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(both: –păs`–), group of related Native American languages forming a branch of the Nadene linguistic family or stock. In the preconquest period, Athabascan was a large and extensive group of tongues. Its speakers lived in what are now Canada, Alaska, Oregon, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and parts of Mexico. Today the surviving Athabascan languages include Chipewyan, Kutchin, Carrier, and Sarsi (all in Canada); Chasta-Costa (in Oregon); Hoopa or Hupa (in California); Navajo (in New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah); and Apache (in Oklahoma, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Mexico). These and other Athabascan languages are the mother tongues of about 175,000 indigenous people of North America. The speech communities of most Athabascan languages today are small, with the exception of Navajo, which has roughly 150,000 speakers, most of whom can also speak English. The Navajo are one of the largest Native American groups in the United States. A feature of the Navajo language, perhaps the best-known tongue in the Athabascan group, is its tonal quality. There are high tones, low tones, rising tones, and falling tones. Another important Athabascan tongue, Apache, is spoken in its various dialects by about 12,000 persons. According to some authorities, the Athabascan languages face extinction relatively soon. See Native American languagesNative American languages,
languages of the native peoples of the Western Hemisphere and their descendants. A number of the Native American languages that were spoken at the time of the European arrival in the New World in the late 15th cent.
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See H. Hoijer et al., Studies in the Athapaskan Languages (1963).

References in periodicals archive ?
I went from feeling like an imposter to being part of it--to being accepted for who I am: I am an Athabascan.
Senator Lisa Murkowski, a Republican who introduced a bill to rename the peak early last year, applauded Obama's decision, which she called a "significant change to show honor, respect, and gratitude to the Athabascan people of Alaska.
This six-hundred-year-old framework of domination helped me to understand the sickening feeling I experienced that day in the Athabascan boreal forest and the legitimated violence against earth and inhabitants of our current global economic, social, and political system.
The students in my workshop have diverse backgrounds; most are Alaska Native (Yupik, Athabascan, Tlingit), one is Hispanic, two are African American, and a handful are white.
ERTEL DERANGER works with the Athabascan Chipewyan First Nations.
But that knowledge took the project only so far--for the CAIHC, it had to specifically meet the needs of the Athabascan people of the Tanana Chiefs Conference (TCC), which is made up of 42 villages along two rivers in an expansive 235,000-square-mile region of the Alaskan Interior.
With partner Osum Oil Sands Corp, Schmidt's closely held Laricina Energy is operating the first pilot project in three decades in the West Athabascan Grosmont, about 100 km west of the oil-sands centre of Fort McMurray, Alberta.
The book is a biography of the author's Athabascan mother and grandmother.
The Native Heritage Center is a place to become familiar with local lore, the art of totem pole carvings incorporating iconic animals, and ritual practices of Alaskan regional tribes (including Athabascan, Aleut, Haida, Tsimshian, Eyak, Tlingit, Inupiaq, and Yupik).
The Athabascan Indian Village, the salmon wheel, the stop at Susan Bouchers and the Dave Munson Trail Breeding Kennels.
Among their topics are the conceptualization of body parts and emotion expressions in Beaver Athabascan, whether Nahuatl riddles are endangered conceptualizations, the use of a conceptual metaphor--narrative is climbing a mountain--in the Siroi language of Papua New Guinea, the importance of unveiling conceptual metaphors in a minority language as seen in Basque, and metaphors of the Finnish Roma in Finnish and Romani.
Labeling tar sands as the dirtiest and most carbonintensive source of liquid fuels, environmentalists have galvanized around opposition to the proposed pipeline, which will connect Hardisty, Alberta--the collection point for Athabascan syncrude--to Cushing, Okla.