Saami1 @ CASTL

In addition to our dedication to theory, CASTL is also committed to careful and responsible language description. This includes work on Western Europe’s most endangered language group - found in our own backyard2 - Saami. Our work includes the following projects:

Davvisámegiel mánáid giellaovdáneapmi (DASAGO): North Sami child language acquisition

This project focuses on syntactic and phonological aspects of North Sami child language.

Mávsulasj báhkogirjje Lule Saami Spoken Dictionary Pilot Project

The purpose of this project is to develop a publicly available online electronic “sound” dictionary of Lule Saami.

Network for Saami Documentation and (Re)vitalization

The purpose of this project is to enhance Saami language research, documentation, maintenance and (re)vitalization by keying these directly to one another. The aims are to build a collaborative network of specialists and speech community members; develop efficient, coordinated projects; and establish new methods, tools and protocols for these endangered languages.

Saami Intonation

The purpose of this project is to develop an auto-segmental metrical analysis of North Saami, along with a TOBI-style transcription system.

Mávsulasj Spoken Lule Saami Documentation Project

This is a multi-faceted, multi-year project aimed at comprehensive documentation and description of the Lule Saami language that will meet the needs of researchers, educators, learners and the language community.

Från kust til kyst – Áhpegáttest áhpegáddáj Pite Saami Project

CASTL members are also participating in a multidisciplinary project concentrating on the Pite Saami areas in Norway and Sweden.

map of Sábme


1There are three ways of spelling the name of this language in English - “Sámi”, “Saami” and “Sami”. The first contains an accent indicating that the vowel is long. It is a borrowing from North Saami. This spelling is not very common in English, which normally does not allow the use of accents. The second contains a sequence of two vowels indicating that the vowel is long. It is a borrowing from Finnish. The third does not indicate a long vowel (an important characteristic of the Saami languages). It is a borrowing from North Germanic (i.e. Norwegian/Swedish).
2This is a common English expression that might be translated into Norwegian as "som finnes rett utenfor stuedøra vår"
3"Sábme" is the Lule Saami name for this area, whereas "Sápmi" is the North Saami name.
4Saami has also been spoken farther south in Finland and Russia than is shown on this map.
5Note that "Sea Saami" is claimed in some literature to have once been a separate language. This language is now extinct, and the term "Sea Saami" is often used today to indicate particular dialects of North Saami.

Contact information

CASTL, Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences and Education, NO-9037 Tromsø, Norway · Phone: + 47 77 64 54 08 · E-mail: peter This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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