N: 1. 1640s, from in- “not, opposite of” + alienable (see alienate). Related: Inalienability. Inalienably.
2. Impossible to take away or give up; incapable of being alienated, surrendered, or transferred (inalienable rights).
3. Inalienable vs. unalienable: English has changed since the founders of the United States used unalienable in the signed final draft of their 1776 Declaration of Independence (some earlier drafts and later copies have inalienable). Inalienable, which means exactly the same thing—both mean incapable of being transferred to another or others—is now the preferred form. Unalienable mainly appears in quotes of or references to the Declaration. Inalienable prevails everywhere else.
Although English usage rarely takes etymology into account, it’s worth noting that inalienable is truer to the word’s Latin and French roots, for what that’s worth. In- is a Latin negative prefix, and un- is an English one. While the founders’ Anglicized word remains an accepted variant, the more Latin form became more common around the beginning of the 19th century and has remained ascendant ever since.
Unalienable is usually used in reference to the Declaration of Independence and its arguments.
And inalienable is used everywhere else.
4. Collocation: right.
S: 1. OED – https://bit.ly/2SohGZp (last access: 2 February 2019). 2. MW – https://bit.ly/2ToYJ5X (last access: 2 February 2019). 3. GRAM – https://bit.ly/1uC4Tk3 (last access: 2 February 2019). 4. Academic – https://bit.ly/2UA6q9W (last access: 2 February 2019).
S: GRAM – https://bit.ly/1uC4Tk3 (last access: 2 February 2019)
CR: human rights