Mator language

Mator or Motor was a Uralic language belonging to the group of Samoyedic languages, extinct since the 1840s. It was spoken in the northern region of the Sayan Mountains in Siberia, close to the Mongolian north border. The speakers of Mator lived in a wide area from the eastern parts of the Minusinsk District (okrug) along the Yenisei River to the region of Lake Baikal. Three dialects of Mator were recorded: Mator proper as well as Taygi and Karagas (occasionally portrayed as separate languages, but their differences are few).

Native toRussia
  • Mator
  • Taygi
  • Karagas
Language codes
ISO 639-3mtm

Today the term "Mator people" is simply an alternate name of the Koibal, one of the five territorial sub-division groups of the Khakas. (Note that the name "Koibal" likewise derives from the related Samoyedic Koibal language.)

Mator has been frequently grouped together with Selkup and Kamassian as "South Samoyedic". This is however a grouping by geographical area, and not considered to constitute an actual sub-branch of the Samoyedic languages.


  1. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Mator-Taigi-Karagas". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.

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