Dené (Athabaskan) Languages Conference

Berkeley, California
July 10-12, 2009

All of the conference events including the conference dinner will be held in the Golub Home Room at the International House, located at 2299 Piedmont Ave, Berkeley, CA 94720. The International House is about two blocks away from the Bancroft Hotel and about the same distance from the Women's Faculty Club.


The schedule of presentations can be downloaded here. [pdf] (updated July 7, 2009)

Call for Abstracts

Deadline: April 1, 2009 (The call for papers is now close.

Abstracts are invited for 30-minute presentations in all areas of Dené/Athabaskan linguistics, language documentation, language teaching, language policy, and language revitalization. Presentations addressing the themes of the conference are particularly welcome.

Sessions / Themes

General Session
Papers on any topic related to Dené/Athabaskan languages and linguistics. Especially encouraged are presentations focusing on the theme "Information Technology and Language Documentation," which will explore how emerging digital tools and methodologies can be used to further the goals of community language programs. The meeting will include a workshop on digital archiving geared towards community language documenters. In addition to individual presentations, proposals for group or panel discussions are also welcome.

Special Session A: Athabaskan Origins
Recent scholarship has found evidence suggesting that Dene languages may be related to the Yeniseian languages of Siberia. The primary aim of this session is to stimulate critical discussion of these proposals. Papers addressing other topics in the history and development of the Dené languages are invited as well, including those drawing on evidence from fields such as archaeology, genetics, and demography.

Invited Speakers

  • Yuri Berezkin (Kunstkamera, St. Petersburg)
  • Bernard Comrie (Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig)
  • John Ives (University of Alberta)
  • James Kari (Alaska Native Language Center)
  • Jeff Leer (Alaska Native Language Center)
  • Johanna Nichols (University of California, Berkeley)
  • Edward Vajda (Western Washington University)

Special Session B: Toponyms
A second special session will focus on the structure, history, and cultural significance of placenames in Dene languages. This session seeks to broaden the empirical scope of comparative work in this area and to foster discussion among researchers and community groups interested in documenting toponymic knowledge.

Conference Registration

Conference registration is $30 for elders and students, and $75 for others, payable on-site. One-day registration is $15 for elders and students, and $40 for everyone else. We are unable to accept credit cards for registration fees.


Hotel rooms for the conference are reserved at the Bancroft Hotel in Berkeley for the nights of July 9, 10, 11, and 12. The reduced rate of $129 per night is available for bookings made before May 9 June 9. When calling to make your booking, please refer to the "Athabaskan Languages Conference" group. Please note that the conference rate is only available for reservations made by phone, not through the website.


For more information contact conference organizers:
Amy Campbell, or
Lindsey Newbold

2009 Linguistics Institute


As in previous years, the Alaska Native Language Center will publish selected papers from the conference in a proceedings volume. Relevant papers not presented at the conference will also be considered for inclusion in this volume. Papers will generally be no more than 15 pages. More information regarding the proceedings will be available prior to the conference.