Linguist Covers Many Meanings of One Alutiiq Word

Julia Fine. Photo by Kayla Desroches / KMXT

Kayla Desroches/KMXT

A linguist will dedicate the second installment in the Alutiiq Museum’s fall lecture series to one Alutiiq word.


Julia Fine, a graduate student at the University of California Santa Barbara, has been coming to Kodiak for the last few years to help out on the Alutiiq language scene.

She’s interned for the Alutiiq Museum, worked on its language database, and now, she says she’ll be covering the many meanings of the word awa’i.

“That’s a really common word in Alutiiq, and what interested me about it is it can have all of these interrelated meanings. So, can mean ‘we’re done now,’ but also ‘nowadays,’ or in a narrative it can mean ‘and then,’ and so I was interested in seeing how those might have developed from each other.”

She says she’ll draw on transcriptions of interviews with elders and fluent speakers. Fine says that’s something the Alutiiq museum has worked on and archived.

Her talk will be at the Kodiak Public Library Thursday at 7 p.m.

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