Explanation of the Grammar of the Aleut and Fox Languages by Father Ioann Veniaminov, Compiled in Unalaska


This very detailed description of the grammar of the languages of the native people of the Aleutian and Fox Islands was written by Father Ioann Veniaminov (1797–1879), who later became Saint Innokentii of Alaska. Veniaminov was one of the greatest of the Russian Orthodox missionaries to Alaska. Born in a village near Irkutsk in Siberia, Veniaminov volunteered to go to Alaska in 1823. He settled with his wife and family in Unalaska where he built a church and school and began his lifelong task of studying the native languages of the region. He created alphabets for several native languages, particularly the Unangam dialect of Aleut and the languages of the native peoples of the Fox and Pribilof Islands. In 1840, following the death of his wife, Veniaminov took the monastic name Innokentii and was made bishop of the newly created diocese of Kamchatka, the Kuril Islands, and the Aleutians. He later served as metropolitan of Moscow and Kolomna, the second-highest position in the Russian Orthodox Church. He was canonized by the church in 1977. Published by the Russian Imperial Academy of Sciences in Saint Petersburg in 1846, the book is preserved in the National Library of Russia. It was digitized for the Meeting of Frontiers digital library project in the early 2000s.

Date Created

Subject Date

Publication Information

Russian Imperial Academy of Science, St. Petersburg


Title in Original Language

Опытъ грамматики алеутско - лисьевскаго языка. Священника И. Венiаминова, въ Уналашкѣ

Type of Item

Physical Description

120 pages ; 23 x 13 centimeters

Last updated: January 10, 2018