Northern Slavey is an amalgamation of three separate dialects: K’áshogot’ıne (Hare), Sahtúgot’ıne (Bear Lake) and Shıhgot’ıne (Mountain). In the Northwest Territories, “Sahtúot’ı̨nę Yatı̨́” refers to Northern Slavey as an entirety. All are spoken in the western North-West Territories, while Mountain also has speakers in Yukon. There are four “Slavey” dialects/languages: South Slavey, Hare, Mountain, and Bear Lake. Usually they are divided into two orthographical groups: South Slavey and North Slavey (a combination of the other three). However, each community could be said to have its own dialect.
The division of Slavey dialects is based largely on the way each one pronounces the old Proto-Athapaskan sounds *dz *ts *ts’ *s and *z.
|Proto-Athapaskan||South Slavey||Bear Lake||Hare||Mountain|
This is a list of the North Slavey speaking communities. In parentheses are the English place name and the dialect spoken there, followed by the number of speakers in that community according to the 2006 Canadian Census.
Tulít’a (Ft. Norman–Mountain) 130
Łe Gǫ́hlı̨nı̨ (Norman Wells–Mtn) 10
Délı̨ne (Ft. Franklin–Bear Lake) 465
Rádı̨lı̨h Kóé (Ft. Good Hope–Hare) 45
K’áhbamı̨́túé (Colville Lake–Hare) 30
The 2006 Canadian Census (2001 figures in parentheses) indicates 1,235 (1,025) North Slavey speakers, to which would have to be added a portion of the 11,130 (10,585) who are reported as Dene speakers. According to Howe and Cook, there are 3,850 speakers of all Slavey dialects.
|bilabial||alveolar||alveolar affricate||lateral||palato-alveolar||palatal||velar||velar rounded||glottal|
|nasalised voiced stop||mb||nd|