Inuit-Yupik-Unangax̂ Languages

The language family with the largest number of speakers in Alaska is the Inuit-Yupik-Unangax̂ language family (also known as Eskimo-Aleut).

 

This family of languages stretches from the Far East of Siberia, through Alaska and Canada and all the way to eastern Greenland. Iñupiaq speakers in Alaska have shown some ability to communicate with Greenlandic speakers, despite the thousands of miles that separate these languages. Inuit-Yupik-Unangax̂ languages often have extremely long words that might be expressed by a whole sentence in English.

See the table below for a comparison of Inuit-Yupik vocabulary:

Iñupiaq (North Slope)

iñuk

Inupiaq (Seward Peninsula)

inuk

St. Lawrence Island Yupik

yuk

Yup'ik

yuk

Sugpiaq

suk

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Updated January 2020. 

All images and maps are courtesy of the Alaska Native Language Archive and the Alaska Native Language Center

Original funding for this site provided by Alaska Humanities Forum with in-kind support from the Alaska Native Language Preservation & Advisory Council. Quyana to the volunteers who assist in keeping this website running. 

This website acknowledges the traditional territories of the many Indigenous Alaskan Nations that have lived in and taken care of the lands of Alaska since time immemorial.