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Athabaskan (Na-Dene) Language Family
In the past, this language family was simply known as the Athabaskan language family, which is the
name recognized by most speakers of these languages (the spelling "Athabascan" is more preferred
today, but both spellings are still commonly used, and "Athapaskan" can occasionally be seen as
well.) But once it was discovered that
non-Athabascan languages (like Tlingit, Eyak, and possibly Haida) were also related, linguists
began using the new term Na-Dene to refer to the language family instead.
The name Na-Dene was created by combining the word na, which means "people"
in Tlingit and "home" in Haida, with the word dene, which means "people" in several
The Na-Dene languages are spoken from northwestern Canada and Alaska south to the Rio Grande.
Northern Athabaskan Languages
Central Alaska-Yukon Athabascan Languages
Southern Alaskan Athabascan Languages
Central British Columbia Athapaskan Languages
Dakelh (Carrier, Yinka Dene)
Northwest Canadian Athapaskan Languages
Kaskan Languages (Nahanni)
Dene Tha (Slavey)
Dene Suline (Chipewyan)
Tsuu T'ina (Sarcee)
Pacific Coast Athabaskan Languages
Oregon Athabaskan Languages
California Athabaskan Languages
Our Athabaskan Language Features
Words in various Athabaskan languages.
Links to Other Athabaskan Language Resources
Na-Dene Language Family:
Ethnologue of Athabaskan languages.
Overview of the Athabaskan Indian languages, their history and distribution.
Athapascan Family of Indians:
Article on the Athabaskan Indian tribes and their languages.
The Athapaskan Languages of British Columbia:
Resources about Canadian Athabaskan languages.
Athabaskan Language Materials Available Offline
The Athabaskan Languages:
Our organization earns a commission from any book bought through these links
An excellent overview of the syntax, phonology, sociolinguistics and historical linguistics of the Athabaskan language family.
Bibliography Of The Athapascan Languages:
Pilling's venerable survey of Athapascan linguistic study.
Athabaskan Language Studies:
Sixteen essays on Athapaskan linguistics.
Word Formation in the Athapaskan Verb:
Book on the morphology of verbs in Athabaskan languages.
Bekk'aatugh Ts'uhuney: Stories We Live By: Traditional Koyukon Athabaskan Stories:
Bilingual presentation of Alaskan Athabaskan legends.
Culture and History of the Athabascan Indians
Northern Athapaskan Art: A Beadwork Tradition:
Beautiful book on Canadian and Alaskan Athabascan art and beaded clothing, with many photographs.
Cold River Spirits: The Legacy of an Athabascan-Irish Family from Alaska's Yukon River:
Interesting family history of a mixed-race Alaskan Athabascan woman.
Crow Is My Boss: The Oral Life History of a Tanacross Athabaskan Elder:
Compelling autobiography of an Alaska Athabascan man.
Coquelle Thompson, Athabaskan Witness: A Cultural Biography (Civilization of the American Indian Series):
Life story and traditional history of an Athabaskan Indian from Oregon.
The Crooked Stovepipe: Athapaskan Fiddle Music and Square Dancing in Northeast Alaska and Northwest Canada (Music in American Life):
History of the songs and dances of the northern Athabaskan Indians.
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