ižoran keeli
Native toRussia
Ethnicity1,143 Izhorians
Native speakers
76 (2020 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3izh
Distribution of Ingrian and Votic at the beginning of the 20th century[2][3]
Ingrian is classified as Severely Endangered by the UNESCO Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger (2010)
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.
Ingrian and Votic villages at the beginning of the 21st century[2][3]

Ingrian (inkeroin keeli Soikkola [ˈiŋɡ̊e̞roi̯ŋ ˈke̝ːlʲi]), also called Izhorian (ižoran keeli Soikkola [ˈiʒ̥o̞rɑŋ ˈke̝ːlʲi] Ala-Laukaa [ˈiʒo̞rəŋ ˈkeːlʲ]), is a Finnic language spoken by the (mainly Orthodox) Izhorians of Ingria. It has approximately 70 native speakers left, all of whom are elderly.[4][5]

The Ingrian language should be distinguished from the Ingrian dialect of the Finnish language, which became the majority language of Ingria in the 17th century with the influx of Lutheran Finnish immigrants; their descendants, the Ingrian Finns, are often referred to as Ingrians. The immigration of Lutheran Finns was promoted by Swedish authorities, who gained the area in 1617 from Russia, as the local population was (and remained) Orthodox.


Ingrian is classified, together with Finnish, Karelian (including Livvi), Ludic and Veps, in the Northern Finnic branch of the Uralic languages.


In 1932–1937, a Latin-based orthography for the Ingrian language existed, taught in schools of the Soikino Peninsula and the area around the mouth of the Luga River.[6] Several textbooks were published, including in 1936 a grammar of the language. However, in 1937 the Izhorian written language was abolished and mass repressions of the peasantry began.[6]

Alphabet (1932)

A a Ä ä E e F f H h I i J j K k
L l M m N n O o Ö ö P p R r S s
T t U u V v Y y B b G g D d Z z


Alphabet (1936)

The order of the 1936 alphabet is similar to the Russian Cyrillic alphabet.

A a Ä ä B b V v G g D d E e Ƶ ƶ
Z z I i J j K k L l M m N n O o
Ö ö P p R r S s T t U u Y y F f
H h C c Ç ç Ş ş ь

Alphabet (2005–present)

The order of the current alphabet matches the Finnish alphabet.

A a B b C c D d E e F f G g H h
I i J j K k L l M m N n O o P p
R r S s Š š T t U u V v Y y Z z
Ž ž Ä ä Ö ö


Four dialects groups of Ingrian have been attested, two of which are probably extinct by now:[8][9]

A fifth dialect may have once been spoken on the Karelian Isthmus in northernmost Ingria, and may have been a substrate of local dialects of southeastern Finnish.[8]


Main article: Ingrian grammar

Like other Uralic languages, Ingrian is a highly agglutinative language. Ingrian inflection is exclusively performed using inflectional suffixes, with prefixes being only used in derivation.

Ingrian nouns and adjectives are inflected for number (singular and plural) and case. Ingrian nominals distinguish between twelve cases, with a thirteenth (the comitative) only being present in nouns. Like Finnish, Ingrian has two cases used for the direct object: the nominative-genitive (used in telic constructions) and the partitive (used in atelic constructions). Ingrian adjectives often have a separate comparative form, but lack a morphologically distinct superlative.

Ingrian distinguishes between three persons. There is no distinction in gender, but there is an animacy distinction in interrogative pronouns.

Ingrian verbs feature four moods: indicative, conditional, imperative and the now rare potential. Verbs are inflected for three persons, two numbers and a special impersonal form for each of the moods, although the imperative lacks a first person form. The indicative has both present and past forms. Negation in Ingrian is expressed by means of a negative verb that inflects by person and has separate imperative forms.


Main article: Ingrian phonology


The Ingrian language has 8 vowels:

Front Back
unrounded rounded unrounded rounded
Close i /i/ y /y/ u /u/
Mid e /e/ ö /ø/ o /o/
Open ä /æ/ a /ɑ/

Ingrian vowels can be phonologically long and short. Furthermore, these vowels can combine into a total of 14 diphthongs.


The Ingrian language has 22 consonant sounds:

Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Plosive voiceless p /p/ t /t/ k /k/
voiced b /b/ d /d/ g /g/
Affricate ts /t͡s/ c /t͡ʃ/
Fricative voiceless f /f/ s /s/ š /ʃ/ h /h/, /x/
voiced z /z/ ž /ʒ/
Nasal m /m/ n /n/ (n /ŋ/)
Approximant v /ʋ/ l /l/ j /j/
Rhotic r /r/

The Soikkola dialect has a three-way distinction of consonant length (/t/, /tˑ/, /tː/). Both the long and halflong geminates are shown double in writing (⟨tt⟩). Other dialects only differentiate between long (/tː/) and short (/t/) consonants.


Primary stress in Ingrian by rule comes on the first syllable, while the secondary stresses come on every further uneven syllable, with the exception of a final syllable.

puu ("wood") is realized as /ˈpuː/
kana ("chicken") is realized as /ˈkɑnɑ/
orava ("squirrel") is realized as /ˈorɑʋɑ/
cirkkulaiset ("sparrows") is realised as /ˈt͡ʃirkːuˌlɑi̯set/


The Ingrian language has several morphophonological processes.

Vowel harmony is the process that the affixes attached to a lemma may change depending on the stressed vowel of the word. This means that if the word is stressed on a back vowel, the affix would contain a back vowel as well, while if the word's stress lies on a front vowel, the affix would naturally contain a front vowel. Thus, if the stress of a word lies on an "a", "o" or "u", the possible affix vowels would be "a", "o" or "u", while if the stress of a word lies on an "ä", "ö" or "y", the possible affix vowels to this word would then be "ä", "ö" or "y":

nappi (button, nominativa); nappia (button, partitiva)
näppi (pinch, nominativa); näppiä (pinch, partitiva)

The vowels "e" and "i" are neutral, that is to say that they can be used together with both types of vowels.


  1. ^ "Росстат — Всероссийская перепись населения 2020". Retrieved 3 January 2023.
  2. ^ a b Rantanen, Timo; Tolvanen, Harri; Roose, Meeli; Ylikoski, Jussi; Vesakoski, Outi (8 June 2022). "Best practices for spatial language data harmonization, sharing and map creation—A case study of Uralic". PLOS ONE. 17 (6): e0269648. Bibcode:2022PLoSO..1769648R. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0269648. PMC 9176854. PMID 35675367.
  3. ^ a b Rantanen, Timo, Vesakoski, Outi, Ylikoski, Jussi, & Tolvanen, Harri. (2021). Geographical database of the Uralic languages (v1.0) [Data set]. Zenodo.
  4. ^ "Ingrian language, alphabet and pronunciation". Retrieved 5 January 2023.
  5. ^ "Росстат — Всероссийская перепись населения 2020". Retrieved 3 January 2023.
  6. ^ a b Kurs, Ott (1994). Ingria: The broken landbridge between Estonia and Finland. GeoJournal 33.1, 107–113.
  7. ^ Duubof V. S., Lensu J. J. ja Junus V. (1932). Ensikirja ja lukukirja: inkeroisia oppikoteja vart (PDF). Leningrad: Valtion kustannusliike kirja. pp. 89 (вкладка).
  8. ^ a b Viitso, Tiit-Rein (1998). "Fennic". In Abondolo, Daniel (ed.). Uralic languages. Routledge. pp. 98–99.
  9. ^ Kuznetsova, Natalia; Markus, Elena; Mulinov, Mehmed (2015), "Finnic minorities of Ingria: The current sociolinguistic situation and its background", in Marten, H.; Rießler, M.; Saarikivi, J.; et al. (eds.), Cultural and linguistic minorities in the Russian Federation and the European Union, Multilingual Education, vol. 13, Berlin: Springer, pp. 151–152, ISBN 978-3-319-10454-6, retrieved 25 March 2015