The Taku language

The Taku language was an Athabaskan language in northern British Columbia.

The area where it was spoken is now the home of the Tlingit ḵwáan (geopolitical subgroup) called the Áatlein Ḵwáan centered around the town of Atlin. It is named after the Taku River, which is also a Tlingit name: Tʼaaḵú Héeni.

Essentially nothing is known about this language other than the conjecture that it probably existed. It must have been intermediate between Tagish and Tahltan. The people were reported as Athabaskans in the very earliest European contacts. Later contacts recorded them as Tlingit, so presumably the cultural and linguistic assimilation was complete by that time. The same process occurred with the Tagish people and was starting to occur with the Tahltan and Southern Tutchone. In addition the Eyak were almost completely assimilated by the Tlingit except for the westernmost groups in Katalla and Eyak/Cordova. The Tlingit were not only the agents of acculturation, but were also subject to it, given that some linguistic and anthropological evidence indicates that the Nisg̱aʼa were once Tlingit but were absorbed into Tsimshianic society.

Last updated: 21-August-2010