Relating to a postulated phylum of North American Indian languages including the Athabaskan family, Tlingit, and (in some classifications) Haida.
- ‘The Athabaskan language family is one of three families within the Na-Dene language phylum.’
- ‘Basque may be the remnant language of the Cro-Magnon (who lived 30,000 to 40,000 years ago), which evolved into Caucasian, Sino-Tibetan and Na-Dene (Apache, Navajo, and Athabaskan) languages.’
The Na-Dene language group.
Early 20th century: from Tlingit naa tribe (related to Haida náa dwell) + North Athabaskan dene tribe.