Linguistic Puzzle #8

The puzzle was adapted from the book “Problems from Linguistics Olympiads, 1965-1975”, MCNMO - Moscow, 2007. The editors are Roman Senkov and Tomonori Nagano.

Like the Chavchu group of the Chukchi and the Koryak, the Aliutor people were mostly nomadic reindeer-breeders which is exactly what their self-designation, ramkyken, means. The earliest reports of settled off-shore Aliutors date from the end of the 17th century. They called themselves elutel'u. S. Krasheninnikov, who explored Kamchatka in 1755, considered the Aliutors to be a separate ethnic group. Various documents from the 18th century also give separate mention to the Koryaks, Aliutors and Chukchis. The Aliutor language is a member of the Chukchi-Kamchatka group of the Paleo-Asiatic or Paleo-Siberian languages. Genetically, it is connected to the Chukchi, Koryak, Kerek and Itelmen languages. In the 1930s Aliutor was still unanimously considered one of the four southern dialects of the Koryak language, but since the 1950s, it has been regarded as a separate language. Morphologically, the language most resembles Chukchi. In terms of structure Aliutor is an incorporating or polysynthetic language.

Information about the Alyutor language and people:

Koryaks. Photo credit:

The puzzle is purely logical and no prior knowledge of Alyutor language is required to solve it. Please do not search for the translations. The solution to this puzzle will be published in the next Ad Astra issue. Good luck!

Below are several Alyutor (or Alutor) words and their translations to English:

kujŋətenək — next to a drinking glass;
raralqək — on the roof;
raraγiŋəŋ — into the basement;
aŋqakin — from the sea;
aŋqan — the sea;
keŋən — a bear;
keŋəlqəkin — from a bear;
raralqən — a roof;
kujŋəŋ — into a drinking glass;
keŋək — in a bear;
aŋqatenək — on a shore;

Question. How would you translate to Alyutor the following phrases: a basement, in a house, a drinking glass, from a roof, to a bear?

Please send us your solutions to, use "linguistic puzzle Ad Astra 2023, issue #1" as the subject line.

★ Solution of the Linguistic Puzzle 2022, issue #1 (Ad Astra 2022/1):