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THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska

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Author Topic: THE INUIT of the Arctic Regions Of Canada, Greenland, Russia & Alaska  (Read 7823 times)
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« Reply #30 on: February 05, 2009, 07:49:39 pm »

The Eskimo-Aleut family of languages includes two cognate branches: the Aleut (Unangam) branch
and the Eskimo branch.

The Eskimo sub-family consists of the Inuit language and Yupik language sub-groups.

The Sirenikski language, which is virtually extinct, is sometimes regarded as a third branch of the
Eskimo language family, but other sources regard it as a group belonging to the Yupik branch.

Inuit languages comprise a dialect continuum, or dialect chain, that stretches from Unalakleet and Norton Sound in Alaska, across northern Alaska and Canada, and east all the way to Greenland.

Speakers of two adjacent Inuit dialects can easily understand one another, but speakers of dialects
at the extreme distant ends of the range have significant difficulty.

Seward Peninsula dialects in Western Alaska, where much of the Inupiat culture has only been in
place for perhaps less than 500 years, are greatly affected by phonological influence from the Yupik languages.

Eastern Greenlandic, at the opposite end of the Inuit range has had significant word replacement due
to a unique form of ritual name avoidance.

The four Yupik languages have existed in place, which probably includes the locations where Eskimo culture and language began, for much longer than the Inuit language. Alutiiq (Sugpiaq), Central Alaskan Yup'ik, Naukan (Naukanski), and Siberian Yupik, are distinct languages with limited mutualintelligibility.Even the dialectic differences within Alutiiq and Central Alaskan Yup'ik sometimes are relatively great for locations that are relatively close geographically.

While grammatical structures of Yupik and Inuit languages are similar, they have pronounced differences phonologically and differences of vocabulary between Inuit and any of one of the Yupik languages is greater than between any two Yupik languages.
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