Feb 06 2013
Alutiiq Orthography Book Helps Revive Written Word
Wednesday, 06 February 2013


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              For years the Alutiiq Museum staff has worked with community members and Alutiiq elders to help revitalize the Alutiiq language. That push led to an Alutiiq studies program at Kodiak College and various language courses offered throughout the community. Last week the efforts were further recognized when the museum came out with a new book, The Alutiiq Orthography: Kodiak Dialect. April Laktonen Counceller co-wrote the 100-page paperback book with linguist Jeff Leer. She said the funding for the book came from the National Science Foundation.


--          (Alutiiq Book  1                      :23                   “But the real start of the project … orthography.”)


            Counceller said members of the nonprofit were working to create a stable Alutiiq writing system and provide resources for people looking to understand the writing process.


--          (Alutiiq Book  2                      :33                   “So after that initial ... and other details like that.”)


            While still working on that manuscript, Counceller learned about a funding opportunity with the National Science Foundation and decided to put in an application to create a manuscript for Kodiak’s dialect. The museum received the funds, and for more than a year Counceller worked diligently with Leer to get the book into print-ready form. She said the project could not have been done without the help of Alutiiq elders.     


--          (Alutiiq Book  3                      :28                   “We needed to use a lot of … throughout the process.”)


            Counceller said necessity was definitely the mother of invention for this project. In the future she hopes to add a writing course to the Alutiiq studies program at the college and needed a textbook for the class. 


--          (Alutiiq Book  4                      :31                   “Because I’m developing … for those people as well.”)


            But unlike most college textbooks, this one comes for free.


--          (Alutiiq Book  5                      :25                   “Yes, because the entire … to order copies from them.”)


            Copies of the book are available at the Alutiiq Museum.