Dena'ina Language and Culture

   Yagalidu!  Greetings! My name is Beverly Cloud.   Welcome to a webquest exploring the Dena'ina Athabascan language and culture in Alaska.  The Dena'ina language is considered an endangered language.  That means that there are only a few people that can still speak the language.  You will have the chance to experience the language and culture of the Dena'ina by visiting websites.  We must make sure this language does not die from lack of use.  Your job is to make a book using the Dena'ina language that will help to teach the language.  Explore the Qenaga site, learn to say the sounds and try pronouncing the words and phrases correctly. 

  


Language Information

  Dena’ina (earlier known as Tanaina) is the Athabascan language of the Cook Inlet area with four dialects:  The Upper Inlet, including the villages of Eklutna, Knik, Montana Creek, Susitna, and Tyonek; the Outer Inlet, including Kenai, Kustatan, and Seldovia (with no more speakers in the latter); Iliamna, including Pedro Bay, Old Iliamna, and Lake Iliamna; and inland areas, including Nondalton, Lime Village, and Stony River.  Of the total population of about 900 people, about 75 speak the language.  A practical orthography was developed in 1972, and since then, a considerable literary and educational literature has developed.  Much of the recent linguistic documentation has been the work of James Kari.


Where was the Dena'ina Language spoken?

This is a  language map.  Dena'ina is also known as Tanaina.  Can you find the area where Dena'ina or Tanaina was spoken? It is located in Southcentral Alaska.  The Dena'ina language is in the family of Athabascan Indian languages.