Saami, Skolt


  • Language: Saami, Skolt
  • Alternate names: Skolt Lappish, Russian Lapp, "Lapp", Saame, Same, Lopar, Kolta, Koltta
  • Language code: sms
  • Language family: Uralic, Sami, Eastern
  • Number of speakers: 320
  • Script:


Skolt Saami is spoken by appr. 300 native speakers mainly in the municipality of Inari in Finland. There are few speakers of Skolt Saami also in the Russian Federation in Murmansk area.

After World War II the majority of Skolt Saamis were settled in Finland after their traditional dwelling areas were ceded to the Soviet Union. Skolt Saami has two main dialect groups

  1. the Northern consisting of Neiden dialect in Norway (extinct) and the dialects of Paac*c*jokk (Paatsjoki), and Pechenga and
  2. the Southern with the dialects of Suõ´nnjel (Suonikylä, southern Pechenga) and Njuõ´ttjäu´rr-Sââ´rvesjäu´rr (Notozero-Girvasozero).

The neighbouring Sami languages are North and Inari Saami, also spoken in Inari and Akkala? and Kildin Saami in the east. In Inari Finnish is the language with the most speakers today. Also many ethnic Skolt Saamis of the younger generation in Finland are monolinguals in Finnish.

The Verb

Skolt Sami verbs conjugate for four grammatical persons:

Skolt Sami has 5 grammatical moods:

Skolt Sami verbs conjugate for three grammatical numbers:

Skolt Sami has 2 simple tenses:

and 2 compound tenses:

Skolt Sami verbs have 6 nominal forms:

Skolt Sami, like Finnish, the other Sámi? languages and Estonian, has a negative verb. In Skolt Sami, the negative verb conjugates according to mood (indicative, imperative and optative), person (1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th) and number (singular, dual and plural).

Sample verb: kuullâd to hear

Present Past
Sg.1 kuulâm ku´llem
Sg.2 kuulak ku´llik*
Sg.3 kooll kuuli
Pl.1 kuullâp kuulim ~ kuulin
Pl.2 kuullve´ted kuulid
Pl.3 ko´lle ~ ko´lla ku´lle
Indefinite kuulât ku´lles*