Deg Xinag language
The Deg Hitʼan language, Deg Xinag, also known as Ingalik, is a moribund Northern Athabaskan language spoken by the Deg Hitʼan peoples in the villages of Shageluk, Anvik, and 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.
|Native to||United States|
|Region||Alaska (lower Yukon River, Anvik River, Innoko River)|
|Ethnicity||280 Deg Hitʼan (2007)|
|Extinct||2012, with the death of Wilson Deacon|
|Latin (Northern Athabaskan alphabet)|
Official language in
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" is from the Yupʼik Eskimo language: Ingqiliq, meaning "Indian".
Engithidong Xugixudhoy (Their Stories of Long Ago), a collection of traditional folk tales in Deg Xinag 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 the Lower Yukon River (Anvik, Shageluk and Holy Cross). As of 2009, there are no longer any speakers living in Anvik and Holy Cross. The other dialect (Kuskokwim Deg Xinag, Kuskokwim Ingalik) is the 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]||G [q]||ʼ [ʔ]|
|aspirated||p [pʰ]||t [tʰ]||k [kʰ]||q [qʰ]|
|ejective||tʼ [tʼ]||kʼ [kʼ]||qʼ [qʼ]|
|Affricate||plain||ddh [tθ]||dz [ts]||dl [tɬ]||j [tʃ]||dr [ʈʂ]|
|aspirated||tth [tθʰ]||ts [tsʰ]||tł [tɬʰ]||ch [tʃʰ]||tr [ʈʂʰ]|
|ejective||tthʼ [tθʼ]||tsʼ [tsʼ]||tłʼ [tɬʼ]||chʼ [tʃʼ]||trʼ [ʈʂʼ]|
|Fricative||voiceless||th [θ]||s [s]||ł [ɬ]||sh [ʃ]||sr [ʂ]||x [χ]||h [h]|
|voiced||v [v]||dh [ð]||z [z]||zr [ʐ]||yh [ʝ]||gh [ʁ]|
|Nasal||voiced||m [m]||n [n]||ng [ŋ]|
|voiceless||mh [m̥]||nh [n̥]||ngh [ŋ̊]|
|glottalized||m' [mˀ]||n' [nˀ]||ng' [ŋˀ]|
|Approximant||voiced||l [l]||y [j]|
In final position, consonant sounds /t, tθ, ts, tɬ, ʈʂ, tʃ, k, q/ are voiced as [d, dð, dz, dl, ɖʐ, dʒ, ɡ, ɢ].
Vowels in Deg Xinag are [a e ə o ʊ].
- qʼuntʼogh airplane
- ggagg animal
- ggagg chux bear (lit. 'big animal')
- sraqay children
- dran day
- xikʼugiłʼanh doctor, nurse
- łegg fish
- łek dog
- sileg my dog
- vileg her dog
- tso tlʼogh iy mammoth
- dinaʼ kʼidz doll (lit. 'little person')
- xidondiditey door
- nganʼ ditʼanh earthquake
- sitoʼ my father
- vitoʼ 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
- denhchʼe four
- niłqʼosnal giłiggi viqʼidz 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, University of Washington
- Hargus, Sharon (2009). Vowel quality and duration in Yukon Deg Xinag. University of Washington.
- 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.