CEUS U502 0727 Clark
The Structure of Yakut
Yakut (or Saxa) is a Turkic language spoken by more than 380,000 people in the Yakut (Saxa)
republic in the northeast Siberian region of Russia. Its interest as a Turkic language includes such
features as systematic contrasts between short and long vowels, areal features and structures
common to Siberian languages, a profound influence from Mongol, the absence of Islamic
vocabulary, and so on. The Yakut people migrated from the Lake Baikal region to the northeast
in the 11th-13th centuries, taking with them their written language, nomadic pastoralist lifestyle
and traditional beliefs. They have preserved the memory of their migration in extensive historical
legends and of their nomadic past in a rich epic and shamanistic literature. This course provides
an introduction to the grammatical structure of Yakut (also in comparison with other Turkic
languages), an ability to read and analyze texts, and possible pronunciation practice if the
participation of a Yakut speaker can be secured (uncertain at this time).
Prerequisites: Two semesters of a Turkic language or the instructor's permission.
Requirements: In addition to preparation for classes, there will be two quizzes and mid-term and
Texts: J.R. Krueger, Yakut Manual, Uralic and Altaic Series, 21, Indiana University Publications,
1962. Other readings and materials will be provided in xeroxed form by the instructor.
Days and Time: Tuesday and Thursday, 2:30-3:45.