This timely 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.
A fully analysed and translated Lillooet text is included in an appendix to illustrate the grammatical patterns discussed in the main body. A second appendix has a conversion table comparing the standard Amerindian orthography used in the book with the practical orthography used in Lillooet-speaking communities.
The Lillooet Language is an invaluable addition to other recent studies of neighbouring Salish languages such as Squamish, Halkomelem, Thompson, and Shuswap. It could be used both as a textbook for studies in the structure of a selected language, and as collateral reading for courses in phonology, morphology and syntax.
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.
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.
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.
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
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)
30 Greetings, Exclamations, and Interjections
33 Proclitic Conjunctions
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
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