E. MacLean: North Slope Inupiaq lexicon

North Slope Inupiaq is one of four different dialects types that exist in 2 main groups: Northern (North Slope and Malimiut) and Seward Peninsula (Qawiaraq and Wales). On the North Slope, Wainwright is the only place where most of the children now speak Inupiaq, though many do at least to some extent at Anaktuvuk Pass, Nuiqsut, and to a lesser degree at Barrow.

During the 1970s, Leona Okakok and Larry Kaplan at the University of Alaska Fairbanks began the work under the direction of Michael Krauss. Edna MacLean, a native speaker of North Slope Inupiaq has been working on this dictionary since that time. Others that have contributed and worked on the dictionary include James Nageak, Emma Bodfish, Muriel Hopson, Marie Kasak, Mary Ann Warden, Wesley Aiken, Molly Itta, Warren Matumeak, Leo Kinneeveauk, Doris Hugo, Claudia Tuzroyluke and Martha Aiken.

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MacLean completed the North Slope Inupiaq dictionary during spring 2010. This long awaited dictionary with over 10,000 entries is the definitive dictionary for the North Slope Inupiaq language.

MacLean worked closely with North Slope-Barrow elders verifying and refining definitions and confirming the terminology of objects to be illustrated in the dictionary. Illustrations, shown as appendices in the dictionary depict area references, location indicators, ocean currents, wind terminology, etc. There are 29 appendices in all. MacLean worked with an editor, proofreading the entire dictionary. The main entry pages number 658 with an average per page number of 18 entries (12,370 stem entries). The postbase entry pages number 435, with an average per page number of 3 entries with word illustrations (1260 postbase entries).

The North Slope Borough's Inupiaq History, Language, and Culture Commission (IHLC) is funding: the publication and distribution of the hardcopies; the publication of digital copies and the development of a dictionary app.

The Michael E. Krauss Alaska Native Language Archive retains the copyright to publish, print and distribute the dictionary to educational institutions.