Public talk by Professor Perry Gilmore
On March 6 at UAF's Murie Auditorum, Dr. Perry Gilmore presented her 2016 book Kisisi (Our Language), about how two five-year-old boys, one American and one Kenyan, invented their own language, based on Swahili and understood only by the two of them. Dr. Gilmore's study of her son and his friend forty years ago in post-colonial Kenya provides a fascinating example of children's creative ability to learn and even invent language.
A sociolinguist and educational anthropologist at the University of Arizona, Dr. Gilmore is also an affiliate faculty member at the Alaska Native Language Center at Professor Emerita at UAF.
UAF student builds language-learning tool for Inupiaq
Students at the University of Alaska Fairbanks and beyond are learning the Inupiaq language with help from a website created by a fellow student. Qaġġun Zibell, whose English name is Chelsey, has built a website to help students absorb basic Inupiaq. Zibell’s work was completed as part of a summer graduate fellowship through UAF eLearning & Distance Education.
Studies in Inuit Linguistics: In Honor of Michael Fortescue
The ANLC has published Studies in Inuit Linguistics: In Honor of Michael Fortescue, which is a collection of articles celebrating Fortescue's many years of research on Inuit languages and dialects. The authors, in order of appearance, are: Jerrold Sadock, Louis-Jacques Dorais, Marc-Antoine Mahieu, Naja Trondhjem, Alana Johns, Elke Nowak, Anna Berge, Nicole Tersis, Katti Frederiksen, and Lawrence D. Kaplan. The editors are Kaplan and Berge. The price is $30. Sales information is here.
- Affix Clusters and the Lexicon in Kalaallisut, by Jerrold Sadock
- Delete It or Not: The Morphophonology of Affixes in Nunavik Inuktitut, by Louis-Jacques Dorais
- Description Morphophonologique de l’inukitut du Nunavik, by Marc-Antoine Mahieu
- Verbal Aspects in West Greenlandic — Lexical and Grammatical Aspects, by Naja Trondhjem
- Anaphoric Arguments in Unangax̂ and Eastern Canadian Inuktitut, by Alana Johns
- The Times of Inuktitut, by Elke Nowak
- Is the Participial an Independent or a Dependent Mood? by Anna Berge
- Histoire de Revenants — Groenland Oriental, by Nicole Tersis
- Kalaallit Inuusuttut Kalaallisut Oqaaseqatigiilioriaasiat, by Katti Frederiksen
- Bering Strait: Crossroads of Inuit and Yupik Languages, by Lawrence D. Kaplan
Koyukon Athabaskan Dictionary has been reprinted by ANLC
The Koyukon Athabaskan Dictionary, out of print for a decade, has been brought back by the Alaska Native Language Center. It was originally published in 2000.
The KAD, containing many illustrations by Jules Jette and photographs, has a comprehensive foreword explaining the structure and orthography of the language, which is native to a broad expanse of Alaska west of Fairbanks. The casebound volume has more than 1,200 pages.
The book sells for $66 and can be bought now at the ANLC office in the Brooks Building. Orders may be placed by phone (907) 474-7874, fax (907) 474-6586, or email email@example.com. (More information)
Edward J. Vajda, an eminent linguist at Western Washington University, describes the dictionary:
“This dictionary arose from a unique collaboration across times and generations. It began with the gifted Jesuit linguist Jules Jetté (1864-1927), whose pioneering work among Native Alaskan communities during the early 20th century laid the groundwork for the fundamental documentation of Koyukon. Beginning in the 1970s Eliza Jones of the Alaska Native Language Center, native Koyukon speaker, modern linguist, and the foremost authority on the language, synthesized Jetté’s meticulous notes, combining and augmenting them with from her own research. The result is one of the most authoritative and exhaustive dictionaries available for any indigenous language of North America. The book’s editor-in-chief — veteran Athabaskanist James Kari — provided etymological notes to most of the entries, as well as grammatical appendixes and glossaries that make Koyukon’s complicated language structures nicely accessible to learners and professional linguists alike. Brimming with insights both new and old, the inclusion of vintage photographs and numerous line drawings with original ethnographic commentary by Jetté himself makes this volume a work of art in addition to being a tremendous scholarly achievement.”
Town formerly known as Barrow already in court over new name
Lisa Demer's story in the Alaska Dispatch News addresses issues that Utqiaġvik, the town formerly known as Barrow, faces as it changes its name. https://www.adn.com/alaska-news/rural-alaska/2016/12/01/the-town-formerly-known-as-barrow-already-in-court-over-new-name-of-utqiagvik/
The story has a link to a minute of discussion in which the two Inupiaq names are spoken.
Voting information written and spoken in Alaska Native languages
The Alaska Division of Elections maintains a language-assistance page with links to ballot information written and spoken in Yup'ik, Siberian Yupik, Inupiaq, Koyukon, and Gwich'in. http://www.elections.alaska.gov/la.php
Shem Pete's Alaska, a staple of the state's history, has been revised and reprinted
Shem Pete (1896-1989), the colorful raconteur from Susitna Station, left a rich legacy of knowledge about the Upper Cook Inlet Dena'ina world. The 1987 and 2003 editions of Shem Pete's Alaska contributed much to Dena'ina cultural identity and to public appreciation of the Dena'ina place-names network. With editorial refinements spanning more than three decades, this 2016 edition of Shem Pete's Alaska will remain the essential reference work on the Dena'ina people. The book, written by James Kari and James A. Fall, contains many maps and photos (some in color), as well as a thorough index. The book costs $39.95. It can be ordered by email or phone, and it can be bought in our office in the Brooks Building. http://uaf.edu/anlc/publications/detail/index.xml?id=235
Unangam Tunuu book looks at language of Pribilofs
Professor Anna Berge's new book -- Pribilof Anĝaĝigan Tunungin / The Way We Talk in the Pribilofs -- is an in-depth introduction to learning one of the less-well documented varieties of Unangam Tunuu. Unangam Tunuu is the language of the people indigenous to the Aleutian Islands; it is highly endangered, but speaker communities are found in the Aleutian and Pribilof Islands of Alaska and the Commander Islands of Eastern Russia. The book comes with three discs of recordings for the lessons.
New: Guidebook to the Tlingit language
A new book focusing on the Alaska Native language of much of Southeast Alaska is being published by X̱'unei Lance Twitchell, the Goldbelt Heritage Center, and the Alaska Native Language Center. The book -- Haa Wsineix̱ Haa Yoo X̱ 'atángi / Our Language Saved Us: A Guidebook for Learning the Tlingit Language -- focuses on verbs. It can be ordered through the ANLC.
Alaska Native languages website offers introduction
A new website to introduce learners to Alaska Native Languages is alaskanativelanguages.org, a educational resource funded by the Alaska Humanities Forum. The site is for learners and teachers of Alaska Native languages and anyone who is curious.
'Never Alone' game features Iñupiaq story
"Kisima Inŋitchuŋa" ("Never Alone"), a video game based on an Iñupiaq legend, invites players to guide an Iñupiaq girl and a playful arctic fox as they try to save her village from a long-lasting blizzard. The game has been described as a way to pass old stories to a generation attuned to electronic communications.
Ronald Brower, who teaches Iñupiaq at the Alaska Native Language Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, narrates the game's trailer.
This video game is available through Amazon and Barnes and Noble websites.
New oral history of the Lower Yukon
Nunamta Ellamta-llu Ayuqucia / What Our Land and World Are Like is a collaboration between community members in Kotlik, Emmonak, Alakanuk, and Nunam Iqua who have worked together with the Calista Elders Council to record the history of their land and lives. Oral historian Alice Rearden and anthropologist Ann Fienup-Riordan produced this book, which is richly illustrated with maps and historical and current-day photos. The 656-page paperback is $35 and can be ordered from the ANLC.
Gwich'in site focuses on caribou
Vadzaih.com, a fascinating new site, examines the role of caribou in the Gwich'in culture.
Elders in western Alaska have compiled "A Guide to the Ethnobotany of the Yukon-Kuskokwim Region." It describes many plant species and provides the Yup'ik names and the meaning of the name. Also shown are the English and scientific names, and many entries are illustrated with photos. Chapters are devoted to trees and shrubs, edible berries, mouse foods, other edible plants, medicinals, poisonous plants, grasses and sedges, ferns, mosses, miscellaneous plants, algae, lichens, and fungi. Download the PDF.
Mount McKinley officially becomes Denali
Denali is the new official name of the continent's tallest peak, still called by some Mount McKinley. Shem Pete's Alaska, a book by James Kari and James Fall published in 2003 and to be republished in 2016 by the University of Alaska Press, has a three-page section, "Names for Denali in Alaska Native Languages and the Denali Name Change of 2015." [download]
Indigenous Peoples and Languages of Alaska [map]
A new edition of the groundbreaking map showing the indigenous language regions of Alaska—and related languages of neighboring areas of Canada and Russia—is now available. Native villages now are identified in the local language as well as in English. It is the first revision in nearly 30 years. The map, generated with geographic information system (GIS) technology, is the joint product of the Alaska Native Language Center and UAA’s Institute of Social and Economic Research. This work updates the map originally compiled in 1974 by former ANLC Director Michael Krauss and last updated in 1982. [Buy]
[Download a smaller, free version suitable for PowerPoint and classroom/office presentations]
The Talking Alaska blog provides reflections on Alaska's Native languages.
UAF's Applied Linguistics program and the Lower Kuskokwim and Lower Yukon School Districts have launched a new site, Piciryaramta Elicungcallra, about language immersion and programming.
New Iñupiaq-English dictionary
Edna MacLean's new Iñupiaq-to-English dictionary is available in the Alaska Native Language Center.
About the ANLC
The Alaska Native Language Center was established in 1972 by state legislation as a center for the documentation and cultivation of the state's 20 Native languages. [Mission statement]
Contact the ANLC
Information and book orders: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mailing address: PO Box 757680, Fairbanks, AK 99775
Street address: 1736 Tanana Drive, Fairbanks, AK 99775
Phone: 907-474-7874 | Fax 907-474-6586