A remote population of a few hundred indigenous Siberians who live thousands of miles west of Alaska speak a language that appears to be an ancient relative of more than three dozen Native languages in North America, experts say.
A panel of respected linguists who met in Anchorage on Friday are hailing new research that links the Old World language of Ket, still spoken sparingly along the Yenisei River in western Siberia, and the sprawling New World family of Na-Dene languages — a broad grouping that encompasses the many Athabascan tribes in Alaska, along with the Tlingit and Eyak people, as well as Indian populations in western Canada and the American Southwest, including the Navajo and the Apache.
Other than Siberian Yupik, a regional Eskimo dialect that straddles the Bering Strait, a connection between North American and Asian language families had never before been demonstrated.
Linguists demonstrate Siberian-North American link
Comptes rendus des conférences du Congrès scientifique Dene-Yeniseic de février 2008 : http://www.uaf.edu/anlc/dy2008.html