Talk:Nivkh language

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Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment[edit]

This article is or was the subject of a Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment. Further details are available on the course page. Student editor(s): Madrigalg.

Above undated message substituted from assignment by PrimeBOT (talk) 05:19, 17 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


нивхгу Nivxgu

This term refers to the people, not the language. It consists of the root нивх (Nivx) 'Nivkh; human being' plus the plural suffix -гу (-gu). The Nivkh term is /mer nivx tif/, that is, 'we people language', in the Southeast Sakhalin dialect: /ñiγvn duf/ 'Nivkh language'.

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I'd like to add a section on phonology, but the sources I have are from the Rosetta Project, and don't show proper bibliographical information. These are not public domain works.

Nivkh has a three-way distinction of stops, which are found in the bilabial, dental, palatal, velar and uvular positions:

  • Voiced stops: b d ɟ g ɢ
  • Voiceless plain stops: p t c k q
  • Voiceless aspirated stops: pʰ tʰ cʰ kʰ qʰ

There are four nasals, with the uvular member not represented: m n ɲ ŋ

Fricatives may be labiodental, alveolar-sibilant, velar, uvular or glottal:

  • Voiced: v z ɣ ʁ
  • Voiceless: f s x χ h

The other consonants are continuants: There are palatal and lateral members, plus two rhotics: one a voiced trill, the other a fricative similar to a voiceless form of Czech ř.

  • Glides: l j rʃ r

There are six vowels:

  • High: i u
  • Middle: e ə o
  • Low: a

Nivkh is written in Cyrillic characters, but contains several letters not encoded in the current Unicode standard. A PDF document displaying the Nivkh alphabet can be found here: (updated web address —Coroboy (talk) 18:25, 18 April 2012 (UTC))Reply[reply]

Feel free to verify the accuracy of this listing, then post in a format acceptable for Wikipedia articles. LudwigVan 14:24, 29 Jan 2005 (UTC)


There are brief phonological notes in the two dictionaries by V. N. Savel'neva and Ch. M. Taksami (the most famous literary figure of the Nivkhs):

"Grammaticheskie tablicï nivxskogo yazïka". In: Savel'neva, V. N. and Ch. M. Taksami. Russko-Nivxskij Slovar'. pp. 469-479.

"Kratkoe grammaticheskoe prilozhenie". In: Savel'neva, V. N. and Ch. M. Taksami. Nivxsko-Russkij Slovar'. pp.504-536.

-- 19:14, 10 August 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Othography & Phonology[edit]

There needs to be a correlation between the letters and the sounds. —Coroboy (talk) 05:50, 29 January 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]