Athabaskan Syllabics Keyboard Layouts

NOTE: The keyboards here are out of date and revised versions will be uploaded when complete. Characters specific to Dene languages have become available.


There are two types of Syllabics keyboards on this site:

Both systems have their advantages and disadvantages. The former takes some training to learn, but once your fingers know the keys, it’s certainly faster. The latter is simpler for the casual user, as the Roman orthography physically printed on the keyboard is a mnemonic device to remember the corresponding syllabic.

There is orthographical variation in Dene communities due to denominational differences amongst the missionaries as well as the phonology of the different languages. This is all taken account of in the specific keyboards. For more details, see the keyboard maps for each language. Writing systems used by French-Catholic missionaries are lableled F-C, while English missionary systems are indicated with A-E.

The keyboards provided on this site are used with Keyman from Tavultesoft. This program is included with the specific language downloads below, and is installed automatically along with your keyboard layout. Please follow the Keyman Installation Instructions carefully to make sure that the setting up your computer to type in Syllabics runs smoothly.

All keyboards (unless otherwise noted) on this site are designed to work with Unicode fonts, and as such, will only work with relatively up-to-date software (e.g. Windows XP, Mac OSX Tiger). Alan Wood has a list of Unicode friendly software.

Keyboard Maps and Keyboards

Orthography Keyboard Map Windows-Keyman Keyboard
Dene A-E
(Chipewyan, South Slavey)
View Keymap Download
Dunne-za A-E (Beaver) View Keymap Download
Dene F-C (Chipewyan, North Slavey, Dogrib) View Keymap Download
Dulkw’ahke (Carrier)
Keyboard Type I
View Keymap Download
Dulkw’ahke (Carrier)
Keyboard Type II
View Keymap Download
Dulkw’ahke (Carrier)
Both Types I and II for Mac
View Keymap Download Mac
Keyboard Layout

These keyboard layouts are new as of May 2005 (though the files themselves may be newer). The previous Dene keyboards never worked all that well. The new keyboards are, I believe, vastly improved. If anyone has documents typed with an older keyboard, please email me and I will help you update your materials.

For those who wish their Dene to look more “Dene”, please download and install one of the specifically Dene fonts. Some of the Dene keyboards here have special keys which will produce more accurate looking text. These keys call OpenType commands which are built into some Dene fonts.

If you are having problems viewing the language properly, please download and install one of the languagegeek fonts.
©2002-2009 Chris Harvey/Languagegeek
Last Modified: 16-Oct-2012