Language: Alutiiq is an Eskimo-Aleut language
spoken on Kodiak Island and parts of the Alaskan peninsula. Alutiiq is very closely related to the
Yu'pik language, and is considered by many
linguists to be a dialect of that language. Though the name "Alutiiq" comes from the same source as
"Aleut", their language is significantly different
from the Aleut language of the Aleutian Islands
to the south of them, and the Alutiiq people consider themselves culturally distinct from both the Aleuts and the Yupiks.
Fewer than 500 people still speak the Alutiiq language today.
Alutiiq is a highly polysynthetic agglutinative language,
using long words with many suffixes. It has predominantly SOV word order.
Thanks for your interest in indigenous American languages!
Names: In their own language, the Alutiiq call themselves Sugpiaq, which means "true people," and they call their
language Sugcestun. Alutiiq is a
hybrid name, combining a Russian word for islander, Alut, with the Native suffix -iiq. The word Eskimo,
although disliked by some Alaska Natives, is used by many Alutiiq to refer to themselves along with their Yupik and Aleut neighbors;
the Alutiiq in particular are sometimes called Chugach Eskimos, Kodiak Eskimos, or Pacific Eskimos.
They have also sometimes been known as Pacific Yup'ik or Pacific Gulf Yup'ik, due to their cultural and linguistic
similarity to the Yup'ik people.
Alternate spellings of these names include Sugpiak, Supik, Suk; Sugs'tun, Sugstun, Sugt'stun, Sugtestun;
and Alutiik. Sugpiat and Alutiit are plural forms of Sugpiaq and Alutiiq, respectively. Chugach and Koniag (Kodiak) are
the names of major islands within traditional Alutiiq territory, and the two dialects of the Alutiiq language are known
as Chugach Alutiiq and