Itelmen Talking Dictionary

Editors: Michael Dürr and Erich Kasten


The online Itelmen Talking Dictionary presented here includes about 550 entries useful for both educational and research purposes. The Russian edition is intended primarily for schools and for interested others in Kamchatka. It provides an easy-to-use means to access valuable sound documentation from the last speakers of the Itelmen language. 

The speech data were collected by Erich Kasten working with local experts in 1993-1997.  They were published in the book Historical-ethnographical teaching materials for the Itelmen language and as a multimedia CD-ROM in 2001. The data are organized thematically and were recorded in real-life contexts working with objects and drawings. The dictionary contains words and sample phrases from everyday life and the cultural particularities of the Itelmens. The speakers were particularly concerned with their local dialects found in the teaching materials. The sound recordings were made with the following speakers:

Column 1:
Southern Itelmen
Column 2:
Southern Itelmen
Column 3:
Northern Itelmen
Klavdiia N. Khaloimova
(Sopochnoe) *1934
Georgi D. Zaporotski (Moroshechnoe, Kovran) *1937 Liudmila E. Pravdoshina (Sedanka, Tigil’) * 1938

more speakers:

[MPS] Mariia P. Slobodchikova (Khairiuzovo, Kovran) *1924

more speakers:

[NSY] Nadezhda S. Yaganova (Sedanka, Tigil’) *1926
[SEP] Sergei E. Pritchin (Sedanka) *1948

The transcription of sounds tries to approximate the cyrillic conventions for Itelmen, with the addition of symbols from the International Phonetic Alphabet. Initial ‟ᵒ” marks labialization of the respective word. The transcription is not always phonemic; in some cases allophones have been indicated to exemplify details of articulation.

The spoken forms within an entry sometimes may differ by number (plural with -eʔn instead of singular) and sometimes by diminutive (-č(a)χ) or augmentative suffixes (-aj or -sk’el). Some entries are collectives (with derivational –al) or local (-nom) and instrumental nouns (-neŋ