Halkomelem is one of the twenty-three Salishan
languages of southwestern Canada and the northwestern United States.
The Halkomelem language has three principle dialects: Upriver
(Stalo), spoken in the vicinity of Chilliwack, Downriver, spoken
at Katzie, Musqueam, and Tsawwassen, and Island Halkomelem ,
spoken by the Nanaimo, Nanoose, Chemainus, Penelehut, Cowichan,
Halalt and Lyackson First Nations. This dictionary represents
words from speakers of Island .
words are relevant to all Island
speakers. Sometimes, though, the Nanaimo sub-dialect may differ
in a vocabulary item or in the pronunciation of a word. We have
indicated words of this type by giving the dialect name. Where
there is a difference, the Nanoose Elders, due to a shared history
with Chemainus, usually have the same word as Chemainus. It should
be emphasized, though, that most speakers know both words, since
the Elders from all the Island
First Nations are in constant contact and have been interrelated
different Elders pronounce the same word in different ways, but
the difference could not clearly be ascribed to dialect differences.
In this case, the two words are both given, separated with a ~,
the variation sign. If more than one word was known for an item,
multiple entries were given.
Talking Dictionary is based on the printed dictionary
Words. The dictionary presents only a very few words of the
like other Salishan languages, is well-known for its complex morphological
structure. There are a large number of prefixes and suffixes that
can be added to a
word to create newer, longer words. Thus, it would probably be
impossible to give a complete list of all the words in the language.
We have concentrated on nouns - that is names for things - especially
items of special cultural signficance.
would like to acknowledge Brian D. Compton, Donna Gerdts and Colleen
Penrowley for creating the Talking Dictionary CD which was used
as a guide for the Language Dictionary in the educational section
of the Snuneymuxw website.
would also like to give credit to the First Peoples Cultural Foundation
and to the First Peoples' Heritage, Language and Culture Council
for their funding.
© Snuneymuxw First Nation 2004.