Even language

эвэды торэн (eved'i toren)
Native to Russia
Region Russian Far East
Ethnicity 21,800 Evens (2010 census)[1]
Native speakers
5,700 (2010 census)[1]
  • Northern
    • Even
Language codes
ISO 639-3 eve
Glottolog even1260[2]

The Even language /əˈvɛn/, also known as Lamut, Ewen, Eben, Orich, Ilqan (Russian: Эве́нский язы́к, earlier also Ламутский язы́к), is a Tungusic language spoken by the Evens in Siberia. It is spoken by widely scattered communities of reindeer herders from Kamchatka and the Sea of Okhotsk in the east to the River Lena in the west, and from the Arctic coast in the north to the River Aldan in the south. Even is an endangered language, with only some 5,700 speakers (Russian census, 2010). These speakers are specifically from the Magadan region, the Chukot region and the Koryak region.[3] Dialects are Arman, Indigirka, Kamchatka, Kolyma-Omolon, Okhotsk, Ola, Tompon, Upper Kolyma, Sakkyryr, Lamunkhin.[4]

In these regions where the Evens primarily reside, the Even language is generally implemented in pre-school and elementary school, alongside the national language, Russian. Where Even functioned primarily as an oral language communicated between reindeer herding brigades, textbooks began circulating throughout these educational institutions from around 1925 to 1995. [5]

The syntax of the Even language follows the nominative case and SOV (subject-object-verb) word order, with the attribute preceding the dependent member.[6]

Language contact

In some remote Arctic villages, such as Russkoye Ustye, whose population descended from Russian-Even intermarriage, the language spoken into the 20th century was a dialect of Russian with a strong Even influence.[7]


Close i iː

ɪ ɪː

u uː

ʊ ʊː

Mid e eː ə əː o oː

ɔ ɔː

Open a aː
Labial Alveolar Lateral Palatal Velar Uvular Glottal
Stop voiceless p t k (q)
voiced b d g
Affricate voiceless t͡ʃ
voiced d͡ʒ
Fricative s (ɣ) h
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
Liquid r l
Approximant ʋ~w j

/ɣ, q/ are allophones of /ɡ, k/.[9]



А а Ӑ ӑ Б б В в Г г Д д Е е Ё ё
Ж ж З з И и Й й К к Л л М м Н н
Ӈ ӈ О о Ө ө Ӫ ӫ Ӧ ӧ П п Р р С с
Т т У у Ф ф Х х Ц ц Ч ч Ш ш Щ щ
Ъ ъ Ы ы Ь ь Э э Ю ю Я я


A a A‘ a‘ Aw aw B b Ch ch D d E e F f
G g G‘ g‘ H h I ı İ i J j K k L l
M m N n N‘ n‘ O o O‘ o‘ P p Q q R r
S s Sh sh T t U u U‘ u‘ V v W w X x
Y y Z z


  1. 1 2 Even at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Even". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. "Even (Lamut) language and alphabet". www.omniglot.com. Retrieved 2017-02-08.
  4. Raymond G. Gordon Jr., ed. 2005. Ethnologue: Languages of the World. 15th edition. Dallas: Summer Institute of Linguistics.
  5. "Endangered Languages of Siberia - The Even Language". lingsib.iea.ras.ru. Retrieved 2017-02-09.
  6. "Endangered Languages of Siberia - The Even Language". lingsib.iea.ras.ru. Retrieved 2017-02-09.
  7. Russian dialects in East Siberia and Kamchatka. Reviews such publications as: A. Krasovitsky and Ch. Sappok. "The Isolated Russian Dialectal System in Contact with Tungus Languages in Siberia and Far East"; A.Krasovitsky. "Prosody of Statements in the Speech of Old Settlers in the Polar Region".
  8. Kim, Juwon. 2011.
  9. Aralova, Natalia (2015). Vowel harmony in two Even dialects: Production and perception.

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