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Dena'ina

From Academic Kids

Dena段na (also Tanaina) is the Athabaskan language of the Cook Inlet area of Alaska, with four dialects located:

  1. Kenai Peninsula southcentral Alaska
  2. Upper Cook Inlet north of Anchorage, Alaska
  3. Coastal west side of the Cook Inlet
  4. Inland areas of the west side of the Cook Inlet

Dena段na can also refer to the tribe, the people of which spoke the language.

Of the total Tanaina population of about 900 people, only 75-95 members still speak Dena段na. 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.

Contents

merge from Tanaina Athabascan

Tanaina Athabascan is a language spoken by a group of Athabaskan people located in Eklutna, Cook Inlet and the Kenai Peninsula of Alaska. The ancestral territory of the Tanaina surrounds Cook Inlet, including the present-day location of Anchorage, Alaska. Nondalton on Lake Clark and Lime Village on the Stony River are also current and ancestral regions of Dena'ina

Sounds

Unlike many Athabaskan languages, Dena段na is not a tonal language.

Consonants

The 35 consonants of Dena段na:

   Bilabial  Labio-dental Alveolar Post-alveolar Velar Uvular  Glottal 
central lateral
Stop unaspirated        
aspirated          
ejective        
Affricate unaspirated          
aspirated          
ejective          
Nasal              
Fricative voiceless    
voiced    
Approximant                

Vowels

The 4 vowels of Dena段na:

  Front Central Back
High (lower)  
Mid    
Low    

Bibliography

  • Mithun, Marianne. (1999). The languages of Native North America. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-23228-7 (hbk); ISBN 0-521-29875-X.
  • Tenenbaum, Joan. (1978). Morphology and semantics of the Tanaina verb. (Doctoral dissertation, Columbia University).
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