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By Dunn, M.J.

The purpose of this paintings is to supply the 1st fieldwork-based, typologically trained reference grammar of Chukchi, an indigenous language of the north-eastern nook of the Russian Federation. The theoretical strategy is low-key and eclectic; linguistic phenomena are defined in a way that's, in as far as it truly is attainable, theory-neutral, even supposing the place a department of linguistic idea presents instruments which enable transparent and straightforward description it's used with out hesitation. Linguistic description is, even if, fundamental all through.

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Sample text

GOOD. MAI POOI. CERAI AYN PEIEB E LIKM ROOSEN MAN GOOD MAN SOOBBOS E KVTM MAI POOI PEIEB MEI VEL GOOD. Bogoras’ translation: I will tell you. Last night me cam board o' ship. Me no got nothing. American man no good. My boy cried (to have a) pipe. He like him. Russian man good man. Suppose he gave it him my boy pipe, my feel good. Note in particular and KIVTM SOOBBOS suppose used as a subordinator, and the final -M of LIKM like give which look like standard South Seas Pijin transitivity markers.

Bogoras had credentials of pre-revolutionary political activity which allowed him to act with a certain amount of independence even during the early stages of Stalin’s ascent9. His followers did not. As an academic, Skorik had the misfortune to live through the whole of the personality cult, and was forced to many compromising and humiliating public statements at a time when international scientific communication was at an all-time low. Other published pedagogical Chukchi-Russian dictionaries are Russko-cµukotskij slovar’ dlja cµukotskoj sµkoly [Russian-Chukchi dictionary for Chukchi schools] (Skorik 1941), Cµukotsko-russkij slovar’ [Chukchi-Russian dictionary] (Moll & Inenlikej 1957), and Russko-cµukotskij cµukotsko-russkij slovar’ [RussianChukchi Chukchi-Russian dictionary] (Inenlikej 1976; revised edition 1987).

Bogoras made the first major attempts at writing Chukchi during his various travels and expeditions between the 1890s and the Russian Revolution. He used the Latin alphabet plus a few diacritics to give what we would now call a phonetic (as opposed to 10. 2). Although he does lose some phonological detail in his script modern native speakers of Chukchi who know the Latin alphabet are able to work out most of what he has written. g. schwa was represented by the Russian ‘soft sign’; L)1. This orthography was used in the first Chukchi-Russian dictionary and schoolbooks.

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