Oral stories form a portal through which rich cultural and linguistic information is passed from generation to generation. Traditional stories, called syeyehub in the Lushootseed language, are among the most valued oral traditions of the Coast Salish people of the southern and eastern shores of Puget Sound.
Tellings from Our Elders, Volume 2, presents nine stories told in the Skagit River dialects of the Lushootseed language, transcribed from recordings of the last generation of Elders who learned Lushootseed as an exclusive mother tongue. As a collection, they open a doorway not only to important cultural knowledge but also to the specialized vocabulary and patterns of narrative stylistics typical of Coast Salish storytelling.
Each story is presented in an interlinearized format with full morpheme-by-morpheme glosses and English translations. This format makes explicit the structure of the language and illustrates the richness of Lushootseed grammar as it is used in context. A glossary at the end of the book gives non-linguists some insight into the specialized terminology used in the analysis, making the texts accessible to the layperson. This book is an invaluable tool for those who want to ensure that Lushootseed is spoken by generations to come.
This collection will be of interest to linguists, typologists, aficionados of oral narrative, and speakers and learners of Lushootseed and other Coast Salishan languages.
As excellent examples of a specifically linguistic form of textual presentation, these volumes definitely achieve what they have set out to do. As such, they are not books that one would pick up simply to read the stories. Nevertheless, it is possible to discern that the stories are rich in teachings, [and] that they are beautifully told …
David Beck is a professor of linguistics at the University of Alberta. Thom Hess was a professor of linguistics at the University of Victoria.
Foreword | Jay Miller
1 Susie Sampson Peter
2 Dora Solomon
3 Mary Willup
4 Harry Moses
Star Child | How Daylight Was Stolen
5 Louise Anderson
6 Martin Sampson
7 Dewey Mitchell
8 Alice Williams
Glossary of Terms
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