Dena'ina (Tanaina), the Athabascan language of the Cook Inlet area, has four dialects -- on the Kenai Peninsula, in Upper Inlet area above Anchorage, and in coastal and inland areas on the west side of Cook Inlet. Dena'ina is the only Alaska Athabascan language to be spoken in a coastal environment, and it is the only Alaska Athabascan language spoken on both sides of the Alaska Range.

James Kari has done extensive work on the language since 1972, including his edition with Alan Boraas of the collected writings of Peter Kalifornsky in 1991.



Nda'ich' q'u t'int'a? 'How are you?'

Yagheli. 'I'm fine'




  • Alan Boraas' Dena'ina Language Guide, based on Joan Tenenbaum's 1978 Columbia University PhD dissertation, Morphology and Semantics of the Tanaina Verb. (The original dissertation is available from UMI Dissertation Services -- order no. 7613082.)
  • Olga Lovick's 2005 University of Cologne PhD dissertation, Agentivity and Participant Marking in Dena'ina Athabascan, describes the distribution of pronouns. [download]



Back to Top