Hey Hannibal fandom! Here’s how to say “A person who has eaten seven people” in Southern Yukaghir, a critically endangered language spoken by 5-10 people in Siberia.

purk-in ʃoromo lee-je    ʃoromo

[seven-ATTR   person eat-ATTR] person

That’s in IPA, or the International Phonetic Alphabet. A few sounds are pronounced differently; u is pronounced like ‘oo’ in 'hoot’; 'i’ is pronounced like the 'ea’ in 'heat’; ʃ is pronounced like 'sh’ in 'shoot’; 'o’ is pronounced like the 'o’ in 'hope’; 'e’ is pronounced like the 'a’ in 'hate’ [sorry for the nice words as examples; I’m trying to use the same consonants]; when there’s two letters in a row it means that sound is longer than usual; 'j’ is pronounced like the 'y’ in 'yet’; the dash-es mark boundari-es within a word, like English plural -s; they are=nt pronounce-d (that one = marks a clitic boundary; I don’t have the space to explain here what a clitic is, but please ask if you’re curious). Spelled out in English it would be:

poorkeen       showrowmow LAY-yay     showrowmow

[seven-ATTR person           eat-ATTR] person

The words below the example above are called a gloss. They show which word is which (word order in one language can be very different from that of English) and show the internal structure of the words. The -ATTR suffix is attributive; it means that the verb and number (numbers behave like verbs in Yukaghir) are a property of the noun, and aren’t the main verb of the sentence.

I hope you’ve gained some esoteric and pragmatically useless information!


Nationalities in USSR: 

1 picture: 1. Abaza, 2. Abkhaz, 3. Avar, 4. Agul, 5. Adygei, 6. Azerbaijanis, 7. Ainu, 8. Assyrians, 9. Aleut, 10. Altaians, 11. Armenians,12. Archi, 13. Balkars, 14. Bashkirs. 

2 picture: 1. Belarusians, 2. Bulgaria, 3. Buryats, 4. Veps, 5. Vod, 6. Gagauz, 7. Greeks, 8. Georgians, 9. Dargins, 10. Dolgans,11. Dungans, 12. Jews. 

3 picture: 1. Izhors, 2. Ingush, 3. Itelmens, 4. Kabardians, 5. Kazakh,
6. Kalmyks, 7. Karachays, 8. Karakalpak, 9. Karelians, 10. Ket,
11. Kyrgyzstan, 12. Chinese. 

4 picture: 1. Komi, 2. Komi-Permian, 3. Koreans, 4. Koryak, 5. Kumyks, 6. Kurds, 7. Laks, 8. Latvians, 9. Lezgins, 10. Liw, 11 Lithuanians, 12. Mansi, 13. Mari, 14. Moldovans, 15. Mongolians.

5 picture: 1. Mordva-Moksha, 2. Mordva-erzya, 3. Nanai, 4. Nganasans,
5. German, 6. Nenets, 7. Nivkhi, 8. Nogai, 9. Orochi, 10. Ossetians,
11. Russian.

6 picture: 1. Russian, 2. Rutuls, 3. Sami, 4. Sekulps, 5. Serbs,
6. Slovakia, 7. Tabasaran, 8. Tajiks, 9. Astrakhan Tatars,
10. The Tatars of Kazan, 11. Crimean Tatars, 12. Central Asian Tatars.

7 picture: 1. Tata, 2. Tuvinians, 3. Turkmens, 4. Udine, 5. Udmurt, 6. Udege, 7. Uzbeks, 8. Uighurs, 9. Ukrainians, 10. Ulchis, 11. Finns, 12. Khakasses.

8 picture: 1. Hunt, 2. Circassians, 3. Montenegrins, 4. Chechens, 5. Chuvash,
6. Chukchi, 7. Shors, 8. Evenki, 9. Evens, 10. Enets, 11. Eskimos,
12. Estonians, 13. Yukaghirs, 14. Yakuts.

2.1.9 - Uvular plosives [q, ɢ] (and their variations)

Present near-universally in: Eskimo-Aleut, Mayan, Quechua, Aymara, Toba, Mocovi, Salishan, Tsimshianic, many Na-Dene languages, Afro-Asiatic languages (some dialects of modern Arabic, Somali), some Khoisan languages, many Turkic languages, near-universal in all Caucasian families, Mongolic, Tungusic, Yukaghir and Hmong-Mien. Adopted as a sound by influence of neighbouring languages by: wolof, kurdish, ossetian, persian, pashto, urdu, balochi, sindhi. Also present in some formosan aboriginal languages and it was a phoneme of proto-austronesian.

Women In Museum History: Dina Jochelson-Brodskaya

Starvation, near-freezing temperatures, and days spent wandering the Siberian wilderness were just a few of the hazards faced by medical scholar Dina Lazareevna Jochelson-Brodskaya in the course of the Museum’s Jesup North Pacific Expedition, an ambitious anthropological survey that took place at the turn of the 20th century.

Led by Franz Boas, considered today to be the father of modern anthropology, the expedition was organized in part to document indigenous cultures of the Pacific Northwest Cost of North America and the eastern coast of Siberia.

To survey the Koryak, Yukaghir, and Sakha peoples of Siberia, Boaz recruited a leading ethnographer, Waldemar Jochelson, who had spent considerable time in Siberia.

Jochelson’s wife, Dina Jochelson-Brodskaya, accompanied him to the field. A medical scholar whose interests included the measuring of human anatomical traits, Brodskaya was responsible for collecting data and capturing photographs that documented the cultures of the region’s Koryak, Yukhagir, and Sakha peoples.

When the Brodskaya-Jochelson party party arrived to begin their work in Kuska, Siberia, in 1900, they received unwelcome news—the populations they were attempting to survey had recently been decimated by disease, scattering the remaining tribes. To conduct the survey, the couple had to travel across some of Earth’s most hostile terrain. At various points in their journey, they lost horses in snowstorms, wandered for days in the wilderness, and risked starvation.

Through it all, Jochelson-Brodskaya collected data, including physical measurements of 900 individuals for anthropometric studies, and took most of the 1,200 photographs on the trip, an extensive cache of which is available online.

Read more about Jochelson-Brodskaya on the Museum blog. 

names for putative language families (indo-uralic, dené-yeniseian, etc.) are really just shipping names, and linguists who support these macrofamilies are shipping them

next time you meet a historical linguist ask them what their otp is, and let’s hope they say something like “dené-yeniseian” or “uralo-yukaghir”

(does this make people like greenberg and starostin crack shippers?)