Russian language in Alaska: Ninilchik Russian 1

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Mira B. Bergelson (Moscow State University)

Andrej A. Kibrik (Institute of Linguistics, Russian Academy of Sciences)

Russian language in Alaska: Ninilchik Russian 1

From the mid-18th century through the year of 1867 when it was turned over to the United States, Alaska was under the control of the Russian Empire. The Russian population at Alaska never exceeded 1,000 people at a time, but their economic, cultural and spiritual influence was very strong and can be observed even now.

Alaskan Russian is a remnant dialect spoken by the descendants of Russian settlers of Alaska who came there mostly as representatives of the Russian-American Company and for years were mixing with the native population of the area. In the 19th century children borne to the mixed Russian-Native American marriages were known as "Creoles". Russians and Creoles, Orthodox Christians as they were, managed to keep their religious and cultural values for generations, which in its turn created motivations to maintain the language of their anscestors even under unfavorable conditions of the English language environment.

Alaskan Russian is spoken by the inhabitants of Ninilchik, a village in the Kenai peninsula on the coast of the Cook Inlet. A related dialect still exists in Old Harbour in the Kodiak Island; another one was previously spoken in Russian Mission on the Yukon River, but today there is a possibility of it being extinct.

0. Introduction, or how this project started

In 1997 in the course of Andrej Kibrik’s work on the Upper Kuskokwim language (a small Athabaskan language of inner Alaska) in the village of Nikolai we learned from Michael Krauss (personal communication) that Alaskan Russian is still spoken in certain places in Alaska. The village of Ninilchik was mentioned as one of such places. Michael Krauss also directed us to the research by the Irish Slavisist Conor Daly. In the 1980s, as a graduate student of Johanna Nichols in Berkeley, Daly wrote a few engaging papers (Daly 1985, 1986) which, unfortunately, remained unpublished. In his papers Daly wrote about Alaskan Russian as a moribund language and described some of its peculiarities, in particular the loss of grammatical gender; one of his papers is called Евонай мать весь ночь television караулил (which in standard Russian would be Его мать всю ночь смотрела телевизор). We contacted Daly in Dublin, but he had lost all of his contacts in Ninilchik by that time.

We also learned about another colleague – Wayne Leman who, being a linguist working on the Cheyenne language of the Algonquian language family, as well as a descendant of one of the Ninilchik families, was a great patriot of the place, its history and culture, including Ninilchik Russian. Since 1980s he was involved in preparing and publishing a collection of biographies of Ninilchik families putting together their life stories. This publication is called Agrafena’s children (first publication – see Leman (ed.) 1993). Agrafena was an Alutiiq woman from whom all the existing Ninilchik families descend.

Wayne referred us to his relative Bobbie Oskolkoff, another enthusiastic student of local history and traditions. Unlike Wayne Leman she lives in Alaska in the town of Kenai, not far from Ninilchik. We owe a lot to her motivation and resourcefulness. She introduced us to most of our consultants and took care of much of the logistics involved with doing fieldwork.

This paper reflects various stages of our work on Ninilchik Russian. The paper is structured as follows: a brief sketch of the origins of Alaskan Russian (section 1) is followed by a description of the noun dictionary project (section 2). The discussion of Ninilchik Russian phonetic features in section 3 concentrates on the regular processes that have shaped the pronunciation of Russian words and deals with the issues of transcription. The grammar-related issues, such as the decay of gender in Ninilchik Russian, are not reflected in this paper due to the restrictions in volume.

1. Origins, development and functioning of Alaskan Russian

The first two thirds of the 19th century saw Alaska as a part of Russian Empire under the name of Russian America (see e.g. Болховитинов (ред.) 1997-1999). The right to represent the Russian government in America was granted in 1799 unto the Russian-American Company (RAC) founded as a commercial enterprise. It was established at the end of 18th century by Russian merchants and trappers (promyshlenniks) and later was handed over to the Navy with Governor being appointed by the tsar. RAC enjoyed the monopoly over all the territory of Russian America for all the commercial operations related to trapping and fur trade. Promoting Russian cultural and religious values among the local populations was also the responsibility of the RAC.

The number of ethnic Russians in Russian America never exceeded one thousand at a given moment. Many Russians among the RAC officials and staff married Aleut, Alutiiq, Tlingit and Athabaskan women. As a result a special mixed origin group of people emerged. They were called ‘creoles’ and their social status was intermediate between those of Russians and of the aboriginal population.
In mid-19th century it became clear that some of the RAC pensioners could not or did not wish to retire to Russia. It is for these RAC retirees and their families that the settlement later called Ninilchik was established at the mouth of the Ninilchik river, on the coast of Cook inlet on the Kenai peninsula. The Kenai peninsula was one of the primary areas of colonization in Russian America, located not too far from the first Russian capital in Kodiak.

Ninilchik was established in the 1840s and five families resided there initially. The main two of them are the families of Kvasnikoff and Oskolkoff. Even in our days their numerous descendants live in and outside the area. Male pioneers of Ninilchik were in most cases ethnic Russians, whereas their wives were Alutiiq or Creoles from Kodiak (Arndt 1993). The territory around Ninilchik was inhabited by Dena’ina Athabaskans, but contacts with them apparently did not play a decisive role in shaping the unique Ninilchik community. The settlers lived by hunting, fishing and farming. The population grew fast and reached 81 persons by 1890.

In 1867 Russia sold its American lands and Alaska became a part of the United States. For several decades after that Ninilchik residents were relatively isolated. Still, up to 1917 a connection to Russia was upheld by the Russian Orthodox Church: priests were coming from Russia, and a Russian school was also operated by the church.
In 1930s Americans started settling in the area. An English-language school was opened in Ninilchik. The use of Russian language was not welcome in the school, to say the least. That led to an abrupt sociolinguistic shift: children ceased to acquire Russian as their first language. In 1950 the Sterling Highway going through all the Kenai peninsula, including Ninilchik, was constructed, and the whole area became available for tourists. The local specifics was rapidly fading away. At the time of our fieldwork in 1997 there were between twenty and thirty elders from Ninilchik who were native speakers of the local variant of Russian. By the time when this paper is written (2010) their number has decreased.

2. The noun dictionary project

This project was chosen as the primary goal of our fieldwork in Ninilchik partly due to the ‘social demand’ expressed by the community and made known to us by Wayne Leman and Bobbie Oskolkoff. They represented the generation whose first language was English, but who still kept very warm childhood memories of certain words, expressions and phrases in Ninilchik Russian. They were mostly interested in the vocabulary for the realities of the old Ninilchik lifestyle, so the noun dictionary was the most logical response to satisfy this demand. Another important reason for choosing this primary topic for our fieldwork was that it could have been done consistently and led to obvious and rather comprehensive results. We were using the dictionary of an Athabaskan language Dena’ina by James Kari (Kari 1994) as a starting point on the assumption that Ninilchik Russian would have words for objects, artifacts, concepts, animals and other categories that were also represented in the language of the people living next to them, in the same environment and with a similar lifestyle . We collected about 1100 lexical entries for our noun dictionary. Further research demonstrated that this set of nouns was quite comprehensive and we definitely would not be able to double the number of entries. Our consultants in this enterprise were Ninilchik residents Louie Kwasnikoff, brothers Nick and Harry Leman, their sister Betty Porter, Larry and Arnie Oskolkoff, Mae and Cecil Demidoff, Alice Bouwens, Leo Steik, and brothers George, Walter and Edward Jackinsky.
As the noun dictionary demonstrated, Ninilchik Russian is a distinct and unique dialect of the Russian language. It bears traits of different Russian dialects and even neighboring Slavic languages, such as Ukrainian and Belorussian. Also it incorporated words of Eskimo-Aleut and Athabaskan origin. But first and foremost, it is the Russian language, and there is full intelligibility between the speakers of Ninilchik Russian and Standard Russian.
In the first version of the noun dictionary, we collected the basic noun vocabulary. Nouns are grouped into thematic categories. The full list of these categories includes: mammals, birds, fish, insects, plants, berries, water (terms related to forms of water), nature (terms related to inanimate nature), body parts (terms related to human body parts and body functions), relatives (terms of relationship and general categories of humans), peoples (names of ethnic groups and nations), roles (wastebasket file containing all words related to humans, their categories, social roles, and some miscellaneous human-related concepts), household (various terms of household items and artifacts), clothes (terms of clothing), ships (terms related to boats), buildings (terms denoting buildings and parts of buildings), food, measures (terms of measurements), calendar (day and month names), fun (words related to games and other kinds of pastime), slang (rude and obscene words), abstract concepts. We kept audio recordings of all the work sessions.
Each file has been entered as a Shoebox database. (Shoebox is a database program developed by the Summer Institute of Linguistics, see Each word was described as a record of the database, with the following fields:

\alaska Ninilchik Russian word in the transcription we developed; see section 3 for the description of the sound system of Ninilchik Russian

\variant Phonetic variants of the word

\english English gloss

\speaker When we were not fully confident about a word, we indicated the speaker from whom we got it

\source Dialect or language from which this word came to Ninilchik Russian

\plural The plural form of the word is indicated in some cases

\deriv Some derivations from the title word, such as a diminutive, a verb, etc.

\example An example of a context in which the word is used

\comment A comment, sych as synonyms (Syn), etc.

In 2009 Wayne Leman actively joined this dictionary project. He started gathering not only nouns, but words of various word classes (including verbs, adverbs, particles, word combinations, etc.) and adding them to our database. He was using the lexicographic program Lexique Pro (see Our combined work is reflected in a preliminary (draft) version of the dictionary being prepared for publication - see Bergelson, Kibrik and Leman 2009. Sound files for most of the entries and most of the examples are included in the dictionary, building partly on the digitized recordings of our 1997 field materials.
Our vocabulary project demonstrated that Ninilchik Russian is indeed the Alaskan version of Russian, and nothing like a pidgin or a mixed language. 78% of lexical entries are identical to standard Russian, notwithstanding regular phonetic changes, accounted in the phonetic sketch of Ninilchik Russian (section 3 below). This majority of lexical entries are marked as R in the dictionary. Several other categories are identified: words from various Russian dialects (RD), words that were common in the 19th century Russian (R19), Russian words with modified form (Rmf) or meaning (Rmm), words borrowed from English (E), and words of Athabaskan Dena’ina (Ath) or Alutiiq (Alu) origin. Some words were derived within Ninilchik Russian itself (Ni) based on Russian or other-language roots. Finally, there is a few words of mixed or unidentified origin (Oth). Examples of all of these categories are provided in (1).


1. R (78%) - mainstream Russian

af’itsér ‘officer’, agarót ‘vegetable garden’, but’ílka ‘bottle’

2. RD (4%) - Russian dialects

táska ‘backpack,’ , lápka ‘snowshoe’, shíksha ‘crowberry’

3. Rmm (4%) - mainstream Russian, modified meaning

bashká ‘skull’, d’ósna ‘jaw’, pop ‘Pope’, krupá ‘rice’

4. Rmf (4%) - mainstream Russian, modified form

wómarak ‘faint’, póbr’ik ‘cellar’, gr’imón’chik ‘harmonica’

5. R19 (3%) – Russian, 19th century

strush ‘carpenter’s plane’, chuhn’á ‘Finn’, chihótka ‘tuberculosis’

6. E (2%) - English

inw’ilóp ‘envelope’, sent ‘cent’, rababútsi ‘rubber boots’

7. Ath (0.5%)- Athabaskan

kazná ‘lynx’, táyshi ‘dried fish’, k’inkáshl’a ‘a kind of berry’

8. Alu (0.5%) – Alutiiq

Mamáy ‘clam’, káluk ‘chamber pot’, ukúd’ik ‘bumble bee’ , n’ún’ik ‘porcupine’

9. Ni (3%) - Ninilchik innovations

béyb’ichka ‘child’, núshk’i ‘breasts’, gazn’ík ‘gas can’

10. Oth (1%) - Mixed or unidentified

pramushn’ík ‘hunter’, labadátka ‘bowl’, makúla ‘homebrew’

3. Phonetic peculiarities of Ninilchik Russian

For the purposes and in the process of our dictionary project we developed a system of notation (transcription) based on the Roman alphabet. In its essence it is a phonemic transcription with some concessions towards practical orthography. The latter was due to the interests of the younger generation of potential users of the dictionary. We wanted them to be able to read the words easily. This also precluded us from using the Cyrillic alphabet, unknown to modern Ninilchik people

3.1. The inventory of phonemes

3.1.1. Vowels






In Russian there is a big difference between vowels under stress and vowels in unstressed syllables. Stress is the differentiating ("strong") position: all vowels are distinguished under stress. Some vowels do not appear in unstressed syllables: this concerns /e/ and /o/. First we will address the pronunciation of stressed vowels, and then unstressed vowels.

Stressed /i/ is pronounced as ea in English beat, but shorter, e.g.: k’it ‘whale’
Stressed /e/ is pronounced as e in English bet: sétka ‘net’
Stressed /a/ is pronounced as a in English palm, but shorter: rak ‘crab’
Stressed /o/ is pronounced as au in English daughter, but shorter: got ‘year’
Stressed /u/ is pronounced as oo in English took, but a bit longer: luk ‘onion’
Unstressed /i/ is pronounced as the English reduced vowel, e.g. e in English behind: m’idwét’ ‘bear’
Unstressed /e/ does not appear, that is, /e/ appears only under stress, If the stress moves from the syllable with the inherent /e/, the latter changes to /i/: pér’ya ‘feathers’ -- p’iró ‘feather’
Unstressed /a/ in the final syllable is pronounced as u in English cut. The same is true, for some speakers, for the syllable immediately preceding the stressed syllable: l’is’ítsa ‘fox’, gagára ‘loon’. In all other unstressed syllables /a/ is pronounced as the English reduced vowel, e.g. e in English behind: mal’ikó ‘milk’. Unstressed /a/ in this kind of positions is barely distinguishable from unstressed /i/.
In some speakers, unstressed /o/ may be heard, at least in certain positions in certain words. It takes place in positions next to labializing consonants, especially w and l. In this case, it is pronounced as stressed /o/ but a bit shorter, very close to /u/ e.g. chulowék ~ chalowék ~ chilawék ‘man’. There are a few words in some idiolects with optional non-positional unstressed /o/: sas’ót OR sos’ót ‘it it sucking’, mál’in’kay OR mál’in’koy ‘little, small’. One possible explanation for this variability is that of initial dialectal variation in the native Russian speakers in the 19th century. (In particular, it is known that there was presence of ethnic Poles among the first settlers of Ninilchik.)
Unstressed /u/ is pronounced like stressed /u/, but a bit shorter: tupól’ina ‘cottonwood’.

3.1.2. Consonants








b b’

d d’

g (g’)


p p’

t t’

k k’






w w’

z z’



f (f’)

s s’


h (h’)



m m’

n n’


r r’



l l’

In this subsection we address the pronunciation of consonants, except for one issue: difference between hard and soft (palatalized) consonants. This topical question is discussed in the next subsection (3.2). Here we concentrate on the pronunciation of hard consonants. Parentheses in the table above mark those phonemes that are expected to be present in the language system, but were not attested in our data.

Labial consonants /b/, /p/, /f/, and /m/ are pronounced pretty much like their English counterparts.
Dental consonants /d/, /t/, /n/ are pronounced by the contact between the tip of the tongue and the upper teeth, that is, they are produced more to the front compared to their English counterparts. Dentals /z/, /s/, /l/ are pronounced like their English counterparts. The phoneme /ts/ is not a combination of /t/ and /s/ but a single affricate phoneme.
Alveolars /ch/ and /sh/ are pronounced pretty closely to their English counterparts. The /zh/ phoneme is pronounced as s in English measure.
Gutturals /g/and /k/ are pronounced closely to their English counterparts, and /y/ as y in English yard.
Three phonemes display unusual variation across speakers: /w/, /r/, and /h/. The phoneme /w/ is pronounced as English w, but can also be pronounced as English v. That is, /wadá/ ‘water’ can be pronounced with the initial [w] or [v] depending on speaker and perhaps context. The pronunciation of the phoneme /r/ varies between the English retroflex [r] and a rolling sound closer to Russian [R]. The /h/ phoneme varies between the voiced pharyngeal-laryngeal fricative and the guttural Russian [x]-type sound. These variants of all of these phonemes probably are in a free variation with the first variant being more frequent in each case.
The most obvious hypothesis to explain these phonetic innovations is to ascribe them to the influence of English. It is in principle plausible for /r/ and /h/, but for [w] such hypothesis does not stand as English has a phonemic contrast between /w/ and /v/. Also, according to younger Ninilchik residents who do not speak Ninilchik Russian, there is a certain ‘Ninilchik accent’ in English, in which [w] is pronounced instead of /v/ in English words, which means the confusion of two English phonemes. A joking title once used for the local newspaper was Willage News.
The rise of this variability requires further study. Strong interference from English appears unlikely as the sole factor, because the period of active Russian-English bilingualism was very short in Ninilchik. Other languages that might have influenced the phonetic system of Ninilchik Russian include Alutiiq and Aleut.

3.2. Palatalization of consonants

Most consonants in Russian (including standard Russian and Ninilchik Russian) exist in two variants: hard and soft (= palatalized). Palatalization is marked by the apostrophe after the letter; for example, /l/ is a hard, or non-palatalized, phoneme, while /l’/ is a soft, or palatalized, phoneme. There is a dramatic difference between soft and hard consonants, it is responsible for differences in meaning, and by no means can be overlooked. Soft consonants need to be necessarily marked as such in writing. In terms of articulation, soft consonants are produced by moving the body of the tongue toward the palate (top of the mouth).

Different consonants behave differently in terms of softness in different environments, that is, in front of other sounds. In front of certain vowels some consonants are obligatorily soft, while in front of other vowels they can be either hard or soft. We will describe this system as a series of consecutive rules.
1. The following consonants are not differentiated in terms of softness, and hence are never followed by the apostrophe:

ts, ch, sh, zh, y.

All other consonants can potentially appear in two variants: hard and soft.
In some speakers, /r/ is always hard, but we use as the norm the pronunciation that differentiates hard /r/ and soft /r’/, e.g.:
rak ‘crab’ VS r’ápchik ‘spruce hen’.
2. In front of the vowels /a/, /o/, and /u/ (so-called back vowels) all consonants except those mentioned in (1) can either be hard or soft, for example:
starúha ‘old woman’ VS br’úha ‘belly’

pápa ‘dad’ VS p’at’ ‘five’

brusók ‘whetstone’ VS s’ómga ‘steelhead trout’

tushka ‘priest’s wife’ VS bát’ushka ‘priest’

platók ‘scarf’ VS pl’as ‘dancing’.

3. In front of /e/ dental stops, nasals, and laterals are always soft: /d’/, /t’/, /n’/, and /l’/; this softness is always marked in writing in order to provide a clue to correct pronunciation. All other consonants are always hard in front of /e/, and are marked as such, although sometimes there may be some slight palatalization observed:
d’en’ ‘day’ BUT séna ‘hay’

réchka ‘smaller river’ BUT l’es ‘forest’.
4. In front of /i/ all consonants are pronounced as soft and are marked as such. The only (and very important!) exception is the consonants /l/ and /l’/ that can be either hard or soft:
r’íba ‘fish’, m’ishónak ‘mouse’, adíshka ‘short breath’, puz’ír ‘bladder’ – all of these words have hard consonants in Standard Russian, where a full-fledged contrast in palatalization is observed in front of /i/;

balík ‘smoked salmon’ VS bal’ít ‘it hurts’.

5. At the end of a word, all labial consonants, all guttural consonants, and /r/ are always hard. All other consonants can be either hard or soft, and this distinction needs to be watched very carefully:
tsep ‘chain’, puzír ‘bladder’ – in these words Standard Russian has soft consonants;

ládan ‘incense’ VS ladón’ ‘palm’

pol ‘floor’ VS p’il’ ‘dust’.
Rules 2. – 5. are summarized in the following table:

2. In front of /a/, /o/, /u/

3. In front of /e/

4. In front of /i/

5. At the end of word







Dental fricatives


Dental stops and n




6. In front of other consonants, consonants in general can be either hard or soft, and this distinction needs to be listened to very carefully. In front of /y/ consonants tend to be always soft, but it is not entirely clear. For example:

kar’yó ‘bark’ BUT probably s’imyá ‘family’.
Idiolectal rules:
7. Some speakers pronounce all final consonants, except possibly /l’/, as hard, but we treat this pronunciation as a deviation from the norm.
8. Soft labial consonants /b’/, /p’/, /w’/, /f’/, and /m’/ are pronounced by some speakers as combination of the hard consonants with /y/: [by], [py], etc. Other soft consonants cannot be in any way reduced to hard consonants and are pronounced in a very different way.
9. In some speakers, there is an automatic palatalazation of the dental consonants /d/, /t/, /n/, and /r/ in front of /u/, for example:
núzhnik OR n’úzhnik ‘outhouse’

starúha OR star’úha ‘old lady’

This process is not general, and we put variants with hard consonants as the normative ones. Of course, this has nothing to do with the inherently (in all speakers) soft /d’/, /t’/, /n’/, /r’/, like n’uhat’ ‘to smell’.

4. Conclusion

The Ninilchik variety of Russian occupies a special place in the system of Russian dialects. For over a century it existed without any contacts with Standard Russian. Along with many other Russian dialects Nininlchik Russian is moribund, but it has been replaced not by Standard Russian, but by English. Ninilchik Russian It shows evidence of certain creolization processes that probably took place already in the time of Russian America. It is a surviving fragment of the linguistic and communicative system that emerged in Russian America by mid-19th century.
Ninilchik Russian has not been researched enough to give answers to all questions of its structure, functions and history. One special area awaiting a focused study is the similarity (or differences) between Ninilchik Russian and Kodiak Russian2.

Russian America, whose history was short and ended abruptly, made its unique contribution to the Russian linguistic ecumene. A well-known and very special case in the typology of contact languages is the Medny island Russian-Aleutian language which is a rare instance of the mixed language type (Головко 1997). Medny island is a fragment of Russian America that found itself within Russian borders. Another contact language based on Russian was the Russian-Chinese pidgin (see Nichols 1980, Перехвальская 2008; the latter work also contains a general survey of contact-induced varieties of Russian). The Russian-Chinese pidgen emerged as an instrument of commercial operations at the border trade post Kyakhta. Fur trade with the Chinese in Kyakhta in the 18th and 19th centuries was the main economic driving force for the Russian expansion to the American continent. The unique Russian dialect of Ninilchik, being a unique consequence of that expansion, complements this rather complex picture.

The history of the Ninilchik dialect embraces four centuries. In the 18th century Russian promyshlenniks first arrived to America. Later they built families and became fathers of Creole children. In the 19th century the Creoles formed a distinct social class in Russian America, obviously with their own peculiar variety of Russian. In the 1840s the people of Ninilchik became pioneers in the harsh environment of the Kenai peninsula. Their descendants managed to keep their Russian language under the pressure of strong assimilation processes throughout the 20th century which saw many languages to perish. Ninilchik dialect will very soon become a part of history too, but at least it made it to the 21st century, also bringing to us the story of the people and of their land.

5. References

Болховитинов Н.Н. (ред.) 1997-1999. История Русской Америки. В 3-х тт. М.: Международные отношения.

Вахтин Н.Б. 1997. Юпикские языки аляски. / В кн.: Языки мира: Палеоазиатские языки (под ред. А.П.Володина, Н.Б.Вахтина и А.А.Кибрика), с. 86-89. М.: Индрик.

Головко Е.В. 1997. Медновских алеутов язык. / В кн.::Языки мира: Палеоазиатские языки (под ред. А.П.Володина, Н.Б.Вахтина и А.А.Кибрика), с. 117-125. М.: Индрик.

Перехвальская Е. В. Русские пиджины. М.: Алетейя, 2008.

Arndt, Katherine L. 1993. ‘Released to reside forever in the colonies’. Founding of a Russian-American Company retirement settlement. In: Leman (ed.), p. 31-46.

Bergelson, Mira B., Andrej A. Kibrik, and Wayne Leman. 2009. Ninilchik Russian: The First Language of Ninilchik, Alaska (draft version). 103 pp.

Daly, Conor. 1985. Russian language death in an Alaskan village. Paper presented at UCB Linguistics colloquium. 10 pp..

Daly, Conor. 1986. Evonaj mat’ ves’ noс television karaulil – His mother watched TV all night long: On the loss of gender as a grammatical category in Alaskan Russian. Ms. 31 pp.

Kari, James. 1994. Dictionary of the Dena’ina Athabaskan language. Vol. 1: Topical vocabulary. Fairbanks, AK: ANLC. Ms. 333 pp.

Leman, Wayne (ed.) 1993. Agrafena’s children: The old families of Ninilchik, Alaska. Hardin, Montana: Agrafena Press.

Nichols, Johanna. 1980. Pidginization and foreigner talk: Chinese Pidgin Russian. / In: Papers from the International Conference on Historical linguistics, ed. by E. Traugott et al., p. 397-407. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

1 This study was supported by the grant from The Russian Foundation for the Humanities “Russian linguistic heritage in Alaska”.

2 In 2008–2009 the first studies of the Kodiak Russian dialect were undertaken by Evgeny Golovko.

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