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Social Sciences and Humanities in the Far East

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Bykova G.V.

         Gulchera Vakhobovna Bykova – Doctor of Philology, Professor of the Department of the Russian Language and Literature at Blagoveschensk State Pedagogical University.

E-mail: gulchera-bykova@yandex.ru


The article describes the current status of one of the minority languages in the context of world globalization when the number of dialectal varieties is drastically decreasing, since minor ethnic groups with the predominantly oral tradition adopt the languages of major nations as their written official tongues, and this tendency has to be recognized as objective and irreversible. Every year approximately 10-12 marginal languages vanish, hence, the most obvious and relevant objective consists in the documentation of the vanishing languages, otherwise after their ultimate disappearance there will not be anything left to document. Since 2001, linguists of Blagoveshchensk State Pedagogical University, together with the representatives of the Department of Tungus-Manchurian Languages at the Institute of Philology of the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Novosibirsk) and the Sector of Evenki Philology of the Institute of Humanities and the Indigenous Peoples of the North (Yakutsk), have focused on the systemic description of the three dialects of the Amur Evenki (Dzheltulak, Zeya and Selemdzha). The resulting dialectal dictionaries of endangered languages have become the foundation for further complex linguistic description of Priamurye Region's toponymicon, 80 per-cent of which consist of geographical names of the Evenki origin. Simultaneously, the mechanisms of substrate toponyms adaptation are explored through the lens of the phenomenon of lacunae.

        Key words: documenting, systemic description of a vanishing language lexicon, last native speakers, substrate toponyms, toponymicon of the Priamurye Region, lacunae.

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