|Ethnologue name:||Saami, Skolt|
|Country:||Finland, Norway, Russian Federation|
|Official in:||Finland (Inari)|
Skolt Saami is one of the five living East-Saamic languages.
The name "skolt" is derived from the Scandinavian "skalle" meaning "scull", however the Skolt Saami people themselves prefer to be referred to as "Eastern Saami" since "Skolt" is perceived to be more negative.
Skolt Saami is spoken on the mainland, as opposed to Kildin and Ter Saami which are peninsular languages. It is spoken primarily in Finland, but there are also small numbers of speakers in Russia and Norway. Since the Skolt Saami populations are distributed over these three countries and not all Skolt Saami acquire the language, Skolt Saami is considered a minority language which is threatened by extinction.
There are estimated to be about 330-340 speakers, with the majority of whom (about 300) living in Finland. There are about 30 Skolt Saami speakers in Russia and just 3 in Norway. Almost all of its speakers are bilingual.
Skolt-Saami can be split up into the following dialects:
- Paaččjokk – Peäccam – Mue´tǩǩ
- Njuõ´ttjäu´rr – Sââ´rvesjäu´rr.
Works on the language
Tim Feist. 2010. A Grammar of Skolt Saami. Ph.D. thesis, University of Manchester. https://www.escholar.manchester.ac.uk/uk-ac-man-scw:123128
survey articles on Skolt Saami linguistic structures:
- Skolt Saami phonology (de)
- Phrase structure in Skolt Saami
- Clause structure in Skolt Saami
- Skolt Saami vocabulary
- Color terms in Skolt Saami