A Tsilhqút’ín Grammar
670 pages, 6 x 9
Release Date:01 Aug 2021
Release Date:16 Sep 2013

A Tsilhqút’ín Grammar

UBC Press

Tsilhqút’ín or Tsinlhqút’ín, also known as Chilcotin, is a northern Athabaskan language spoken by the people of the Chilco River (Tsilhqóx) in Interior British Columbia. This language is spoken by approximately 2,000 adults in six reserves, and both spoken and written forms are taught as part of school curricula. Until now, the literature on Tsilhqút’ín contained very little description of the language. With forty-seven consonants and six vowels plus tone, the phonological system is notoriously complex.

This book is the first comprehensive grammar of Tsilhqu´t’i´n. It covers all aspects of linguistic structure -- phonology, morphology, and syntax -- including negation and questions. Also included are three stories passed down by Tsilhqút’ín elders Helena Myers (translated by Maria Myers), William Myers, and Mabel Alphonse (translated by Bella Alphonse), which are annotated with linguistic analysis. The product of decades of work by linguist Eung-Do Cook, A Tsilhqút’ín Grammar makes an important contribution to the ongoing documentation of Athabaskan languages.

This book will be relevant to scholars of Tsilhqút’ín and of other Athabaskan languages, linguists in a range of topics (phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics, as well as comparative and historical linguistics), and members of the Tsilhqút’ín First Nations.

Eung-Do Cook is a professor emeritus of linguistics at the University of Calgary.

Abbreviations and Symbols


1 Sound System and Orthography

2 Words and Their Categories

3 Organization of the Verb

4 Theme Categories and Other Verb Classes

5 Simple Sentences

6 Complex Sentences

7 Movement and Other Syntactic Rules

8 Negation

9 Questions

10 Reference to Third Person and Morphosyntactic Problems

Appendix: Three Annotated Texts

References Cited

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