Comprehensive documentation and archiving of Teleut, Eushta-Chat, and Melets Chulym: three areally adjacent critically endangered Turkic languages of Siberia.

Comprehensive documentation and archiving of Teleut, Eushta-Chat, and Melets Chulym: three areally adjacent critically endangered Turkic languages of Siberia.

Language: Eushta-Chat (ISO639-3:sty)
Depositor: Andrey Filchenko, Denis Tokmashev, Valeriya Lemskaya
Location: Russian Federation
Deposit Id: 0495
Grant id: MDP0330
Funding body: ELDP
Level: Deposit

Summary of deposit

The primary archiving output of the project is language data as media products - best contributing to the contemporary demand of language documentation. The collection of media files consists of video, audio and appropriate metadata. Approximately 50 hours of multimedia materials (video and audio) were recorded for each language during the project. Video recording has been prioritized as a more representative mode of the culturally specific communication patterns, containing not only traditional linguistic modality, but also documenting possibly wider multimodal aspects of communication (speech situations, speaker positioning, gesture, mimicry, etc).

It is expected that by the end of the project, at least 20% of the recorded data (narrations, tales, songs etc.) will receive full interlinearization and free-translation using FLEX, and will be integrated with multimedia formats using ELAN, which the depositors are familiar with. It is furthermore expected that at the output of the corpora of Teleut, Eushta-Chat, and Melets Chulym will consist of not less than 12000-15000 words for each language, representing authentic spontaneous interlinearized texts with culturally appropriate content, which are crossreferenced with the respective video and/or audio records (where available). Each recorded speech event will be provided with appropriate metadata detailing the participants, events, locations and technical specifics (date, place, speaker: name, date of birth, brief relevant sociolinguistic background, collector, titles, keywords, etc. describing the recorded event).

Metadata are collected and archived operationally in the form of texts within uniform tables (MS.xls) and then integrated with the language data into the archive framework using Arbil. When available, photographs, pictures, maps etc. complement the textual metadata.

Group represented

As of now, all three languages/dialects of the project remain among the most neglected of the Turkic languages of Siberia while the adjacent Shor, Khakas, Chulym-Turkic, Tofa have already been a subjects of both Russian and international scholarly projects, while the languages/dialects of the project Teleut, Eushta-Chat and Melets Chulym are as highly endangered and lesser documented. Urbanization and the destruction of the traditional land-use practices, the outflow of youth from villages to the cities, the lack of a clear policy in the field of language education – all lead to a constant narrowing of the scope and function of the three languages of the project as the languages of daily communication. The communities live in the all-Russian type settled villages, usually not traditional in outlook. The domestic life is also rather common throughout Siberia. The traditional practices occur but rarely, and the groups seem to be quite assimilated due to the overall economic and social situation, as well as due to mixed marriages with other people groups (other Turkic ethnic groups, some local Uralic ethnic groups, Russians, Ukrainians, Belorussians, etc). Based on previous experience and recent contacts (ELDP SG 0277) there is a local demand and readiness to cooperate in the documentation and preservation of these endangered languages and cultures, establishing electronic resources, particularly in modern multimedia data formats, preservation and analysis of natural discourse, and communication patterns. It was noticed in 2014 during the ELDP SG 0277 project in Teleut communities, that one of the impacts has been in the domain of raising the awareness about the Turkic indigenous languages in this area, their level of documentation and description, their degree of endangerment, the need for their urgent documentation and value for their integration into the conventional debates in linguistics and anthropology. The ELDP SG 0277 Teleut documentation pilot project was one of the first such projects of its kind. It is strongly anticipated that the impact will be more considerable with the collection, processing and offering access to more representative data in size and diversity. The Teleut pilot project enjoyed growing interest and support of the local community and the activists in language/culture preservation and revival (local school, local library, individual representatives of the Teleut community). Among the project consultants were local educators and senior school children, who organized extra-curricular activities involving Teleut language and culture. These children – young Teleut speakers – were involved in the project as consultants, and displayed interest in the project activities and readiness to train in basic techniques and methods of language documentation and archival under the supervision and auspices of the local school and library. These and other representatives of the communities (Eushta-Chat, Melets Chulym) expressed their desire to cooperate further on documentation at all stages and in all activities: recording data and metadata, transcription and annotation, archival (locally and centrally), and using archived data to produce applied materials (reference, pedagogical, etc.). Furthermore, representatives of the adjacent Siberian Turkic communities, Eushta-Chat (Tomsk Tatars) and Melets Chulym expressed interest in the project and the documentation program. Thus, the project has the support of the respective communities: the Teleut community of Kemerovo region, the Eushta-Chat communities and the Melets Chulym community. As for Teleut, the co-applicants, Dr.Denis Tokmashev is an ethnic Teleut, actively involved with the community and enjoying family and local support in Teleut documentation efforts.

Special characteristics

This collection is of special importance due to a number of reasons.

First, it displays a comprehensive documentation of a critically endangered language, Melets Chulym, that has fewer than 10 fluent speakers. The collectors have tried to document as many spheres of language use as possible and make it accessible to the ELAR users for further possible research.

Second, the majority of videos recorded for Melets Chulym show spekers of Melets Chulym talking to each other - something that has not been much recorded so far.

Third, any sort of comprehensive documentation of Eushta Chat has not been made so far. This project is the first one to do it with modern methods accepted for documentation at present.

Moreover, the presented collection will be much enriched by both recordings from 2017 and 2018, and digitized cassettes recorded in the 1970s stored at the Tomsk State Pedagogical University archives, something that the public have had no use of since the time of taking.

Some educational materials for the Melets Chulym language collected and processed previously are being re-checked within the project (a Russian-Melets Chulym dictionary accompanied by grammar reference and text samples with translation) - a material the community representatives have long been asking the academia to elaborate. A copy of the book will be uploaded upon completion and/or publication.

Deposit contents

The majority of bundles in this collection are audio-video recordings. There are ca. 12 hours video recorded for Teleut, 16 hours for Eushta Chat, and 16.5 hours for Melets Chulym recorded in 2016. The recordings include narratives, conversations (monologues and polylogues) and interviews of various genres (stories, personal narratives, historical narratives, fictional narratives, songs and folk poetry, friendly talks, and other).

There are also:

8 hours of Eushta Chat and 28.5 hours of Melets Chulym audio that include recordings of field work on language peculiarities and structure (Russian-Turkic translation, discussions on the languages and community history, ethnographic information and metadata recorded in Russian and other).

All the speakers have given their consent for the recordings to be shared with academia.

As of May 2018 there are interlinearized and translated ELAN transcriptions for 1 hour for each language. ELAN transcriptions and interlinearisations will continue to be added as they are processed.

Deposit history

The deposit consists of three parts - the Teleut, Eushta Chat and Melets Chulym. The Teleut and the Melets Chulym have been previously briefly recorded by the team within field trip/small grants:

FTG0135: the deposit was timely submitted to the ELAR in October 2008. The deposit is a sample data collection including: monologues and dialogues speech events, autobiographical narratives, jokes, brief exchanges, humorous songs, stories from village life; video, audio and graphic formats (partial morphological annotation (glossing) of the texts, approx. 50%); digital media: metadata. The data was supplemented by metadata in IMDI format. Some parts of the corpus were annotated using ELAN. Language and metadata formats mostly comply with ELAR guidelines.

SG0277: completed in December 2014. The deposit was timely submitted to the ELAR in December 2014 – January 2015, including: monologues and dialogues, autobiographical narratives, jokes, brief exchanges, humorous songs, biographical stories from village life, containing over 220 sessions totaling over 22 hours of recording, over 25% of which is fully interlinear-glossed using Flex, and integrated in ELAN format, with respective metadata integrated in Arbil format.

Apart from that, the collectors (Denis Tokmashev and Valeriya Lemskaya) are adding their personal collections they have made during work on their Russian doctoral theses and postdoc research (since 2008 and 2005 respectively). It must also be mentioned that Denis Tokmashev's late father was a native speaker of Teleut and language activist whose personal archive has been used and will be added to the project deposit.

Other information

None of the data in this collection may be used as evidence in court.

Acknowledgement and citation

Users of any part of the collection should acknowledge Andrey Filchenko as the principal investigator and Denis Tokmashev and Valeriya Lemskayaas the data collectors and researchers. Users should also acknowledge the Endangered Languages Documentation Programme as the funder of the project. Individual speakers whose words and/or images are used should be acknowledged by name. Any other contributor who has collected, transcribed or translated the data or was involved in any other way should be acknowledged by name. All information on contributors is available in the metadata.

To refer to any data from the corpus, please cite the corpus in this way:

Filchenko, Andrey. 2016-2019. Comprehensive documentation and archiving of Teleut, Eushta-Chat, and Melets Chulym: three areally adjacent critically endangered Turkic languages of Siberia. London: SOAS, Endangered Languages Archive. [insert deposit URL here]. Accessed on [insert date here].


Collection online
Resources online and curated


Andrey Filchenko
Affiliation: Nazarbayev University
Denis Tokmashev
Affiliation: Tomsk Polytechnic University
Valeriya Lemskaya
Affiliation: Tomsk State Pedagogical University

Deposit Statistics

Data from 2021 October 21 to 2021 October 21
Deposit hits:1
Downloaded files
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Showing 1 - 10 of 38 Items

a Tomsk Tatar and a Kalmak Tatar describe the picture book "Frog, Where Are You?", each in her own variety. Speaker 1 is Lyutsiya Zinurovna Sadykova. Lyutsiya born in 1958, mother is of Siberian Tatars. The daughter of Lyutsiya does not want to speak Tatar from the kindergarten. Lyutsiya lives in the closed city of Seversk, now she speaks little Tatar. Lyutsiya was born in the village of Yurty Kazanskiye. Since 1968, she has been living in the city of Tomsk, then in Seversk. The mother of Lyutsiya, Nuriya Sadykova, born in 1932. She used to communicate with the sister of Alfira in Tatar. At school, the children among themselves spoke Tatar. Though the teacher himself was Tatar, the teaching was in Russian. The school was a primary school. Speaker 2 is Alfira Muharamovna Karimov (Sadykova). Alfira, born in 1953, was born in the village of Yurty Konstantinovy. Her father, Mukharam Abdulganeevich Karymov, was of Kazan Tatar-Mishars, born in 1925. Grandfather was a mullah. Mother Ahmima Ramazanovna Lazareva, Kalmak, born in 1925. All the children of the parents except the older brother spoke in the language of their mother. The daughter of Alfira understands Tatar, but does not speak well, also since the kindergarten times. Since 1974 Alfira has been living in Tomsk. The village is large, on the one side lived Tatars, on the other side - Russians. She learned to speak Russian on the street, Russian children also spoke Tatar. Her colleague is a Tatar from the village of Berezovaya Rechka (Kazan Tatars live there), their dialect is different, so they spoke Russian with each other. The school was of 8 grades.

Recorded on: 2017-10-17

Fauziya Fakhreyevna Kazakova, born in the village of Kaltay in 1938. Her father died at the World War II. They remained 5 children in the family, she was the smallest, being 5 years old at the time. There were few men in the war time. Her mother worked a lot. Her elder siblings worked a lot. Then her elder brother went to the army and her sister went to a teacher?s training college in the city of Tomsk. She stayed with her mother in the village. The school in her village was an 8-year secondary school. She later went to the city to continue her education. She studied accounting. Then she returned to her village and started to work in the village adminitstration. She married when she was 17 and moved to the village of Kazan (Kazanka, Tomsk District). She had many relatives. She had two sons. When they needed studying, they moved to the city of Tomsk. Later she became a pensioner and returned to the Kazan village. Now one is a pensioner, and the other is not yet. She has three grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. Both son?s families live in the city of Tomsk. She speaks on the facts of her biography, her village history, facts of flooding and everyday life difficulties in her talk.

Recorded on: 2016-08-25

The session includes a dialogue by a married Tatar couple. The husband, Karim Nadyrshymovich Akhmetshin, born 1941, is a descendant of the Mishar Tatars who moved from Mozhgi, Udmurtiya, to Siberia in the 1910s with the Stolypin reforms. The wife, Nasima Ramazanovna Akhmetshina, born 1949, is a descendant of Tatars who moved as a whole village from the Nizhniy Novgorod area to Siberia in the 1840s. Her language variety displays a strong influence of local Siberian Turkic languages on the Tatar variety. In the course of the dialogue, the couple discuss differences between their dialects, facts of their biography, how they married, where they worked, how they lived before and how they are living now. They also make commentaries that they do not feel themselves way different from both the Kazan Tatars and the local Tomsk Tatars because all these are just ?Tatar?. Karim was born in the village of Novo-Islambul, Krivosheino District of the Tomsk Region. It was a Tatar village with a number of ethnic Polish families. His father was Nadyrsha, born 1900, and mother ? Sauda, born 1902; both were ethnic Tatars. He started his primary school in Tatar, and learned in the literary Tatar language till the 5th grade when he went to a Russian school. This is the time when he started to speak Russian. He finished 7 grades of school and then worked on a collective farm as a tractor driver and mechanic technician. He?s been living in the city of Tomsk since 1977. Nasima was born in the village of Shuldat, Bogotol District of the Krasnoyarsk territory. When her ancestors moved to Siberia around 1840, there were 360 houses in the village. Now the number of houses and thus dwellers has substantially decreased. Her mother was born in the same village in 1922; she spoke some Russian. Nasima studied in the Tatar school till the 4th grade, and then she went to a Russian school where she learned to speak the language. After high school, Nasima worked as a milker. Karim and Nasima married in 1968, they have three children; they spoke Russian with children, however the children understand Tatar, too. Their middle daughter is fluent in Tatar because she spent quite a lot of time in Shuldat.

Recorded on: 2016-08-31

Two Eushta-born brothers, Zagidulla Zeynatullovich Aptineyev (born 1948) and Ildus Zeynatullovich Aptineyev (born 1957). Both are ethnic Eushta Tatars. Their mother was Gulnara Rasepovna, and their father ? Zeynatulla Khanafeyevich. Zagidulla went to a Tatar school in his first grade. Starting from the second grade he started to learn Russian at school. Ildus, however, started to speak Russian before school with his cousins. Both have had higher learning education. Zagidulla studied in a police academy and worked as a policeman officer. Ildus studied mechanical engineering and worked in this field. During their work, they used Russian only. Using Tatar (even with people of their community) would be considered improper. Both brothers live in the city of Tomsk now. Zagidulla?s wife is and ethnic Kazan Tatar who is a second-generation Tomsk native; they speak Tatar to each other. Ildus? wife is Russian, and they speak Russian in the family. Zagidulla used to speak Tatar to his kids, however they are all now married to Russians, and they don?t speak Tatar in their families. Ildus always spoke Russian to his kids, who, however, identify themselves Tatar, but their children consider themselves Russian. In the course of the dialogue, the brothers talk of their native village, their biographies, their work experience and some funny events in their lives. Zagidulla also tells how he obtained a garden and built a house there.

Recorded on: 2016-08-26

A dialogue by two men (speakers of Eushta Tatar) from the same village of Takhtamyshevo with questions from a visiting Tomsk Tatar woman. This session took place in the village mosque. One of the male speaker is the current mullah of the mosque. He told of his life, the story of the mosque, his hadj to Mecca. Together with the second male speaker they discuss traditions and customs of the village, the life style of people, family structure and ethnic composition. Speaker 1 is Garifulla Abdulganeevich Abzalimov. His grandmother was from Chernaya Rechka, parents were local. He was born on December 10, 1952 in the village of Takhtamyshevo. Now he is retired and has recently become the spiritual leader of the village - the mullah. Speaker 2 is Rashid Muzametgaleevich Recepov, born in 1950. He is now retired, an old friend of the mullah and a current visitor to the mosque. Both speakers claim that they speak Russian since their childhood, when they first went to school at grade 1. In the family they spoke Tatar, the older children speak Tatar well, the younger child of Rashid speaks Tatar more. Speaker 3 is Lyutsiya Zinurovna Sadykova. Lyutsiya born in 1958, mother is of Siberian Tatars. The daughter of Lyutsiya does not want to speak Tatar from the kindergarten. Lyutsiya lives in the closed city of Seversk, now she speaks little Tatar. Lyutsiya was born in the village of Yurty Kazanskiye. Since 1968, she has been living in the city of Tomsk, then in Seversk. The mother of Lyutsiya, Nuriya Sadykova, born in 1932. She used to communicate with the sister of Alfira in Tatar. At school, the children among themselves spoke Tatar. Though the teacher himself was Tatar, the teaching was in Russian. The school was a primary school.

Recorded on: 2017-11-22

A dialogue by two women from neighbouring villages representing two different varieties of the Tatar language: Kalmak and Mishar. Nafisya came to visit the elderly Roza, she brought her presents from the mosque in Kazan, Tatarstan where she had been to. They discuss various traditions, life styles of their families and other topics. Speaker 1 is Nafisya Saperovna Eremeykina (Sadykova), a Mishar Tatar from the Yashkino village (Kemerovo Region) who came to visit Speaker 2. Nafisya speaks the Mishar Tatar variety and claims it is considered a softer version of the Tatar language as compared to the Kalmak one. Speaker 2 is Roza Kadyrovna Pokoeva, the surname of her father was Shangin. Born on October 10, 1930 in the village of Yurty Konstantinovy, Yashkinsky District, Kemerovo Region. In this village there live Kalmak Tatars. This is not a nation. The founders of the village were the Tartykovs, they were descendants of the Teleuts. Old people said that the word Kalmak came from kalyrga. The Abdrashitovs came to the village from Tatarstan and brought Islam. The ancestors of the Sadykovs were Uzbeks. Father Kadyr Mingaleevich Shangin (biological father Sadykov - grandmother left him, gave the name Shangin to his son). Father was born there, died in the field of World War 2 in 1941. Mother Maymuna Husainovna Tartykova, from the same village, the second wife of her father. There were only 4 villages, all of Kalmaks lived there, they spoke only Kalmak, though they sing Kazan Tatar songs, they also know the Tatar language. In the village, schooling was only in the Tatar language. From the age of 11, Roza worked on a collective farm; at the age of 16 she started to live in a Russian village, and began to study in the 5th grade. In the village of Kaltay lived her aunt, her husband came from the war, was injured, they had 1 child. She studied Grade 6 in Kaltay, she had an F in Russian. They have a Tatar side in the village and a Russian side. For the Russians, there was a Russian school. When Roza finished the 4th grade, she went back to the 3rd grade in a Russian school, she studied the 4th grade there and learned the Russian language. In Barabinka there was an empty house of her uncle. In Takhtamyshevo she went to school in Grade 7, the training was in Tatar. Roza was an excellent student. In 1948 she went to study at the Tomsk Tatar Pedagogical College and graduated from it in 1953. The grandmother of Roza spoke Russian well, she had Russian girlfriends. Her grandmother could apply leeches and cups. The Russians in the neighbouring village lived well, their gardens were kept well. Before the war, Kalmaks did not eat anything grown except bread . Roza’s education was a primary school teacher. At first she taught in Tatar, then had to also explain in Russian, then the training was transferred to Russian. Roza returned to her home village of Yurty Konstantinovy, she worked at the local school until she was 70, she lived there alone. Her daughter died, Roza stayed with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The husband of Roza was Tartar, his mother was from the Tartykovskys, the father from the Pokoyevs, from where it is not known. The Lazarevs in the village were from the North Caucasus, they were called Circassians. An ethnographer came from Kemerovo and claimed that it was clear. The Tartykovs almost disappeared from the village, still there were some of the Sadykovs and the Abdrashitovs, also the Lazarevs. In her family, Roza spoke only Kalmak, her son was born in 1959, her daughter was born in 1956. The spouses of her children are Chat Tatars, the wife of her son is from the village of Barabinka, the husband of her daughter is from Chernaya Rechka. Shavkat is Kalmak, his sister Rayana, Aunt Flura. The wife of the eldest grandson is from Chernaya Rechka. In the family of her daughters they speak only Russian, in the family of the son all speak Tatar: the son speaks Kalmak, his wife speaks Chat Tatar. In the village of Yurty Konstantinovy, the club and museum of Roza Kadyrovna have been preserved.

Recorded on: 2017-06-05

A Tatar speaker Rauf Duseev is giving a talk about a boy and his puppy-dog, who went on a quest searching their pet-frog. On the way they encounter different animals and terrain types finally finding their pet-frog and returning home. The story is told in literary Tatar dialect which is interesting to compare with a Siberian variety of Tatar in terms of lexicon, grammar and phonetics.

Recorded on: 2019-05-01

A Eushta-Tatar speaker Zagidulla Aptineev is giving a talk about a boy and his puppy-dog, who went on a quest searching their pet-frog. On the way they encounter different animals and terrain types finally finding their pet-frog and returning home. The story is told in Eushta-Tatar dialect, which retains many old-Turkic features on all language levels, phonetic, grammar and lexical. This variety attests a striking proximity to Teleut and Kondoma Shor and is interesting to compare with the Kazan variety of Tatar in terms of lexicon, grammar and phonetics.

Recorded on: 2019-05-01

Fariza Abdulkhakovna Kurbanbayeva (born 26.04.1952, maiden surname is Kabeyeva) was born in Eushta. She's a native Eushta Tatar. However, the local people never made distinctions between the Kazan and Siberian (Eushta/Chat/Tomsk) Tatars. Her father was Abdulkhak Mukhammad-Safeyevich Kabeyev, born 1920; and her mother was Fakiza Abdullovna Kabeyeva (maiden surname's Aminova), born 1924. Her father was from Eushta, and her mother's from Abytay (Chernaya Rechka) is the Chat community's village. Her mother finished 5 grades at school and spoke Russian. Her father was a carpenter and went to two wars (the Great Patriotic and the Japanese, referring to both as World War II). Fariza finished the teaching programme in a higher educational institute, she also had further three-year distance-learning studies in the Kazan University. She started to work as a teacher in 1970 in the village of Boriki. 20 years later there was a fire in her workplace. She has lived in Eushta all her life. Her husband and one of her two children passed away. In her own family she spoke only Eushta Tatar. She continues to speak it with her grandchildren. Her aim is to keep the language. She has also started a local village museum that is open twice a week. She collects stories and facts of her village and local people. The story is about a man who became a mullah.

Recorded on: 2016-07-03

The first speaker is Askhat Kamilyevich Zinatov, born 1974. The second speaker is Raisa Usmanovna Girfanova, born in 1947. Both speakers are from the Chat Tatar?s Abytay village (Chernaya Rechka). However, they are both of the Kazan Tatar ethnic origin. They speak on various topics (from their biography, village history, peculiarities of the community and language, etc.)

Recorded on: 2016-04-24