Integrating Finno-Ugric Studies in Europe

Breadcrumb Navigation



Kamas is an extinct Samoyed language of South Siberia which has been documented between the 1740s and the 1960s. Like the other, less well documented Samoyed language of the Sayan area, Mator, it was for centuries in close contact with South Siberian Turkic. After World War I the language community shifted to Russian.

The present introductory e-learning course focuses on five topics which are central to Kamas studies: (1) the documentation history, and the researchers, institutions, and research traditions involved in it; (2) the technical-environmental-cultural vocabulary with its Samoyed, South Siberian Turkic, Russian and other elements, reflecting the history of Kamas’ linguistic contacts; (3) an introduction to Kamas grammar (phonology, morphology, and syntax); (4) the distinction of innovative from archaic traits of Kamas grammar; (5) a comparative text reading with two quasi-parallel texts from the pre-shift and the post-shift periods of Kamas. The objectives of the course are thus a concise introduction to a minor Uralic language and its history, getting acquainted with some key notions of Samoyedology as a part of Uralic studies, as well as with philological issues in general.

The minimum course requirement is basic linguistic knowledge. The teaching material consists in four text book units in English (in pdf format), including slightly simplified texts. In addition, original documents illustrating philological problems, selected reading materials, as well as audio-files are provided. All materials are available at the Moodle platform. The textbook units have been developed on the base of earlier tested materials, updated, and some of them for the first time in English.

The tasks, which constitute an essential part of the course, consist in transcription exercises, morphological analysis, text translations, and several readings.

Feedback for submitted exercises is provided on an individual base. Copyright-protected supplementary material can be accessed through the University of Vienna Moodle. For access send a mail to