World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Udmurt language

Article Id: WHEBN0001137924
Reproduction Date:

Title: Udmurt language  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Komi-Permyak language, Komi language, Uralic languages, Udmurtia, Udmurt Vos
Collection: Agglutinative Languages, Languages of Russia, Permic Languages, Udmurt Culture
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Udmurt language

удмурт кыл udmurt kyl
Native to Russia
Region Udmurtia
Ethnicity Udmurts
Native speakers
340,000  (2010 census)[1]
Official status
Official language in
 Udmurtia (Russia)
Language codes
ISO 639-2 udm
ISO 639-3 udm
Glottolog udmu1245[2]

Udmurt (удмурт кыл, udmurt kyl) is a Uralic language, part of the Permic subgroup, spoken by the Udmurt natives of the Russian constituent republic of Udmurtia, where it is co-official with Russian. It is written using a Cyrillic alphabet, including five characters not used in the Russian alphabet: Ӝ/ӝ, Ӟ/ӟ, Ӥ/ӥ, Ӧ/ӧ, and Ӵ. Together with Komi and Komi-Permyak languages, it constitutes the Permic grouping. Among outsiders, it has traditionally been referred to by its Russian exonym, Votyak. Udmurt has borrowed vocabulary from the neighboring languages Tatar and Russian.

Ethnologue estimates 550,000 native speakers (77%) in an ethnic population of 750,000 in the former USSR (1989 census).[3]


  • Alphabet 1
  • Phonology 2
  • Grammar 3
  • Lexicon 4
  • Bibliography 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


The Udmurt alphabet is based on the Russian Cyrillic alphabet:

Udmurt alphabet
Uppercase Lowercase Transliteration[4] IPA Letter name
A a a [ɑ] а
Б б b [b] бэ
В в v [v] вэ
Г г g [g] гэ
Д д d [d]; palatal [dʲ] when followed by я, е, и, ё, ю or ь дэ
Е е e, ye [je]; [ʲe] when preceded by д, т, з, с, л, or н е
Ë ë yo [jo]; [ʲo] when preceded by д, т, з, с, л, or н ё
Ж ж zh [ʒ] жэ
Ӝ ӝ dzh [dʒ] ӝэ
З з z [z]; palatal [ʑ] when followed by я, е, и, ё, ю or ь зэ
Ӟ ӟ j [dʲʑ] ӟe
И и i [i]; [ʲi] when preceded by д, т, з, с, л, or н и
Ӥ ӥ ï [i] точкаен и, точкаосын и ("dotted i")
Й й y [j] вакчи и ("short i")
К к k [k] ка
Л л l [ɫ]; palatal [lʲ] when followed by я, е, и, ё, ю or ь эл
М м m [m] эм
Н н n [n]; palatal [nʲ] when followed by я, е, и, ё, ю or ь эн
О о o [o] o
Ӧ ӧ ö [ʌ] ~ [ə] ӧ
П п p [p] пэ
Р р r [r] эр
С с s [s]; palatal [ɕ] when followed by я, е, и, ё, ю or ь эс
Т т t [t]; palatal [tʲ] when followed by я, е, и, ё, ю or ь тэ
У у u [u] у
Ф1 ф f [f] эф
Х1 х kh [x] ха
Ц1 ц ts [t͡s] цэ
Ч ч ch [t͡ɕ] чэ
Ӵ ӵ tsh [t͡ʃ] ӵэ
Ш ш sh [ʃ] ша
Щ1 щ shch [ɕ], [ɕː] ща
Ъ2 ъ чурыт пус ("hard sign")
Ы ы y [ɨ] ~ [ɯ] ы
Ь ь [ʲ] небыт пус ("soft sign")
Э э e [e] э
Ю ю yu [ju]; [ʲu] when preceded by д, т, з, с, л, or н ю
Я я ya [jɑ]; [ʲa] when preceded by д, т, з, с, л, or н я
  • 1 Only used in Russian loanwords and names.
  • 2 Silent, but required to distinguish palatalized consonants (/dʲ tʲ zʲ sʲ lʲ n/) from unpalatalized consonants followed by /j/ if followed by a vowel; for example, /zʲo/ and /zjo/ are written -зё- and -зъё-, respectively.


The language does not distinguish between long and short vowels and does not have vowel harmony.

Labial Alveolar Post-
Palatal Velar
plain lat. plain lat.
Plosive voiceless p t k
voiced b d ɡ
Affricate voiceless (t͡s) t͡ʃ t͡ɕ
voiced (d͡z) d͡ʒ d͡ʑ
Fricative voiceless (f) s ʃ ɕ (x)
voiced v z ʒ ʑ
Nasal m n ɲ ŋ
Approximant l j ʎ
Trill r

The consonants /f x t͡s/ are restricted to loanwords, and are traditionally replaced by /p k t͡ɕ/ respectively.

Front Central Back
Unrounded Round
Close i ɨ~ɯ u
Mid e ə ʌ o
Open a


Udmurt language textbook, 1898 (in Russian)

Udmurt is an agglutinating language. It uses affixes to express possession, to specify mode, time, and so on.


Depending on the style, about 10 to 30 percent of the Udmurt lexicon consists of loanwords. Many loanwords are from the Tatar language, which has also strongly influenced Udmurt phonology and syntax. Words related to technology, science and politics have been borrowed from Russian.

A bilingual sign proclaiming "welcome" in Russian "добро пожаловать" /dobro poʒalovatʲ/ (upper) and Udmurt "гажаса ӧтиськом" /gaʒasa ətʲiɕkom/ (lower). This picture was taken in Izhevsk, the capital of Udmurtia.


  • Kel'makov, Valentin; Sara Hännikäinen (2008). Udmurtin kielioppia ja harjoituksia (in Finnish) (2nd ed.). Helsinki: Suomalais-Ugrilainen Seura.  
  • Moreau, Jean-Luc (2009). Parlons Oudmourte. Paris: L'Harmattan.  


  1. ^ Udmurt at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Udmurt". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ Ethnologue code=UDM
  4. ^ "BGN/PCGN romanization of udmurt". Retrieved 24 March 2012. 

External links

  • Udmurtology: Udmurt Language, History and Culture(Russian)
  • Literature
  • The First Udmurt Forum(Russian)
  • Udmurt State University (has Udmurt Language Program for English speakers)
  • Udmurt language, alphabet and pronunciation
  • Vladimir Napolskikh. Review of Eberhard Winkler, Udmurt, München 2001 (Languages of the World. Materials 212)
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.