The Tagish Language

The territory of Tagish people is the headwaters of the Yukon River in the southern Yukon Territory and northern British Columbia. There are no permanent settlements in British Columbia. This language is very nearly extinct. Even before European influence became strong, Tagish people had assimilated to a considerable extent to the Tlingit and had largely replaced their own language with Tlingit. The language is therefore sometimes confused with Tlingit.

Tagish people refer to themselves as /ta:gizi dene/ "Tagish people". The usual English name is a loan from Inland Tlingit /ta:gish/, ultimately from Tagish /ta:gizi/, a place name meaning "it (spring ice) is breaking up".

Tagish is an Athabaskan language.


Yinka Déné Language Institute © 2006