Deg Xinag language
|Native to||United States|
|Region||Alaska (lower Yukon River, Anvik River, Innoko River)|
|Ethnicity||280 Deg Hit'an (2007)|
|Extinct||2012, with the death of Wilson Deacon|
|Latin (Northern Athabaskan alphabet)|
Official language in
Deg Xinag is a moribund Northern Athabaskan language spoken by the Deg Hit’an peoples in Shageluk and Anvik and at Holy Cross along the lower Yukon River in Alaska. Out of an ethnic population of approximately 250 people, only 14 people still speak the language.
The language was referred to as Ingalik by Osgood (1936). While this term sometimes still appears in the literature, it is today considered pejorative. The word "Ingalik" from Yup'ik Eskimo language: < Ingqiliq "Indian".
Engithidong Xugixudhoy (Their Stories of Long Ago), a collection of traditional folk tales in the Deg Xinag language by the elder Belle Deacon, was published in 1987 by the Alaska Native Language Center. A literacy manual with accompanying audiotapes was published in 1993.
There are two main dialects: Yukon and Kuskokwim. The Yukon dialect (Yukon Deg Xinag, Yukon Ingalik) is the traditional language of the villages of Lower Yukon River (Anvik, Shageluk and Holy Cross), although as of 2009 there are no longer any speakers living in Anvik and Holy Cross. Other dialect (Kuskokwim Deg Xinag, Kuskokwim Ingalik) is traditional language of the settlements of Middle Kuskokwim.
Here is the list of consonant sounds in Deg Xinag orthography, accompanied by their pronunciation noted in brackets in IPA:
|Plosive||plain||b [p]||d [t]||g [k]||gg [q]||' [ʔ]|
|aspirated||t [tʰ]||k [kʰ]||q [qʰ]|
|ejective||t' [tʼ]||k' [kʼ]||q' [qʼ]|
|Affricate||plain||ddh [tθ]||dz [ts]||dl [tɬ]||j [tʃ]||dr [ʈ]|
|aspirated||tth [tθʰ]||ts [tsʰ]||tł [tɬʰ]||ch [tʃʰ]||tr [ʈʰ]|
|ejective||tth' [tθʼ]||ts' [tsʼ]||tł' [tɬʼ]||ch' [tʃʼ]||tr' [ʈʼ]|
|Fricative||voiceless||th [θ]||s [s]||ł [ɬ]||sh [ʃ]||sr [ʂ]||yh [ç]||x [χ]||h [h]|
|voiced||v [β]||dh [ð]||z [z]||zr [ʐ]||gh [ɣ]|
|Nasal||m [m]||n [n]||ng [ŋ]|
|Approximant||l [l]||y [j]|
Vowels in Deg Xinag are /a e i o u/.
- q'unt'ogh airplane
- ggagg animal
- ggagg chux bear (lit. 'big animal')
- sraqay children
- dran day
- xik'ugił'anh doctor, nurse
- łegg fish
- łek dog
- sileg my dog
- vileg her dog
- tso tl'ogh iy mammoth
- dina' k'idz doll (lit. 'little person')
- xidondiditey door
- ngan' dit'anh earthquake
- sito' my father
- vito' her father
- yix house
- tinh ice
- dangan iron, metal
- deloy mountain
- vanhgiq Indian ice cream
- choghlugguy (in Anvik) ; niq'asrt'ay (in Shageluk) fox
- vinixiłyiq in the morning
- giłiq one
- teqa two
- togg three
- denhch'e four
- niłq'osnal giłiggi viq'idz iy eleven
- Deg Xinag at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
- Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Degexit'an". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
- Krauss, Michael E (2007) Native languages of Alaska. In: The Vanishing Voices of the Pacific Rim, ed. by Osahito Miyaoko, Osamu Sakiyama, and Michael E. Krauss. Oxford: Oxford University Press. (Table 21.1, page 408)
- Sharon Hargus 2009.Vowel quality and duration in Yukon Deg Xinag
- ankn.uaf.edu: Deg Xinag Ałixi Ni’elyoy / Deg Xinag Learners' Dictionary (2007)
- Deg Xinag - Language of the Deg Hit'an
- Deg Xinag (ANLC)
- Deg Xinag Resources at the Alaska Native Language Archive (ANLA)
- Rescuing a language: College course unites far-flung students and elders in an effort to save Deg Xinag
- Word-Lists of the Athabaskan, Yup'ik and Alutiiq Languages by Lt. Laurence Zagoskin, 1847 (containing Deg Xinag on pages 3–8)
- The Order for Morning Prayer, translated by John Wight Chapman in 1896, digitized by Richard Mammana 2010
- Degexit'an basic lexicon at the Global Lexicostatistical Database
- Deg Xinag language, alphabet and pronunciation
- Alaskan Native Language Center. Retrieved on 2007-03-14.
- Ekada, Patricia J. "Athabascan Culture-From the Lower Yukon Area".
- Osgood, Cornelius. 1936. The Distribution of the Northern Athapaskan Indians. (Yale University Publications in Anthropology, no. 7). New Haven: Yale University.