Archive for the ‘Central Yup’ik Eskimo (esu)’ Category

Alaska Languages – Continuing Award for Collaboration

17 March 2008

Last September, the NSF awarded the University of Alaska Fairbanks just over US$450,000, with Michael Krauss as principal investigator, to study 11 endangered languages in Alaska.

The languages to be studied (with Wikipedia and Ethnologue links) are: Han Athabascan (haa), Upper Kuskokwim Athabascan (kuu), Eyak (eya), Tlingit (tli), Southern Tsimshian (tsi), North Slope Inupiaq (esi), Central Alaskan Yup’ik (esu), Central Siberian Yupik (ess), Alutiiq (ems), Attuan Aleut (ale) and Kodiak Russian Creole, a language of approximately five speakers whose average age is 90 and apparently without a page on either Wikipedia or Ethnologue.

Krauss is joined by a host of prominent language researchers. Their names as well as other details of the award are detailed at “IPY – Documenting Alaskan and Neighboring Languages” as well as Veco Polar (second listing).

This blog entry was prompted by a Tundra Drums article and an EurekAlert article. The amount listed in those articles $1.2 million, and the Talking Alaska blog lists it at $1.4 million. The grant is a continuing grant, so the disparity in numbers probably reflects the way the calculation was made. (The NSF site lists three awards, totaling $1.06 million.)

To keep up with Alaskan and other endangered language issues, subscribe to  Gary Holton’s Talking Alaska blog. An article on Michael Krauss is available on Wikipedia.

ANLC: Pan-Alaska Resources

11 May 2007

If you want to know about a language in Alaska, the Alaska Native Language Center is the place to go. Housed in the University of Alaska Fairbanks (about 1.5 degrees south of the arctic circle mid-state), the ANLC is a research center, materials repository, promotes language revitalization and assists in the teaching of the 20 native languages of Alaska, 18 of which are not being passed on to children.

The ANLC boasts a staff of 16 and more than 10,000 story collections, dictionaries, grammars and research papers. Regular language classes are available in Central Yup’ik Eskimo (esu), Inupiaq (apparently broken up into North Alaskan Inupiatun (esi) and Northwest Alaskan Inupiatun (esk) in the Ethnologue) and Kutchin or Gwich’in (gwi) Athabascan, with other languages taught in conjunction with special topics.

A short FAQ addresses the question of whether “Eskimo” or “Inuit” is acceptable–it seems that it depends on the country. Also see that page for common expressions, orthographies, and PDF newsletters. For those Outside (and in Alaska), an impressive array of dictionaries, beginner’s texts, cassettes and more is available from their publications page.

The spark for this blog entry as well as the Dorothy Ramon Center entry comes from blogger Sophie of Finding a Voice. Thank you!