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Dena’ina Topical Dictionary

This page contains excerpts from Chapter 13 of the Dena’ina Topical Dictionary (ANLC 2008). Below are a sample of entries from two different sections of the chapter. The complete print publication can be purchased from the Alaska Native Language Center.

Chapter 13 - Sky, Weather and Atmosphere

13.1 Sky and Stars

sky yuq'  
darkness heł  
it got dark nughiłghatl'  
horizon yuvugh
ełnen vugh
lit. 'edge of the sky'
lit. 'edge of the earth'
moon geljay (UI)
ghelja (OSl)
it is a full moon q'analyun (UO)
q'anghalyun (I)
k'nudnudlet (O S&P)
lit. 'it is full grown'
northern lights yuyqux (I)
yuyqush (OU)
sun ni'i (O)
n'uyi (IU)
nu'uy (U)

13.2 Weather

bad weather ch'uqughił qiz'un (I)
ch'eduqidiłt'e (U)
good weather yaghelich' qiz'un (IO)
yaghelich' qiy'un (U)
cloud q'es  
cloud cover, overcast sky yuq' hnalt'em
yunlay (U)
yuq' dahi (IO)
cold, cold weather; north wind ezhi'i (I)
ezhiyi (O)
edli'i (U)
lit. 'cold one'
fog uq (U)
frost shegh
shagh (U)
lightning tsila, shila (U)
shila (OI)
delvashi (OI)
rain kun  
it is raining ełkun  
it is pouring rain qakundenlzil (I)
qakundelyil (U)
shabila (UI)
jabila (OU)
lit. 'sun snare'
warmth, warm weather ebayi (OU)
eva'i (I)

13.2.1 Falling Snow, Snow Storms

snow (on ground) chitl'
nzhah (OI)
falling snow
nudahi (U)
lit 'falling objects'
sleet, half rain and half snow tlaq'  
spring snow that causes last snow to melt nzhah gelqedi (O)
nut'aq'i zhaq'a (O)
ch'enq' k'yilquni (I)
nunhdecheni (U)
k'etunuynashahi (I)
lit 'one that eats snow'
lit 'goose's spit'
lit 'that which is on the wings'
lit 'causes water to increase'

Dialect abbreviations

  • (I) = Inland (Nondalton, Lime Village, often Iliamna)
  • (L) = Lime Village
  • (Lk-I) = Kuskokwim Ingalik at Lime Village
  • (N) = Nondalton
  • (Il) = Iliamna
  • (U) = Upper Cook Inlet (Tyonek, Susitna Station, Knik, Eklutna)
  • (Su) = Susitna Staion
  • (E) = Eklutna
  • (T) = Talkeetna
  • (Kn) = Knik
  • (O) = Outer Cook Inlet (Kenai, Kustatan)
  • (Sl) = Seldovia (+Sl) = in all dialects and confirmed for Sledovia

Excerpted from the Dena’ina Topical Dictionary, edited by James Kari.