Andrey Filchenko filtchenko at policy.hu
Mon Oct 29 16:49:36 UTC 2012

This is very timely and well needed!
Thanks for initiating this.

Based on recent own and joint research projects (2010-2012), here is 
some data on North-Western Siberia:
- Southern Selkup: Middle Ob, Narym, Vasyugan - 5 proficient speakers 
combined, all over the age of 60.
- Eastern Khanty: Vasyugan, Aleksandrovo - 5 proficient speakers each, 
all over the of age 60.

Thus, I would split Selkup into 2 groups: Northern Selkup and Southern 
Selkup - there are numerous arguments in favour of this (cf. among 
others Helimski 1998, Kuennap 1985), and show that Southern Selkup is 
really on the verge, while basically all of the statistical speakers of 
Selkup are Northern Selkup.

In terms of Eastern Khanty, both in terms of structural variation, and 
sociolinguistic situation, it is, perhaps, worth specifying that the 
south-estern most Khanty dialects are really quite near extinct, while 
further northern "Eastern Khanty" are much better off (Vakh, Yugan, 
Tromagan, Agan). So effectively, 500 - is really starting from Vakh and 

??????? Florian Siegl <florian.siegl at gmx.net>:

> 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 Gr?nthal & 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


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