Central Saamic

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Central Saamic constitutes the northern branch of Western Saamic. It is further divided into the western group (Pite Saami and Lule Saami) and North Saami.

Central Saamic may rather be defined by the absence of typical features of the other branches rather than own innovations.

It agrees with Southern Saamic in the following (western) features:

  • Development *š > *jh before k,t,n
  • Development of "prothetic stops" in long nasals (with the exception of Sea Saami dialects of North Saami)

It agrees with Eastern Saamic in the following features:

  • No split in the development of short stressed vowels according to the original openness or closeness of the syllable.
  • Loss of third syllable final vowels
  • Consonantal gradation is fully developed