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Athabascan (ăthəbăsˈkən), Athapascan, or Athapaskan (both: –păsˈ–), 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 languages.


See H. Hoijer et al., Studies in the Athapaskan Languages (1963).

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References in periodicals archive ?
"We have an opportunity with this show, with Molly of Denali,' to inform and to show us in a positive and respectful light," says Johnson, creative producer of the series and a member of an Athabascan group, Neets'aii Gwich'in.
Caption: DENALI, North America's highest summit, appeared as Mount McKinley on federal maps until 2015, when the Department of the Interior gave the mountain its Koyukon Athabascan name.
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."
Obama announced that his administration is changing the name of North America's tallest peak, the 20,320-foot (6,193-meter) Mount McKinley, to Denali, its traditional Athabascan name.
In another instance, as Crane is dealing with ferocious winds, Murphy diverts from the account to devote five paragraphs to Raven, the "creator, savior, and shape-shifter trickster in the Distant Time stories of the [region's] Native Athabascan tribes." In yet another tangent, Murphy takes a page and a half to detail the troubled home life of Crane's superior officer, none of which has any bearing on Crane's movements or is ever referred to again.
This extraction process in the Athabascan boreal wetlands is increasing in intensity every month.
The new route reduces the number of checkpoints in the early part of the race, but it adds stops at villages that have never been part of the Iditarod -- like tiny Huslia, an Athabascan village of about 300 residents.
The Athabascan basket maker Daisy Stri da zatse Demientieff gathered roots, removed their bark, and split them into incredibly narrow strips.
Reading less as complex scholarly engagements than as informational encyclopedia articles, these contributions entice the reader to conduct further research--on Cherokee painter Kay WalkingStick, Athabascan writer Velma Wallis, and Makah filmmaker Sandra Osawa, or on differences between northern- and southern-style powwows.
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.