8 thoughts on “Language quiz

  1. Velar fricatives (including maybe syllabic [xʷ]?), retroflex stops, uvular stops, simple vowels… pretty sure it’s from the west coast of North America, in the Greater Pacific Northwest (meaning, I’m including California and Alaska too)… am I in the right place?

  2. I heard it and thought “I’m so sure that’s Amerindian I’m going to post it as an answer.” Unsurprisingly Sameer got there earlier and with more specificity, but I’m going to claim my credit anyways.

  3. Hmmm. It has those Salish-like consonants, which many of the southeastern coastal Alaskan languages also have. I believe all of the non-Athabaskan, non-Eskimo-Aleut languages of Alaska (Eyak, Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian…) have the sounds I mentioned above (except retroflexes, but maybe what I’m hearing is just a /t/ that has variable retroflexion). But I can’t get more specific than that.

  4. Eyak seems unlikely, in that I doubt that a recording of this quality would remain from the period when several fluent speakers remained.

  5. Oh wow! I hadn’t thought it could be an Yupik language; I realize I have no idea how those languages sound. I love this video, and the program it introduces!

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