Hey guys! Oopsie, so I’m even further behind than I was before… these weekends just keep tripping me up somehow – but no worries, we’ve still got plenty of time left this month; and I am determined to get through the alphabet! So while I’d prefer to not be posting in May, if I am, oh well. We’ll just see how long this series will take.
Anyway, we’ve just managed to reach the letter I, so today I’m going to tell you a little about the language Inuinnaqtun.
Inuinnaqtun is an indigenous Inuit language spoken in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories of Canada by approximately 410 people (Statistics Canada, 2011). It is arguable whether Inuinnaqtun should be considered its own language or a dialect of Inuktitut; however, the Official Languages Act for Nunavut recognises Inuinnaqtun as an official language within its territory (Office of the Languages Commissioner of Nunavut, n.d.) and it is therefore treated as such.
Due to the low number of speakers, as well as the spread of English and French in the areas where Inuinnaqtun is spoken, the language is classified as being definitely endangered (Moseley, 2010), but there appear to be significant efforts being made to revitalise it. There are programmes being offered at Nunavut Arctic College to promote the language and to teach language revitalisation, so that these efforts spread (LeTourneau, 2015). Between these efforts and the official recognition of the language, it seems likely that there will be some positive impact, but it is difficult to tell right now whether Inuinnaqtun will survive in the long term.
LeTourneau, M., 2015. Waking a sleeping language [online]. Northern News Services Online, 13th April. Available from: http://www.nnsl.com/frames/newspapers/2015-04/apr13_15lan.html. [Accessed 17 April 2016].
Moseley, C., ed., 2010. Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger. Paris: UNESCO Publishing. Online version: http://www.unesco.org/culture/en/endangeredlanguages/atlas.
Office of the Languages Commissioner of Nunavut, n.d. Nunavut’s Official Languages. Available from: http://langcom.nu.ca/nunavuts-official-languages/. [Accessed 17 April 2016].
Statistics Canada, 2011. 2011 Census of Canada: Topic-based tabulations | Mother Tongue. Available from: http://www12.statcan.gc.ca/census-recensement/2011/dp-pd/tbt-tt/Rp-eng.cfm?LANG=E&APATH=3&DETAIL=0&DIM=0&FL=A&FREE=0&GC=0&GID=0&GK=0&GRP=1&PID=103267&PRID=0&PTYPE=101955&S=0&SHOWALL=0&SUB=0&Temporal=2011&THEME=90&VID=0&VNAMEE=&VNAMEF=. [Accessed 17 April 2016].
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