Iñupiaq map

Following the excellent suggestion over at Jabal al-Lughat, I’ve created a Google Earth map for Iñupiaq. It’s rudimentary, and I haven’t marked which villages and towns speak which dialect yet, but I think it’s useful anyway.

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(Click on the thumbnail for a larger version.)

Unfortunately, Google doesn’t have all the towns and villages necessary, and I don’t know their GPS coordinates. Missing from the map are Council, Mary’s Igloo, and Barter Island, AK (at the very least). The Google Earth file (in .kmz) is here for anyone interested. I’ll try to update and refine it when I get the time.

While Google may not have accurate info for all the towns and villages in rural Alaska (what we call The Bush), note that major roads and such aren’t missing from the map – they’re just not there at all. Most of Alaska is not connected by road or rail whatsoever. This means that contact between villages (and thus dialects) is still somewhat difficult, although modern telecommunications certainly make a big difference.

My consultant this past summer was from Noatak, near Kotzebue. She’d also lived in Kotzebue for many years as an adult. I also got to work with and learn from two speakers of North Slope Iñupiaq (from Barrow) and one from Point Hope.

EDIT: I’ve just gone through and changed the placemarkers for each village so that they reflect which dialect is spoken. In cases where more than one dialect is spoken in the same village, however, I couldn’t see a ready visual solution so I just marked with one of them. Also, I added Kaktovik, which ought to do nicely for Barter Island, as well as Anchorage and Fairbanks for reference.


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