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Encyclopedia > Yupik language

The Yupik (Yup'ik/Юпик) people speak several distinct languages, depending on their location. The languages differ enough from one another that speakers of different ones cannot understand each other, although they may understand the general idea of a conversation of speakers of another of the languages. The Yupik or, in the Central Alaskan language, Yupik, are indigenous or aboriginal peoples who live along the coast of western Alaska, especially on the Yukon-Kuskokwim delta and along the Kuskokwim River (Central Alaskan Yupik), in southern Alaska (the Alutiiq) and in the Russian Far East and St. ...


The Yupik languages are in the family of Eskimo-Aleut languages. The Aleut and Eskimo languages diverged about 2000 B.C., and the Yupik languages diverged from each other and from Inuktitut about 1000 A.D. Eskimo-Aleut (also called Inuit-Aleut, but both names are considered offensive by some) is a language family native to Greenland, the Canadian Arctic, Alaska, and parts of Siberia. ... Aleut (Unangam Tunuu) is a language of the Eskimo-Aleut language phylum. ... Distribution of Inuit language variants across the Arctic. ... Note: This page contains phonetic information presented in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) using Unicode. ...

Contents

Geographic distribution of Yupik languages

The Yupik languages are:

  1. Naukanski (also Naukan): spoken by perhaps 100 people in and around the villages of Laurence (Лаврентия), Lorino (Лорино) and Whalen (Уэлен) on the Chukotka Peninsula of Eastern Siberia.
  2. Central Siberian Yupik (also Yupigestun, Akuzipik, Siberian Yupik, Siberian Yupik Eskimo, Central Siberian Yupik Eskimo, St. Lawrence Island Yupik, Yuit, Asiatic Eskimo, Jupigyt, Yupihyt, Bering Strait Yupik): spoken by the majority of Yupik in the Russian Far East and by the people on St. Lawrence Island, Alaska. Most of the 1,000 Yupiks on St. Lawrence Island still speak the St. Lawrence dialect of this language. About 300 of the 1,000 Siberian Yupiks in Russia still speak the Chaplino dialect of this language.
  3. Central Alaskan Yupik (also Central Yupik, Yup’ik, West Alaska Eskimo): spoken on the Alaska mainland from Norton Sound down to the Alaska Peninsula and on some islands such as Nunivak. The name of this language is sometimes spelled Yup’ik because the speakers say the name of the language with an elongated 'p'; all the other languages call their language Yupik. Of the about 21,000 Central Alaskan Yupiks, some 13,000 still speak this language. There are several dialects of Central Alaskan Yupik. The largest dialect, General Central Yupik or Yugtun, is spoken in the Yukon River, Nelson Island, Kuskokwim River, and Bristol Bay areas. There are three other Central Alaskan Yupik dialects: Norton Sound, Hooper Bay/Chevak, and Nunivak Island (called Cup’ik or Cup’ig). The dialects differ in pronunciation and in vocabulary. Within the General Central Yupik dialect there are geographic subdialects which differ mostly in word choices.
  4. Pacific Yupik (also Pacific Gulf Yupik, Chugach, Alutiiq, or Sugpiaq): is spoken from the Alaska Peninsula eastward to Prince William Sound. There are about 3,000 Alutiiqs, but only 500 – 1,000 people still speak this language. The Koniag dialect is spoken on the south side of the Alaska Peninsula and on Kodiak Island. The Chugach dialect is spoken on the Kenai Peninsula and in Prince William Sound.

The Yuit are the Indigenous peoples of the extreme eastern section of Siberia. ... Far Eastern Federal District (highlighted in red) Russian Far East (Russian: Д́альний Вост́ок Росс́ии; English transliteration: Dalny Vostok Rossii) is an informal term that refers to the Russian part of the Far East, i. ... St. ... The Norton Sound is an inlet of the Bering Sea in western Alaska, south of the Seward Peninsula. ... Volcanoes on the Alaska Peninsula The Alaska Peninsula is a peninsula extending about 800 km (500 miles) to the southwest from the mainland of Alaska and ending in the Aleutian Islands. ... Nunivak Island is the second largest island in the Bering Sea, 48 km (30 miles) offshore from the delta of the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers, at about 60° North latitude. ... Map of the Yukon River watershed The Yukon River is a major watercourse of northwestern North America. ... Nelson Island or Qaluyaaq Island is an island in western Alaska, at 60°37 North 164°22 West. ... The Kuskokwim River is a river, approximately 650 mi (1,110 km) long, in southwest Alaska in the United States. ... Shore of Bristol Bay near Naknek. ... The Norton Sound is an inlet of the Bering Sea in western Alaska, south of the Seward Peninsula. ... Hooper Bay or Naparyaarmiut is a city located in Wade Hampton Census Area, Alaska. ... Chevak is a city located in Wade Hampton Census Area, Alaska. ... Nunivak Island is the second largest island in the Bering Sea, 48 km (30 miles) offshore from the delta of the Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers, at about 60° North latitude. ... Volcanoes on the Alaska Peninsula The Alaska Peninsula is a peninsula extending about 800 km (500 miles) to the southwest from the mainland of Alaska and ending in the Aleutian Islands. ... Prince William Sound, on the south coast of Alaska. ... The Alutiiq (plural: Alutiit), also called Pacific Yupik or Sugpiaq, are a southern, coastal branch of Alaskan Yupik. ... Volcanoes on the Alaska Peninsula The Alaska Peninsula is a peninsula extending about 800 km (500 miles) to the southwest from the mainland of Alaska and ending in the Aleutian Islands. ... Kodiak Island is a large island on the south coast of the U.S. state of Alaska, separated from the Alaska mainland by the Shelikof Strait. ... The Kenai Peninsula in Alaska The Kenai Peninsula is a large peninsula jutting from the southern coast of Alaska in the United States. ... Prince William Sound, on the south coast of Alaska. ...

Sounds

Consonants

Central Yup’ik Consonants:


c (ts/ch), g (ɣ) (velar fricative), gg (x) (unvoiced velar fricative), k, l (ɮ) (alveolar lateral fricative), ll (ɬ) (unvoiced alveolar lateral fricative), m, ḿ (voiceless m), n (alveolar), ń (voiceless n), ng (ŋ), ńg (voiceless ŋ), p, q (uvular stop), r (ʀ) (uvular fricative), rr (χ) (voiceless uvular fricative), s (z), ss (s), t (alveolar), û (w), v (v/w), vv (f), w (χw), y, (gemination of preceding consonant) Velars are consonants articulated with the back part of the tongue (the dorsum) against the soft palate (the back part of the roof of the mouth, known also as the velum). ... In phonetics, phonation is the use of the laryngeal system to generate an audible source of acoustic energy, i. ... Fricatives (or spirants) are consonants produced by forcing air through a narrow channel made by placing two articulators close together. ... Alveolar consonants are articulated with the tongue against or close to the superior alveolar ridge, which is called that because it contains the alveoli (the sockets) of the superior teeth. ... Laterals are L-like consonants pronounced with an occlusion made somewhere along the axis of the tongue, while air from the lungs escapes at one side or both sides of the tongue. ... Uvulars are consonants articulated with the back of the tongue against or near the uvula, that is, further back in the mouth than velar consonants. ... The voiceless uvular fricative is a type of consonantal sound, used in some spoken languages. ... Listen to this article · (info) This audio file was created from the revision dated 2005-07-20, and does not reflect subsequent edits to the article. ...

Labial Labio-dental Alveolar Velar Uvular
Stop p t k q
Affricate c [tʃ]
Fricative v [v, w] vv [f] s [z] ss [s] g [ɣ] gg [x] r [ʁ] rr [χ]
Nasal m n ń [] ng [ŋ] ńg []
Lateral l [ɮ] ll [ɬ]
Semivowel û [w] y [j]

Labials are consonants articulated either with both lips (bilabial articulation) or with the lower lip and the upper teeth (labiodental articulation). ... In phonetics, labiodentals are consonants articulated with the lower lip and the upper teeth. ... Alveolars are consonants articulated with the tip of the tongue against the alveolar ridge, the internal side of the upper gums (known as the alveoles of the upper teeth). ... Velars are consonants articulated with the back part of the tongue (the dorsum) against the soft palate (the back part of the roof of the mouth, known also as the velum). ... Uvulars are consonants articulated with the back of the tongue against or near the uvula, that is, further back in the mouth than velar consonants. ... Look up stop in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... An affricate is a consonant that begins like a stop (most often an alveovelar, such as [t] or [d]) and that doesnt have a release of its own, but opens directly into a fricative (or, in one language, into a trill). ... Note: This page contains phonetic information presented in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) using Unicode. ... A nasal consonant is produced when the velum—that fleshy part of the palate near the back—is lowered, allowing air to escape freely through the nose. ... The term lateral can refer to: an anatomical definition of direction. ... Semivowels (also called semiconsonants or glides) are vowels that function phonemically as consonants. ...

Vowels

Yupik languages have four vowels: 'a', 'i', 'u' and schwa. They have from 13 to 27 consonants. Note: This page contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... Vowels Near-close Close-mid Mid Open-mid Near-open Open Where symbols appear in pairs, the one to the right represents a rounded vowel. ... In articulatory phonetics, a consonant is a sound in spoken language that is characterized by a closure or stricture of the vocal tract sufficient to cause audible turbulence. ...


Central Yup’ik Vowels:


a, aa, e (ə) (schwa), i, ii, u, uu


(In proximity to the uvular consonants 'q', 'r' or 'rr', the vowel 'i' is pronounced as a closed /e/, and 'u' as a closed /o/.) Uvulars are consonants articulated with the back of the tongue against or near the uvula, that is, further back in the mouth than velar consonants. ...


Syllable

Grammar

The Yupik languages, like other Eskimo-Aleut languages, represent a particular type of agglutinative language called a polysynthetic language: it "synthesizes" a root and various grammatical affixes to create long words with sentence-like meanings. It has been suggested that Agglutination be merged into this article or section. ... Polysynthetic languages are highly synthetic languages, i. ... The root is the primary lexical unit of a word, which carries the most significant aspects of semantic content and cannot be reduced into smaller constituents. ... Look up affix in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ...


Writing systems

The Yupik languages were not written until the arrival of Europeans around the beginning of the 19th century. The earliest efforts at writing Yupik were those of missionaries who, with their Yupik-speaking assistants, translated the Bible and other religious texts into Yupik. Such efforts as those of Saint Innocent of Alaska, Reverend John Hinz (see John Henry Kilbuck) and Uyaquk had the limited goals of transmitting religious beliefs in written form. Saint Innocent of Alaska was a Russian Orthodox priest, bishop, archbishop and Metropolitan of Moscow and all Russia. ... John Henry Kilbuck Jr. ... Uyaquk was a Yupik Moravian missionary and linguistic genius who went from being an illiterate adult to inventing a series of writing systems for his native language and then producing translations of the Bible and other religious works in a period of five years. ...


After the United States purchased Alaska, Yupik children were taught to write English with Latin letters in the public schools. Some were also taught the Yupik script developed by Rev. Hinz, which used Latin letters and which had become the most widespread method for writing Yupik. In Russia, most Yupik were taught to read and write only Russian, but a few scholars wrote Yupik using Cyrillic letters. Check used to pay for Alaska The Alaska purchase from Russia by the United States occurred in 1867 at the behest of Secretary of State William Seward. ...


In the 1960s, the University of Alaska assembled a group of scholars and native Yupik speakers who developed a script to replace the Hinz writing system. One of the goals of this script was that it could be input from an English keyboard, without diacriticals or extra letters. Another requirement was that it accurately represent each phoneme in the language with a distinct letter. A few features of the script are that it uses 'q' for the back version of 'k', 'r' for the Yupik sound that resembles the French 'r', and consonant + ’ for a geminated (lengthened) consonant. The rhythmic doubling of vowels (except schwa) in every second consecutive open syllable is not indicated in the orthography unless it comes at the end of a word. The 1960s decade refers to the years from January 1, 1960 to December 31, 1969, inclusive. ... The University of Alaska is a Land-Grant, Sea-Grant, and Space Grant university founded in 1922 in Fairbanks, Alaska. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


External links

Bibliography

  • Campbell, Lyle. (1997). American Indian languages: The historical linguistics of Native America. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-509427-1.
  • Mithun, Marianne. (1999). The languages of Native North America. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-23228-7 (hbk); ISBN 0-521-29875-X.
  • de Reuse, Willem J. (1994). Siberian Yupik Eskimo: The language and its contacts with Chukchi. Studies in indigenous languages of the Americas. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press. ISBN 0-87480-397-7.

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