Tutchone language

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Tutchone
Native to Canada
Region Yukon
Ethnicity 2,500 (1,100 Northern Tutchone, 1,400 Southern Tutchone; 2007)[1]
Native speakers
350 (2016 census)[2]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 Either:
tce – Southern
ttm – Northern
Glottolog tutc1236[3]

Tutchone is a Athabaskan language spoken by the Northern and Southern Tutchone First Nations in central and southern regions of Yukon Territory, Canada. Tutchone belongs to the Northern Athabaskan linguistic subfamily and has two primary varieties, Southern and Northern. Although they are sometimes considered separate languages, Northern and Southern Tutchone speakers are generally able to understand each other in conversation, albeit with moderate difficulty.[4]

Southern Tutchone is spoken in the Yukon communities of Aishihik, Burwash Landing, Champagne, Haines Junction, Kloo Lake, Klukshu, Lake Laberge, and Whitehorse.[5]

Northern Tutchone is spoken in the Yukon communities of Mayo, Pelly Crossing, Stewart Crossing, Carmacks, and Beaver Creek.[6]

Phonology

Northern Tutchone

The consonants and vowels of Northern Tutchone and their orthography are as follows:[7]

Consonants

Labial Inter-
dental
Alveolar Post-
alveolar
Retroflex Velar Glottal
central lateral Plain Labialized
Nasal [m] m [n] n
Stop [t]
[tʰ]
d
t
[k]
[kʰ]
g
k
[]
[kʷʰ]
gw
kw
[ʔ]
 
ʼ
 
[] t’ [] k’ [kʷʼ] kw’
[ᵐb] mb [ⁿd] nd
Affricate []
[tθʰ]
ddh
tth
[ts]
[tsʰ]
dz
ts
[]
[tɬʰ]
dl
tl
[]
[tʃʰ]
j
ch
[tθʼ] tth’ [tsʼ] ts’ [tɬʼ] tl’ [tʃʼ] ch’
[ⁿdʒ] nj
Fricative [θ]
[ð]
th
dh
[s]
[z]
s
z
[ɬ]
[ɮ]
ł
l
[ʃ]
[ʒ]
sh
zh
[x]
[ɣ]
kh
gh
[]
[ɣʷ]
khw
ghw
[h] h
Approximant [j] y [ɻ] r [w] w

Vowels

Front Central Back
High [i] i [u] u
Mid [e] e [ə] ä [o] o
Low [a] a

Vowels are differentiated for nasalization and high, mid, and low tone.

Nazalized: į, ų, ę, ą̈, ǫ, ą

High Tone: í, ú, é, ä́ , ó, á

Mid Tone: ī, ū, ē, ǟ, ō, ā

Low Tone: unmarked

Southern Tutchone

Consonants

Labial Inter-
dental
Alveolar Post-
alveolar
Velar Glottal
central lateral Plain Labialized
Nasal [m] m [n] n
Stop [t]
[tʰ]
d
t
[k]
[kʰ]
g
k
[]
[kʷʰ]
gw
kw
[ʔ]
 
ʼ
 
[] t’ [] k’ [kʷʼ] kw’
[ᵐb] mb [ⁿd] nd
Affricate []
[tθʰ]
ddh
tth
[ts]
[tsʰ]
dz
ts
[]
[tɬʰ]
dl
tl
[]
[tʃʰ]
j
ch
[tθʼ] tth’ [tsʼ] ts’ [tɬʼ] tl’ [tʃʼ] ch’
[ⁿdʒ] nj
Fricative [θ]
[ð]
th
dh
[s]
[z]
s
z
[ɬ]
[ɮ]
ł
l
[ʃ]
[ʒ]
sh
zh
[x]
[ɣ]
kh
gh
[]
[ɣʷ]
khw
ghw
[h] h
Approximant [ɹ] r [j] y [w] w

[8]

Vowels

Front Central Back
High [i] i [ɨ] ü [u] u
Mid [e] e [ə] ä [o] o
Low [a] a

Vowels are differentiated for nasalization and high, mid, and low tone.

Nazalized: į, ų, ų̈, ę, ą̈, ǫ, ą

High Tone: í, ú, ǘ, é, ä́ , ó, á

Mid Tone: ī, ū, ǖ, ē, ǟ, ō, ā

Dialects

Southern (Dän kʼè)

  • Aishihik dialect
  • Tàaʼan dialect
  • Klukshu dialect
  • Kluane dialect

Northern (Dän kʼí)

  • Big Salmon dialect
  • Pelly Crossing dialect
  • Mayo dialect
  • White River dialect

Vocabulary comparison

The comparison of some words in the two languages:[9]

Northern Southern meaning
łu ¹ ~ łyok ² łu fish
łígī łä̀chʼi one
łä́ki łä̀ki two
tadechʼi tayke three
łénínchʼi dùkʼwän four
hulákʼo kä̀jän five
èkúm ä́kų̀ my house
ninkúm nkų̀ your (sg.) house
ukúm ukų̀ his/her house
dàkúm dákų̀ our house
dàkúm dákų̀ your (pl.) house
huukúm kwäkų̀ / kukų̀ their house

¹ Big Salmon dialect
² Pelly Crossing dialect

Revitalization efforts

Tutchone is considered to be an endangered language, as its speaker population is shifting rapidly to English. In a 2011 census, Northern Tutchone was reported to have 210 speakers, and Southern Tutchone 140 speakers.[10][11]

Literacy and documentation

The Yukon Native Language Center (YNLC) describes information in regards to Southern Tutchone documentation and literacy, starting from the 1970s such as stories and songs, as well as a basic noun dictionary and language lessons. After 1984, there have been additional literacy workshops. One example is the Southern Tutchone textbook and audio, made by Margaret Workman, a native Southern Tutchone speaker. This information, along with other multimedia Southern Tutchone language learning and documentation resources, is currently available through the YNLC.[12] In addition, in 1994 the Ta'an Kwach'an Council took part in an oral history and language preservation project, in which traditions, genealogy, and more information was documented.[13]

Education

Tutchone language classes have been taught in Yukon schools since the early 1980s. Southern Tutchone language classes are included in the curriculum for students grades K-12 in schools at Kluane Lake, and three elementary schools in Whitehorse have language programs for Southern Tutchone. The St. Elias Community School in Haines Junction also offers Southern Tutchone language classes to students from K-12: one teacher handles K-4, another grades 5-12.[14] In addition, the Yukon Native Language Center provides support for schools in regards to language learning, such the "Dakeyi- Our Country" program which is focused on high schools students.[12] In 2009, kindergarten classes in Haines Junction began learning Southern Tuchone in a bi-cultural program.[15]

Community engagement

There have been ongoing community collaborations across the Yukon in regards to Southern Tutchone, with varied camps, workshops, and programs. For example, in 1995 and 1996, the Kluane First Nations participated in the sessions of "Working Together to Pass it on", a workshop meant to promote language activities and usage at home and the community. In addition, the Southern Tutchone Tribal Council held its first language conference "Kakwaddhin - Marking the Trail" in 1996, in order to review language programs and draft long and short term strategic plans. This led to successful programs, including the "Following your Grandfather trail" camp in Klukshu in 1997.[13] Nowadays there are varied programs offered in the Yukon to continue the language revitalization efforts, such as the Southern Tutchone Language Immersion program for adults.[16]

In popular culture

Jerry Alfred's "Etsi Shon" (Grandfather song), sung in Northern Tuchone, won a Juno Award in the Best Aboriginal Album category in 1996.[17][18]

Since 2011 the Adäka Cultural Festival, an annual multi-disciplinary arts and culture festival, has been held in Whitehorse. Celebrating First Nations arts and culture, with a specific focus on Yukon First Nations, 'Adäka', in the Southern Tutchone language, means 'coming into the light'.[19]

References

  1. ^ Cite error: The named reference e18 was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  2. ^ Canada, Government of Canada, Statistics. "Aboriginal Mother Tongue". www12.statcan.gc.ca. Retrieved 2018-05-22. 
  3. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Tutchone". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  4. ^ Krauss, M. E. and V. Golla. (1981). Northern Athapaskan Languages. Handbook of North American Indians, Vol. 6: Subarctic, ed. by June Helm, 67–85. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution.
  5. ^ "Did you know Southern Tutchone is severely endangered?". Endangered Languages. Retrieved 2017-11-01. 
  6. ^ "Did you know Northern Tutchone is severely endangered?". Endangered Languages. Retrieved 2017-11-01. 
  7. ^ McClellan, Catharine (1978). "Tutchone". Handbook of North American Indians: Subarctic. Government Printing Office. p. 493. ISBN 9780160045783. 
  8. ^ Cruikshank, Julie. 1991. p. xvi
  9. ^ http://www.firstvoices.com/en/Southern-Tutchone
  10. ^ "Tutchone, Northern". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2017-11-01. 
  11. ^ "Tutchone, Southern". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2017-11-01. 
  12. ^ a b Yukon Native Language Center, (n.d.). Southern Tutchone. Retrieved from: http://www.ynlc.ca/stutchone.shtml
  13. ^ a b Metcalf, B., Dr. Gardner, L. & Netro, G. (1999). We Are Our Language. (pp. 96-110). Whitehorse, YT, Canada: Yukon Aboriginal Languages Services.
  14. ^ Yukon First Nations Education Resources. (2015). First Nations programs & partnerships. Web. www.yesnet.yk.ca
  15. ^ "Launch of Southern Tutchone Bi-cultural School Program" (PDF). Yukon Government News Release. 2009-10-15. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-06-08. Retrieved 2012-11-27. 
  16. ^ CBC News Canada. "Southern Tutchone Language Immersion Program for Adults". 
  17. ^ Lynn Van Matre (1966-08-01). "Jerry Alfred & the Medicine Beat Etsi Shon". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2012-11-27. 
  18. ^ "Juno Awards Database". junoawards.ca. Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on 2013-12-03. Retrieved 20 January 2012.  External link in |work= (help)
  19. ^ "Adäka Cultural Festival". Travel Yukon. Retrieved 13 November 2016. 

External links

  • Yukon Native Language Center : Northern Tutchone
  • Yukon Native Language Center : Southern Tutchone
  • First Voices: Southern Tutchone
  • Freelang Tutchone (Southern)-English dictionary
  • OLAC resources in and about the Northern Tutchone language
  • OLAC resources in and about the Southern Tutchone language
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