ETHNOLINGUISTIC SITUATION IN KAMCHATKA: GENESIS, MODERN STATE, PECULIARITIES OF KAMCHATKA DIALECT
I. General characteristics of modern ethnolinguistic situation in Kamchatka
At present many ethnolinguistic groups (Russian, Ukrainian, Koryak, Armenian, Chechen, Byelorussian, etc.) coexist in Kamchatka. The representatives of these groups have fluent Russian. The natives (Koryaks and Itelmeny) consider Russian to be their second language or the mother tongue. So, the linguistic situation in Kamchatka can be characterized as multystructural trilingual one. The linguistic diversity of the peninsula is represented by Russian, Itelmen and Koryak languages also taking into account their dialectal heterogeneity.
Itelmeny live in the West of Kamchatka, in Tigil district of the Koryak Autonomous Region. They belong to the Arctic Mongoloid race. When Russians came to Kamchatka, there were 5 groups of Itelmeny: Buril, suachju-I, kyekh-cheren, lichnurin and kules. Each of these groups had its own dialect. Nowadays Itelmen language falls into Northern and Southern dialects. In the 18th century the population of this ethnic group decreased from 12 - 15 thousand to 2.5 thousand people [6, p. 53]. According to another data in the 18th century the number of Itelmeny was 10-20 thousand people and in the 19th it started to decrease sharply because of natural and social reasons: in the 30s of the 18th century the number of Itelmeny was 7.5 - 7.8 thousand people, but in 1837 - 1800 already 1900 people [4, p. 6]. The treatment by Itelmeny their mother tongue is one of the indicators of general ethnic troubles. Volodin A.P. points out that in 1897 only 1175 people called Itelmen their mother tongue. ”By the end of the 19th century there were some old men in Kamchatka who spoke Itelmen. Itelmen language as the means of communication disappeared from the Eastern coast in the 19th century” [4, p.8]. In 1959 there were only 1100 Itelmeny in the USSR and only 396 of them could speak mother tongue fluently. Itelmen language hasn’t been reproduced that is passed from parents to children for more than 40 years. 30 - 40 years old people, as a
rule, understand Itelmen, but their active vocabulary is too poor. Children don’t know even these words, sometimes they are able to understand some questions, addressed to them [4, p. 5].
Koryaks are the natives of the Koryak Autonomous Region. Koryaks are more numerous than Itelmeny (about 7 - 9 thousand people). They also belong to the Arctic Mongoloid race. There are distinguished several groups of Koryaks, but modern researchers do not have common concept about their subdivisions. Vdovin
I. S. distinguishes such ethnic formations as Koryaks-reindeer-breeders (Chavchuvens), Alyutors, Apukins, Karagins, Palans, Kamens, Parens, Itkans, Koryaks of the Okhotsk sea coast [3, p. 4]. On the other hand there is an opinion about existence of 4 groups of Koryaks: settled (Nyshilans), reindeer-breeding, coastal and
nomadic(Chavchuvens) [6, p. 68]. Every group of Koryaks has its own dialect, which helps to identify these ethnic formations [3, p. 11-17]. Probably we should accept Vdovin I. S. who considers the subdivision of the Koryak dialects into 2 groups: chavchuven (north-western) and alyutor (south-eastern) the most reasonable [3, p. 17].
Russian, Koryak and Itelmen languages are not cognate from the genetic point of view. Russian belongs to the East-Slav languages of the Slav Indo-European group. Koryak belongs to the Chukot-Koryak linguistic group. There are several hypotheses of the Itelmen language origin. Bogoraz V.G., Yohelson V.I., Stebnitskiy S.N., Skorik P.Ya. consider it to be cognate to the Chukot-Koryak languages or to isolated Yukogir and Nivh, which are spread in the North-East of Russia [12, p. 189]. Nowadays Itelmen and Koryak have many common features, because of the coexistence and interaction lasted for many centuries. Some peculiarities of Itelmen language show that these two languages are not cognate. Common features between these languages and cultures are the consequences of historical contacts. According to the collected materials we can distinguish the Itelmeny as a special
nationality, genetically different from the north-eastern palaeasian people (Chukchi, Koryaks) [2; 3, p. 271]. Volodin A.P. found some differences between Itelmen and Chukot-Koryak languages. Consonants and vowels have specific distribution in speech in Itelmen, verbal categories of tense and aspect have different meaning and the most demonstrative are differences in syntax, there is no ergative case and indicators of incorporation, which are typical for Chukot-Koryak languages. On Itelmen Volodin A.P. makes a conclusion that Itelmen and Chukot-Koryak are not connected by origin, but they are close typologically. ‘Modern Chukot-Koryak languages are the result of divergent evolution, but Itelmen is of convergent one” [5, p. 38]. According to Volodin A.P. the search of ties between Itelmen and other languages is the goal for future, and it is hard to say if such work will bring any success. The most perspective languages for such work are American-Indian [5, p. 38].
Demographic correlation between Russian, Koryak and Itelmen is different. All inhabitants of Kamchatka are Russian speakers (about 250 thousand people), Koryak speakers - 8 - 6 thousand people, Itelmen speakers - less than 1 thousand people.
Russian has the status of the state language as far as Kamchatka is the part of Russian Federation, Koryak and Itelmen are natives’ languages, besides Koryak is the language of the Koryak Autonomous Region. Nowadays Itelmen and Koryak written languages are based on Russian alphabet. However Russian and native languages have different communicative power. Russian is beyond competition.
Some time ago there were great problems to choose the dialectal base for Koryak written language. At first, the ABC book was based on the Kamensk dialect, but it was difficult for children speaking other dialects. It was decided to make the written language based on the Chavchuven dialect, which was spoken by rein-deer-breeders (their number was about 50% of Koryaks [3, p. 290]. In 1932 - 1933 the group of students under supervision of Orlova E.P.
made an alphabet for Itelmen, but it didn’t become popular. The new attempt to make Itelmen written language on the basis of Cirile alphabet was made only 50 years after it.
Modern Koryaks and Itelmeny speak Russian fluently and prefer it to their mother tongue. Nowadays Koryak strengthens its position as the language of the Koryak Autonomous Region. The situation with Itelmen language is very difficult. This language is alive because there are hundreds of people speaking it. At the same time it is dead, as it is not developed and reproduced, that’s why Itelmen has no perspective.
Itelmen is preserved in some families as not obligatory means of communication among parents (but they can speak Russian well). Their children avoid speaking Itelmen or simply do not know it. The grandchildren consider Russian to be their native language. Russian is also used in mixed families. Hunters and fishermen speak Itelmen, but their language is a mixture of Russian and Itelmen words. Now Itelmen have to speak Russian more, that’s why they know it better [4, p. 10]. We prefer to characterize Itelmen as a disappearing language, as it is used in domestic communication and the age of language bearers is 60 - 75 years. No more than 45 people speak the Nothern Sedan dialect [We refer to the material of Uspenskaya V.I., who was the head of the scientific folk-dialectal expedition in Tigil district of the Koryak Autonomous Region in 2003]. Since the 90s of the 20th century some attempts to revive Itelmen have been done: there have been written the texts, schools for study of Itelmen work in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, Vilyuchinsk, Sosnovka. However, this serious work is impossible without financial support from the state.
II. History of formation of Kamchatka dialect in the situation of bilinguism of Russians and Kamchatka natives
Kamchatka dialect is the mixture of dialects of Russian peasants of the Angara-Ilim-Lena region, Cossacks of Yakutiya and Anadir settled in Kamchatka and dialects of
Russians assimilated with Itelmen and Koryaks.
Kamchatka exploration by Russian Cossacks Morozko L. and Atlasov V. began in 1695 -1697. ”In the 30s - 40s the great number of peasant families came to Kamchatka from the regions of the Lena and the Angara. Nearly 30 families settled down in Kamchatka [10, p. 28]. At the same time many people were deported to Kamchatka as political or criminal offenders (Ursinovich
S.L.) The first period of exile lasted for 10 years and finished by Koryak rebellion. The second period started in the 60s of the 18th century in the epoch of Katherine II and in 1770 there was a great number of deported people in Bolsheretsk (the administrative center at that time). It caused rebellion again, the consequence of which was cessation of deportation to Kamchatka [11, p. 135]. Further exploration of Kamchatka went on because of migration process. Russian peasants settled down in the southwestern part of the peninsula, suitable for agriculture. The exploration of new lands was accompanied by Christianization of aboriginals. Natives became friends with Russians very quickly, got to know new tools, peculiarities of peasants life and methods of gardening and cattle-breeding. Cossacks got married to Itelmeny women, taught aboriginals reading and writing. However “there wasn’t artificial propagation of Russian in Kamchatka, but Itelmen tried to show their knowledge of Russian to every Russian person [4, p. 8]. So, Kamchatka dialect was formed rather quickly. Firstly it had only functional character, it was used in every day communication or in trade relation between Russians and aboriginals. Lexical basis of Kamchatka dialect is a hybrid of Russian and Itelmen, Grammar and Phonetics are mostly Russian, changed under the influence of pronunciation of Russified Itelmeny and Koryaks. By the end of the 18th century the special subethnic group of Russians (Kamchadal-Itelmen) had appeared, their mother tongue was Kamchatka dialect. In time the communicative functions of Kamchatka dialect were enlarged, Grammar and vocabulary became more complicated.
Modern center of Kamchatka dialect is Milkovo, where nearly 3 thousand Kamchadals live. That’s why dialectal researchers are greatly interested in this settlement.
III. Review characteristic of Kamchatka dialect
“The dialects of late migration were being formed in conditions of broad linguistic contacts, in the process of difficult reformation of mother dialects of the European part of our country” [7, p. 7]. Thus, special extralinguistic conditions of language formation determined specific character of Kamchatka dialect. Settlers and exiles brought to Kamchatka Northern Russian speech predominantly from Siberia, which was transformed inevitably being in not Slav environment. These are the main characteristic features of Phonetics and Grammar of Kamchatka dialect.
Modern Kamchatka dialect has five-phoneme system of vocalism. O-speaking is spread, but not everywhere. Braslavets K.M. supposes that O-speaking in Kamchatka dialect is stable under the influence of vowel syngarmonism of Itelmen” [1, p. 12]. But now O-speaking co-exists with A-speaking under the influence of townspeople.
The main phonetic feature of vocalism (stressed and unstressed) is the mixture of the sounds [и] and [ы] under the influence of Itelmen where the vowel [ы] is mixed and front-retracted [4, p. 42]: [Ми
биГи добрый, сицяс люди сами для сибя, молодёш Ынивая. Потсвесники золотийе биГи. Milkovo].
Another feature of vocalism is sporadic U-speaking, typical for women: [Фсю ягуду высусиГи, чичяс ницё нет. БМа хуросая погода. Мы пришГи с собрания и нацинаГи убйяснятъ. Milkovo]. This peculiar feature - strong lip-rounding during pronunciation of [о] — was noticed by Sablina N.P. , Braslavets К.М. Other phonetic features of Kamchatka dialect are of Northern Russian origin.
The main characteristic features of consonantism are:
1) mixture of sounds [с] and [ш], [з] and [ж]: [Мы зиГи на одной колхозной
стороне. Сын ругал, цё сэвелюся, yпадёс, кто тибя увидит. Milkovo];
2) Ц-speaking with palatalization
of [ц’] or with the mid-sound [ц] and [ч’]: [Там только моя землиця, сарайцик сколотили, доски со свалки носила. Рядом 6и1 кацель, домики 6M’u, дети фсё изломаГи. А какая, цистая биіа
Мильково. Йесли у тибя йесь
соцюствийе, дай мине денек за труды, я копала сама. Milkovo];
3) special character of the sound [л]: with the typical sounds [л] и [л’] there is mid-palatal hard sound  and soft sound [l’]. In his time Selischev A.M. characterized this dialectal peculiarity in such a way: “Unpleasant l’ is heard instead of velar 1» [9, с. 383]. In this case we deal with the interference which takes place under the influence of natives’ language: [Кто проі’ень, тод жэ rioxo зиі, кто poботal, тот зиі за гоїову. И биі жыних, фсе условия даваі, а я не гошіа, а типерь стены давят. Купоі’ снимаі’и, урониі’и, рожбиі’и, потсвесьники зоіотийе биі’и. Milkovo];
4) separation of labial consonants, when instead of soft labial consonants natives pronounce 2 sounds - soft labial sound and [й]: [А щяс фсе в меху, сицяс хотят купить, так купйят. Тушонку йела, мйясо свойо 6Mo, крабами полки биі’и заставлены. Мйясо выкрутит, коклету зделаш. Я биіа в Яіте, первый рас зять повйос на материк. Milkovo];
5) appearance of “L-
aepentheticum” when the final labial sounds are soft: [А Владимирі’ на больсых людях роботал. Я не могіа сама сибя переодоі’еть и пойти, и Ярославль миня переубиждал, а я два рас ф церкви биіа. Milkovo];
6) unreasonable hardening of labial and lingual sounds: [Што жэ ты горуйеш, я при роскоіотом корыте, на задах даі мистецько. З зоры до зоры роботаі’и. Не зіая биіа, не обыдэ1а, не crpyrala нас (бабушка). Мйясо с приіафка не выходи1о, копэйки croMo. Захоцэс дэнюшку вытасыть, зайдёш ф туаі’ет и вытасыс. Milkovo].
There are also grammatical
peculiarities in Kamchatka dialect:
1) unstability of the category of the
neuter gender: [Миі’ково биіа красивая. Войенкомат, а би 1а кіадбиша. Серцэ прикипеїа. Каждую лето брат в
экспедицию йезьдил. Папин имя Самсон. Milkovo]. It is also the phenomenon of interference. “Other language influence causes the lose of instinct of grammatical gender” [9, с. 383].
Sometimes you can observe disagreement of the masculine nouns endings with the following attributes: [А колидор большая биіа. Оші стоит беіая, на стоі’е фсё. Milkovo];
2) archaic forms of the personal pronouns: [А он мине говорит. Oддala има, бирите. Он ней любуйеця. А так согласны, штоп выгнать они. Milkovo];
3) archaic forms of the numerals: [Другийе уші’и од зизьни, Леля ушіа трицати. Milkovo];
4) archaic case forms of the nouns: [Зиі’и возі’е самой Антонофке, яр отваливаіся вот такими мэтрами. С парнишком взяі, он беі’енькой, маркой. Выдрей, соболей капканом іовили. К сену на коровы подйехать можно. Milkovo];
5) attributive use of the short form of the adjective: [Мартофска вода самая і’ицебная. Рыбу просоі’ну йеі’и, а баїьік не йеі’и. Milkovo];
6) absence of the verb alternations, typical for the literary language: [Хі’еп пекчи, каіачи так ы не могу. А мине вы могите написать. А шяс галгу ростолкём и с маслом зделают. Milkovo];
7) specific government: [Я остаіась от мужа трицати лет. А они говорят от слоф людей. В «Бежбожник» (колхоз) работали. За фсю жысь я ни на голову, ни на руки не носила, а щяс фсе в меху. А окороцьки до себе брать не orala, шичяс приспособиіася брать рёбрышки. Milkovo].
Thus, the linguistic situation in Kamchatka is unique. It contains two different native languages, Russian language and the great variety of its dialects (the bearers of the northern and southern dialects, ethnic Ukrainians, Byelorussians, and other nationalities and at last the
territorial dialect, which has much in common with Northern-Russian dialects.
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