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 Featured Title
Musqueam Reference Grammar
Wayne Suttles  

$127.00 Hardcover
Release Date: 4/21/2004
ISBN: 9780774810029    

632 Pages

First Nations Languages series


About the Book

Here is the long-awaited grammar of the Musqueam dialect of Halkomelem, which Wayne Suttles began work on in the late 1950s. The Musqueam people are the First Nation whose aboriginal territory includes much of the Fraser Delta and the city of Vancouver. Halkomelem, one of the twenty-three languages that belong to the Salish Family, is spoken in three distinct forms: Upriver, by the Stó:lo‘ of the Fraser Valley; Downriver, of which Musqueam is the only surviving representative; and Island, spoken by the Nanaimo and Cowichan of Vancouver Island.

Suttles, an anthropologist, worked with knowledgeable older people, eliciting traditional stories, personal narratives, and ethnographic accounts. The grammar covers the usual topics of phonology, morphology, and syntax, illustrated by numerous sentences selected for their cultural relevance, providing insight into traditional practices, social relations, and sense of humour.

There are also chapters on kinship and on space and time as well as five texts and appendices giving an index of grammatical elements, names of places and peoples, and the history of work on Halkomelem. It is written using the terms of traditional grammar as much as possible, without following a particular theoretical perspective. It is perhaps the fullest account of any Salish language. It will be welcomed by linguists, anthropologists, and the Musqueam people.

About the Author(s)

Wayne Suttles was Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Portland State University.

Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments

1 Phonology
2 Synopsis of Morphology
3 Syntax 1: Simple Sentences
4 Syntax 2: Complex Sentences
5 Syntax 3: Compound Sentences
6 Syntax 4: Negation
7 Morphology of the Root 1: The Verb
8 Morphology of the Root 2: The Noun
9 Morphology of the Root 3: Adjectives and Adjective-like Words
10 Non-Personal Affixes 1: Voice
11 Non-Personal Affixes 2: Aspectual and Modal Affixes
12 Non-Personal Affixes 3: Derivational Affixes
13 Non-Personal Affixes 4: Lexical Suffixes
14 Person Markers
15 The Demonstrative System
16 Predicate Particles and Tags
17 Interrogative Words
18 Adverbs and Adverbial and Modal Words and Phrases
19 Numerals
20 Exclamations and Interjections
21 Kinship Terms
22 Space and Time
23 Sample Texts

Appendix 1 Index of Grammatical Elements and Lexical Affixes
Appendix 2 Names of Places and Peoples
Appendix 3 A History of Work on Halkomelem


It is simply a very fine reference work that presents the results of a talented linguist’s collaborative efforts with previous generations of knowledgeable and Aboriginal language specialists. It will be a useful and appropriate addition to the bookshelf of any student of the Northwest coast.
Dorothy Kennedy, BC Studies, no. 149, Spring 2006

Sample Chapter

A sample chapter of this title is not available at this time. For further information, please email

Related Topics

Native Studies > Canada
Native Studies > Other
Aboriginal Studies
BC Studies
BC Studies > Native Studies

Other Ways To Order

In Canada, order your copy of Musqueam Reference Grammar from UTP Distribution at:

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