Eskimo–Aleut languages


Eskimo–Aleut or Eskaleut is a language family native to Alaska, the Canadian Arctic (Nunavut and Inuvialuit Settlement Region), Nunavik, Nunatsiavut, Greenland, and the Chukchi Peninsula on the eastern tip of Siberia.

It is also known as Eskaleutian, Eskaleutic, or Inuit–Yupik-Unangan.

The Eskimo–Aleut language family is divided into two branches, the Eskimo languages and the Aleut language.

The Aleut language family consists of a single language, Aleut, spoken in the Aleutian Islands and the Pribilof Islands. Aleut is divided into several dialects.

The Eskimo languages are divided into two branches, the Yupik languages, spoken in western and southwestern Alaska and in easternmost Siberia, and the Inuit languages, spoken in northern Alaska, in Canada, and in Greenland.

Inuit, which covers a huge range of territory, is divided into several varieties. Neighbouring varieties are quite similar, although those at the farthest distances from the centre in the Diomede Islands and East Greenland are quite divergent.

The proper place of one language, Sirenik, within the Eskimo family has not been settled. Some linguists list it as a branch of Yupik, others as a separate branch of the Eskimo family, alongside Yupik and Inuit.

The Alaska Native Language Center believes that the common ancestral language of the Eskimo languages and of Aleut divided into the Eskimo and Aleut branches at least 4000 years ago.

The Eskimo language family divided into the Yupik and Inuit branches around 1000 years ago.

The Eskimo–Aleut languages are among the native languages of the Americas. This is a geographical category, not a genealogical one.

The Eskimo–Aleut languages are not demonstrably related to the other language families of North America and are believed to represent a separate, and the last, prehistoric migration of people from Asia.

Eskimo–Aleut languages

  • Aleut
    • Western–Central dialects: Atkan, Attuan, Unangan, Bering (60–80 speakers)
    • Eastern dialects: Unalaskan, Pribilof (400 speakers)
  • Eskimo languages (or Yupik–Inuit languages)
    • Yupik (11,000 speakers)
      • Central Alaskan Yup’ik (10,000 speakers)
        • General Central Alaskan Yup’ik language (or Yugtun)
        • Chevak Cup’ik (or Cugtun)
        • Nunivak Cup’ig (or Cugtun)
      • Alutiiq or Pacific Gulf Yupik (400 speakers)
        • Koniag Alutiiq
        • Chugach Alutiiq
      • Central Siberian Yupik or Yuit (Chaplinon and St. Lawrence Island, 1,400 speakers)
        • Chaplinski
        • St. Lawrence Island Yupik (Sivuqaghmiistun)
      • Naukan (70 speakers)
      • Sirenik (extinct) (viewed as an independent branch by some)
    • Inuit (98,000 speakers)
      • Inupiaq or Inupiat (northern Alaska, 3,500 speakers)
        • Qawiaraq or Seward Peninsula Inupiaq
        • Inupiatun or Northern Alaska Inupiaq (including Uummarmiutun (Aklavik, Inuvik))
      • Inuvialuktun (western Canada, 765 speakers)
        • Siglitun (Paulatuk, Sachs Harbour, Tuktoyaktuk)
        • Inuinnaqtun (in Ulukhaktok also known as Kangiryuarmiutun)
        • Natsilingmiutut (Nattilik area, Nunavut)
      • Inuktitut (eastern Canada; together with Inuinnaqtun, 40,000 speakers)
        • Nunatsiavummiutut (Nunatsiavut, 550 speakers)
        • Nunavimmiutitut (Nunavik)
        • Qikiqtaaluk nigiani (South Baffin)
        • Qikiqtaaluk uannangani (North Baffin)
        • Aivilimmiutut (Eastcentral Nunavut)
        • Kivallirmiutut (Southeast Nunavut)
      • Greenlandic (Greenland, 54,000 speakers)
        • Kalaallisut (West Greenlandic, 50,000 speakers)
        • Tunumiisut (East Greenlandic, 3,500 speakers)
        • Inuktun or Avanersuaq (Polar Eskimo, approx 1,000 speakers)