Manchu/Information on Tungusic Languages

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Introduction[edit]

The Manchu Tungusic language family consists of roughly 12 different languages that are spoken in a large geographical area stretching from Heilongjiang province and Inner Mongolia (both located in North East China) in the south, all the way through to the Arctic ocean in the north; from Sakhalin island, and the Kamchatka peninsula in the east, to the Yenisei river in the west. There are also several thousand speakers of a Manchu Tungusic language in Cabcal Sibe Autonomous County (察布查尔錫伯自治县) in North West China. Although speakers of Manchu Tungusic languages are spread over a huge geographical area, the actual number of people who speak one of the languages is less than 100,000.

Linguists working on Tungusic have proposed a number of different classifications based on different criteria, including morphological, lexical, and phonological characteristics. One classification which seems favoured over other alternatives is that the Tungusic languages can be divided into a northern branch and a southern branch, with the southern branch further subdivided into southeastern and southwestern groups.

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Language In Ethnic Group Speakers Distribution
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Northern
Even 19,071 7,543 Russia - Sakha Republic and the Kamchatka Peninsula, widely scattered over the entire Okhotsk Arctic coast.
Evenki - China 30,500 19,000 China - Inner Mongolia, Hulunbuir: Ewenki, Moriadawa, Oronchon, Chen Bargu, Arong, Ergune, Huisuomu; Heilongjiang Province, Nale.
Evenki - Russia 35,527 9,000 Russia - Krasnoyarsk Krai to Sakhalin island, including Sakha Republic, Buriatia, Amurskaya oblast, Irkutsk oblast and Zabaikalski Krai.
Evenki - Mongolia 1,000 1,000 Mongolia - Selenge Aimag, north Mongolia.
Oroqen 8,196 1,200 China - Heilongjiang Province and Inner Mongolia, Huma, Aihui, Sunko districts, Great Xingan Ridge.
Negidal 567 100 Russia - Khabarovsk Krai, Kamenka settlement and Im, and in the Paulina Osipenko Region.
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South-Eastern
Nanai 12,160 5,760 Russia - Khabarovsk Krai confluence of the Amur and Ussuri rivers, scattered in Ussuri Valley and Sikhote-Alin, Amur Valley below Khabarovsk.
Hezhe 4,640 12 China - Northeast Heilongjiang, Tongjiang county, Bacha and Jiejinkou villages, and in Sipai village in Raohe County.
Orok 346 30 Russia - Sakhalin Island, Poronajsk District, Poronajsk, Gastello and Vakhrushev; Nogliki District, Val, Nogliki. Also spoken in Japan.
Ulch 2,913 500 Russia - Khabarovsk Krai, Ulch Region, Bogorodskove, Bulava, Dudi, Kalinovka, Mariinskoe, Nizhnaya Gavan, Savinskoe, Mongol, Solontsy.
Oroch 686 100 Russia - Khabarovsk Krai not far from Komsomolsk-na-Amure. Also in Vanino Region in Datta and Uska-Orochskaya settlements.
Udihe 1,657 100 Russia - Khabarovsk Krai, Gvasiugi, Lazo Region; Arsenievo, Nanai Region; Primorski Krai, Pozharsk Region, Terneisk Region.
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South-Western
Jurchen Extinct Extinct China - Extinct.
Manchu 10,682,300 60 China - Heilongjiang, a few Manchu-speaking villages in Aihui and Fuyu counties.
Xibe 188,800 30,000 China - Xinjiang Province, mainly in Ili Region; some in Ürümqi City and Tacheng Region of Xinjiang Province.
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  • Note 1: Figures for Russia are based on 2002 census figures
  • Note 2: Figures for China are based on the 2001 census figures
  • Note 3: Figures for number of speakers were taken from ethnologue and are therefore generally quite dated.
  • Note 4: Only officially recognised ethnic groups and languages included.

History and genetic relationship[edit]

Linguistic Features[edit]

Future[edit]