|Spoken in:||Alaska (Aleutian and Pribilof Islands), Kamchatka Krai (Commander Islands)|
|Total speakers:||305 in 1995|
|Note: This page may contain IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. Alaska ( Аляска Alyaska) is a state in the United States of America, in the northwest of the North American continent The Aleutian Islands (possibly from Chukchi aliat, " Island " are a chain of more than 300 small volcanic islands forming a Volcanic The Pribilof Islands (often called the Fur Seal Islands, Russian: Kotovi) are a group of four Volcanic islands part of the US state Kamchatka Krai (Камча́тский край is a federal subject of Russia. Commander Islands or Komandorski Islands (Командо́рские острова́ Komandorskiye ostrova) are a group of treeless Russian Islands List of language familiesA language family is a group of Languages related by descent from a common ancestor called the Proto-language of that family Eskimo-Aleut is a Language family native to Greenland, the Canadian Arctic, Alaska, and parts of Siberia. ISO 639-1 is the first part of the ISO 639 international-standard language-code family ISO 639-2 is the second part of the ISO 639 standard, which lists codes for the representation of the names of languages ISO 639 -3 (ISO 639-32007 is an international standard for Language codes The standard describes three‐letter codes for identifying languages In Computing, Unicode is an Industry standard allowing Computers to consistently represent and manipulate text expressed in most of the world's|
Aleut (Unangam Tunuu) is a language of the Eskimo-Aleut language family. Eskimo-Aleut is a Language family native to Greenland, the Canadian Arctic, Alaska, and parts of Siberia. List of language familiesA language family is a group of Languages related by descent from a common ancestor called the Proto-language of that family It is the tongue of the Aleut (Unangax̂) people living in the Aleutian Islands, Pribilof Islands, and Commander Islands. The Aleuts ( self-denomination from Aleut language allíthuh 'community' older or regional self-denomination Unangax̂, Unangan or The Aleutian Islands (possibly from Chukchi aliat, " Island " are a chain of more than 300 small volcanic islands forming a Volcanic The Pribilof Islands (often called the Fur Seal Islands, Russian: Kotovi) are a group of four Volcanic islands part of the US state Commander Islands or Komandorski Islands (Командо́рские острова́ Komandorskiye ostrova) are a group of treeless Russian Islands In 1995 there were 305 speakers of Aleut. Year 1995 ( MCMXCV) was a Common year starting on Sunday. Events of 1995
Aleut is alone with the Eskimo languages (Yupik and Inuit languages) in the Eskimo-Aleut group. The Yupik languages are the several distinct languages of the several Yupik (Юпик peoples of western and southcentral Alaska and northeastern Siberia The Inuit language is traditionally spoken across the North American Arctic and to some extent in the Subarctic in Labrador. The main dialect groupings are Eastern Aleut, Atkan, and Attuan.
Within the Eastern group are the dialects of Unalaska, Belkofski, Akutan, the Pribilof Islands, Kashega and Nikolski. Unalaska ( Nawan-Alaxsxa in Aleut) is an Island in the Fox Islands group of the Aleutian Islands in the U Akutan Island ( Akutanax̂ in Aleut) is an Island in the Fox Islands group of the eastern Aleutian Islands in the U The Pribilof Islands (often called the Fur Seal Islands, Russian: Kotovi) are a group of four Volcanic islands part of the US state The Pribilof dialect boasts more living speakers than any other dialect of Aleut.
The Atkan grouping comprises the dialects of Atka and Bering Island. Bering Island (о́стров Бе́ринга is located off the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Bering Sea.
Attuan, now extinct, was a distinct dialect showing influence from both Atkan and Eastern Aleut. Attu ( Atan in Aleut) is the westernmost and largest Island in the Near Islands group of the Aleutian Islands of Copper Island (or Mednyy) was settled by Attuans, and Copper Island Aleut is a heavily creolized form of Attuan. Copper Island is a local name given to the northern part of the Keweenaw Peninsula (projecting northeastward into Lake Superior at the western end of the Upper Ironically, today Copper Island Aleut is spoken only on Bering Island; Copper Islanders were evacuated to Bering Island in 1969.
All dialects show lexical influence from Russian; Copper Island Aleut has also adopted many Russian inflectional endings. Russian ( transliteration:,) is the most geographically widespread language of Eurasia, the most widely spoken of the Slavic languages
The consonant phonemes of the various Aleut dialects are represented below. In Articulatory phonetics, a consonant is a Speech sound that is articulated with complete or partial closure of the upper Vocal tract, the upper vocal The phoneME project is Sun Microsystems reference implementation of Java virtual machine and associated libraries of Java ME with source licensed under the GNU The first line of each cell indicates the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) representation of the phoneme; the second indicates how the phoneme is represented in the Aleut orthography. The International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA is a system of phonetic notation based on the Latin alphabet, devised by the International Phonetic The orthography of a language specifies the correct way of using a specific Writing system to write the language Italicized orthographic forms represent phonemes borrowed from Russian or English; bold orthographic forms represent native Aleut phonemes. Note that some phonemes are unique to specific dialects of Aleut.
Taff et al. Labials are consonants articulated either with both lips ( bilabial articulation or with the lower lip and the upper teeth ( labiodental articulation In Linguistics, a dental consonant or dental is a Consonant that is articulated with the tongue against the upper teeth such as /t/ /d/ /n/ and Alveolar consonants are articulated with the tongue against or close to the superior Alveolar ridge, which is called that because it contains the alveoli (the sockets Palatal consonants are Consonants articulated with the body of the tongue raised against the Hard palate (the middle part of the roof of the mouth Uvulars are Consonants articulated with the back of the Tongue against or near the uvula, that is further back in the mouth than Velar consonants Glottal consonants are Consonants articulated with the Glottis. A stop, plosive, or occlusive is a Consonant sound produced by stopping the airflow in the Vocal tract. Fricatives are Consonants produced by forcing air through a narrow channel made by placing two articulators close together A nasal consonant (also called nasal stop or nasal continuant) is produced with a lowered velum in the mouth allowing air to escape freely through the Laterals are "L"-like Consonants pronounced with an occlusion made somewhere along the axis of the tongue while air from the lungs escapes at one side or both Approximants are speech sounds ( Phonemes) that could be regarded as intermediate between Vowels and typical Consonants In the articulation of approximants (2001, p. 234) note that modern Eastern Aleut has done away with most voicing distinctions among nasals, sibilants and approximants. A sibilant is a type of Fricative or Affricate Consonant, made by directing a jet of air through a narrow channel in the Vocal tract towards
Aleut has six native vowel phonemes: the short vowels /i/, /a/, and /u/, and their long counterparts /iː/, /aː/, and /uː/. These are represented orthographically as i, a, u, ii, aa, and uu respectively.
Before or after a uvular consonant, i becomes a retracted /e/, a is still pronounced as /a/ but is retracted and u becomes a retracted /o/. Uvulars are Consonants articulated with the back of the Tongue against or near the uvula, that is further back in the mouth than Velar consonants Before or after a coronal consonant, a becomes /e/ or /ɛ/ and u becomes /y/ or /ʉ/ (Bergsland 1994, p. Coronal consonants are articulated with the flexible front part of the Tongue. xix; Bergsland 1997, pp. 21-22; see also Taff et al. 2001, pp. 247-249).
Most Aleut words can be classified as nouns or verbs. For English usage of verbs see the wiki article English verbs. Notions which in English are expressed by means of adjectives and adverbs are generally expressed in Aleut using verbs or postbases (derivational suffixes). In Grammar, an adjective is a word whose main syntactic role is to modify a Noun or Pronoun, giving more information about the In Linguistics, derivation is "Used to form new words as with happi-ness and un-happy from happy, or determination from An affix is a Morpheme that is attached to a stem to form a word
Nouns are obligatorily marked for grammatical number (singular, dual, or plural) and for "case" (absolutive or relative; some researchers, notably Anna Berge, dispute both the characterization of this feature as "case" and the names "absolutive" and "relative". In linguistics grammatical number is a Grammatical category of nouns pronouns and adjective and verb agreement that expresses count distinctions (such as "one" In Linguistics, declension (or declination) is the occurrence of Inflection in Nouns Pronouns and Adjectives indicating This approach to Aleut nouns comes from Eskimo linguistics, but these terms can be misleading when applied to Aleut). The absolutive form is the default form, while the relative form communicates a relationship between the noun and another member of the sentence, possibly one that has been omitted. In Linguistics, a sentence is a grammatical unit of one or more words bearing minimal syntactic relation to the words that precede or follow it often preceded and followed
In possessive constructions, Aleut marks both possessor and possessum:
tayaĝu-x̂ man-ABS `[the] man'
ada-x̂ father-ABS `[the] father'
tayaĝu-m ada-a man-REL father-POSSM `the man's father'
The possessor precedes the possessum. Possession, in the context of Linguistics, is an asymmetric relationship between two constituents the Referent of one of which (the possessor) possesses
So-called "positional nouns" are a special, closed set of nouns which may take the locative and/or ablative noun cases; in these cases they behave essentially as postpositions. Locative (also called the seventh case) is a Grammatical case which indicates a location In Linguistics, ablative case ( abbreviated ABL) is a name given to cases in various languages whose common characteristic In Grammar, a preposition is a Part of speech that introduces a prepositional phrase. Morphosyntactically, positional noun phrases are almost identical to possessive phrases:
tayaĝu-m had-an man-REL direction-LOC `toward the man'
Verbs are inflected for mood and, if finite, for person and number. Morphology is the field of Linguistics that studies the internal structure of words Grammatical mood is one of a set of distinctive Verb forms that are used to signal modality. Grammatical person, in Linguistics, is deictic reference to a participant in an event such as the speaker the Addressee, or others Person/number endings agree with the subject of the verb if all nominal participants of a sentence are overt; in general, if a complement (including the complement of a verb, the object of a positional noun, or the possessor of a noun) is omitted, its absence will be reflected by anaphoric marking on the verb; in such situations, the subject will usually be in the relative case. In Languages agreement is a form of cross-reference between different parts of a sentence or phrase In Linguistics, anaphora is an instance of an expression referring to another Compare:
|Peter-SG. ABS||man-SG. ABS||help-PRESENT-3SG|
`Peter is helping the man. '
|Peter-SG. REL||help-PRES-3SG. ANA|
`Peter is helping him. '
(Bergsland 1997, pp. 126-127)
When more than one piece of information is omitted, the verb agrees with the element whose grammatical number is greatest. This can lead to ambiguity:
kidu-ku-ngis help-PRES-PL. Ambiguity (Am-big-u-i-ty is the property of being ambiguous, where a Word, term notation sign Symbol, Phrase, sentence, or any ANA `He/she helped them. ' / `They helped him/her/them. '
Both nouns and verbs are subject to extensive derivational morphology. Aleut words begin with a content morpheme, called a `root' or a `base', optionally followed by any number of derivational suffixes (`postbases'). Inflectional endings are obligatory; interestingly, there is no "zero" (null) inflectional ending for either class of words. A zero, in Linguistics, is a constituent needed in an analysis but not realized in speech In morpheme-based morphology, a null morpheme is a Morpheme that is realized by a phonologically null Affix (an empty string of phonological
Aleut's canonical word order is subject-verb-object. In Linguistics, word order typology refers to the study of the different ways in which languages arrange the constituents of their sentences relative to each other and the systematic
Although Aleut derives from the same parent language as the Eskimo languages, the two language groups (Aleut and Eskimo) have evolved in distinct ways, resulting in significant typological differences. Linguistic Typology is an international Peer-reviewed journal in the field of Linguistic typology, founded in 1997 Aleut inflectional morphology is greatly reduced from the system that must have been present in Proto-Eskimo-Aleut, and where the Eskimo languages mark a verb's arguments morphologically, Aleut relies more heavily on a fixed word order. In Grammar, inflection or inflexion is the way language handles grammatical relations and relational categories such as tense, mood, voice
Unlike the Eskimo languages, Aleut is not an ergative-absolutive language. An ergative-absolutive Language (or simply ergative language is a language that treats the argument (" subject " of an Intransitive Subjects and objects in Aleut are not marked differently depending on the transitivity of the verb (i. In Linguistics, transitivity is a property of Verbs that relates to whether a verb can take Direct objects It is closely related to valency. e. whether the verb is transitive or intransitive); by default, both are marked with a so-called absolutive noun ending. In Syntax, a transitive verb is a Verb that requires both a subject and one or more objects Some examples of sentences with transitive verbs In Grammar, an intransitive Verb does not take an object. In more technical terms an intransitive verb has only one argument (its subject However, if an understood complement (which may either be a complement of the verb or of some other element in the sentence) is absent, the verb takes an "anaphoric" marking and the subject noun takes a "relative" noun ending.
A typological feature shared by Aleut and Eskimo is polysynthetic derivational morphology, which can lead to some rather long words:
|Ting||adalu-usa-naaĝ-iiĝuta-masu-x̂ta-ku-x̂. Polysynthetic languages are highly Synthetic languages ie languages in which words are composed of many Morphemes Definition The degree of|
`Perhaps he tried to fool me again. ' (Bergsland 1997, p. 123)
The first contact of people from the Eastern Hemisphere with the Aleut language occurred in 1741, as Vitus Bering's expedition picked up place names and the names of the Aleut people they met. Vitus Jonassen Bering (also less correctly Behring) ( August 1681 &ndash December 19, 1741) was a Danish -born navigator in the The first recording of the Aleut language in lexicon form appeared in a word list of the Unalaskan dialect compiled by Captain James King on Cook's voyage in 1778. Captain James King, FRS (1750–1784, served under James Cook on his last voyage around the world specialising in taking important astronomical readings using a Captain James Cook FRS RN ( – 14 February 1779) was an English Explorer, Navigator and At that time the Imperial Academy of Sciences in Saint Petersburg became interested in the Aleut language upon hearing of Russian expeditions for trading. Saint Petersburg ( tr: Sankt-Peterburg,) is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River
In Catherine the Great's project to compile a giant comparative dictionary on all the languages spoken in what was the spread of the Russian empire at that time, she hired Peter Simon Pallas to conduct the fieldwork that would collect linguistic information on Aleut. Catherine II, called Catherine the Great (Екатерина II Великая Yekaterina II Velikaya;) reigned as Empress of Russia for 34 years The Russian Empire ( Pre-reform Russian: Pоссійская Имперія Modern Russian: Российская Империя translit: Rossiyskaya Peter Simon Pallas ( September 22, 1741, Berlin — September 8, 1811, Berlin) was a German Zoologist During an expedition from 1791 to 1792, Carl Heinrich Merck and Michael Rohbeck collected several word lists and conducted a census of the male population that included prebaptismal Aleut names. Explorer Yuriy Feodorovich Lisyansky compiled several word lists. Yuri Fyodorovich Lisyansky (also spelled as Urey Lisiansky and Lisianski) (Лисянский Юрий Фёдорович August 13, 1773 &mdash in 1804 and 1805, the czar's plenipotentiary, Nikolai Petrovich Rezanov collected some more. Nikolay Petrovich Rezanov (Николай Петрович Резанов (1764 &ndash 1807 was a Russian nobleman and statesman who promoted the project of Russian Johann Christoph Adelung and Johann Severin Vater published their Mithridates oder allgemeine Sprachkunde 1806-1817, which included Aleut among the languages it catalogued, similar to Catherine the Great's dictionary project. Johann Christoph Adelung ( 8 August 1732 – 10 September 1806) was a German Grammarian and Philologist.
It wasn't until 1819 that the first professional linguist, the Dane Rasmus Rask, studied Aleut. Rasmus (Christian Rask (ʁɑsmus ʁɑsɡ̊ ( November 22, 1787 - November 14, 1832) Danish scholar and Philologist, was He collected words and paradigms from two speakers of Eastern Aleut dialects living in Saint Petersburg. In 1824 came the man who would revolutionize Aleut as a literary language. A literary language is a register of a Language that is used in Literary Writing. Ioann Veniaminov, a Russian Orthodox priest who would later become a saint, arrived at Unalaska studying Unalaskan Aleut. Saint Innocent of Alaska ( August 26, 1797 - March 31, 1879) also known as Saint Innocent of Moscow was a Russian Orthodox See also Eastern Orthodox Church Structure and organization The Slavic Orthodox Church is organized in a hierarchical structure He created an orthography for this language (using the Cyrillic alphabet; the Roman alphabet would come later), translated the Gospel according to St. Matthew and several other religious works into Aleut, and published a grammar of Eastern Aleut in 1846. The religious works were translated with the help of Veniaminov's friends Ivan Pan'kov (chief of Tigalda) and Iakov Netsvetov (the priest of Atka), both of whom were native Aleut speakers. Jacob Netsvetov, the "Enlightener of Alaska," was a native of the Aleutian Islands who became a Priest of the Orthodox Church and continued Netsvetov also wrote a dictionary of Atkan Aleut. After Veniaminov's works were published, several religious figures took interest in studying and recording Aleut, which would help these Russian Orthodox clerics in their missionary work. Father Innocent Shayashnikov did much work in the Eastern Fox-Island dialect translating a Catechism, all four Gospels and Acts of Apostles from the New Testament, and an original composition in Aleut entitled: "Short Rule for a Pious Life". Most of these were published in 1902, although written years earlier in the 1860s and 1870's. Father Lavrentii Salamatov produced a Catechism, and translations of three of the four Gospels (St. Mark, St. Luke, St. John) in the Western-Atkan dialect. Of Father Lavrentii's work, the Gospel of St. Mark was published in a revised orthography in 1959, and in its original, bilingual Russian-Aleut format in 2007, together with his Catechism for the youth of Atka Island.
The first Frenchman to record Aleut was Alphonse Pinart, in 1871, shortly after the United States purchase of Alaska. Alphonse Pinart (1852-1911 was a French explorer philologist and ethnographer The United States of America —commonly referred to as the Alaska ( Аляска Alyaska) is a state in the United States of America, in the northwest of the North American continent Shortly after, in 1878, American Lucien M. Turner began work on collecting words for a word list. Benedykt Dybowski, a Pole, began taking word lists from the dialects the Commander Islands in 1881, while Nikolai Vasilyevich Slyunin, a Russian doctor, did the same in 1892. Benedykt Dybowski ( May 12, 1833 - January 31, 1930) was a Polish naturalist and physician
From 1909 to 1910, the ethnologist Waldemar Jochelson traveled to the Aleut communities of Unalaska, Atka, Attu and Nikolski. Ethnology (from the Greek ἔθνος, ethnos meaning "habit custom convention" is the branch of Anthropology that compares and He spent nineteen months there doing fieldwork. Jochelson collected his ethnographic work with the help of two Unalaskan speakers, Aleksey Yachmenev and Leontiy Sivstov. Aleksey Mironovich Yachmenev (1866-1937 was an Aleut chief who lived in Unalaska. Leontiy Ivanovich Sivstov (1872-1919 was a church reader who lived in Unalaska. He recorded many Aleut stories, folklore and myth, and had many of them not only written down but also recorded in audio. Jochelson discovered much vocabulary and grammar when he was there, adding to the scientific knowledge of the Aleut language.
In the 1930s, two native Aleuts wrote down works that are considered breakthroughs in the use of Aleut as a literary language. Afinogen K. Ermeloff wrote down a literary account of a shipwreck in his native language, while Ardelion G. Ermeloff kept a diary in Aleut during the decade. At the same time, linguist Melville Jacobs picked up several new texts from Sergey Golley, an Atkan speaker who was hospitalized at the time.
John P. Harrington furthered research into the Pribilof Island dialect on St. Paul Island in 1941, collecting some new vocabulary along the way. Saint Paul Island is one of the Pribilof Islands, a group of four volcanic islands located in the Bering Sea off the coast of Alaska. In 1944, the United States Department of the Interior published The Aleut Language as part of the war effort, allowing World War II soldiers to understand the language of the Aleuts. The United States Department of the Interior ( DOI) is a Cabinet department of the United States government that manages and conserves most federally World War II, or the Second World War, (often abbreviated WWII) was a global military conflict which involved a majority of the world's nations, including This English language project was based on Veniaminov's work. English is a West Germanic language originating in England and is the First language for most people in the United Kingdom, the United States
In 1950, Knut Bergsland began an extensive study of Aleut, perhaps the most rigorous to date, culminating in the publication of a complete Aleut dictionary in 1994 and a descriptive grammar in 1997. Bergsland's work would not have been possible without key Aleut collaborators, especially Atkan linguist Moses Dirks.
Michael Krauss, Jeff Leer, Michael Fortescue, and Jerrold Sadock have published articles about Aleut. Michael E Krauss (born 1934 is a linguist who has worked extensively on the Na-Dené language family especially on proto- Athabaskan, pre-proto-Athabaskan Michael D Fortescue is a British-born linguist specializing in Arctic and native North American languages including Kalaallisut, Inuktun, Chukchi Jerrold (Jerry Sadock is Glen A Lloyd Distinguished Service Professor in Linguistics and the Humanities Collegiate Division at the University of Chicago.
Alice Taff has worked on Aleut since the 1970s. Her work constitutes the most detailed accounts of Aleut phonetics and phonology available.
Anna Berge conducts research on Aleut. Berge's work includes treatments of Aleut discourse structure and morphosyntax, and curricular materials for Aleut, including a conversational grammar of the Atkan dialect, co-authored with Moses Dirks.
In 2005, the parish of All Saints of North America Orthodox Church, began to re-publish all historic Aleut language texts from 1840-1903. Archpriest Paul Merculief (originally from the Pribilofs) of the Russian Orthodox Diocese of Alaska and the Alaska State Library Historical Collection generously contributed their linguistic skills to the restoration effort. The Alaska State Library and Historical Collections is located in Juneau, Alaska, with an office in Anchorage featuring the Talking Book Center The historic Aleut texts are available on the parish's on-line Aleut library.