Deg Xinag language

Deg Xinag
Native to United States
Region Alaska (lower Yukon River, Anvik River, Innoko River)
Ethnicity 280 Deg Hit'an (2007)[1]
Native speakers
40 (2007)[1]
Latin (Northern Athabaskan alphabet)
Language codes
ISO 639-3 ing
Glottolog dege1248[2]

Deg Xinag is a Northern Athabaskan language spoken by the Deg Hit’an peoples in Shageluk and Anvik and at Holy Cross along the lower Yukon River in Alaska. The language is nearly extinct, as most people are shifting to English.

The language was referred to as Ingalik by Osgood (1936). While this term sometimes still appears in the literature, it is today considered pejorative. The word "Ingalik" from Yup'ik Eskimo language: < Ingqiliq "Indian".

Engithidong Xugixudhoy (Their Stories of Long Ago), a collection of traditional folk tales in the Deg Xinag language by the elder Belle Deacon, was published in 1987 by the Alaska Native Language Center. A literacy manual with accompanying audiotapes was published in 1993.


There are two main dialects, an Yukon and a Kuskokwim one. The Yukon dialect (Yukon Deg Xinag, Yukon Ingalik) is the traditional language of the villages of Lower Yukon River (Anvik, Shageluk and Holy Cross), although as of 2009 there are no longer any speakers living in Anvik and Holy Cross. Other dialect (Kuskokwim Deg Xinag, Kuskokwim Ingalik) is traditional language of the settlements of Middle Kuskokwim. [3]




  1. 1 2 Deg Xinag at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Degexit'an". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. Sharon Hargus 2009.Vowel quality and duration in Yukon Deg Xinag
  4. Deg Xinag Ałixi Ni’elyoy / Deg Xinag Learners' Dictionary (2007)

External links


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