Chevak Cup’ik language

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Chevak Cup’ik
Cugtun
Native to United States
Region Central Alaska (Chevak)
Native speakers
(no estimate available)
Latin
Language codes
ISO 639-3
Linguist list
esu-hoo
Glottolog None
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters.

Chevak Cup’ik or just Cup’ik (own name Cugtun) is a language or separate subdialect of Hooper Bay–Chevak dialect of Yup'ik spoken in southwestern Alaska in the Chevak (own name Cev’aq) by Chevak Cup’ik Eskimos (own name Cup’it or Cev’allrarmuit).[1][2][3] The speakers of the Chevak subdialect used for themselves as Cup'ik (not Yup'ik), but, the speakers of the Hooper Bay subdialect used for themselves as Yup'ik (not Cup'ik), like Yukon-Kuskokwim dialect. Actually, Cup’ik spoken in Chevak is closer to General Central Yup’ik than it is to Nunivak Cup’ig, therefore they should not be equated. The Cup'ik dialect is threatened. The Yup'ik letter c is pronounced as an English ch.

The Central Alaskan Yupik who in the village of Chevak call themselves Cup'ik (plural Cup'it). Those who live on Nunivak Island (Nuniwar in Nunivak Cup'ig, Nunivaaq in Central Yup'ik) call themselves Cup'ig (plural Cup'it). The name Cup'ig (with g) used for Nunivak Island Yup'ik dialect. But, the name Cup'ik (with k) used for Hooper Bay-Chevak Yup'ik dialect.

The oldest fully bilingual person in Chevak is Leo Moses, born in 1933; there are few if any persons born after 1945 who do not speak English.[1]

The first documentation of the Hooper Bay-Chevak dialect (beyond occasional citations) is found in unpublished notes of Jesuit priests residing ay Hooper Bay and Kashunuk in the 1920s and 1930s. Published recognition of Hooper Bay-Chevak speech as a dialect of Yup'ik seems to begin with Michael E. Krauss in 1973,[4] although needles to say, these dialect differences have been common knowledge among native speakers.[1]

Education[edit]

Chevak, the school (blue), lake, and condemned old school (red)

The Cup’ik dialect is distinguished from Yup’ik by the change of "y" sounds into "ch" sounds, represented by the letter "c", and by some words that are completely different from Yup'ik words.

This unique identity has allowed them to form a single-site school district, the Kashunamiut School District, rather than joining a neighboring Yup’ik school district. English and Cup’ik bilingual education is done at this school. There is a tri-language system in Chevak; English, Cup’ik, and a mixture of the two languages.

Before 1950 formal education for students in Chevak took place in the Qaygiq[5] (semi-underground men's community house), and in the homes of the people.[6]

Classification[edit]

Central Alaskan Yup'ik-speaking areas

Vocabulary comparison[edit]

The comparison of some words in the two dialects.

Yukon-Kuskokwim Yup’ik Chevak Cup’ik meaning
elicaraq (Y) / elitnauraq (K) elicaraq
skuularaq (Cup’ik English mixed language)
student
elicarista (Y) / elitnaurista (K) elicarta
skuularta (Cup’ik English mixed language)
teacher
yugnikek’ngaq aiparnatugaq friend
yuilquq cuilquq the wilderness; tundra
nuussiq caviggaq knife (not semi-lunar)
uluaq kegginalek ulu, semi-lunar woman's knife
canek evek a blade or stalk of grass
ellalluk ivyuk rain

Phonology[edit]

There are 18 letters used in the Cup’ik alphabet: a c e g i k l m n p q r s t u v w y.[7]

These letters are not used in the Cup’ik alphabet: b d f h j o x z.

Vowels:

  • Short vowels: a i u e
  • Long vowels: aa ii uu
  • Diphthongs: ai ui au iu ua ia

Consonants:

  • Stops: p t c k q
  • Voiced fricatives: v l y g r w
  • Voiceless fricatives: vv ll ss gg rr ww
  • Voiced nasals: m [m] n [n] ng [ŋ]
  • Voiceless nasals: m [m̥] n [n̥] ng [ŋ̊]

Russian loanwords[edit]

Hooper Bay youth, 1930

The Russian loanwords used in Chevak Cup’ik date from the period of the Russian America (1733–1867).[8]

  • caarralaq (< Rus. сахар) 'sugar'
  • caayuq (< Rus. чай) 'tea'
  • caanik (< Rus. чайник) 'tea kettle'
  • cap’akiq ( < Rus. сапоги) 'shoe'
  • cass’aq (< Rus. часы) 'clock'
  • culunaq (?< Rus. солонина 'salted meat') 'salted fish'
  • kalantaassaq (< Rus. карандаш) 'pencil'
  • kalmaaniq (< Rus. карман) 'pocket'
  • kelipaq (< Rus. хлеб) 'bread'
  • luussitaq (< Rus. лошадь) 'horse'
  • mass’laq (< Rus. масло) 'butter; margarine'
  • missuulleq (< Rus. мешок) 'burlap sack'
  • muluk’uuq (< Rus. молоко) 'milk'
  • mult’uuq (< Rus. молоток) 'hammer'
  • pal’tuuk (< Rus. пальто) 'coat; jacket'
  • pelatekaq (< Rus. палатка) 'tent'
  • putuskaq (< Rus. подушка) 'pillow'
  • spickaq : (< Rus. спичка) 'match'
  • tiititsaaq / tiissitsaaq (< Rus. тысяча) 'thousand; one thousand dollars'
  • yaassiik : (< Rus. ящик) 'box; cardboard box'

The names of days and months[edit]

  • erneq day
  • Agayuneq ('praying') Sunday
  • Pekyun ('movement') Monday
  • Aipirin ('next') Tuesday
  • Pingayirin ('third') Wednesday
  • Citamirin ('fourth') Thursday
  • Tallimirin ('fifth') Friday
  • Maqineq ('steambath') Saturday
  • iraluq month
  • Agayuulek ('icicles') January
  • Nakrutlek ('accurate shooter') February
  • Neqlelek ('white front geese') March
  • Tunturalek ('reindeer') April
  • Cupun ('breaking river ice') May
  • Kaugun ('clubbing fish') June
  • Essgun ('newly hatched eggs') July
  • Putukuarun ('waddling ducks & geese') August
  • Amiirairun ('shedding') September
  • Cauyaun ('drumming') (in Chevak) / Ipukaqun (in Hooper Bay) October
  • Kanruyauciq ('frost') November
  • Angunquyugtuun ('big toe') December

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Woodbury, Anthony Cabot (1981), Study of the Chevak dialect of Central Yup'ik Eskimo. Ph.D. dissertation, University of California, Berkeley.
  2. ^ Woodbury, Anthony Cabot (2002). "The word in Cup'ik". In Dixon, R. M. W. and Alexandra Y. Aikhenvald (eds.) Word: A cross-linguistic typology, 79-99. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  3. ^ Woodbury, Anthony Cabot (2004). Morphological Orthodoxy in Yupik-Inuit. University of Texas, Austin
  4. ^ Krauss, Michael E. (1973). Eskimo-Aleut. current trends in linguistics 10, ed. by Thomas a. Sebeok, 796-902. The Hague: Mouton.
  5. ^ Qaygiq (Men’s House) by Dr. John Pingayak
  6. ^ Alaskool: Guidebook for Integrating Cup'ik Culture and Curriculum
  7. ^ http://www.alaskool.org/projects/chevak/chevak/sound1.htm
  8. ^ David A Peterson (1991), Russian loan words in Central Alaskan Yup'ik. Fairbanks, Alaska, april 1991.

External links[edit]