[An offprint from: Proceedings of the Society of Research of the Amur Region, a Branch of the Amur Department of the Imperial Russian Geographical Society. Vol. 5, issue 2]. Vladivostok: Typ. of N.V. Remezov, 1896. 147 pp., including three folding leaves. 16,5x11,5 cm. Original publisher’s printed wrappers. Front wrapper with minor creases on the corners, otherwise a very good copy.
First separate edition. Very rare. First dictionary of the language of the small Far Eastern tribe of Orochs inhabiting the Tumnin River basin in the modern-day Khabarovsk Krai of Russia.
The dictionary was compiled by a Captain of the Amur Military District Headquarters, Sergey Leontovich (1862 –after 1911) during the 1894 expedition, organized ‘‘to the survey the Tumnin River Basin for agricultural, forestry and military prospects’’. As the author mentioned in the preface, the first Russian-Oroch dictionary by A. Protodiakonov (Kazan, 1888, 48 pp.) which he used during the trip, turned out to be entirely unhelpful, as it was ‘‘dedicated to the dialects of the Amur River region, and didn’t contain any notes on the grammar’’. This fact urged Leontovich to compile the special dictionary of the Oroch people from the Tumnin River basin - the main area of their settlement. The dictionary includes over 2000 words and is supplemented with the Notes on the grammar covering pronunciation, word formation, and main word classes; the folding leaves include tables of the forms of verbs, nouns, and pronouns, basic numbers, and most common phrases (‘‘catch some fish’’, ‘‘feed the dogs’’, ‘‘we are eating a bear’’, ‘‘hit the bear with a big stick’’, etc.).
‘‘According to the 2010 census there were 596 Orochs in Russia. Their language, Oroch, is on the verge of extinction’’ (Wikipedia). Sergey Leontovich graduated from the Poltava military gymnasium (1880), Alexandrovskoye military college in Moscow (1882), and Military Academy of the General Staff in Nikolayev (1891). He served in the Amur Military district (1892-94), Vladikavkaz (1894-97), Ochakov fort (1898-1900), Russian Turkestan (1900-02), and others.
Only one paper copy found in Worldcat (The Field Museum Library).