Enets is a Samoyedic language spoken along the Yenisei River
in Krasnoyarsk Krai in Siberia in the Russian Republic. The two
dialects of Enets - Forest Enets (madu) and Tundra Enets
(bai) - with considerable lexical differences between them.
There are also a few speakers of Karastin Enets, which is a mixture
the forest and tundra dialects. There are about 70 speakers of Enets
altogether: about 10 of the tundra dialect and 60 of the forest
dialect, and most of them are middle-aged or elderly. They all speak
Russian as a second language, and some also speak the languages of
neighbouring tribes, such as Nenets, Evenki or Nganasan.
Enets is closely related to Nganasan and Nenets, was once
considered a dialect of Nenets until the mid-20th Century. Enets
contains many loanwords from Nenets, and also from Dolgan, Evenki and
Russian, and there is significant code-switching and mixing between
Enets and Russian among Enets speakers.
A way of writing Enets with the Cyrillic alphabet was devised during
the 1980s and has been used to produce a number of books. During the
1990s there was an Enets supplement was published in the newspaper
Таймыр (Soviet Taimyr), and
brief Enets broadcasts on local radio.
Enets alphabet and pronunciation
many consonants are palatalized when followed by е, ё, и, ю or я
ц, ш, щ, ъ and ы only appear in names and loanwords
е = [je] ё = [jo], ю = [ju] and я [ja] at the beginnings of words, and after vowels, ъ and ь
Information about Enets pronunciation compiled by Wolfram Siegel