Kott: An extinct Central Siberian language

Kott is an extinct Yenesian language, that was formerly spoken in Siberia, in the Russian republic. The Kott people lived in Central Siberia, along the Mana River banks, which is a tributary of the Yenisei River. The language became extinct in the 1850s. The Kott language was closely related to the Ket language. The Yenesian languages share many similarities with the Samoyedic languages, South Siberian Turkic languages and the Evenki language. This includes nasal harmony, the use of propositions and deaffrication. Yenesian languages have no tone at all or up to 4 tones.

The Kott language is also known as Assan or Asan. Mathhias Castren published a grammar dictionary of the language in 1858. The dictionary included information on the Kott and Ket languages. The book was known as Versuch einer jenissei-ostjakischen und kottischen Sprachlehre.

The Yenesian language family is spoken in Central Siberia. It is split into northern Yenesian and southern Yenesian. Ket and Yugh languages fall under the northern Yenesian languages. Kott, Assan, Arin and Pumpokol languages fall under the southern Yenesian languages. Out of all these languages, only 2 survived; Ket and Yugh. The Ket language has about 500 speakers, while about 5 people can still speak the Yugh language. The other languages have been extinct for approximately 2 centuries. Other language groups, which have been identified as Yeniseic are also extinct and nothing but only a few proper names remain of the languages. This includes the Baikot, Buklin, Yarin, Ashkyshtym, Yastin, and Koibalkyshtym languages.

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