|Native to||United States, formerly Russia; Northwest Territories of Canada|
|Region||Alaska; formerly Big Diomede Island|
|Latin (Iñupiaq alphabet)
esi – North Alaskan Inupiatun
esk – Northwest Alaska Inupiatun
Inuit dialects. Inupiat dialects are orange (Northern Alaskan) and pink (Seward Peninsula).
Inupiat //, or Alaskan Inuit, is a group of dialects of the Inuit language, spoken by the Inupiat people in northern and northwestern Alaska. The Inupiat language is a member of the Eskimo languages. There are roughly 7,000–9,000 speakers.
The Iñupiaq category of number distinguishes singular, plural, and dual. Iñupiaq does not have a category of gender and articles. An Iñupiaq word consists of a base or stem, which is followed by postbases, endings, and enclitics.
There are four main dialect divisions and these can be organized within two larger dialect collections:
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The Inupiaq dialects, like other Eskimo–Aleut languages, represent a particular type of agglutinative language called a polysynthetic language: it "synthesizes" a root and various grammatical affixes to create long words with sentence-like meanings.
Inupiaq has three basic vowels: a i u, phonemically /a i u/, phonetically [ɐ i u].[nb 1] The vowels can also appear long: aa ii uu /aː iː uː/. When adjacent to the uvular consonants q ġ /q ʁ/, short vowels are lowered allophonically to [ɔ e o] respectively.[nb 2] Length is important in distinguishing meaning in Inupiaq. Short vowels may be joined to produce the diphthongs ai ia au iu ui.
The vowel i /i/ is derived historically from the merger of Proto-Inuit /i/ and /ǝ/; only the former causes palatalization of the following consonant. Only in pedagogical texts are the two kinds of i written differently.
Inupiaq has around 21 consonants. All stops are voiceless. The following consonants are found:
The Iñupiaq letter ñ [ɲ] is pronounced close to English ny in "canyon".
Inupiaq was first written when explorers first arrived in Alaska and began recording words in the native languages. They wrote by adapting the letters of their own language to writing the sounds they were recording. Spelling was often inconsistent, since the writers invented it as they wrote. Unfamiliar sounds were often confused with other sounds, so that, for example, 'q' was often not distinguished from 'k' and long consonants or vowels were not distinguished from short ones.
Along with the Alaskan and Siberian Yupik, the Inupiat eventually adopted the Latin script (Qaliujaaqpait) that Moravian missionaries developed in Greenland and Labrador. Native Alaskans also developed a system of pictographs,[which?] which, however, died with its creators.
In 1946, Roy Ahmaogak, an Inupiaq Presbyterian minister from Barrow, worked with Eugene Nida, a member of the Summer Institute of Linguistics, to develop the current Iñupiaq alphabet based on the Latin script. Although some changes have been made since its origin—most notably the change from 'dotted-k' to 'q'—the essential system was accurate and is still in use.
|A a||Ch ch||G g||Ġ ġ||H h||I i||K k||L l||Ḷ ḷ||Ł ł||Ł̣ ł̣||M m|
|N n||Ñ ñ||Ŋ ŋ||P p||Q q||R r||S s||Sr sr||T t||U u||V v||Y y|
Extra letters for Alaskan dialectic usage:
|A a||Ch ch||F f||G g||H h||Dj dj||I i||K k||L l||Ł ł||M m|
|N n||Ñ ñ||Ng ng||P p||Q q||R r||Ȓ ȓ||T t||U u||V v||Y y|
This is a sample of the Inupiaq language of the Kobuk river Eskimos (re-transcribed with q for ḳ).
Kayuqtuq ukiaġmi. Sikulġmiu-rami pisruktuaq tamaani. Qaluŋmik niġiruak tikiññiġaa iyyaġrim apiq-srukługu-aasriiñ, "Nakiñ taamna qa-lik piviuŋ?"
"Kanakŋa sikuiḷḷiġumun pamium-nik niksiksuqługu niksiksikkaġa," itnaġniġaa.
This is the English translation, from the same source:
Fox and Blackbear were around at fall time as the first ice was forming. Bear came upon Fox eating a fish and asked him, "Where did you get that fish?"
"I hooked the fish with my tail down there where the river has open spots," said Fox.
The comparison of number names in the three dialects:
|North Slope Iñupiaq||Northwest Alaska Iñupiaq
|King Island Iñupiaq||meaning|
|tallimat malġuk||tallimat malġuk||tallimat maġluuk||7|
|tallimat piŋasut||tallimat piñasrut||tallimat piŋasut||8|
|qulit atausiq||qulit atausriq||qulit atausiq||11|
|qulit malġuk||qulit malġuk||qulit maġluuk||12|
|qulit piŋasut||qulit piñasrut||qulit piŋasut||13|
|akimiaq atausiq||akimiaq atausriq||agimiaq atausiq||16|
|akimiaq malġuk||akimiaq malġuk||agimiaq maġluuk||17|
|akimiaq piŋasut||akimiaq piñasrut||agimiaq piŋasut||18|
|iñuiññaq qulit||iñuiñaq qulit||inuinaq qulit||30|
|malġukipiaq qulit||malġukipiaq qulit||maġluutiviaq qulit||50|
|piŋasukipiaq qulit||piñasrukipiaq qulit||piŋasuutiviaq qulit||70|
|sisamakipiaq qulit||sisamakipiaq qulit||.||90|
|Inupiaq edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia|
There are a number of online resources that can provide a sense of the language and information for second language learners.