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A language spoken by a few thousand people (I have seen both 4000 and 6000 quoted) in Russia, in the far east of Siberia. There is a Koryak National Okrug occupying the northern half of the Kamchatka Peninsula and adjacent mainland, with capital at Palana.

Koryak has a number of dialects, and the Alyutor and Kerek varieties may be regarded as distinct languages. Chavchuven is the dialect of the reindeer-herders, and Nymylan refers to the various dialects of the town-dwellers. There is uncertainty over whether all the dialects are mutually intelligible. Kerek is about to become extinct; the remaining few speakers are elderly. Alyutor has a few hundred older speakers.

It is a part of a small family called Chukotko-Kamchatkan, which also contains Chukchi (or Chukot), the language of the furthermost peninsula abutting Alaska. I've got a detailed grammar of Chukchi, which once I can study it enough to boil it down, I will node, and that will serve as a guide to Chukotko-Kamchadal. The language family has usually been thought to include the endangered Itelmen (or Kamchadal), but this may in fact been an isolate with strong Koryak influence.

A meaningless term still encountered is Palaeo-Siberian, grouping together a number of small languages including the Chukotko-Kamchadal, but there is no genetic unity to them. Some linguists have tried to find wider affinities in the Siberian isolates: Joseph Greenberg includes some of them in his Eurasiatic hypthesis.

Koryak was studied by Vladimir Bogoraz-Tan in the 1920s, who published under the auspices of Franz Boas's ethnographic studies for the American Museum of Natural History.

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