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Alaska aleut center cognates language native paper research

This language family comprises the Eskimo and Aleut branches, which are believed to have diverged no more than 4,000 years ago. Useful general references are Bergsland 1986, Krauss 1973 and 1995, and Woodbury 1984. The Eskimo branch has two divisions. Inuit displays a great deal of dialectal variation, but the gradual change from one dialect to another makes it difficult to identify separate languages.

Inuit is referred to by a number of different names, of which the prin-cipal ones are Inupiaq in Alaska, Inuktitut in Eastern Canada, and Kalaallisut or Greenlandic in Greenland.

  • Promiscuous number marking and periphrastic possessive constructions in Haida, Eyak, and Aleut;
  • Aleut phonology is quite unremarkable, compared to the interesting phenomena exhibited by most varieties of Eskimo;
  • The Yupik languages are characterized phonologically by retention of Proto-Eskimo shwa, and by prosodically-based processes of vowel lengthening e.

The other Eskimo branch, Yupik, includes at least three separate languages. Central Siberian Yupik is spoken on St. The divergent and nearly extinct language of Sirenik on the Chukchi Peninsula appears, from its conservative phonology, to be either another subbranch coordinate with the rest of Yupik, or a third division of Eskimo.

Naukan Siberian Yupik appears in some respects to be intermediate between Central Siberian and Central Alaskan Yupik and may be considered a separate language. There is a degree of mutual intelligibility among the Yupik languages, especially Alutiiq and Central Yupik, but virtually none between Yupik and Inuit.

There are about 140,000 Eskimos and Aleuts, of whom about 90,000 speak an E[skimo-]A[leut] language. More than half of this number are in Greenland—where, as in much of eastern Canada, the Inuit language remains fully viable. In Alaska and western Canada, Inuit is not spoken by younger generations, and is threatened with extinction. Aleut and Alutiiq are similarly endangered. Of the Yupik languages, only Siberian and Central Yupik have significant numbers of younger speakers.

Several distant relationships have been proposed for EA, although none has been proved. Among these are Indo-European, Chukotko-Kamchatkan, and Uralic; the last enjoys the greatest current support. Eskimo languages show variation primarily in their phonology and lexicon, rather than in syntax. Aleut phonology is quite unremarkable, compared to the interesting phenomena exhibited by most varieties of Eskimo. Click to view larger Map 1.

The Proto-Eskimo voiced continuants have been largely lost between single vowels in the daughter languages except in Sirenikyielding contrastively long vowels and diphthongs. Inuit has undergone further consonant lenition and deletion: Related synchronic processes in Inuit are found both in East Greenlandic and in Bering Strait dialects; in the latter, these are related areally to syllable-adjustment rules in nearby Yupik languages.

Assimilation in consonant clusters increases from west to east, severely limiting possible clusters in some dialects. Some Inuit geminate consonants may be historical; but others are morphologically conditioned, alternating with single consonants. Consonant metathesis appears sporadically alaska aleut center cognates language native paper research Inuit, and is systematic in some eastern and far western dialects.

In many dialects, diphthongs tend to lose their distinctness, and to merge with other diphthongs or long vowels. The Yupik languages are characterized phonologically by retention of Proto-Eskimo shwa, and by prosodically-based processes of vowel lengthening e.

Human Biology

Siberian Yupik lacks gemination, but lengthens initial syllables to preserve stem stress [ku: Siberian Yupik maintains many velars which are deleted in other languages: Yupik languages permit more varied clusters than Inuit, namely clusters of fricative plus stop. No Eskimo language permits consonant clusters initially or finally in the word.

Alutiiq consonants may be fortis or lenis, depending on complex rules of syllable adjustment, which may also shorten long syllables. Voiced fricatives have tense and lax allophones in Alutiiq; the former may be devoiced, and the latter may be deleted. Bergsland 1989, 1997, Fortescue 1983, 1984, Jacobson 1995. EA languages are polysynthetic; their remarkably long words are often equivalent to entire sentences in more analytic languages.

A typical word consists of a nominal or verbal stem which is expanded by a number of derivational suffixes, with an inflectional ending. All nouns and verbs are marked for singular, dual, or plural number. Gender plays no role in the grammar, and is not reflected even in pronouns.

Eskimo languages have an ergative case system with two primary syntactic cases, absolutive and relative ergative ; the latter also acts as a genitive, marking possessor nouns. The possessum is inflected for number, as well alaska aleut center cognates language native paper research for the person and number of the possessor.

Eskimo languages have six oblique cases: The Yupik languages have no separate ablative; this function is covered by the instrumental. Aleut has a different ergative system and is somewhat more analytic than Eskimo: Verbs are either transitive or intransitive; the former are inflected for person and number of both subject and object, and the latter for subject only.

Eskimo also permits an intransitive construction, the antipassive, in which a noun in the instrumental case acts semantically, but not syntactically, like an object. Third person forms distinguish reflexive from non-reflexive, marking both possessed nouns and subordinate verbs as referring or not to the subject. Complex anaphoric processes in Aleut distinguish it radically from Eskimo.

All EA languages have an elaborate system of demonstratives. Vocabulary Lexically, Aleut and the Yupik languages contain significant borrowings, for the most part recent: Inuit has much less borrowing, and influence on EA from the adjacent Athabaskan languages has been very slight.

Aleut Language (Unangan, Aleutian, Atkan)

All but 4 speakers can speak English well. Many school texts have been produced. The dialect is Beringov Bering, Atkan. All speakers of Beringov were 60 years old and older as of 1995. Aleut is taught in school until the fourth grade. Most ethnic group members in Russia speak Russian as mother tongue. Speakers have neutral to mild support toward Aleut. Vigorous language use except in Labrador, where less than half are speakers. Dialects border on being different languages.

Vigorous language use in Greenland. Caribou Eskimo dialect may need separate literature.

  1. The dual parallel volume format of the Naukan dictionary points the way toward a final dictionary design.
  2. The other lists Naukan words in modified Cyrillic, translating them to Russian, and has a Russian to Naukan index Figure 5 Each volume has introductions and explanations in English or Russian as appropriate. It is somewhat harder with the American orthography.
  3. Google Scholar Taff, A.

In Commer and farther west, parent and grandparent generations speak the language. Vigorous language use of Caribou and Netsilik. Most speakers are over 30. Younger speakers often prefer English. As of 1990, most speakers of Seward Peninsula were over 40. There are three dialects, which are quite different. People are very bilingual. All ages along the central coast and up the Kuskokwim River.

In Alaska as of 1998, children are being raised speaking the language, but are beginning to show signs of preferring English. Sirenik Yupik is a separate language. In Siberia only older people speak the language. Older people have active command of the language; those 35 to 50 have passive knowledge; children know what they have learned in school.

Resettlement has weakened language use, but recent contacts with Alaska have increased the prestige. People are mildly to strongly supportive toward Central Siberian Yupik. Dialects are Chugach, Koniag. Most speakers are middleaged or older. The youngest are in the late twenties at the tip of the Kenai Peninsula and the fifties or sixties on Kodiak Island. It became extinct in 1997. Eskimo residents of Sirenik village now speak Central Siberian Yupik.