Annotated Swadesh wordlists for the Tlingit group (Na-Dene family).

Languages included: Tlingit [tli] (Northern dialectal group).

Data sources.

Crippen 2008 = Crippen, J. A. Notes on Tlingit Grammar. Unpubl. draft, October 7, 2008. // Descriptive grammar of the Tlingit language.
Edwards 2009 = Edwards, Keri. Dictionary of Tlingit. Juneau, Alaska: Sealaska Heritage Institute, 2009. // Dictionary of Northern Tlingit, illustrated by examples and accompained by English index and thematic glossary.
Leer 1991 = Leer, J. A. The Schetic Categories of the Tlingit Verb. PhD, University of Chicago, 1991. // Detailed study of the Tlingit verbal system.
Naish & Story 1963 = Naish, Constance M. & Story, Gillian L. English-Tlingit dictionary: Nouns. 1st ed. SIL, Fairbanks, 1963. // Thematic glossary of Northern Tlingit nouns.
Naish & Story 1996 = Naish, Constance M. & Story, Gillian L. English-Tlingit Noun dictionary. 3rd ed. (repr. of the 2nd ed.). Sheldon Jackson College, Fairbanks, 1996. Available on-line as Tlingit On-line Dictionary: Alaska Native Languages Dictionary - Tlingit at [accessed 01.2011]. // Thematic glossary of Northern Tlingit nouns.
Story & Naish 1973 = Story, Gillian L. & Naish, Constance M. Tlingit verb dictionary. Alaska Native Language Center, University of Alaska, 1973. // English - Northern Tlingit and Northern Tlingit - English verb dictionary, illustrated by examples and accompained by a grammar sketch.
Twitchell 2005 = Twitchell, Lance A. Lingít Dictionary. Northern dialect. 2nd ed. 129 pages. Troubled Raven Productions, 2005. // Northern Tlingit - English and English - Northern Tlingit noun dictionary. In citations, page numbers from the "English-Tlingit Alphabetical" section are accompanied by the stroke sign (').

Cable 2006 = Cable, S. The Interrogative Words of Tlingit. An Informal Grammatical Study. Unpubl. ms, July 2006.
Leer 1990 = Leer, J. A. Tlingit: A portmanteau language family? In: P. Baldi (ed.). Linguistic Change and Reconstruction Methodology. Mouton de Gruyter, 1990. P. 73-98.
Pfizmaier 1883 = Pfizmaier, A. Aufklärungen über die Sprache der Koloschen. In: Sitz. Ber. d. Kaiserl. Akad. d. Wiss., phil.-hist. Cl., Bd.105, Heft 1. Wien, 1883. S. 169-234.
Story 1979 = Story, Gillian L. A morphological study of Tlingit. SIL, Language data, Amerindian Series #7. Dallas, 1979. A revised version of A morphological study of Tlingit, M.A. thesis (University of London, 1966).
Swanton 1909 = Swanton, John R. Tlingit myths and texts. Washington, 1909.

As noted in [Leer 1991: 1ff.] and [Crippen 2008: 4ff.], the Tlingit language consists of two main dialectal groups (all dialects are mutually intelligible):
1) Northern Tlingit [NT] (including the Interior dialect and some others);
2) Southern dialectal group, which includes the Transitional Southern dialect, the Sanya-Henya dialect and the Tongass dialect.

Idioms of the Southern group are very poorly documented and nearly extinct (the Tongass dialect has gone extinct only recently). The available dictionaries ([Edwards 2009], [Twitchell 2005], [Story & Naish 1973], [Naish & Story 1996]) are based on Northern Tlingit.

Primary sources for the proposed Norther Tlingit wordlist are [Edwards 2009], [Story & Naish 1973] and [Naish & Story 1996]. Other sources have been used for additional proofs.

We transliterate the Tlingit alphabet as follows:

m m
d t
t tʰ (before a vowel) / t (before a consonant or a pause)
n n
dl ƛ
tl ƛʰ (before a vowel) / ƛ (before a consonant or a pause)
tlʼ ƛʼ
l ɬ
dz c
ts cʰ (before a vowel) / c (before a consonant or a pause)
s s
j č
ch čʰ (before a vowel) / č (before a consonant or a pause)
chʼ čʼ
sh š
g k
k kʰ (before a vowel) / k (before a consonant or a pause)
kw kʰʷ (before a vowel) / kʷ (before a consonant or a pause)
kʼw kʼʷ
x x
xʼw xʼʷ
g, ɢ, ḡ, gh q
gw, ghw
k, kh qʰ (before a vowel) / q (before a consonant or a pause)
kw, khw qʰʷ (before a vowel) / qʷ (before a consonant or a pause)
kʼ, khʼ
kʼw, khʼw qʼʷ
x, xh χ
xw, xhw χʷ
xʼ, xhʼ χʼ
xʼw, xhʼw χʼʷ
h h
. ʔ
.w ʔʷ
y y
w w
ɰ (not regularly), y
i i
u u
e e
a a
#V ʔV (regular glottal prosthesis before the vowel onset)
V́ (high tone)

In the Northern dialectal group only two tones are opposed (high and low), see [Leer 1991: 12ff.] and [Crippen 2008: 15ff.] for detail. Following lexicographic conventions and for the sake of convenience we treat the low tone as neutral and leave these vowels unmarked ([Story & Naish 1973] mark low tone as in some positions, but we omit it).

Glossing abbreviations:
possr = possessor
poss = possessive (pronoun) or possessive (marker)
indn.poss = indefinite non-human possessive pronoun

Database compiled and annotated by: A. Kassian, February 2011 / revised November 2011 (some transliterational details improved) / revised May 2017 (minor corrections).