Sekani language

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Native to Canada
Region British Columbia
Ethnicity Sekani people
Native speakers
est. 30  (2009–2013)[1]
est. 90 partial speakers
Language codes
ISO 639-3 sek
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters.

The Sekani language is a Northern Athabaskan language spoken by the Sekani people of north-central British Columbia, Canada.



Sekani has 33 consonants:

  Bilabial Alveolar Post-
Velar Glottal
central lateral plain labial
Stop unaspirated p t     k  
aspirated (pʰ)     kʷʰ  
ejective       kʼʷ ʔ
Affricate unaspirated   ts      
aspirated   tsʰ tɬʰ tʃʰ      
ejective   tsʼ tɬʼ tʃʼ      
Nasal   m n          
voiceless   s ɬ ç x h
voiced   z l j ɣ w  


  Front Central Back
High i   u
Mid e ə o
Low   a  


Sekani has two tones, low and high. High is the default. That is, syllables normally have high tone. Syllables phonologically marked for tone are low.

Ethnologue/ISO 639-3 Code[edit]


Examples [2][edit]

Kwadacha Tsek'ene dialect

  • dune man; person
  • tlįį dog
  • wudzįįh caribou
  • yus snow
  • chǫ rain
  • k’wus cloud
  • kwùn fire
  • ’įįbèh summer
  • too water
  • mun lake
  • nun land
  • tselh axe
  • ʼukèʼ foot
  • ’àtse my grandfather
  • ’àtsǫǫ my grandmother
  • lhìghè’ one
  • lhèkwudut’e two
  • tadut’e three
  • dįįdut’e four
  • ǫ yes
  • Tlįį duchę̀’ ’ehdasde January
  • Dahyusè’ nùkehde wìlę February
  • Nùtsʼiide March
  • ʼUtʼǫ̀ʼ kùnuyehde May
  • Jìje dinììdulh July
  • Yhììh nunutsunde wìlę August
  • Yhììh ukudeh’àsde September
  • ’Udììtl’ǫh ’uwit’į̀į̀h October
  • Yus ’ut’į̀į̀h November
  • Khuye ’uwììjàh December




  • Hargus, Sharon (2009) Effects on consonant duration in Fort Ware Tsek'ene. Presented at Athabaskan/Dene Languages Conference, Eugene, OR. PDF of slides, PDF of references.
  • Hargus, Sharon (2009) "Causatives and transitionals in Kwadacha Tsek'ene." (slides) Presented at the Athabaskan Languages Conference, Berkeley, CA. [Supported by NSF DEL-0651853 and Kwadacha Education Society]
  • Hargus, Sharon (2009) "Phonetic vs. phonological rounding in Athabaskan languages." PDF of slides, PDF of references. Presented at LabPhon 12, Albuquerque, NM. (reposted July 16, 2010). The article will appear in Journal of Laboratory Phonology 3:163-193.

External links[edit]