2015-2016 Expeditions to subethnic groups of Tuvans living in Mongolia and Russia’s Krasnoyarsk Krai

Novye Issledovaniâ Tuvy. 2017;0(4) DOI 10.25178/nit.2017.4.11


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Journal Title: Novye Issledovaniâ Tuvy

ISSN: 2079-8482 (Online)

Publisher: Novye Issledovaniâ Tuvy

LCC Subject Category: Social Sciences: Communities. Classes. Races

Country of publisher: Russian Federation

Language of fulltext: Russian

Full-text formats available: PDF



Nadezhda D. Suvandii (Тувинский государственный университет)
Elena M. Kuular (Тувинский государственный университет)
Aylanmaa M. Soyan (Тувинский государственный университет)


Double blind peer review

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Time From Submission to Publication: 18 weeks


Abstract | Full Text

The article presents some of the findings of the 2015-2016 expeditions which aimed to study the speech, folklore and culture of small populations of ethnic Tuvans living outside the Republic of Tuva – namely, subethnic groups of Tuvans in Mongolia (sumon Tsagaannuur) and Krasnoyarsk Krai, Russia (Usinski Sel’sovet) The 2015 expedition was focused on ethnic Tuvans – Tukhalars (Tsaatans) in sumon Tsagaannuur. They are cattle herders who live mostly in taiga areas. We examined the number of thematic groups of Tukhalar vocabulary which highlight their ethnic peculiarity and typical details of the everyday life. Among these groups are the names for relatives and kinsmen, for mature domestic animals; household items; kitchenware; foodstuffs; time periods; and work-related words. Tukhalar’s phonetic and morphological peculiarities of speech have also been recorded, as well as the absence of pharingalization in a number of lexemes. The expedition collected over 100 units of linguistic material. It was also noted that in everyday life only elderly villagers speak Tuvan, while the younger generations speak Mongolian. In 2016, the authors organized an expedition to Usinsk Tuvans. Its outcomes include describing the phonetic peculiarities of local speech, specific traits of the vocabulary and anthroponymy. Over 80 samples of folklore were recorded. Elderly villagers were found to be using their mother tongue only in everyday speech, while the youth, school students and preschoolers speak almost no Tuvan. Those aged 30 and over understand Tuvan and can speak it, but typically don’t. The school of selo Verkhousinskoye stopped providing classes of Tuvan in autumn 2006. Almost no ethnic customs and traditions are kept in the area, and no traditional rites held, with the exception of Shagaa – Tuvan New Year, the celebration of which was restarted in 2014. The field material collected and analyzed during the expeditions will be of use for further studies in history of Tuvan language, folklore and ethnography, as well as of linguistic contacts. The expeditions have confirmed the previously made conclusion that Tuvan language among sub-ethnic groups of Tuvans in Mongolia and Krasnoyarsk krai is disappearing as a tool of communication. Given this sad fact, it is of utmost importance to collect and publish the linguistic and cultural heritage of our fellow countrymen.