The Lillooet Language

9780774806251: Hardback
Release Date: 15th June 1997

22 b&w illustrations

Dimensions: 152 x 229

Number of Pages: 300

Series First Nations Languages

UBC Press

The Lillooet Language

Phonology, Morphology, Syntax

This timely book is the first complete descriptive grammar of Lillooet, an indigenous Canadian language spoken in British Columbia, now threatened with extinction.
Hardback / £128.00

This book is the first complete descriptive grammar of Lillooet, an Indigenous Canadian language spoken in British Columbia, now threatened with extinction. The author discusses three major aspects of the language – sound system, word structure, and syntax – in great detail. The classical structuralism method of analysis, as developed in North America by Leonard Bloomfield and his followers, is used to look at every aspect of Lillooet in terms of its function and position within the whole structure of the language. Van Eijk explains terms and procedures in order to make the book accessible not only to the advanced linguist, but also to the undergraduate student with basic linguistic training. Written with great clarity and well organized, the book is illustrated with copious examples drawn from many years of fieldwork in St’át’imc territory.



Symbols and abbreviations

Part 1: Phonology Chart of phonemes

1 Phonemes: General Information & Phonetic Data

2 Movement of the Stress

3 Distribution of schwa

4 Internal Sandhi

5 Retracted phonemes

6 Structure of roots

7 Special Questions

Part 2: Morphology Chart of morphological operations

8 Introduction to Morphology

9 The Nominalizer s-

10 Stem-Forming Prefixes

11 Compounding

12 Reduplication

13 Interior Glottalization

14 Aspectual Suffixes

16 Abstract Suffixes

17 Reflexive and Reciprocal Suffixes

18 Intransitivizers and Transitivizers

19 Numerals and Numerical Substitutes

20 Verbal Substitutes

21 Summing-Up of Stem-Formation

22 Personal Affixation

23 Invariable Words: General Remarks

24 Personal Pronouns and Related Substitutes

25 Demonstrative Pronouns

26 Demonstrative Adverbs

27 Proper Nouns

28 Full Word Conjunctions and Adverbs (Particles)

29 Sentence-Equivalents

30 Greetings, Exclamations, and Interjections

31 Articles

32 Enclitics

33 Proclitic Conjunctions

34 Prepositions

Part 3: Syntax

35 Introduction to Syntax

36 Mono-Clausal Sentences

37 Multi-Clausal Sentences

38 Syntax: Special Questions


39 A Lillooet Text

40 Comparison of Lillooet Orthographies


Jan van Eijk is a professor in the Department of Indian Languages, Literature, and Linguistics at the First Nations University of Canada.

A lasting contribution to Salish linguistics, the standard reference work for a gravely endangered indigenous Canadian language, a valuable sourcebook for teachers and speakers, and an ideal model for other linguists working on First Nations languages.

Henry Davis, Department of Linguistics, University of British Columbia

It is a meticulous, well-researched, and well-written description of St’at’imcets(Lillooet) phonology and morphosyntax. The morphology section in particular is extremely thorough and insightful. The sections are clearly organized, with plentiful cross-references where appropriate. This is a first-class descriptive grammar, and is highly recommended to anyone interested in Salish or in the morphosyntax of head-marking languages more generally ... Van Eijk has produced a remarkably thorough and comprehensive description of a language which, until he began work on it, had not previously received any real attention from linguists. Van Eijk’s ground-breaking work forms the foundation for the substantial amount of theoretical work which has been done on St’at’imcets in the past ten years. His description and analyses have also laid the foundation for current language revival and maintenance efforts in both dialect areas. I am delighted that this book has been published, and recommend it most highly.

Lisa Matthewson
CJL/RCL 44(2), 1999

Does an excellent job of describing Lillooet grammar in a compact, informative, and intelligible manner; it should be read by anyone with an interest in the languages of northwestern North America, and is also well worth perusal by linguists specializing in other areas ... the facts of the Lillooet generally emerge in a straightforward and perspicuous fashion ... this attractive and well-produced volume is a valuable addition to the literature on Salish languages.

Anthropological Linguistics