June 01, 2010

Learners' dictionaries for Alaskan languages

Southeast languages focus of books

NATIVE:  Haida, Tlingit and Tsimshian words, phrases are included.

By Mike Dunham
Sealaska Heritage Institute has published a new series of learners' dictionaries for the Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian languages and the first-ever Alaska Haida phrasebook.

"We've been working on language restoration for nearly 10 to 12 years, and I would say for a greater part of this we've been working on these dictionaries," institute president Rosita Worl said in a press release.

The new books incorporate some important innovations.

The "Dictionary of Tlingit," for instance, is the first to include nouns and verbs and all minor word categories in a single resource. The vast majority of the verb forms have never before been documented or published. It also includes example sentences for most of the entries, which illustrate the words in a context.

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