Chukchi-Speaking Communities in Three Russian Regions

A 120-Year Story of Language Shift

in Sibirica
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  • 1 Institute for Linguistic Studies, Saint Petersburg; Institute of Linguistics, Moscow
  • 2 Institute of Linguistics, Moscow
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The Chukchi-speaking population is distributed within three regions of the Russian Federation—Chukotka, Kamchatka, and Yakutia. Because of the lack of regular transportation between these regions and different attitudes toward the Chukchi from the local authorities, Chukchi-speaking communities in these regions have become isolated from one another and have been developing independently. This article observes the dynamics of language shift in all Chukchi-speaking areas through the analysis of the data of the Russian Censuses (1897–2015), literature sources, and personal observations. The figures in this article illustrate the distribution of Chukchi-speaking communities within their historical and modern homeland, Chukchi vernacular zones, the participation in traditional economic activities, and contacts with other languages.


Interdisciplinary Journal of Siberian Studies