Western Saamic

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Western Saamic is the western branch of Saamic. It is further divided into Southern Saamic and Central Saamic.

Features distinguishing Western Saamic from Eastern Saamic include:

  • Development *š > *jh before k,t,n
  • Development of "prothetic stops" in long nasals (with the exception of Sea Saami dialects of North Saami)

One western feature has spread to the westernmost languages of Eastern Saamic (Inari Saami and Skolt Saami):

  • Assimilation of nasal + stop > geminated stop (except after an initial nasal)