Appendix talk:Dené-Yeniseian Swadesh lists

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I don't see many similarities between words in these three languages. 07:24, 22 August 2010 (UTC)

Not many will be visible. The feature that really ties Navajo to Ket and Tlingit is the classifiers, such as -ł-. If we compare Navajo to languages such as Dena'ina and Apache, you would see a lot of similarities. At least you would if the common linguistic examples are used, which, unfortunately, are often specific to Athabaskan languages and not included in a Swadesh list (such as the postpositions such as shił). —Stephen 12:12, 22 August 2010 (UTC)

Thank you; that is very interesting. R. Carlos Nakai told me that he took his father to meet some Athabascans in Alaska and his father said their language sounded like the way Navajo people used to speak years ago. 08:06, 23 August 2010 (UTC)

There are still some visible cognates, such as the ones for "stone" (Ket təˀs, Tlingit té, Navajo tsé), "foot," and "mouth." These languages had diverged many thousands of years ago, so it's only natural for them to go through a lot of change. In comparison, languages such as Hittite and Albanian do not share many cognates with most other Indo-European languages, but you can see they are still IE languages if you look at sound correspondences and grammatical structures. Here are some interesting articles you might want to take a look at -,, Stevey7788 01:44, 27 August 2010 (UTC)
The evidence is still *extremely* weak, even in Vajda's paper, even if it has the support of some old school Alaskan specialists focusing on particular languages who must not have seen sufficiently general comparative arguments elsewhere. No decent reconstruction to speak of. A few extremely strained, unconvincing and random cognates, some very basic typology found in many families (in fact, even then, both closer to surrounding families than to each other), and a supposedly similar classifier system that is also very strained. We've all cobbled together far better coincidences as an exercise in being conservative in our claims in introductory linguistics courses. Never mind horizontal transfer/areal features that don't imply genetic relationship. At the VERY least, can we not just assume this is a language family? 2604:2000:DF08:E800:A1FE:E7DA:E974:AE24 03:11, 26 December 2017 (UTC)
It's clear that you do not have an understanding of how words are linked with others through reconstructed proto-languages after an extremely long period of time. Athabaskan and Yeniseian have been separated by such a great distance and amount of time that it is unlikely that any words will show the resemblance that a tyro like you think they should. That's not how it's done, as you would know if you had a formal education in the matter. So your folksy requests will not be considered. —Stephen (Talk) 10:52, 26 December 2017 (UTC)


  • ENGLISH: Ket, Navajo

— Stevey7788 20:00, 17 September 2010 (UTC)

Which based on Vajda's paper form the majority of the argument given, with a bit of typology and some classifier affixes. How can you look at half of these and not see a poor coincidence, or the other half and not see how random and unalike they are? A computer could come up with a better correspondence between any two random languages. And the only 'systematic' sound changes have to be of the form [sound 1 OR sound 2] -> [sound 3 OR sound 4], which increases the probability of a hit massively. More than half of these have a consonant in common at best, and even then with this laxity. How is this not on par with some of the most unconvincing macrofamilies out there? 2604:2000:DF08:E800:A1FE:E7DA:E974:AE24 03:16, 26 December 2017 (UTC)

stem noun table[edit]

Stephen asked me to have a look -- I throw this in here; not sure how you guys set up lists here. The whole deal works best for the so-called "stem nouns", e.g. the few true monosyllabic nouns. Seb az86556 00:20, 23 October 2010 (UTC)

Navajo Sarcee Chipewyan Beaver Carrier Sekani Ahtna (English)
chaaʼ tsxa tsáá chááʼ tsaa tsáʼ tsaʼ beaver
tsé tsáh tΘee chée tΘee tsee tsʼees stone
tłʼoh (guu)tłʼowí tłʼog tłʼógi tłʼooh tłʼóó tłʼogh grass
łid tłi łʊr łʊd łʊd łʊd łet smoke
tútii tuu chúu tuuh chúu tuu water
kʼos kʼos kʼoΘ kʼos kʼvs kʼos kʼos cloud
sǫʼ sʊn tΘʊ́n sʊ́n sʊm sʊm sonʼ star
kǫʼ kuu kon kʊ́n kʊn kon konʼ fire

Additional terms?[edit]

Can additional terms of relevance to the American Southwest be added to this list, such as "maize," "turquoise," or "pottery"? 18:31, 7 November 2010 (UTC)

Since this is a Swadesh list, no, they can't. You could, nevertheless, create a list of your own that would focus on this type of cultural vocabulary. It might be interesting to see too. --Petusek (talk) 17:56, 24 September 2015 (UTC)

Ket dialects[edit]

It should be made clear which Ket dialects are being listed or, more precisely, which words come from which dialects. The Ket column looks rather messy in its current form.--Petusek (talk) 17:48, 24 September 2015 (UTC)

The Ket words should be written in Ket Cyrillic alphabet. If we get enough Ket Cyrillic terms, then it will be worthwhile to write a transliteration module for Ket (Lua program) which will transliterate it automatically and consistently. Somebody just needs to find the time to do this. The transliteration will be fairly easy, but first we need Ket words written in Ket Cyrillic. —Stephen (Talk) 04:46, 25 September 2015 (UTC)

Transcription, transliteration[edit]

It is not clear which of the Ket forms are phonetic transcription, which are merely transliteration/romanization. These things should be sorted out. Also, you might want to consult this page. --Petusek (talk) 17:53, 24 September 2015 (UTC)