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The Iñupiatun Uqaluit Taniktun Sivuniŋit/Iñupiaq to
English Dictionary is a comprehensive treatment of
one of Alaska’s oldest ancestral languages. Through
its 19,000 entries and thirty-one appendices—with
categories such as kin terms, names of constellations,
and a list of explanations—the dictionary is an
exceptional blend of linguistic and cultural references.
“The dictionary has been in the making for several
decades, and the result is well worth the wait.
MacLean and those who worked with her have
consulted with Iñupiaq speakers from across Alaska’s
North Slope to compile a comprehensive collection
of word stems, along with postbases, grammatical
endings, and an array of other valuable material . . . .
This dictionary will prove fascinating for anyone
interested in the Iñupiat and their language.”
—Lawrence Kaplan, director, Alaska Native
Language Center, University of Alaska Fairbanks
This magnificent reference is the fruit of decades of painstaking research by MacLean, who worked extensively with Native speakers of every local dialect. It offers far more than an alphabetical listing of Iñupiaq words followed by English translations. Readers will find clear, concise descriptions of most aspects of the phonology and grammar and over 30 finely illustrated appendixes on thematic topics such as kinship terms, locational words, the names of winds and ocean currents, Arctic flora and fauna, the names of sled and kayak details, number systems, and even snow terms.
[This book] provides a comprehensive and detailed overview of the grammar, lexicon, and history of the language, while simultaneously providing a great deal of insight into Iñupiaq culture and traditional knowledge. . . . Edna Ahgeak MacLean has accomplished an impressive work of language documentation and it should serve as a precious tool for language conservation and revitalization efforts in the years to come.
Edna Ahgeak MacLean is president emeritus of
Ilisagvik College. An Iñupiaq from Barrow, Alaska,
MacLean developed and taught in the Iñupiaq
language degree program at the University of