The Kwakw'ala Language

Kwakw'ala is spoken on northern Vancouver Island and the adjacent mainland.

The indigenous name for the language is /kwák'wala/, which in the anglicized form Kwakw'ala (sometimes Kwakwala without the marking of glottalization) is considered the preferred name for the language. The widely used English name Kwakiutl is an adaptation of the word /kwágu?lh/ ([kwágyu?lh]). Although it has often been used as a name for the language, it is actually the name of one of the internal divisions of the people who speak this language. Another term sometimes erroneously used as a name for the language is Kwakw'aka'wakw which actually means "those who speak Kwakw'ala".

Kwakw'ala is a Wakashan language.


Yinka Déné Language Institute © 2006