Unangam Tunuu Language Tools

About the materials

This website and the materials found within are the result of a three-week practicum on the Unangam Tunuu language, spoken across the Aleutian chain, which would not be possible if not for the efforts of Dr. Anna Berge and Moses Dirks, a native speaker and teacher from Atka, at CoLang 2016, University of Alaska Fairbanks. This practicum is unique in many ways. Perhaps the most peculiar characteristic of this practicum was that research projects were done primarily using archival materials housed at the Alaska Native Language Archive. Because we were working with these archival materials, we wanted to make them more easily available to the Aleut community, as well as to other linguists, by placing them online.

One of the goals of my project was to place these educational materials onto an interactive web-based platform in hopes that they may be appealing and accessible to potential learners. Individual learners may have different needs and it is therefore important to provide a variety of entryways into the language. Therefore, in attempts to address these issues, I developed several language learning tools, some of which are guided by fruitful research on computer-assisted language learning, specifically on web-based distance learning. I do not claim that I have succeeded, especially given the short timeframe, but I hope the community, language learners and teachers, linguists, and anyone else may be able to appreciate them.

This website is intended as a resource. No part of it may be used for financial gain. We are very open to feedback and suggestions from the Aleut community. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me - I am very open to feedback and suggestions - and thank you for visiting.

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. #1500841. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. As always, all errors are my own.

Satellite image of the Aleutian islands.

Satellite image of the Aleutian islands.

2016 CoLang Unangam Tunuu Practicum with our teachers, Anna Berge and Moses Dirks.

2016 CoLang Unangam Tunuu Practicum with our teachers, Anna Berge and Moses Dirks.

About me

My name is Edwin Ko and I was born in New York - my parents are originally from Hong Kong and I maintain strong ties to my language, Cantonese, and to my traditions. I am starting a PhD in Linguistics at University of California, Berkeley in the Fall 2017 where I plan on focusing on syntax, language documentation and language revitalization.

My passion for linguistics and for the conservation of languages across the world developed through collaborations with members from communities including Northern Pomo, Crow, and Hidatsa, communities where there are either no longer any fluent speakers or where the number of speakers are declining at an accelerated rate. I am fortunate that so many people had been willing to share with me their cultural knowledge. I am also forunate to have worked with many people whose profound efforts in teaching their language and culture to their own community have been inspirational, so much so that I have dedicated my life's work towards supporting communities with their own language revitalization efforts.

Birdie Real Bird, me, and Donna Old Elk.

Birdie Real Bird, me, and Donna Old Elk working on a curriculum for the Crow language.

Other Resources

Unangam Qiliĝingin: A Memrise Course in Unangam Tunuu
Unangam Qiliĝingin is a free online vocabulary course that was designed as a companion to Niiĝuĝis Mataliin Tunux̂tazangis/How the Atkans Talk: A Conversational Grammar by Anna Berge and Moses Dirks (2008). Using Memrise's spaced repetition algorithm, Unangam Qiliĝingin helps you become familiar with new Unangam Tunuu words at your own pace, and can be used with the Memrise application on a computer or on your mobile. It was created by Kevin Martens Wong and Julian Rauter under the supervision of Dirks and Berge for the CoLang 2016 Unangam Tunuu practicum.

Tanam Awaa: Nation's Work
Description to come.

Alaska Native Languages: Unangam Tunuu
Description to come.

Aleutian Pribilof Islands Association: Unangam Tunuu Word of the Week
Description to come.

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