Dene Speech Atlas                

The Dene Speech Atlas (DSA) provides information about the sounds of the languages of the First Nations Dene in communities of the Mackenzie River Basin and in surrounding areas.  There are at least five Dene language groups in this geographic area:

These Dene communities, represented in the DSA, are located in the Northwest Territories, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. A google earth interface has been developed in which  communities are linked to information about the language group (see link in sidebar). The information on this site includes phoneme inventories of the consonant and vowel sounds of each language, in orthographies used in the specific community, and transcriptions into the IPA (international Phonetic Alphabet) of those orthographies. 

The IPA is a worldwide alphabet developed by the International Phonetic Association, it is used by linguists to identify sounds used in human languages.  By documenting speech in individual communities, the DSA links the Dene languages to their communities of speakers, documenting the variation and change across these languages.  

For the Atlas, we collected speech examples of the sound contrasts, and natural conversation when possible, in several Dene communities in this geogrpahic area, using word lists and conversation games constructed for this project.

Methods for collection of  speech data have been developed and are available to those communites who would like to participate. Information on how to do this is vailable by contacting us.  Participation in the DSA by other Dene speaking communities is welcomed. 

Visitors are encouraged to explore the site for information and resources in order to gain a greater appreciation of Dene and to assist in language preservation,  teaching, and learning.  For a more detailed orientation to the site, review the information provided at the ABOUT tab. 

Support and Funding

As indicated in the sidebar, Support and Funding for this project has been generously provided by The University of Rochester,  the National Science Foundation and The University of Alberta.  © Joyce McDonough 2012