Aleutian


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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Aleutian

 

(or Unangan), the language of the Aleuts, spoken on the Aleutian Islands (USA, Aleut population about 5,000 in 1961) and the Komandorskie Islands (USSR, population about 400 in 1959). It belongs to the Eskimo-Aleut family of languages and consists of three dialects: Unalaskan (from Unalaska Island), Atican, and Attuan. The last two are spoken by the Aleuts of the Komandorskie Islands. The phonemic structure includes three vowels and 17 (20) consonants. The morphological word structure is suffixal and agglutinative. Through contacts between the Aleuts of Mednyi Island (USSR) and the Russians, the Aleutian language has borrowed the Russian conjugation system, while retaining the lexical basis of Aleutian verbs. This is a rare case of linguistic interference.

REFERENCES

Veniaminov, I. Opyt grammatiki aleutsko-lis’evskogo iazyka. St. Petersburg, 1846.
Iokhel’son, V. I. “Unanganskii (aleutskii) iazyk.” In lazyki i pis’mennost’ narodov Severa, part 3. Moscow-Leningrad, 1934.
Menovshchikov, G. A. “Aleutskii iazyk.” In lazyki narodov SSSR, vol. 5. Moscow-Leningrad, 1968.

G. A. MENOVSHCHIKOV

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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