Naskapi language

ᓇᔅᑲᐱ naskapi,
ᐃᔪᐤ ᐃᔨᒧᐅᓐ iyuw iyimuun
Native toCanada
RegionQuebec, Labrador
Native speakers
1,230 (2016 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3nsk
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Naskapi (also known as Iyuw Iyimuun in the Naskapi language) is an Algonquian language spoken by the Naskapi in Quebec and Labrador, Canada.[2] It is written in Eastern Cree syllabics.

The term Naskapi is chiefly used to describe the language of the people living in the interior of Quebec and Labrador in or around Kawawachikamach, Quebec. Naskapi is a "y-dialect" that has many linguistic features in common with the Northern dialect of East Cree, and also shares many lexical items with the Innu language.

Although there is a much closer linguistic and cultural relationship between Naskapi and Innu than between Naskapi and other Cree language communities, Naskapi remains unique and distinct from all other language varieties in the Quebec-Labrador peninsula.


Bilabial Alveolar Post-
Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal /m/ /n/
Stop /p/ /t/ /tʃ/ /k/
Fricative /s/ /h/
Approximant /w/ (/ɹ/) /j/
Lateral (/l/)

Each stop has voiced allophones as /b d ɡ dʒ/.[3]

  • Long vowels: /i/, /a~æ/, /u/
  • Short vowels: /ɪ~ə/, /ʌ~ə/, /o~ʊ/


  1. ^ "Language Highlight Tables, 2016 Census - Aboriginal mother tongue, Aboriginal language spoken most often at home and Other Aboriginal language(s) spoken regularly at home for the population excluding institutional residents of Canada, provinces and territories, 2016 Census – 100% Data". www12.statcan.gc.ca. Government of Canada, Statistics. Retrieved 2017-11-23.
  2. ^ Lewis, M. Paul (ed.), 2009. Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Sixteenth edition. Dallas, Tex.: SIL International. Online version:
  3. ^ MacKenzie, Marguerite. 1994.

External links

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