Na-Dene Language Family

Na-Dene Language Family
Na-Dené (also Na-Dene, Nadene, Athabaskan-Eyak-Tlingit) is a Native American language family which includes the Athabaskan languages, Eyak, and Tlingit.The Na-Dene family includes:Tlingit language: 700 speakers (M. Krauss, 1995) Athabaskan-Eyak Eyak language: 1 speaker, (N. Barnes, 1996) Athabaskan languages:      Northern      Pacific Coast      Southern
Navajo is the most widely spoken language of the Na-Dené family, spoken in Arizona, New Mexico, and other regions of the American Southwest. Dene or Dine is a widely distributed group of Native languages and peoples spoken in Canada, Alaska, and parts of Oregon and northern California. Eyak is spoken in the Alaskan panhandle and today there is only one speaker left.
Genetic relation proposals
Haida, with 15 fluent speakers (M. Krauss, 1995), was once considered a member of the Na-Dené family, but most linguists consider the evidence inconclusive and classify it as a language isolate.According to Joseph Greenberg’s highly controversial classification of the languages of Native North America, Na-Dené-Athabaskan is one of the three main groups of Native languages spoken in the Americas, and represents a distinct wave of migration from Asia to the Americas. The other two are Eskimo-Aleut, spoken in Alaska and the Canadian Arctic; and Amerind, Greenberg’s most controversial classification, which includes every language native to the Americas that is not Eskimo-Aleut or Na-Dené. Contemporary supporters of Greenberg’s theory, such as Merritt Ruhlen, have suggested that the Na-Dené language family represents a distinct migration of people from Asia to the New World. The time of this migration is estimated to have been six to eight thousand years ago, placing it around four thousand later than the initial population of the continents by Amerind speakers. Ruhlen speculates that the Na-Dené speakers may have arrived in boats, initially settling near the Queen Charlotte Islands, now in British Columbia, Canada. According to the (also controversial) linguistic theory of Sergei Starostin, Na-Dene is a member of the Dene-Caucasian superfamily, along with the North Caucasian languages and Sino-Tibetan languages.Professor Edward Vajda from the Modern & Classical Languages Department of the Western Washington University considers these languages to be related to Yeniseian (or Yeniseic) languages in Siberia, which would also support the controversial theory of Starostin and others’.
American Indian Language Family Trees
Goddard (1996) & Mithun (1999)
2. Na-Dene (47)          Haida (2)               Haida, Northern (Canada)               Haida, Southern (Canada)

Nuclear Na-Dene (45)
     Athapaskan-Eyak (44)            Athabascan (Athapaskan, Athapascan, Athabaskan, ) (43)                  Apachean (6)                       Kiowa Apache (1)                            Kiowa Apache                     Navajo-Apache (5)                           Eastern Apache (3)                                Apache, Jicarilla (USA)                                Apache, Lipan (USA)                                Apache, Mescalero-Chiricahua (USA)
                          Western Apache-Navajo (2)                                 Apache, Western (USA)                                 Navajo (USA)
                     Canadian (13)                           Beaver-Sekani (2)                                Beaver (Canada)                                Sekani (Canada)                          Carrier-Chilcotin (4)                                Babine-Carrier (3)                                     Babine (Canada)                                     Carrier, Southern (Canada)                                     Carrier (Canada)
                               Chilcotin (1)                                     Chilcotin (Canada)
                          Han-Kutchin (2)                                Gwich’in (Canada)                                Han (USA)
                         Hare-Chipewyan (4)
                              Chipewyan (1)                                     Chipewyan (Canada)
                              Hare-Slavey (3)
                                   Dogrib (Canada)                                    Slavey, North (Canada)                                   Slavey, South (Canada)
                        Sarcee (1)                              Sarsi (Canada)
                 Ingalik-Koyukon (3)
                      Ingalik (1)                            Degexit’an (USA)
                      Koyukon-Holikachuk (2)                            Holikachuk (USA)                            Koyukon (USA)
                 Pacific Coast (9)                       California (4)                            Hupa (1)                                 Hupa (USA)
                           Mattole-Wailaki (3)                                 Kato (USA)                                 Mattole (USA)                                 Wailaki (USA)
                           Oregon (5)                                 Tolowa-Galice (5)                                 Coquille (USA)                                 Chetco (USA)                                 Galice (USA)                                 Tolowa (USA)                                 Tututni (USA)
                   Tahltan-Kaska (3)                            Kaska (Canada)                           Tagish (Canada)                           Tahltan (Canada)
                   Tanaina-Ahtna (2)                           Ahtena (USA) (aka Ahtna, Copper River or Mednovskiy)                          Tanaina (USA)
                   Tanana-Upper Kuskokwim (4)
                          Tanana (3)                                Tanana, Lower (USA)                                Tanana, Upper (USA)                                Tanacross (USA)
                          Upper Kuskokwim (1)                                Kuskokwim, Upper (USA)
                   Tutchone (2)                          Tutchone, Southern (Canada)                          Tutchone, Northern (Canada)
                   Tsetsaut (Canada)
              Eyak (1)                    Eyak (USA)
         Tlingit (1)               Tlingit (USA)

Tolowa Indians

August 14, 2017

The Tolowa Indians constituted one of the divisions into which the California peoples of the Athapascan linguistic stock are divided, but they were closely connected with the Athapascan tribes of Oregon immediately to the north.

Athabaskan (Dene') Language
August 14, 2017

The Dakubetede were an Athapascan tribe of Oregon which extended slightly beyond the northern border of California. The Dakubetede belonged to the Athapascan linguistic stock, using a dialect identical with that of the Taltushtuntude.

Athabaskan (Dene') Language
November 24, 2014

The Athabaskan people originally lived in what is now Alaska and Northern Canada. In the 1500s they began a slow migration South. The Athabaskan people we now know as Apaches migrated as far as southern Texas and Mexico.

Athabaskan (Dene') Language

Navajo language

March 11, 2014

Navajo (Diné bizaad), pronounced Navaho, is an Athabaskan language of Na-Dené stock spoken in the southwestern United States. It is geographically and linguistically one of the Southern Athabaskan languages although the majority of Athabaskan languages are spoken in northwest Canada and Alaska. Navajo has more speakers than any other Native American language north of the […]

Apachean Languages
May 3, 2010

Athabaskan Language Map

Athabaskan or Athabascan (also Dene, Athapascan, Athapaskan, or Athapaskes) is the name of a large group of indigenous peoples of North America, located in two main Southern and Northern groups in western North America, and of their language family. The Athabaskan family is the second largest family in North America in terms of number of languages and the number of speakers, following the Uto-Aztecan family which extends into Mexico. In terms of territory, only the Algic language family covers a larger area.

Na-Dene Language Family
April 6, 2008

A remote population of a few hundred indigenous Siberians who live thousands of miles west of Alaska speak a language that appears to be an ancient relative of more than three dozen Native languages in North America, experts say.

A panel of respected linguists who met in Anchorage on Friday are hailing new research that links the Old World language of Ket, still spoken sparingly along the Yenisei River in western Siberia, and the sprawling New World family of Na-Dene languages — a broad grouping that encompasses the many Athabascan tribes in Alaska, along with the Tlingit and Eyak people, as well as Indian populations in western Canada and the American Southwest, including the Navajo and the Apache.

Na-Dene Language Family
April 22, 2002

DULCE – Wilhelmina Phone, 72, stores an ancient treasure in her memory: a language known only to a dwindling handful of Jicarilla Apaches. Once each month, she and two other fluent Jicarilla speakers meet in Dulce with University of New Mexico linguists to develop the first-ever Jicarilla dictionary.

Apachean Languages