Slavey, South

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A language of Canada

Alternate Names
Acha’otinne, Dene, Dene Tha’, Denetha, Dené, Mackenzian, “Slave” (pej.), “Slavi” (pej.)
Autonym
Deh Gáh Ghotie Zhatie
Population

950 (2016 census). Ethnic population: 3,600 (1995 M. Krauss).

Location

Alberta province: Hay River area and Steen River-May Creek watershed; British Columbia province: Fort Nelson- Snake river area; Northwest Territories: Mackenzie district, Great Slave Lake, upper Mackenzie River.

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Language Status

7 (Shifting). Statutory language of provincial identity in NWT (1988, NWT Official Languages Act, Chapter 56 (Supplemented), Section 4), restricted official use. Language of recognized indigenous peoples: Acho Dene Koe, Deh Gáh Got’ie Dene, Dene Tha’, Fort Nelson, Jean Marie River, K’atlodeeche, Ka’a’gee Tu, Liidlii Kue, Pehdzeh Ki, Ross River, Sambaa K’e, West Point, Yellowknives Dene.

Dialects

In North [scs] and South Slavey dialect continuum which includes Hare, Bear Lake, Mountain, South Slavey, northern Alberta Slavey and Fort Nelson Slavey. A member of macrolanguage Slave [den].

Language Use

Older people still use South Slavey in smaller, isolated communities; serious attrition among children and young people. Also use English [eng].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: 25%–50%. Dictionary. Grammar. NT: 1891.
Writing

Latin script [Latn]. Unified Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics script [Cans], no longer in use.

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