Resending Query

Florian Siegl florian.siegl at gmx.net
Mon Oct 29 17:08:26 UTC 2012


Dear all,

I am positively surprised to see, that there is already some "traffic", 
though the original message has not yet made it to Ura-List (for reasons 
I am unable to comment). The answer which arrived so far were sent by 
colleagues as an answer to Ura-List who got the same message bcc when I 
tried to post it on Ura-List; the original message is apparently lost  
in cyber space. I hereby resend the original query again. Thanks already 
to Michael Rießler and Andrey Filchenko for their grass root comments 
which I have put down seperately. Thanks to Marianne Bakró-Nagy and 
Pekka Sammallahti for their positive approval that this step is useful.

This is an exact copy of the e-mail I tried to send to Ura-list at 14:44 
(Helsinki time) including the attachment. Hopefully this time, I will go 
through:

Florian Siegl


Over the last month, the Department of Finno-Ugric studies in Helsinki 
has collected and re-evaluated existing statistical data concerning 
estimated numbers of speakers (!) of individual Uralic languages. As 
this data is biased, we have decided to make our estimations available 
on Ura-List in order to gather feedback and suggestions. The overall 
intention is NOT to present an exact number of speakers (see also 
principles in the attached file) which would result in a sanctioned 
list, but to arrive at a reasonably realistic estimation which can be 
used e. g. in teaching, research or PR work. Although this should not 
need any further explanation, we wish to exemplify this with two 
instances which demonstrate the urgency of such an endeavor; the number 
of Lule Saami speakers has been estimated as roughly 1500-2000, and this 
number has been around for a longer period. Recent estimations from 
within the Lule Saami community operate with roughly 700 speakers only – 
the resulting discrepancy is 50%. A similar case is to be expected for 
Forest Nenets. The number of speakers has been reported exceeding 1000 
for quite a while now, but may actually not exceed 700 when taking 
general demographic trends into consideration.

Further, several languages were once a while reported as extinct (e. g. 
Livonian, Ume Saami and Pite Saami) though for all languages L1 speakers 
could still be found. Possibly Akkala Saami could also be added to this 
list.

As Ura-List, unfortunately, does not stimulate much online discussion, 
we encourage subscribers to comment this particular matter online. Of 
course, we also welcome offline comments. These should be sent to 
florian.siegl at helsinki.fi <mailto:florian.siegl at helsinki.fi>. Please 
state on which kind of evidence your assumptions rest and if possible 
provide links to further online resources, own work etc. Please also 
state if we are allowed to quote your data/assumption publicly as p. c. 
if this would become necessary.

A summary will be posted on Ura-List. A more “official” mode of 
representation is currently also thought of perhaps resulting in an 
updated version of the 1992 map /Geographical Distribution of the Uralic 
Languages/ (then compiled by Grünthal & Salminen). A suitable online 
forum is also currently debated on.

Last, but not least, please forward this message to colleagues and 
language activists who are not subscribers of Ura-List.


Florian Siegl


PhD, researcher

Department of Finnish, Finno-Ugrian and Scandinavian Studies,
P.O.Box 24
FIN-00014 University of Helsinki
Finland




On 29.10.2012 16:42, Michael Rießler wrote:
> Dear all,
>
> thank you Flo and Riho! I find this a very useful initiative.
>
> A few notes on East-Saamic:
> * Akkala is certainly not extinct, one speaker was recently recorded, 
> see http://corpus1.mpi.nl/ds/imdi_browser?openpath=MPI1564782%23.
> * The most reliable estimation of Kildin speakers presents Scheller 
> 2011 (or elsewhere): "The Saami language situation in Russia" in: 
> Uralica Helsingiensia 5. Scheller distinguishes between about 100 
> active and 700 passive speakers. Your figure of 350 speakers is in 
> between these two and seems reasonable to me.
> * Skolt does in fact also have speakers in Norway. I personally know 
> two speakers who live in Neiden. They are both fluent and active 
> speakers, at least one of them is among the leading revitalizers 
> having published books in Skolt Saami and teaching it at the school in 
> Sevettijärvi/Finland (30km from Neiden). I have heard about a third 
> speaker living in Kirkenes. Although they have only moved to Norway 
> from the Finish side, they have lived in Norway permanently for 
> several (if not many) years (both with Norwegian partners) and they 
> continue using Skolt Saami between each other or with other visiting 
> Skolt Saami. One of them is even a Norwegian citizen. Being permanent 
> inhabitants of Norway, living on traditional Skolt Saami territories 
> (in an area which was always characterized by cross-border 
> communication) and obviously being quite active speakers, it seems 
> anachronistic to exclude them from being counted as Skolt Saami of Norway.
>
> Best,
> Michael Rießler
>
> -
>
> Dr. Michael Rießler
> Skandinavisches Seminar, Universität Freiburg
> www.skandinavistik.uni-freiburg.de/institut/mitarbeiter/riessler 
> <http://www.skandinavistik.uni-freiburg.de/institut/mitarbeiter/riessler>
> michael.riessler at skandinavistik.uni-freiburg.de 
> <mailto:michael.riessler at skandinavistik.uni-freiburg.de>
>
>
>
>
> On Oct 29, 2012, at 1:44 PM, Florian Siegl wrote:
>
>> Over the last month, the Department of Finno-Ugric studies in 
>> Helsinki has collected and re-evaluated existing statistical data 
>> concerning estimated numbers of speakers (!) of individual Uralic 
>> languages. As this data is biased, we have decided to make our 
>> estimations available on Ura-List in order to gather feedback and 
>> suggestions. The overall intention is NOT to present an exact number 
>> of speakers (see also principles in the attached file) which would 
>> result in a sanctioned list, but to arrive at a reasonably realistic 
>> estimation which can be used e. g. in teaching, research or PR work. 
>> Although this should not need any further explanation, we wish to 
>> exemplify this with two instances which demonstrate the urgency of 
>> such an endeavor; the number of Lule Saami speakers has been 
>> estimated as roughly 1500-2000, and this number has been around for a 
>> longer period. Recent estimations from within the Lule Saami 
>> community operate with roughly 700 speakers only – the resulting 
>> discrepancy is 50%. A similar case is to be expected for Forest 
>> Nenets. The number of speakers has been reported exceeding 1000 for 
>> quite a while now, but may actually not exceed 700 when taking 
>> general demographic trends into consideration.
>>
>> Further, several languages were once a while reported as extinct (e. 
>> g. Livonian, Ume Saami and Pite Saami) though for all languages L1 
>> speakers could still be found. Possibly Akkala Saami could also be 
>> added to this list.
>>
>> As Ura-List, unfortunately, does not stimulate much online 
>> discussion, we encourage subscribers to comment this particular 
>> matter online. Of course, we also welcome offline comments. These 
>> should be sent to florian.siegl at helsinki.fi 
>> <mailto:florian.siegl at helsinki.fi>. Please state on which kind of 
>> evidence your assumptions rest and if possible provide links to 
>> further online resources, own work etc. Please also state if we are 
>> allowed to quote your data/assumption publicly as p. c. if this would 
>> become necessary.
>>
>> A summary will be posted on Ura-List. A more “official” mode of 
>> representation is currently also thought of perhaps resulting in an 
>> updated version of the 1992 map /Geographical Distribution of the 
>> Uralic Languages/ (then compiled by Grünthal & Salminen). A suitable 
>> online forum is also currently debated on.
>>
>> Last, but not least, please forward this message to colleagues and 
>> language activists who are not subscribers of Ura-List.
>>
>>
>> Florian Siegl
>>
>>
>> PhD, researcher
>>
>> Department of Finnish, Finno-Ugrian and Scandinavian Studies,
>> P.O.Box 24
>> FIN-00014 University of Helsinki
>> Finland
>>
>>
>>
>> <Uralic_Languages_Speakers_2012.doc>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>

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