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Holikachuk language

Holikachuk (Doogh Qinag)
Native to United States
Region Alaska (lower Yukon River, Innoko River)
Ethnicity Holikachuk people
Extinct prior to 2012[1]
Latin (Northern Athabaskan alphabet)
Language codes
ISO 639-3 hoi
Glottolog holi1241[2]

Holikachuk (own name: Doogh Qinag[3]) was an Athabaskan language formerly spoken at the village of Holikachuk (Hiyeghelinhdi) on the Innoko River in central Alaska. In 1962, residents of Holikachuk relocated to Grayling on the lower Yukon River. Holikachuk is intermediate between the Deg Xinag and Koyukon languages, linguistically closer to Koyukon but socially much closer to Deg Xinag. Though it was recognized by scholars as a distinct language as early as the 1840s, it was only definitively identified in the 1970s.[4] Of about 180 Holikachuk people, only about 5 spoke the language in 2007.[5] In March 2012, the last living fluent speaker of Holikachuk died in Alaska.[1]

James Kari compiled a short dictionary of Holikachuk in 1978, but Holikachuk remains one of the least documented Alaska Native languages.[6]



  • łoogg fish
  • łoogg dood mininh iligh November (literally: 'month when the eels come [swim]')
  • giggootth scales
  • q’oon’ fish eggs
  • nathdlod Indian ice cream


  1. ^ a b ICTMN Staff. "Alaska Native Language Loses Last Fluent Speaker." Indian Country Today Media Network. 18 Apr. 2012. Web. 19 Apr. 2012. [1]
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Holikachuk". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ Beth R. Leonard (2007), Deg Xinag oral traditions: reconnecting indigenous language and education through traditional narratives, a thesis presented to the Faculty of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, May 2007
  4. ^ Krauss, Michael E. 1973. Na-Dene. Linguistics in North America, ed. by T.A. Sebeok, 903-78. (Current Trends in Linguistics 10). The Hague: Mouton.
  5. ^ Krauss, Michael E. 2007. Native languages of Alaska. In: The Vanishing Voices of the Pacific Rim, ed. by Osahito Miyaoko, Osamu Sakiyama, and Michael E. Krauss. Oxford: Oxford University Press
  6. ^ Kari, James. 1978. Holikachuk Noun Dictionary (Preliminary). Fairbanks: Alaska Native Language Center. ERIC ED172528
  7. ^

External links

  • Holikachuk Athabascan. Alaska Native Language Center. Retrieved on 2007-03-14.
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