Dena'ina Topical Dictionary

"[The] array of interesting comparative and regional themes in Dena'ina vocabulary, such as the great number of dialect variants, the elite replacements, and the reanalyzed roots, indicate that the Dena'ina have been at the archaeic periphery of the Athabascan language family in North America. These vocabulary patterns reflect long-term occupation of the Inland dialect area, and territorial expansion into Cook Inlet Basin..." -James Kari, 2007

book cover showing a mountain and lake, with smaller inset images of people and historic artifacts

By James Kari
Professor Emeritus of Linguistics, University of Alaska Fairbanks

Order this book from the Alaska Native Language Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Project History and Sources, The Dena'ina Language Area and Themes in the Vocabulary, The Dena'ina Sound System and Orthography, Dena'ina Dialects, and Notes on Stress
Chapter 1: Animals
Chapter 2: Fish, Shellfish, and Amphibians
Chapter 3: Birds
Chapter 4: Insects
Chapter 5: Plants
Chapter 6: Pronouns
Chapter 7: Relatives, Kinship Terms
Chapter 8: People
Chapter 9: Body Parts
Chapter 10: Dena'ina Place Names
Chapter 11: Water, Snow and Ice
Chapter 12: Land and Land Forms
Chapter 13: Sky, Weather, and Atmosphere
Chapter 14: Days, Seasons, Months, and Adverbs of Time
Chapter 15: Clothing and Adornment

Chapter 16: Skin Tanning and Sewing
Chapter 17: Tools
Chapter 18: Hunting and Fishing Devices
Chapter 19: Houses, Shelters, Racks, and Caches
Chapter 20: Transportation
Chapter 21: Fire Chapter 22: Household Furnishings, Personal Belongings, and Miscellany
Chapter 23: Cooking and Eating Utensils and Containers
Chapter 24: Foods


Chapter 25: Games, Music, Stories
Chapter 26: Religious Terms and Spirits
Chapter 27: Abstract or Non-Material Concepts
Chapter 28: Colors
Chapter 29: Numbers, Measurements, and Adverbs of Quantity
Chapter 30: Areal Nouns, Postpositions, and Adverbs of Location Chapter 31: Riverine Directionals
Chapter 32: Questions Words and Sample Questions
English Index
Personal Names Index


"Many special ecological niches contribute to the diverse Dena'ina lexicon. The set of more than eighty month names reflects the mixing of maritime and continentall climates. Bird distributions and names for birds are often restricted to one or two dialects. The fish inventories vary greatly in the dialect areas. The marine-oriented biota such as beluga, seal, sea otter, and marine fishes and shellfish are found in almost no other Athabascan languages." -James Kari, 2007

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