Ingrian language

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ižoran kēli
Native to Russia
Region Ingria
Ethnicity 820 Izhorians (1989 census)[1]
Native speakers
120 (2010 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 izh
Glottolog ingr1248[2]

Ingrian (also called Izhorian) is a nearly extinct Finnic language spoken by the (mainly Orthodox) Izhorians of Ingria. It has approximately 120 speakers left, most of whom are aged. It should not be confused with the Southeastern dialects of the Finnish language that became the majority language of Ingria in the 17th century with the influx of Lutheran Finnish immigrants (whose descendants, Ingrian Finns, are often referred to as Ingrians). The immigration of Lutheran Finns was promoted by Swedish authorities (who gained the area in 1617 from Russia), as the local population was (and remained) Orthodox.


In 1932–1937, a Latin-based orthography for the Ingrian language existed, taught in schools of the Soikino Peninsula and the area around the mouth of the Luga River.[3] Several textbooks were published, including, in 1936, a grammar of the language. However, in 1937 the Izhorian written language was abolished and mass repressions of the peasantry began.[3]

Alphabet (1932)

A a Ä ä B в D d E e F f G g H h
I i J j K k L l M m N n Ö ö P p
R r S s T t U u V v Y y

Alphabet (1936)

The order of the 1936 alphabet is similar to the Russian Cyrillic alphabet.

A a Ä ä B в V v G g D d E e Ƶ ƶ
Z z I i J j K k L l M m N n O o
Ö ö P p R r S s T t U u Y y F f
H h C c Ç ç Ş ş ь

Alphabet (2005-present)[citation needed]

The order of the current alphabet matches the Finnish alphabet.

A a B b C c D d E e F f G g H h
I i J j K k L l M m N n O o P p
R r S s Š š T t U u V v Y y Z z
Ž ž Ä ä Ö ö


Four dialects groups of Ingrian have been attested, two of which are probably extinct by now:[4][5]

A fifth dialect may have once been spoken on the Karelian Isthmus in northernmost Ingria, and may have been a substrate of local dialects of southwestern Finnish.[4]


Like other Uralic languages, Ingrian is a highly agglutinative language.






Front Back
unrounded rounded unrounded rounded
Close i y u
Mid e ø o
Open æ a


Bilabial Labio-
Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Plosive voiceless p t k
voiced b d ɡ
Affricate ts
Fricative voiceless f s ʃ h
voiced v z ʒ
Nasal m n
Lateral l
Rhotic r
Approximant j


  1. ^ a b Ingrian at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Ingrian". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ a b Kurs, Ott (1994). Ingria: The broken landbridge between Estonia and Finland. GeoJournal 33.1, 107–113.
  4. ^ a b Viitso, Tiit-Rein (1998). "Fennic". In Abondolo, Daniel (ed.). Uralic languages. Routledge. pp. 98–99.
  5. ^ Kuznetsova, Natalia; Markus, Elena; Mulinov, Mehmed (2015), "Finnic minorities of Ingria: The current sociolinguistic situation and its background", in Marten, H.; Rießler, M.; Saarikivi, J.; et al. (eds.), Cultural and linguistic minorities in the Russian Federation and the European Union, Multilingual Education, 13, Berlin: Springer, pp. 151–152, ISBN 978-3-319-10454-6, retrieved 25 March 2015


  • Paul Ariste 1981. Keelekontaktid. Tallinn: Valgus. [pt. 2.6. Kolme läänemere keele hääbumine lk. 76 – 82] (in Estonian)
  • A. Laanest. 1993. Ižorskij Jazyk. In V. N. Jartseva (ed.), Jazyki Mira: Ural'skie Jazyki, 55-63. Moskva: Nauka.

External links

  • V.Cherniavskij "Izoran keeli (Ittseopastaja)/Ижорский язык (Самоучитель) (Ingrian Self-Study Book")"(in Russian).
  • Ingrian verb conjugation
  • Ingrian language resources at Giellatekno

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