- Athabaskan languages
Infobox Language family
altname=Athabascan, Athapascan, Athapaskan
child2=Pacific Coast Athabaskan
Athabaskan or Athabascan (also Athapascan, Athapaskan, Athabasca Indians or Athapaskes) is the name of a large group of closely related indigenous peoples of
North America, located in two main Southern and Northern groups in western North America, and of their language family. The Athabaskan family is the second largest family in North America in terms of number of languages and the number of speakers, following the Uto-Aztecan family which extends into Mexico. In terms of territory, only the Algic language family covers a larger area.
The word "Athabaskan" is an anglicized version of the Woods Cree name for
Lake Athabasca("aðapaskāw", “ [where] there are plants one after another”) in Canada. [Bright, William (2004). "Native American Place Names of the United States". Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, pg. 52] The name was assigned by Albert Gallatinin his 1836 (written 1826) classification of the languages of North America. He acknowledged that the name for these related languages was entirely his own individual preference, writing:
:"I have designated them by the arbitrary denomination of Athabascas, which derived from the original name of the lake." (1836:116-7)
The 31 Northern Athabaskan languages are spoken throughout the interior of
Alaskaand the interior of northwestern Canadain the Yukonand Northwest Territoriesas well as in the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewanand Manitoba. Several Athabaskan languages are official languages in the Northwest Territories, including Dene Suline, Dogrib or Tlicho, Gwich’in, and Slavey.
The seven Pacific Coastal Athabaskan languages are spoken in southern
Oregonand northern California. Isolated from the northern and coastal languages, the six Southern Athabaskan languages, including the different Apachepeoples and Navajo, are spoken in the American Southwest and the northwestern part of Mexico. Eyakand Athabaskan together form a genetic grouping called "Athabaskan-Eyak". Tlingit is distantly related to this group to form the Na-Dené stock (also known as Athabaskan-Eyak-Tlingit).
The Athabaskan language family has three main geographic groupings: Northern, Pacific Coast, and Southern. There is discussion of whether the Pacific Coast languages actually forms a valid genetic grouping. The Northern group is particularly problematic. Due to the failure of the usual criteria of shared innovation and systematic phonetic correspondences to provide well-defined subgroupings, the Athabaskan family (especially the Northern languages) has been called a "cohesive complex" by
Michael Krauss(1973, 1982). Therefore, the "Stammbaumtheorie" model (family tree) of genetic classification may be inappropriate. The languages of the Southern branch are much more homogeneous and are the only clearly genetic subgrouping.
Below is an outline of the family showing only the major branches of the family. This outline follows mostly the classification of Keren Rice as seen in Goddard (1996) and Mithun (1999).
# Southern Alaska
# Central Alaska-Yukon
# Northwestern Canada
# Central British Columbia
# Pacific Coast Athabaskan
Branches 1-7 are the Northern Athabaskan (areal) grouping. Kwalhioqua-Tlatskanai (#7) has often been considered part of the Pacific Coast grouping, but a recent consideration by Krauss does not find it very similar to these languages.
A different classification by Jeff Leer is the following (Tuttle & Hargus 2004:72-74):
# Alaskan (Ahtna, Dena’ina, Deg Hit’an, Koyukon, Kolchan, Lower Tanana, Tanacross, Upper Tanana, Gwich’in, Han)
# Yukon (Tsetsaut, N. Tutchone, S. Tutchone, Tagish, Tahltan, Kaska, Sekani, Dunneza)
# British Columbia (Babine-Witsuwit’en, Dakelh, Chilcotin)
# Eastern (Dene Suline, Slavey, Dogrib)
# Southernly (Tsuut’ina, Apachean, Pacific Coast Athabaskan)
At this time, the details of the Athabaskan family tree should be regarded as tentative.
For detailed lists including languages, dialects, and subdialects, see the respective articles on the 3 major groups (that is,
Northern Athabaskan, Pacific Coast Athabaskan, Southern Athabaskan). Northern Athabaskan
* "Central Alaska – Yukon subgroup": 3.
Deg Xinag(also known as Deg Hit'an, Kaiyuhkhotana) : 4. Holikachuk (also known as Innoko): 5. Koyukon : 6. Kolchan(also known as Upper Kuskokwim): 7. Lower Tanana (also known as Tanana): 8. Tanacross: 9. Upper Tanana: 10. Southern Tutchone: 11. Northern Tutchone: 12. Gwich’in (also known as Kutchin) : 13. Hän (also known as Han)
* "Northwestern Canada subgroup": A. Tahltan-Tagish-Kaska:: 14. Tagish:: 15.
Tahltan:: 16. Kaska: 17. Sekani: 18. Dunneza(also known as Beaver): B. Slave-Hare (Southern and Northern Slavey):: 19. Slavey (also known as Slave):: 20. Mountain:: 21. Bearlake:: 22. Hare: 23. Dogrib: 24. Dene Suline (also known as Chipewyan, Dëne Sųłiné, Dene Soun’liné)
* "Tsetsaut subgroup": 25.
* "Central British Columbia subgroup": 26.
Babine-Witsuwit'en(also known as North Carrier): 27. Dakelh (also known as Carrier): 28. Chilcotin (also known as Tsilhqot’in): 29. Nicola (also known as Stuwix)
* "Sarsi subgroup": 30. Tsuut’ina (also known as Sarcee, Sarsi, Tsuu T’ina)
* "Kwalhioqua-Clatskanie subgroup": 31.
Kwalhioqua-Clatskanie(also known as Kwalhioqua-Tlatskanie) Pacific Coast Athabaskan Southern Athabaskan(also known as Apachean)
* "Plains Apache subgroup"
: 39. Plains Apache (also known as Kiowa-Apache)
List of the Athabaskan languages by their geographic locations.
Alaska: Ahtna, Deg Hit’an, Dena’ina, Gwich’in, Hän, Holikachuk, Kolchan, Koyukon, Lower Tanana, Tanacross, Tsetsaut, Upper Tanana
Yukon Territory: Gwich'in, Hän, Kaska, Mountain, Tagish, Northern Tutchone, Southern Tutchone, Upper Tanana
Northwest Territories: Bearlake, Dene Suline, Dogrib, Gwich’in, Hare, Mountain, Slavey
Nunavut: Dene Suline
British Columbia: Babine, Bearlake, Beaver, Chilcotin, Dakelh, Hare, Kaska, Mountain, Nicola, Sekani, Slavey, Tagish, Tahltan, Tsetsaut
Alberta: Beaver, Dene Suline, Slavey, Tsuut’ina
Saskatchewan: Dene Suline
Washington: Chilcotin, Kwalhioqua-Clatskanie (Willapa, Suwal), Nicola
Oregon: Applegate, Clatskanie, Galice, Rogue River (Chasta Costa, Euchre Creek, Tututni, Upper Coquille), Tolowa, Upper Umpqua
Northern California: Eel River, Hupa, Mattole-Bear River, Tolowa
Colorado: Jicarilla, Navajo
Arizona: Chiricahua, Navajo, Western Apache
New Mexico: Chiricahua, Mescalero, Jicarilla, Lipan, Navajo
Texas: Mescalero, Lipan
Oklahoma: Chiricahua, Jicarilla, Plains Apache
A recent reconstruction of proto-Athabaskan consists of 40 consonants (Cook 1981; Krauss & Golla 1981; Krauss & Leer 1981; Cook & Rice 1989), as detailed below:
* [http://www.mip.berkeley.edu/cilc/bibs/athapascan.html Athapascan Bibliography]
* [http://ling.ucsc.edu/Jorge/fernald.html Athabaskan Satellites & ASL Ion-Morphs]
* [http://www.uaf.edu/anlc/ Alaska Native Language Center]
* [http://www.yukoncollege.yk.ca/ynlc/ Yukon Native Language Center]
* [http://billabbie.com/calath/index.html California Athapascan]
* Campbell, Lyle. (1997). "American Indian languages: The historical linguistics of Native America". New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-509427-1.
* Cook, Eung-Do. (1981). Athabaskan linguistics: Proto-Athapaskan phonology. "Annual Review of Anthropology", "10", 253–273.
* Cook, Eung-Do. (1992). Athabaskan languages. In W. Bright (Eds.), "International encyclopedia of linguistics" (pp. 122–128). Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-505196-3.
* Cook, Eung-Do; & Rice, Keren. (1989). Introduction. In E.-D. Cook & K. Rice (Eds.), "Athapaskan linguistics: Current perspectives on a language family" (pp. 1–61). rends in linguistics, State-of-the-art reports (No. 15). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. ISBN 0-89925-282-6.
* Hoijer, Harry. (1938). The southern Athapaskan languages. "American Anthropologist", "40" (1), 75–87.
* Hoijer, Harry. (1956). The Chronology of the Athapaskan languages. "International Journal of American Linguistics", "22" (4), 219–232.
* Hoijer, Harry. (1963). The Athapaskan languages. In H. Hoijer (Ed.), "Studies in the Athapaskan languages" (pp. 1–29). Berkeley: University of California Press.
* Hoijer, Harry (Ed.). (1963). "Studies in the Athapaskan languages". University of California publications in linguistics (No. 29). Berkeley: University of California Press.
* Hoijer, Harry. (1971). The position of the Apachean languages in the Athpaskan stock. In K. H. Basso & M. E. Opler (Eds.), "Apachean culture history and ethnology" (pp. 3–6). Anthropological papers of the University of Arizona (No. 21). Tucson: University of Arizona Press.
* Hymes, Dell H. (1957). A note on Athapaskan glottochronology. "International Journal of American Linguistics", "23" (4), 291–297.
* Krauss, Michael E. (1964). The proto-Athapaskan-Eyak and the problem of Na-Dene, I: The phonology. "International Journal of American Linguistics", "30" (2), 118–131.
* Krauss, Michael E. (1965). The proto-Athapaskan-Eyak and the problem of Na-Dene, II: The morphology. "International Journal of American Linguistics", "31" (1), 18–28.
* Krauss, Michael E. (1968). Noun-classification systems in the Athapaskan, Eyak, Tlingit and Haida verbs. "International Journal of American Linguistics", "34" (3), 194–203.
* Krauss, Michael E. (1969). "On the classification in the Athapascan, Eyak, and the Tlingit verb". Baltimore: Waverly Press, Indiana University.
* Krauss, Michael E. (1973). Na-Dene. In T. A. Sebeok (Ed.), "Linguistics in North America" (pp. 903–978). Current trends in linguistics (Vol. 10). The Hague: Mouton. (Reprinted as Krauss 1976).
* Krauss, Michael E. (1976). Na-Dene. In T. A. Sebeok (Ed.), "Native languages of the Americas" (pp. 283–358). New York: Plenum. (Reprint of Krauss 1973).
* Krauss, Michael E. (1979). Na-Dene and Eskimo. In L. Campbell & M. Mithun (Eds.), "The languages of native America: Historical and comparative assessment". Austin: University of Texas Press.
* Krauss, Michael E. (1980). "On the history and use comparative Athapaskan linguistics". Fairbanks, AL: University of Alaska, Native Language Center.
* Krauss, Michael E. (1986). Edward Sapir and Athabaskan linguistics. In W. Cowan, M. Foster, & K. Koerner (Eds.), "New perspectives in language, culture, and personality" (pp. 147–190). Amsterdam: Benjamins.
* Krauss, Micahel E. (1987). "The name Athabaskan". In Peter L. Corey, ed, Faces, Voices & Dreams: A celebration of the centennial of the Sheldon Jackson Museum, Sitka, Alaska, 1888-1988, 105-08. Sitka, Alaska: Division of Alaska State Museums and the Friends of the Alaska State Museum.
* Krauss, Michael E.; & Golla, Victor. (1981). Northern Athapaskan languages. In J. Helm (Ed.), "Subarctic" (pp. 67–85). Handbook of North American Indians (Vol. 6). Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution.
* Krauss, Michael E.; & Leer, Jeff. (1981). "Athabaskan, Eyak, and Tlingit sonorants". Alaska Native Language Center research papers (No. 5). Fairbanks, AK: University of Alaska, Alaska Native Language Center.
* Leer, Jeff. (1979). "Proto-Athabaskan verb stem variation I: Phonology". Alaska Native Language Center research papers (No. 1). Fairbanks, AK: Alaska Native Language Center.
* Leer, Jeff. (1982). "Navajo and comparative Athabaskan stem list". Fairbanks, AK: University of Alaska, Alaska Native Language Center.
* Mithun, Marianne. (1999). "The languages of Native North America". Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-23228-7 (hbk); ISBN 0-521-29875-X.
* Rice, Keren. (200). "Morpheme order and semantic scope: Word formation in the Athapaskan verb". Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
* Sapir, Edward. (1915). The Na-Dene languages, a preliminary report. "American Anthropologist", "17" (3), 534–558.
* Sapir, Edward. (1916). "Time perspective in aboriginal American culture: A study in method". Anthropology series (No. 13), memoirs of the Canadian Geological Survey 90. Ottawa: Government Printing Bureau.
* Sapir, Edward. (1931). The concept of phonetic law as tested in primitive languages by Leonard Bloomfield. In S. A. Rice (Ed.), "Methods in social science: A case book" (pp. 297–306). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
* Sapir, Edward. (1936). Linguistic evidence suggestive of the northern origin of the Navaho. "American Anthropologist", "38" (2), 224–235.
* Saville-Troike, Muriel. (1985). On variable data and phonetic law: A case from Sapir's Athabaskan correspondences. "International Journal of American Linguistics", "51" (4), 572–574.
* Sturtevant, William C. (Ed.). (1978–present). "Handbook of North American Indians" (Vol. 1-20). Washington, D. C.: Smithsonian Institution. (Vols. 1–3, 16, 18–20 not yet published).
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