The Hän language (alternatively spelled as Haen) (also known as Dawson, Han-Kutchin, Moosehide; ISO 639-3 haa) is a Northern Athabaskan language spoken by the Hän Hwëch'in (translated to people who live along the river, sometimes anglicized as Hankutchin). Athabascan refers to the interrelated complexity of languages spoken in Canada and Alaska each with its own dialect: the village of Eagle, Alaska in the United States and the town of Dawson City, Yukon Territory in Canada, though there are also Hän speakers in the nearby city of Fairbanks, Alaska. Furthermore, there was a decline in speakers in Dawson City as a result of the influx of gold miners in the mid-19th century.
|Native to||Canada, United States|
|5 in Alaska, 1 in Yukon (2020)|
|Latin (Dené alphabet)|
Official language in
The consonants of Hän are listed below with IPA notation on the left, the standard orthography in ⟨brackets⟩:
|plain||p ⟨b⟩||tθ ⟨ddh⟩||t ⟨d⟩||ts ⟨dz⟩||tɬ ⟨dl⟩||tʃ ⟨j⟩||ʈʂ ⟨dr⟩||k ⟨g⟩||ʔ ⟨ʼ⟩|
|aspirated||(pʰ ⟨p⟩)||tθʰ ⟨tth⟩||tʰ ⟨t⟩||tsʰ ⟨ts⟩||tɬʰ ⟨tl⟩||tʃʰ ⟨ch⟩||ʈʂʰ ⟨tr⟩||kʰ ⟨k⟩|
|ejective||tθʼ ⟨tth’⟩||tʼ ⟨t’⟩||tsʼ ⟨ts’⟩||tɬʼ ⟨tl’⟩||tʃʼ ⟨ch’⟩||ʈʂʼ ⟨tr’⟩||kʼ ⟨k’⟩|
|prenasalized||ᵐb ⟨mb⟩||ⁿd ⟨nd⟩||ⁿdʒ ⟨nj⟩|
|Fricative||voiceless||θ ⟨th⟩||s ⟨s⟩||ɬ ⟨ł⟩||ʃ ⟨sh⟩||ʂ ⟨sr⟩||x ⟨kh⟩||h ⟨h⟩|
|voiced||ð ⟨dh⟩||z ⟨z⟩||ɮ ⟨l⟩||ʒ ⟨zh⟩||ʐ ⟨zr⟩||ɣ ⟨gh⟩|
|Sonorant||voiced||m ⟨m⟩||n ⟨n⟩||l ⟨l⟩||j ⟨y⟩||ɻ ⟨r⟩||w ⟨w⟩|
|voiceless||n̥ ⟨nh⟩||j̊ ⟨yh⟩||ɻ̥ ⟨rh⟩||w̥ ⟨wh⟩|
|Close||i ⟨i⟩||iː ⟨ii⟩||u ⟨u⟩||uː ⟨uu⟩|
|Close-mid||e ⟨e⟩||eː ⟨ee⟩||o ⟨o⟩||oː ⟨oo⟩|
|Mid||ə ⟨ë⟩||əː ⟨ëë⟩|
|Open||æ ⟨a⟩||æː ⟨aa⟩||ɑ ⟨ä⟩||ɑː ⟨ää⟩|
|Diphthongs||æu ⟨aw⟩ æi ⟨ay⟩ ɑu ⟨äw⟩ eu ⟨ew⟩ ei ⟨ey⟩ iu ⟨iw⟩ oi ⟨oy⟩|
There are about a dozen people, all elderly, who speak Hän as their native language, though there is a growing second-language speaker community.
The Tr'ondëk Hwëch'in (formerly known as the Dawson First Nation) in the Yukon Territory support the revitalization of Hän, and there are current efforts to revive the language locally. There is an effort to promote traditional skills and finding a balance between the way of the newcomer's which further promotes the development and revitalization of the language.
There are many other resources used to learn Hän, particularly online ones such as, FirstVoices and Yukon Native Learning Centre. These online learning language tools teach the tradition, culture, history, and the language of Hän.
- Manker, Jonathan, and Tsuu T’ina Nation (2013). The Syntax of Sluicing in Hän. Dene Languages Conference, Calgary, Alberta.
- Manker, Jonathan (2014). Tone Specification and the Tone-Bearing Unit (TBU) in Hän Athabascan. WSLCA 19 St. John's, Newfoundland.
- O’Leary, M. (2017) The Interaction of Wh-movement and Topicalization in Hän. 2016 Dene Language Conference Proceedings, 81–88.
- Lehman, S. B. & O’Leary, M. (2019). Unexpected Athabaskan Pronouns. In Margit Bowler, Philip T. Duncan, Travis Major, Harold Torrence (eds.), UCLA Working Papers: Schuhschrift: Papers in Honor of Russell Schuh, 122–137.
- https://www.commerce.alaska.gov/web/Portals/4/pub/ANLPAC/ANLPAC%202020%20Report%20to%20the%20Governor%20and%20Legislature.pdf[bare URL PDF]
- Chappell, Bill (21 April 2014). "Alaska OKs Bill Making Native Languages Official". NPR.
- "Hän language, alphabet and pronunciation". www.omniglot.com. Retrieved 2017-08-22.
- "Yukon Native Language Centre". ynlc.ca. Retrieved 2018-01-13.
- "Hän". Ethnologue: Languages of the World.