The Veps Language


Vepsän keĺ in Veps, вепсский язык (Vepsski yazyk, the Veps language) in Russian, vepsän kieli in Finnish, vepsa keel in Estonian. The 19th-century Swedish-language works used the linguonym Tschudiska språk. The 1897 Census groups the Veps language and the Votian language together as “the Chude speech.” Oyat Veps also have the linguonym ĺüďi- (pagišta ĺüďikš “to speak Veps”).

View of Pitkyaranta
General Characteristics

First attempts to create a Veps writing system were undertaken in the early 20th century. In 1913, a small Russian-Veps dictionary was published in St. Petersburg (Russian-Chude Dictionary with Some Grammar Instructions. St. Petersburg, 1913). It was intended for teachers working in Veps villages. A writing system for the Veps language was created in 1931 using the Latin alphabet with diacritics and supplemented with special letters. This alphabet was virtually the same as similar alphabets designed for the overwhelming majority of new alphabets for languages of peoples in the USSR. At that time, Veps was used as a language of instruction in elementary schools in the Leningrad region, while Karelian schools used literary Finnish.

Interactive atlas of indigenous peoples of the North, Siberia and Far East