American Indian languages * American Indian cultures * Indian words

Babine-Wet'suwet'en (Northern Carrier, Takla)

Language: Babine-Wet'suwet'en is an Athabascan language spoken by around 500 people in British Columbia. Babine is related to Carrier and is commonly referred to as a dialect of Carrier, but monolingual speakers of the two languages cannot understand each other well, and most linguists regard them as distinct languages. Like most Athabaskan languages, Babine-Wet'suwet'en is an agglutinative language with SOV word order. Babine is also a tone language, but tonality is not as important a part of the Babine language as it is in some Athabaskan languages.

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Names: Babine was the French name for the tribe; it means "lip," referring to the labrets (lip piercings) traditionally worn by Babine women. The Babine people are also known as Ned'u'ten, their name in the language of the neighboring Carrier tribe. The Wet'suwet'en are close relatives of the Babine and speakers of the same language, but the two tribes have usually been politically independent of one another. Today the Babine-Wet'suwet'en communities are known as the Lake Babine First Nation, the Takla Lake First Nation, and the Wet'suwet'en First Nation. Their shared language has also been called North Carrier, Northern Carrier, or Babine Carrier, because of its linguistic similarity to the Carrier language. Alternate spellings of these names have included Babeen, Ned'uten, Neduten, Nadot'en, Nadoten, Nat'ooten, Natooten, Wetsuweten, Wetsuwet'en, Wets'uwet'en, Witsuwit'en, Witsuwiten, Wits'uwit'en, and Wit'suwit'en.

Babine Language
Babine language samples and resources.

Babine Culture and History
Information and links about the Babine tribe past and present.

Wetsuweten Culture and History
Information and links about the Wetsuwit'en tribe past and present.

Babine Indians Fact Sheet
Our answers to common questions about the lifestyle of Babine Indian people.

Carrier and Babine Legends
Introduction to the mythology of the Carriers, Babines and Wet'suwet'en.

Babine-Wet'suwet'en Language Resources

Our Online Babine-Wet'suwet'en Materials

Babine-Wet'suwet'en Vocabulary:
    List of vocabulary words in the Nadot'en language, with comparison to words in other Athabaskan languages.
Babine-Wet'suwet'en Pronunciation Guide:
    How to pronounce Babine words.
Babine-Wet'suwet'en Animal Words:
    Illustrated glossary of animal words in the Babine-Witsuwit'en language.
Babine-Wet'suwet'en Colors:
    Worksheet showing color words in the Babine-Wet'suwet'en language.
Babine-Wet'suwet'en Numbers:
    Worksheet showing how to count in the Babine-Wetsuweten language.

Babine Dictionary, Audio Tapes and Language Resources

Witsuwit'en Grammar: Phonetics, Phonology, Morphology:
    Detailed book about the Babine-Witsuwit'en language for sale online.
Babine and Carrier Phonology: A Historically Oriented Study:
    Linguistics text comparing the Carrier and Babine languages.
Native American Language Dictionaries:
    Babine and other American Indian dictionaries and language materials for sale.

Babine Language Lessons and Linguistic Descriptions

Wet'suwet'en First Voices:
    Audio glossary of spoken Wet'suwet'en.
Witsuwit’en Words for the Land:
    Vocabulary lists of terrain-related words in the Babine-Witsuwiten language.
House of Languages: Babine-Witsuwit'en
     Information about Babine language usage.
Babine Language:
    Babine demographic information from the Ethnologue of Languages.
    Brief profile of the Babine language, with a thorough linguistic bibliography.
Nat'ooten-Witsuwit'en Keyboard:
    Software for typing in the Babine-Witsuwit'en language, for Windows and Mac.
Babine Language Tree:
    Theories about Babine's language relationships compiled by Linguist Li st.

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Links, References, and Additional Information

Wikipedia: Babine-Witsuwit'en:
Encyclopedia articles on the Babine Wits'uwit'en language.
La Lengua Babines:
Information about Babine-Witsuwit'en in Spanish.
The Carriers:
Carrier and Babine-Witsuwiten links.
Babine Tribe:
Babine Indian books.

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