Nooksack language

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Nooksack
Lhéchalosem
Region Whatcom County
Native speakers
1 fluent  (2010)[1]
Salish
Language codes
ISO 639-3 nok
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters.

The Nooksack language (Lhéchalosem) is a Coast Salish language spoken by the Nooksack Indians of northwestern Washington State in the United States, centered in Whatcom County.

The Nooksack language belongs to the Coast Salishan family of languages, and has one fluent speaker as of 2010.[1]

Nooksack is most closely related to Squamish, Sháshíshálhem (Sechelt) and Halkomelem, which are all spoken in nearby parts of British Columbia, Canada.

Usage and revitalization efforts[edit]

In the 1970s, the Salishan linguist Brent Galloway worked closely with the last remaining fluent speaker. He has been compiling a dictionary of the language, and his book, Nooksack place names: geography, culture, and language, appeared in 2011. The Nooksack tribe has offered classes in the language.[2] As of 2010, one fluent speaker remained, a Nooksack tribal member who is part of the Lhéchalosem Teacher Training Language Immersion Project.[2]

Students will spend mornings in language immersion, and afternoons working on special projects, focusing on the language use in one aspect of local native culture such as fishing or crafts. After two years, the students will obtain a certificate similar to an Associate Degree, and after four years they will be fully qualified language teachers, with the equivalent of a Bachelor of Arts. The aim is to revive the use of the Lhéchalosem language in all aspects of daily life. The program has an annual budget of $110,000, with 60 percent funded by the Administration for Native Americans (ANA) and 40 percent funded by the Nooksack Tribe.[1]

Phonology[edit]

Vowels[edit]

The following table includes all the vowel sounds found in the Nooksack language.

Front Central Back
Close i
Mid ɵ, ə o
Open æ

Consonants[edit]

The following table includes all the consonant sounds found in the Nooksack language.

Bilabial Alveolar Postalveolar Palatal Velar Uvular Glottal
central lateral plain rounded plain rounded
Stop plain p t k q ʔ
ejective kʷʼ qʷʼ
Affricate plain t͡s t͡ʃ
ejective t͡sʼ t͡ɬʼ t͡ʃʼ
Fricative plain s ɬ ʃ x χ χʷ h
ejective ɬʼ
Nasal m n
Approximant plain l j w
glottalized

Orthography[edit]

(di)graph sound (di)graph sound
a æ qw
ch qw’ qʷʼ
ch’ tʃʼ s s
e ə sh ʃ
h h t t
i i t’
k k ts t͡s
kw ts’ t͡sʼ
kw’ kʷʼ tl’ t͡ɬʼ
l l u ɵ
lh ɬ w w
lh’ ɬʼ x x
m m xw
n n χ
o o x̱w χʷ
p p y j
p’ y’
q q ʔ ʔ
q’

In addition, the symbol "ː" indicates long vowels and consonants (e.g. , ). An acute accent (´) is placed on the accented syllable.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Adkinson, Brita. "Revitalization project hopes to revive Nooksack language". Foothills Gazette. Retrieved 2013-09-15. 
  2. ^ a b "Nooksack program revives a nearly extinct language". Canku Ota. 2002-02-23. Retrieved 2013-09-15. 

External links[edit]