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Alphabet for Kamassian:

Cyrillic letter - UPA

и - i

е - е or ɛ (some books do not distinguish between e and ɛ using e for both sounds)

ǝ  - ǝ IPA [e̽]

ӱ - ü

ӧ/ё -ӧ (you can use either ö or ё)

ы - i̮ (IPA ɨ)

э - e̮

ө - ə̂ (ə̂ makes the schwa sound)

а - a and å (some books do not distinguish a and å using a for both sounds)

у - u

о - o

ӄ = k͔ or k͔', it is basically K but made further back in the mouth, like the IPA Q

ў = w / u with inverted breve below, or even β  (IPA w)

й = j/i with inverted breve below 

т  = t 

д = d

с = s

б = b

з = z

н = n

л =l or л

р = r

ь = ', marks palatalization,

х = h

ӽ = 

ф = f, according to K.Donner there was also a very rare sound ϑ, which would also be typed as ф.

ғ = γ 

ӈ or ҥ = ŋ, in English and Finnish t is typed "ng". (you can use either one) 

ш = š (SH in English)

ж = ž 

´ stop in speech, aka a glottal stop ( ʔ )

ҷ = dž (though this letter is not mandatory to use)

 ԥ = aspirated P,

 ҭ = aspirated T, t͑ (note t͑ means aspiration and ť platalization, do not confuse the two!)

қ = aspirated K , k͑, do not confuse with platalized ḱ.

я = ja, jå, 'a, 'å 

ю =ju, 'u

в = v (only in some loanwords, usually only used by the last speakers)

If you type in a "Latin alphabet" use the UPA symbols, which are very similar to the latin alphabet.

If typing on a Latin alphabet, use ' to mark aspirated consonants, the UPA also uses it to mean aspiration. 

Note: the Kamassian-Russian dictionary found (here)  they cyrillicized "ǝ̂" as a "ä or я. ", thus if you use that, remember to check every word with the letter.

About the alphabet

The alphabet is very similar to the dictionaries, except for the letter "э" which was used by some to represent the sounds ɛ and e̮. However I did not want that as it already represents a sound e̮ which is distinct from the sound ɛ but ɛ is similar to the sound e, thus I wanted the sound to be included inside the letter e and not э.


Informally you may use в instead of ў, use х for both х and ӽ and you can leave aspirated consonants untyped, leaving them as just a normal т/п or к. Informally you may also leave ӄ as just к.

This is to make typing easier, however as it takes away from accuracy of pronunciation, it should not be used formally. 

It should be noted that due to outside influence, Kamassian pronunciation had many "freedoms". Some examples: B ~ W, ee ~ öö, ӽ ~ q.

Source: Page 122 of K, Donner's book

In the UPA the sound ǝ is a reduced form of e and ə̂ is the schwa sound. There are some things we don't know about Kamass phonology, mostly because of variation in the speech of Kamasins, however there are many audio recordings of the last Kamass native which can fill the void. For example there is slight uncertainty about vowel length in certain words and consonant gemination. 

NOTE: many Kamassian books have the same letter for the sounds g and ɣ. 

Long vowels in the UPA are marked by a dash but voluntary to use in Kamassian.

Stress is usually put on the first vowel or the last long vowel sometimes also on the first syllable. 

Kamassian has vowel harmony, the vowels e, i, ǝ and ə̂ are not included in vowel harmony. 


Plurals are created by adding the combinations: заҥ, зǝҥ, сеҥ or саҥ before the noun case ending. Alternatives you can use are и, йе, йи, or йӱ to signify a plural, both ways of making a plural are interchangeable and have no difference in meaning. Rarely a Turkic лар ending is also used. The S is usually more used after a consonant and Z after a vowel. a dual is marked by the ending зǝгей

There is a possible Locative ending of "gyn" or "gin" in Kamassian but in documented texts they were very rare, and some Kamassian books didn't even mention them. Usually the vowels used in cases are either "e, a, ə̂ or ǝ"

It is a small limitation that we don't know which words use which ending, thus use one freely, luckily all endings are very similar and would have been understandable to a native Kamassian speaker. But for the genitive , accusative, instrumental and ablative the possible amount of endings are much smaller.

Nominative жаға = river

Genetive жаған = river's

Accusative жағам = river (direct object)

Dative/lative жағаанǝ = river (to/into the river)

Locative жағаағөн = at/in/by/on the river

Ablative жағаағө = from the river

Instrumental жағаасе = with the river

Жағазаҥ = жаға´йе 'rivers' 

The genitive is sometimes used to express time, for example "нӱӱҷин " = in the evening 

Kamassian is an SOV language. 


ешши = child

ессеҥ = children

булан = moose

булаан = moose (genetive)


турам = my house

тураўий our house (2 people)

турааўа our house

тирал = your house 

тураалий = your house (2 people)

тураала your house (plural)

турат = his/her/its house

тураадӱй = their house (2 people)

тураадǝн = their house

All the nouns can be divided into three declensions, which depend on the ending of the word

dec 1: Vowel

dec 2: л, м, н, ӈ, р, ў , б, д, г

dec 3: п т к ш с

in the first dec, the locative ending can be:  ғөн гөн гǝн ғин ғон гӱн, and the ablative ғө´, гӱ´, ғо´, гǝ´, and instrumental  зǝ´, зе´, зи. The endings with ӱ and и are very rare.

Dative case in the first declination end in не, на or нӱ 


игем 'to be' in the present

Singular: Dual: Plural.

1p игем игеебӱй игǝбе

2p игeл игǝлӱй игǝле

3p игe игǝгӱ и´гeeйe´

past tense

Singular: Dual: Plural.

1p ибийем ибиибӱй иибиибе´

2p ибийел игилый иибииле´

3p иби и´бигӱ ииби

The ending "рак, раӄ оr араӄ" can be added to say something is "more" of something. 

ди урӽоораӄ = he(is) taller 

ертараӄ = earlier

To say "most" you can use the Russian loanword 'саамӱй' before the adjective or the word "баар" which can also mean "all". 

In recorded Kamass texts, the letter T was added if there existed a word in the genitive before a noun. Sometimes words like "his/her" were completely dropped and instead the letter T was alone put at the end of a word because it meant there was a genitive before.

nuuzan šəkət = tatar language/ language of tatar

šəkə  = language

Kamassian has 2 verb groups, conjunctive and subjective. These are almost the same except in the plural and dual forms. Intransitive verbs belong to the subjective and transitive to objective.

Consonant gradation

* t → д 

* пп → п 

* ш → ж 

*п → б 

*с → з 
 (K at the end of a word becomes - when conjugated)

ippek 'bread' ipen 'breads'.

The negative is made by adding a negative word 

(The present tense of the auxiliary verb is used with the negative form of the main verb: ман ем нере" I am not scared', тан елл шo ' 'you're not entering', ди ел шӱ he doesn't kick  ) 

The word ей appears with both the past tense and sometimes with the present tense: ман ей шобиям 'i did not come ', босту ей дə ӽамби 'himself he did not go: ей моольаам 'I couldn't',

Imperative forms are йи,ии and иге, examples: тан йи шо you are not coming!' ии дора´ 'Don't cry!', (ӄуроольиям'being angry'), иге бояарғу 'do not despise! )

иге  can also mean "is", and the word order usually determines which one is being ment, imperative comes before the verb and when used to mean "be" it comes after the verb.

(This example is taken from K.Donners book, with some changes done) 

The ending ma is also used to make a verb an adjective in a case like this:

ая ӄаийоома = the foor is closed

"ӄаийоолам" = to close

Deverbal nouns

Instrumental nouns have the ending (п)сан

Deverbal nouns end in (ǝ)ш

ǝм- = eat

амǝш = food

The endings на, нна, не or нǝ (after a vowel) and да, де or дǝ after a consonant. make a meaning that roughly can be compared to the English ending "-ing".

пааролди = surrounding

сӱнне қуза = entering person

You can also for a more general verb-adjective formation put the endings  ға, га or ге, when the adjective tells when something has happened in the past or a tool of instrument тьеемдəге ма´ = heated tent.

Denominal adjectives are made with the suffixes: й, и, ии, ий, ӱй, əй or ой (Works like the Finnish ending "lainen").  Though seems to be a grammatical element loaned from Russian.

Present tense first person singular can end in many endings

first class ending:

льам, льем, лиям, лийем, льом, гем, ғам мам, лам

second class

льам, лиям, лем, ньем, ни(й)ем, лам, ғам, гам, гем

third class

льем, ли(й)ем, ли(й)ом

some leave the й untyped, you can type it or not.

Actions which have been completed are expressed by the word ўа´(льом).

the word "to be" can be inserted into the end of a word to mean the act is continuing,

oraarleigem = i am crying (and still crying)

This was a dying element in Kamassian but was sometimes seen when it was documented.

The word "To Have"

There is not one word for "to have" but there are ways to say "to have"

the word "bos" means own (not to own), so for example man bos dju = my own land. However the word "bos" can also mean 'self'.

The word "naga" means doesn't exist or can be used to say don't have, or isn't.

man dju naga

i don't have land

In some documented texts the word mol- "to become, to can, to be able to" was used to mean have.

kanaʔ, ato mana boskəndəm amga moləj

"Go!, otherwise I will have little for myself!"

kanda aʔťǝlaʔ moguj, šona aʔťǝ-laʔ nagoguj!

You shall have a departure, but you shall not have an arrival! 

the word "to be" was also sometimes used to mean "to  have"

ige dărgit ťerǝm gibǝr pam enźǝt.

I have such a thing where to put my wood.'  

uražǝn šide nükket ibi.

Uraže had two wives  

These example texts are copied from Kamas Erasmus Plus InFUSE, eE-leaning course spring 2016 Gerson Klumpp, University of Tartu.

The word for "together"

In Kamassian when saying together there is a specified number of how many people are together. 

шидее/гу´ = two together

наағур/ғо = thee together

сумнаҥ/го = four together

There is also a separate word to say "together with" до´чи, but it can also mean just "with".

In one documented text the word "all in one place" was used to mean all together.

mal, ine, ular, tüžöj, bar oʔb ťogǝn, šidenǝn ajǝ karoma, šübiiʔ.

The cattle-horses, sheep, cows-alltogether (literally all in one place) entered after the corral gate had opened.

This example text is copied from Kamas Erasmus Plus InFUSE, eE-leaning course spring 2016 Gerson Klumpp, University of Tartu.

The word "to want"

In Kamassian the word mol-  was often used in texts to signify that you want something, it was also used to mean "have" or "become", but the conditional was also used sometimes.

(These are documented texts)

сьарданǝ молиям

"I want to play"

(literally: into play I become)

ҭумьо да қөс, сузуй самойлағанби´и. тьагаа то´бтооби. бейдǝ мола´ий шалғуй´ болдǝби´и 

A mouse and coal (and) a bubble went hunting. A river came towards them; they want to cross over, they broke off a straw.


Example of the Conditional being used to mean "want".

тааӈгу нье´бдəнзəлийем

i want to smoke tobacco

(Literally: tobacco i could/would pull)

Often though the word "to want" is already glued into the word itself.

тьабоонзǝ- = want to hold

-a is the questions ending, works similary to finnish ko/kö.

малала = can you?

The ending "zǝbi" is like english "ly" or can mean "like"

яӄшазǝби = goodly

аяӈзǝби = steppe like

In Kamassian the word "or/either" is an ending: -be or -we. for example: иинебе ҭӱжоибе = either a sheep or a cow

When saying "my name is" you don't say "ман ним" 'my name' but you say Мана каштəлиа´и 'i am called'

Мана каштəлиа´и клаўдьа = my name is Klaviya 'i am called Klavdya"

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