The Inupiaq language is a member of the Inuit-Yupik family of Eskimo-Aleut languages. It is spoken by the Inupiat people, who live in the northwestern Arctic region of Alaska. Inupiaq is one of the official languages of the state of Alaska.
There are two main dialects of Inupiaq: North Alaskan Inupiaq and Siberian Yupik. North Alaskan Inupiaq is spoken in the northern and northwestern parts of Alaska, while Siberian Yupik is spoken in the southwestern part of the state.
Inupiaq is a polysynthetic language, which means that words can be very long and complex. This is because words can be made up of many different parts that each have their own meaning. For example, the Inupiaq word for "dog" is qimmiġun. This word is made up of the following parts:
qim-: to be
-un: diminutive suffix
So, the word qimmiġun literally means "little animal."
Inupiaq has a rich oral tradition. Inupiaq stories, songs, and poems are passed down from generation to generation. These stories and poems often teach moral lessons or describe the Inupiat way of life.
The Inupiaq language is endangered. In Alaska, English is the dominant language, and Inupiaq is often not spoken outside of the home. This is leading to a decline in the number of Inupiaq speakers.
There are several organizations working to preserve the Inupiaq language. These organizations are working to create Inupiaq language materials, such as dictionaries and textbooks. They are also working to promote the use of Inupiaq in the home and community.