Gitxsan language

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Gitxsan
Gitxsanimaax, Gitxsanimx
Native to Canada
Region Skeena region, British Columbia
Ethnicity Gitxsan people
Native speakers
930  (2011 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 git
Glottolog gitx1241[2]

The Gitxsan language /ˈɡɪtsæn/,[3] or Gitxsanimaax (also rendered Gitksan, Giatikshan, Gityskyan, Giklsan), is a First Nations language of northwestern British Columbia. It is a Tsimshianic language, closely related to the neighboring Nisga’a language. The two groups are, however, politically separate and prefer to refer to Gitxsan and Nisga'a as distinct languages. Gitxsanimx is an endangered language. According to the 2006 census there were 1,175 native speakers.[4]

Gitxsan is the name of the people who speak this language. It means "People of the Skeena River" ("'Ksan" being the name of the Skeena in this language).

Syntax[edit]

The Gitxsan language is a VSO language.[5] Sentences minimally consist of a single predicate. These types of minimal sentences generally signify temporal or meteorological phenomena; i.e.,

  • 'Misaax. "It was, is daylight.".[6]

Phonology[edit]

Consonants[edit]

Labial Alveolar Lateral Palatal Velar Labialized Velar Uvular Glottal
Plosive plain p [p] t [t] k [k] [kʷ] q [q]
glottalized [pʼ] [tʼ] [kʼ] kʼʷ [kʷʼ] [qʼ] ʔ [ʔ]
Fricative voiceless s [s] ɬ [ɬ] x [x] [xʷ] [χ] h [h]
Affricate plain c [ts]
glottalized [tsʼ] ƛʼ [tɬʼ]
Resonant plain m [m] n [n] l [l] y [j] w [w]
glottalized [mˀ] [nˀ] [lˀ] [jˀ] [wˀ]

[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Gitxsan at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Gitxsan". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ 2006 Canada Census, Selected Language Characteristics, Registered Indian Status, etc.
  5. ^ http://www.ethnologue.com/language/git
  6. ^ a b Rigsby, Bruce (1986) Gitksan Grammar. Unpublished manuscript, University of Queensland, Australia.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Halpin, Marjorie, and Margaret Seguin (1990) "Tsimshian Peoples: Southern Tsimshian, Coast Tsimshian, Nishga, and Gitksan." In Handbook of North American Indians, Volume 7: Northwest Coast, ed. by Wayne Suttles, pp. 267–284. Washington: Smithsonian Institution).
  • Hindle, Lonnie and Bruce Rigsby (1973) A Short Practical Dictionary of the Gitksan language, Northwest Anthropological Research Notes 1:1-60.
  • Rigsby, Bruce (1986) Gitksan Grammar. Unpublished manuscript, University of Queensland, Australia.

External links[edit]