The Uralic languages are a family of about 20 related languages spoken by circa 20 million people in eastern and northern Europe and in northwestern Asia. The best known members belong to the Finno-Ugric subfamily; the other subfamily is called Samoyedic. Merritt Ruhlen (A Guide to the World's Languages, Stanford UP, 1991) adds the Palaeosiberian language, Yukaghir as coordinate with Samoyedic and Finno-Ugric. There is some debate about a possible relationship between the family as a whole and the Altaic languages; a few scholars also consider the Uralic languages to be related to the Indo-European languages, see also Nostratic language.
Some characteristic features of these languages are: