Tłįchǫ Yatiì (Dogrib Language)

Tłıchǫ Yatıì, also known as the Dogrib language, is spoken around the Yellowknife region of the western North-West Territories. Today it is written in the standard NWT Roman orthography. I have only seen one word of the language in syllabics.

Note: There are several Roman Orthography conventions on this site that may require further explanation. On the charts below, there is lots of phonetic terminology that may not be familiar to everyone.


The 2006 Canadian Census (2001 figures in parentheses) indicates 2,640 (2,285) Dogrib speakers. According to Howe and Cook, there are 1,900 speakers of the language.

ISO 639-3 language code: dgr

Dene Communities

This is a list of the Tłı̨chǫ Yatiì speaking communities. In parentheses are the English place names followed by the number of speakers in that community according to the 2006 Canadian Census.

Behchokǫ̀ (Rae-Edzo) 1,115

Detah 130

Gamètì (Rae Lakes) 220

Ndılo (Yellowknife) 295

Wekweètì (Snare Lakes) 90

Whatì (Lac la Martre) 285

Roman Orthography: Consonants

  bilabial alveolar alveolar affricate lateral palato-alveolar palatal velar velar rounded glottal
voiceless stop b d dz dl j   g gw ɂ
aspirated stop   t ts ch   k kw  
ejective stop   t’ ts’ tł’ ch’   k’ kw’  
voiced fricative     z   zh   gh    
voiceless fricative     s ł sh   x wh h
nasal m n              
nasalised voiced stop mb nd              
resonant   r   l   y   w  

Roman Orthography: Vowels

  front central back
high ı    
mid e – ee   o – ǫǫ
low   a – aa  


  • Nasal vowels are indicated by an ogonek accent ‹ą›
  • Low tone is ‹à›, high tone is unmarked.
  • The glottal stop ‹ɂ› has tall capital and short lowercase forms. Some texts use an apostrophe instead.
  • Phonetically /l/ and /y/ are classified in the resonants row, but in the language, /l/ is the voiced partner of /ł/, and /y/ is the voiced counterpart of /sh/. There is some variation between /y/ and /zh/.
  • Some writers may write ‹tl› and ‹tl’› with the slash-l: ‹tł› ‹tł’›.
  • The ‹ı› is undotted.
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Last Modified: 24-Feb-2011