Integrating Finno-Ugric Studies in Europe

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The Udmurt language, together with Komi and Komi-Permyak, belongs to the Permic branch of thе Uralic (Finno-Ugric) language family. Other languages in this family include Hungarian, Finnish, Estonian, Karelian, the Saami languages, Mari, Mordvin, Khanty, Mansi, Nganasan, Enets, Nenets, and Selkup. Older foreign sources refer to Udmurt as Votyak. Udmurt is spoken by roughly 340,000 people. Most Udmurts live in the Republic of Udmurtia, a subject of the Russian Federation. Smaller speaker communities can be found in neighbouring administrative divisions of Russia.

For our Udmurt e-learning course, we adapted the Udmurt textbook Марым, лэся, originally published in Russia in 2005. While this textbook contains interesting and approachable texts, both fiction and non-fiction, and comes with professionally produced audio materials, it was compiled using a communicative approach to language teaching, i.e., it contains no grammatical explanations. This made it a suitable resource for Udmurt language courses taught by native speakers, but made it unsuitable for the autodidactic study of Udmurt, or for university courses focusing on the structure of the Udmurt language. By adding detailed English-language grammatical explanations to each unit, we have significantly altered the target group of the book.

As of September 2018, we are publishing a rough draft of the first 10 (of 25) units of this chapter online. We intend to publish a third edition in its entirety as a book in the foreseeable future. We have also published a number of supplementary materials online, for example a paradigm generator for both nominal and verbal paradigms, and a course for Memrise, a popular online vocabulary-learning tool.

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