup full-speakers, 3-4 people remember just some Selkup words)
Chulyms 41 (no one speaks Chulym)
Kets 7 (no one speaks Ket)
Kargasok district: general information
Population 22476, among them:
Evenkis 29 (No one speaks Evenki, one-two people remember just some Evenki words)
Selkups 470 (several Khanty people are registered as Selkups)
Khantys 135 (10 to 15 people speak Khanty to a certain extent)
Selkups 372 (several Khanty people are registered as Selkups.)
Khantys 91 (5 people speak Khanty to a certain extent)
Selkups 32 (several Khanty people are registered as Selkups)
Khantys 15 (5 people speak Khanty to a certain extent)
We felt working in the ruins of autochthonous languages. To our regret, our survey showed that the Tym dialect of Selkup (Kargasok district) has stopped functioning, today it exists only as remembrances of something once heard or pronounced but almost totally vanished. Even elderly Selkups of Napas could remember at best fifteen to twenty Selkup words. The process of shifting to Russian started in the Selkup community of Napas more than half a century ago. Our respondents of 70 – 80 years old told us that in their childhood parents had not allowed them to speak Selkup. Most of them heard Selkup speech only from their grandparents. No one of the 29 Evenkis residing in the Kargasok district is able to speak his/her ethnic language.
The situation in the Upper-Ket district may seem more optimistic in comparison with the Tym basin: two native speakers of the Sym dialect of Evenki live in Bely Yar (they are brother and sister, he is 73, she is 65), a native speaker of the Ket dialect of Selkup resides in Stepanovka and another one in Katayga (one of them is 61, the other is 71, and they speak different local sub-dialects of the Ket dialect).
More than half of the Ket and Tym Selkups whom we interviewed consider their ethnic language to be useless in the present-day society. The attitudes of the interviewed Evenkis towards their ethnic language are much more positive.
The data collected during the expedition
1) 17 texts in the Sym dialect of Evenki sounding from 5 to 20 minutes recorded in Bely Yar from two informants (brother and sister, 73 and 65years old): life stories (10), folklore texts – fairy-tales and legends (4), songs (2), a monolog addressed to the Evenki people (1). All the texts are audio and video recorded recorded and deciphered (transcribed and translated into Russian).
2) The Evenki thematic dictionary (over 2000 entries) audio recorded from our two full-speakers of the Sym dialect (73 and 65 years old).
3) The reduced version of the Evenki thematic dictionary (400 entries) audio recorded from three Evenki half-speakers (59 to 60 years old) in Stepanovka and Centralnyi.
4) 9 texts in the Ket dialect of Selkup audio and video recorded from the last two full-speakers of this dialect (61 and 72 years old) in Stepanovka and Kataiga (autobiographies, hunting stories, stories about shamanic rites).
5) The Selkup thematic dictionary (about 2000 entries) audio recorded from the two remaining full-speakers of the Ket dialect (61 and 65 years old).
6) The reduced version of Khanty thematic dictionary containing 400 entries, recorded from 4 informants (50 to75 years old) in Novoyughino and Kargasok.
7) Data on the sociolinguistic situation in the villages of Bely Yar, Stepanovka, Kataiga, Centralnyi, Kargasok, Novoyughino, Napas, Molodyozhny.
8) Video recordings shot during the expedition and reflecting both the functioning, or rather, the non-functioning of Evenki or Selkup in the villages, and some ethno cultural features of the present-day village life (8 hours).
9) Photo materials (over 1500 photos) showing villagers, their everyday life, views of the villages and their natural surroundings.