Indigenous languages of the North: A comparative analysis of the language situations in Topolinoe in Sakha and Guovdgeaidnu in Sápmi

  • Nils Dannemark
  • Mikkel Rasmus Logje
  • Karen Marit Siri
  • Angelika Syrovatskaya
  • John Todal
  • Antonina Vinokurova
Keywords: Indigenous heritage languages, Indigenous language proficiency, Sámi language, Even language, linguistic comparisons, Indigenous education


This article examines the situations of two Indigenous languages in two Indigenous communities of Topolinoe in the Sakha Republic (Yakutia) of the Russian Federation and Guovdageaidnu in Norway. The goal of this research was to assess the present situation of the heritage languages in these communities, which include the Even language in Topolinoe and the Sámi language in Guovdageaidnu. The materials analysed in this article were collected using questionnaires, which contained questions about the level of language proficiency, language use and linguistic identity. We also conducted freestyle interviews with seven informants in Topolinoe. The article is of comparative nature, and we consider similarities as well as differences in these communities.