Komi-Permyak language

Komi-Permyak language (перем коми кыв /ˈperem ˈkomi kɨv/[3] or коми-пермяцкӧй кыв /ˈkomi perˈmʲatskəj kɨv/) is one of two regional varieties of the pluricentrical Komi language, the other variety being Komi-Zyrian.

перем коми кыв
Native toRussia
RegionKomi-Permyak Okrug
Native speakers
63,000 (2010 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3koi

Komi is a Uralic language closely related to Udmurt.

The Komi-Permyak language, spoken in Perm Krai of Russia and written using the Komi Cyrillic alphabet, was co-official with Russian in the Komi Okrug of the Perm Krai.


The original name of the Komi-Permyak language is коми кыв "Komi language", identical with the native name of the Komi-Zyrian language.

In the 1920s, the soviet authorities introduced the new name for the Komi language in Perm Region as коми-пермяцкий язык, combining the native name of the language with the Russian one. The new name was transliterated in Komi as коми-пермяцкöй кыв 'Komi-Permyak language'. In this way the local language was nominally separated from the Komi-Zyrian language, that officially received the original name коми кыв. The Komis of Region Perm had to officially use the new name, even though it has negative connotations for the speakers, continuing in their colloquial speech to use exclusively the original name of their language as коми кыв.

Only in the early 2000s (decade) has started a controversial process of replacing the offensive official name by a more correct one. The term перем коми кыв 'Permian Komi language' was proposed and it is used nowadays (alongside the old term) in local mass-media, in scientific papers and in the Komi-Permyak Wikipedia.


All of the Komi-Permyak dialects are easily intelligible with one another and to some extent with the Komi-Zyrian dialects.

The Komi-Permyak dialects might be divided geographically into Northern and Southern groups, and phonemically into /l/ and /v/ groups:[4]

1. Northern

  • /l/ type: лым /lɨm/ "snow", вӧл /vɘl/ "a horse", вӧлтӧг /vɘltɘg/ "without a horse", вӧлӧн /vɘlɘn/ "with a horse, on a horse"

2. Southern

  • /v/ type: вым /vɨm/, вӧв /vɘv/, вӧвтӧг /vɘvtɘg/, вӧвӧн /vɘvɘn/
  • Southern /l/ type: лым /lɨm/, вӧл /vɘl/, вӧлтӧг /vɘltɘg/, вӧлӧн /vɘlɘn/
    • On
    • Nerdva

Earlier there was a southern group too, in the Obva river basin, but now it is nearly extinct. Its only remaining member, the Nerdva dialect, is usually considered together with the central group, which in this way became "southern".

The central (new southern) and northern groups of Komi-Permyak are spoken in Komi Okrug of Perm Krai, where the language was standardized in the 1920s. The modern standard is based on Kudymkar dialect of the central group, but many elements of northern dialects were included as well, so that the "literary language" has significant differences in its morphological system from the "main" dialect.

The central dialects, spoken in the Ińva river basin, differ considerably from the other Komi-Permyak dialects due to the general shift of etymological /l/ to /v/, then to /w/, and finally to the disappearance of the consonant, which has triggered significant changes in morphology.

The differences between the Kudymkar and Uliś Ińva dialects are mainly in accentuation: the Uliś Ińva has a phonological stress (the Öń too), whereas the Kudymkar dialect (like as Ńerdva) has a morphological one. The Ńerdva dialect retains the etymological /l/. The same can be said about the Öń dialect (recently extinct), that had connections with the eastern Permian.[5]

The northern group of the Permian dialects (upon Kösva, Kama and Lup rivers) was under a strong Zyrian influence on all the levels. The Köć and Kös dialects are closely related with some Syktyv dialects of Zyrian, whereas the Lup dialect for a long time was in tenuous connections with the Upper Ezhva dialect.

The Komi-Permyak standard language refers only to the central and northern groups of the Komi-Permyak dialects. They can be called as proper Permian dialects. The other two groups are marginal.

An only relic of the eastern Permian is the Yaźva dialect, ca. 200 speakers of the ca. 900 ethnical Komis in Krasnovishersky District of Perm Krai. In the early 2000s (decade) it was standardized by authority of the krai. The dialect has archaic system of vowels (including /ö/, /ü/ and /ʌ/), while its accentuation is similar to Uliś Ińva's and its lexical system likes the Northern Permian one.

The Western Permian group is presented by another marginal dialect, Źuźdin (ca. 1000 person living in Kirov Oblast near the border of Komi Okrug).


In the Komi-Permyak standard language there are the same 26 main consonants and 7 vowels as in Komi-Zyrian.


Komi-Permyak's modern consonant system includes 26 native ones, and the additional consonants /ts/, /f/, /x/ in Russian loanwords. In traditional speech the "foreign sounds" were replaced with respectively /t͡ɕ/, /p/, and /k/, respectively.

Consonant phonemes of Permian
Labial Dental Post-
Palatal Velar
Nasal m n ɲ
Plosive voiceless p t c k
voiced b d ɟ ɡ
Affricate voiceless t͡s1 t͡ʃ t͡ɕ
voiced d͡ʒ d͡ʑ
Fricative voiceless f1 s ʃ ɕ x1
voiced v z ʒ ʑ
Trill r
Approximant central j
lateral l ʎ
  1. Only in Russian loanwords.


The Komi-Permyak vowel system can be considered as being three-dimensional, where vowels are characterised by three features: front and back, rounded and unrounded and vowel height.

Komi-Permyak does not distinguish between long and short vowels and does not have vowel harmony. There are no diphthongs; when two vowels come together, which occurs at some morpheme boundaries, each vowel retains its individual sound.

Front Central Back
Close i ɨ u
Mid e ə o
Open a

Writing system

The both regional standards of the Komi language have an identical alphabet, introduced in 1938. The alphabet (анбур) includes all the Russian letters plus two additional graphemes: і and ӧ.

The Permian Komi alphabet
А аБ бВ вГ гД дЕ еЁ ё
Ж жЗ зИ иІ іЙ йК кЛ л
М мН нО оӦ ӧП пР рС с
Т тУ уФ фХ хЦ цЧ чШ ш
Щ щЪ ъЫ ыЬ ьЭ эЮ юЯ я

Komi alphabet (Коми анбур)

UppercaseLowercaseTransliterationIPALetter name
Ддd[d]; as palatal, [ɟ]дэ
Ееe[je]; [ʲe], [e] after C except [t, ɟ, s, z, n, l]е
Ёёë[jo]; [ʲo]: [o] after [c, ɟ, ɕ, ʑ, ɲ, ʎ]ё
Ззz[z]; as palatal [ʑ]зэ
Ииi[i], [ʲi](небыт) и "(soft) i"
Ііï[i] after [t, d, s, z, n, l]чорыт и "hard i"
Ййj[j]дженыт и
Ллl[ɫ]; as palatal [ʎ]эл
Ннn[n]; as palatal [ɲ]эн
Ссs[s]; as palatal [ɕ]эс
Ттt[t]; as palatal [c]тэ
Щщšč[ɕ], [ɕː]ща
Ъъ -чорыт пас "hard sign"
Ьь'[ʲ]небыт пас "soft sign"
Ююju[ju]; [ʲu], [u] after [c, ɟ, ɕ, ʑ, ɲ, ʎ]ю
Яяja[jɑ]; [ʲa], [a] after [c, ɟ, ɕ, ʑ, ɲ, ʎ]я


Komi is an agglutinating language. It uses affixes to express possession, to specify mode, time, and so on.


All Permian Komi nouns are declined for number, case and possession, adding special suffixes to word stem.


In Permian Komi there are two grammatical numbers: singular and plural. The singular is the unmarked form of a word, and the plural is obtained by inflecting the singular.

The plural marker of nouns is /ez/ (orthographically эз or ез) immediately following a word stem before any case or other affixes. The last consonant of the stem before the plural suffix has to be duplicated.

Singular Plural English
керку керкуэз /kerkuez/ building – buildings
морт морттэз /morttez/ human – humans
нянь няннез /ɲaɲɲez/ bread – breads
вӧв вӧввез /vəvvez/ horse – horses
джыдж джыджжез /d͡ʒɨd͡ʒd͡ʒez/ martlet – martlets
кай кайез /kajjez/ bird – birds

The plural suffix has also a reduced variant (a "weak form") /е/ (orth. э or е), that is used combining with some weak forms of possessive suffixes, e.g. киэт 'your (Sg.) hands ' versa киэз 'hands'.


The Permian Komi possessive suffixes are added to the end of nouns either before or after a case suffix depending on case. The three suffixes of singular possession have in addition to their main forms the weak variants used combining with a weak form of plural suffix, weak forms of some cases or forming the suffixes of plural possession.

Person Suffix Examples Translation
1 ö керкуö my house
м1 керкуам in my house
2 ыт керкуыт your (Sg.) house
т1 керкусит out of your (Sg.) house
3 ыс керкуыс his house, the house
с1 керкуэс his houses, the houses
1 ным керкуным 2 our house
2 ныт керкуныт 2 your house
3 ныс керкуныс 2 their house
  1. The weak variants of the suffix
  2. The element ны is a marker of plural possession

The possessive suffix of 3Sg is widely used also as a definite article. In colloquial speech it is the main meaning of this suffix.


It is assumed, that the Permian Komi standard language has eighteen noun cases: ten grammatical cases and eight locative cases. The disputes continue about the status of some monosyllabic postpositions and a set of dialectal reduced forms of postpositions that can be treated as case suffixes too. The maximal amount of all possible cases reaches 30.

The case suffixes are added to the end of nouns either before or after a possessive suffix depending on case. Some cases have weak variants of their suffixes combining with the weak variants of possessive suffixes.

Permian Komi cases
Grammatical cases
accusative-öшынwindow (as an object)
öcмортöca man (as an object)
ööшынсöthe window (as an object)
genitive лöнöшынлöнof a window / window's
ablative лiсьöшынлісь from a window
dative лööшынлöto a window
instrumental öнöшынöнby means of a window
наöшыннасby means of the window
comitative кöтöшынкöтwith a window
abessive тöгöшынтöгwithout a window
consecutive лaöшынлаto get a window
preclusive сяöшынсяexcept a window; then a window
Locative cases
inessiveынöшынынin a window
аöшынасin the window
illativeööшынöinto a window
аöшынасinto the window
elativeисьöшынісьout of a window
сиöшынсисout of the window
approximativeлaньöшынлaньtowards a window
ланяöшынланясtowards the window
egressiveсяньöшынсяньstarting from a window
сяняöшынсянясstarting from the window
prolativeöтöшынöтalong a window
öттяöшынöттясalong the window
terminative 1öдзöшынöдз as far as a window
öдззаöшынöдззасas far as the window
terminative 2виöшынвиup to a window


Used attributively, Permian Komi adjectives precede the nouns they modify, and are not declined: басöк нывка 'beautiful girl' → басöк нывкаэслö 'to the beautiful girls'.

However most adjectives can also be used as nouns and sometimes as appositions, in which case they are declined: e.g. ыджыт ("big") → ыджыттэзісь ("out of the bigs"). The declensional paradigma is the same as by nouns, except the main accusative form, that became by adjectives suffix ö instead of öс or a null morpheme by nouns: адззи басöк нывкаöс 'I have found a beautiful girl' → адззи басöкö 'I have found a beautiful [girl]'.

Being predicative an adjective agrees with the subject for number. The plural marker of the predicative is öсь: керкуыс ыджыт 'the house is big ' → керкуэc ыджытöсь 'the houses are big'.

The adjective in Permian Komi have five degrees of comparison

Degree Affix Example Translation
Basic - том young
Comparative -жык томжык younger
Superlative мед- медтом the youngest
Sative -кодь томкодь pretty young
Excessive -öв томöв too young
Diminutive -ыник / -ик томыник quite a young

The comparative and the superlative compare the intensity of an object's quality with the other object's one. The sative, excessive and diminutive compare the intensity of the quality with its basic degree.


The numerals in Komi-Permyak [6]

Figures Cardinal numerals Ordinal numerals
1 ӧтік медодзза
2 кык мöдік
3 куим куимöт
4 нёль нёльöт
5 вит витöт
6 квать кватьöт
7 сизим сизимöт
8 кыкьямыс кыкьямысöт
9 ӧкмыс ӧкмысöт
10 дас дасöт
11 дасӧтік дасӧтікöт
12 даскык даскыкöт
13 даскуим даскуимöт
14 даснёль даснёльöт
15 дасвит дасвитöт
16 дасквать даскватьöт
17 дассизим дассизимöт
18 даскыкьямыс даскыкьямысöт
19 дасӧкмыс дасӧкмысöт
20 кыкдас кыкдасöт
21 кыкдас ӧтік кыкдас ӧтікöт
30 куимдас куимдасöт
40 нёльдас нёльдасöт
50 витдас витдасöт
60 кватьдас кватьдасöт
70 сизимдас сизимдасöт
80 кыкьямысдас кыкьямысдасöт
90 ӧкмысдас ӧкмысдасöт
100 сё сёöт
1000 сюрс сюрсöт
1985 сюрс öкмыссё
кыкьямысдас вит
сюрс öкмыссё
кыкьямысдас витöт

Personal pronouns

Komi personal pronouns inflect in all the cases. The language makes no distinction between he, she and it. The nominative case of personal pronouns are listed in the following table:

Personal pronouns
P. KomiEnglish


Permian Komi verbs show tense (present, future, past), mood (indicative, imperative, evidential, optative, conditional and conjunctive), voice and aspect.

The verbal stem is a 2ed person singular of imperative mode: мун 'go', кер 'make'. All the other forms are formed by adding suffixes to the stem.

Some verbal stems having a consonant cluster at the end become expanded with a so-called "voyelle de soutien" ы which is dropped before the suffixes beginning with a vowel: кывзы = кывз+ы 'hear', видчы 'swear' = видч+ы, e. g. кывзыны 'to hear', кывзытöн 'by hearing' but кывзі 'I heard', кывзö 'he hears', кывзан 'you hear'. Thus, these stems with a consonant cluster have their full und reduced variants.

Permian infinitives are marked with -ны added to a stem as in мyнны 'to go', кывзыны 'hear'

All Permian Komi verbs are conjugated in the same way, except for the defective verb вöвны 'to be'.

Negation is mostly expressed by a conjugated negator preceding the stem, e. g. эг мун 'I didn't go'.

The indicative mood has three tenses: present, future and past. The main marker of the present and future tense is а (negat. о), the marker of the past tense is и (negat. э).

Here is conjugation of verb керны 'make, do':

кераог керкераог керкериэг кер
керанон керкеранон керкеринэн кер
керöоз кер
керасоз керкерисэз кер
1st керам(ö)ог(ö) керöкерам(ö)ог(ö) керöкерим(ö)эг(ö) керö
2nd керат(ö)од(ö) керöкерат(ö)од(ö) керöкерит(ö)эд(ö) керö
3rd керöныоз(ö) керöкерасöоз(ö) керöкерисöэз(ö) керö
  1. Present and future forms differ just in affirm. 3st person (ö / öны to ас / асö).
  2. Future and past forms differ only with tense marker (the future -а / о- to the past -и / э-).
  3. In present affirmative forms the marker of 3st person is , which at the same time indicates the tense.

Some phrases

Permian Komi English
Дыр ов!
Дыр олö!
Hello! (Sg)
Hello! (Pl)
Олат-вöлат! How do you do!
Бур асыв! Good morning!
Бур лун! Good afternoon!
Бур рыт! Good evening!
Аттьö! Thank you!
Нем понда! Not at all!
Эн жö вид! Excuse me!
Кыдз тэнö шуöны? What's your name?
Менö шуöны Öньö. My name is Andrew.
Инглишöн кужан-он? Do you speak English?
Ог! No, I don't!
Кöр локтан? When are you coming?
Ашын. Tomorrow.
Мый керан? What are you doing?
Муна босьтасьны. I'm going to the shops.
Тэ кытöн? Where are you?
Ме öши. I've lost my way.
Мый дона? How much it is?
Вит руб. Five rubles.
Адззисьлытöдз! Good-bye!
Талун кресення? Is it Sunday today?
Ну! Yeah!
Мыйнö! Yes!
Ог тöд! I don't know!
Менам абу сьöм. I have no money.
Сэтчин пос абу. There is no bridge there.
Но! O.K.


  • Аксёнова, О. П. (2009). Коми-пермяцкие географические термины и их функционирование в топонимии Верхнего Прикамья. Кудымкар: ПНЦ УрО РАН. ISBN 978-5-904524-35-7
  • Баталова, Р. М. (1982). Ареальные исследования по восточным финно-угорским языкам (коми языки). Москва: Изд-во «Наука».
  • Баталова, Р. М. (1975). Коми-пермяцкая диалектология. Москва: Изд-во «Наука».
  • Баталова, Р. М., Кривощекова-Гантман А. С. (1985). Коми-пермяцко-русский словарь. – М.: Русский язык.
  • Кривощекова-Гантман, А. С. (2006). Собрание сочинений в 2 томах. Пермь: Перм. гос. пед. ун-т. ISBN 5-85218-289-3; ISBN 5-85218-288-5.
  • Лобанова, А. С., Шляхова, С. С. (2010). Коми-пермяцкий язык конца ХХ – начала ХХІ веков: стилистические аспекты. Пермь: Перм. гос. пед. ун-т. ISBN 978-5-85218-475-7
  • Лыткин В. И. и др. (1962). Коми-пермяцкий язык: Введение, фонетика, лексика и морфология / под ред. и при соавт. проф. В. И. Лыткина. Кудымкар: Коми-перм. кн. изд-во.
  • Пономарева, Л. Г. (2002). Фонетика и морфология мысовско-лупьинского диалекта коми-пермяцкого языка: дис. ... канд. филол. наук. Ижевск.
  • Попова, О. А. (2010). Коми-пермяцкий фразеологический словарь. Пермь: Перм. гос. пед. ун-т. ISBN 978-5-85218-489-4
  • Тудвасева З.К. и др. (2008). Русско-коми-пермяцкий разговорник. Кудымкар: Коми-Перм. кн. изд-во. ISBN 978-5-87901-124-1
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  1. Владение языками населением Российской Федерации (in Russian)
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Komi-Permyak". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. Финно-угорская электронная библиотека (in Russian)
  4. Коми-пермяцкий язык / Под ред. проф. В. И. Лыткина. — Кудымкар: Коми-пермяцкое книжное издательство, 1962. — С. 27—34.
  5. Raisa M. Batalova (1990). Унифицированное описание диалектов уральских языков. Оньковский диалект коми-пермяцкого языка. Hamburg.
  6. Коми-пермяцкий язык: Введение, фонетика, лексика и морфология / под ред. и при соавт. проф. В. И. Лыткина. Кудымкар: Коми-перм. кн. изд-во, 1962.
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