||953,000 in Estonia (1989 census). Population total all countries: 1,048,660. Ethnic population: 963,281 (1989 census).
||Also in Australia, Canada, Finland, Latvia, Russian Federation (Europe), Sweden, United Kingdom, United States.
||Tallinn (Reval), Tartu (Dorpat), Mulgi, Vôru (Werro), Seto (Setu). Dialects are grouped into three: Northeastern Coastal Estonian (between Tallinn and Narva), North Estonian (island, western, central, and eastern dialects), and South Estonian (Mulgi, Tartu, Vôru). Vôru, Setu (a subdialect of Vôru), and Island are clearly distinct from standard Estonian. All the other dialects are assimilated into standard Estonian. North and South Estonian may be separate languages.
||Official language. Estonian has remained the language of education, including universities. Those over 60 and under 20 speak little Russian [rus]. It is spoken less in rural areas and in southern areas. 75% to– 80% of the population in the northeast are Russian speakers. Those over 60 know some German [deu]. Most in the north speak Finnish [fin] for common topics.
||Fully developed. Bible: 1739–1995.
||Some linguistic influences from Russian [rus], German [deu], Swedish [swe], Latvian [lav], Lithuanian [lit], and Finnish [fin]. SVO; 14 cases: affixes indicate case of noun phrases; verb affixes mark person, number of subject, and agreement (obligatory); genitives, adjectives, numerals before noun heads; question word initial; 1 prefix maximum; 5–6 suffixes maximum; word order distinguishes given and new information; active and passive voice; 4 moods in both voices: indicative, imperative, conditional, oblique; 2 infinitives for all verbs; 4 tenses in both voices and all moods: present, past, perfect, pluperfect; 3 degrees of comparison: positive, comparative, superlative; V, CV, CVC, CVCCC, CVV, CVVC, VC, VCCC, VV, VVC, CCV, CCVV, CCVC, CCVCC, CCVVCC, CCVCCC; stress on first syllable; possible secondary stress on third syllable; nontonal. Christian.