haida Dictionary

Andre Cramblit andrekar at NCIDC.ORG
Mon Jun 27 18:02:25 UTC 2005

Dictionary preserves language of the Haida


Scholar John Enrico has compiled the first comprehensive Haida
dictionary, the fruit of years of living among the last generation of
people who spoke the language regularly at home.

About 40 people speak Haida today, not all fluently, Enrico said.

The Haida Dictionary was recently published by Sealaska Heritage
Institute in Juneau and the Alaska Native Language Center at the
University of Alaska Fairbanks.

At $279, the two-volume, 2,180-page set is not the sort of book you pull
off the shelf when you want to know the Haida word for "dog."

It's a scholarly work from which academic linguists may further examine
the relationship of Haida to other language families, a point of
dispute. Educators also can develop teaching materials from it, said
Tom Alton, editor at the Alaska Native Language Center.

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