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Indigenous languages

Submitted by wcm on Tue, 05/22/2012 - 2:28pm

There is a rich but relatively understudied linguistic heritage here in Western Canada. Neighbouring British Columbia is home to no less than thirty languages representing eight different language families or isolates. One of these families, viz. Wakashan, has long been my object of study. Calgary itself is relatively near to languages from five very different language families: Dene/Athabaskan (Tsuut'ina/Sarcee, Dunne-za/Beaver, Dëne Sųłiné/Chipewyan, Dene Tha/South Slavey), Algonquian (Blackfoot, Plains Cree, Ojibwe, Gros Ventre), Siouan (Stoney dialects), and more distantly, Ktunaxa (Kutenai) and Montana Salish. Since arriving at the University of Calgary I’ve been privileged to work with fluent speakers of most of these languages, and of many others. I am interested in both the documentation and the revitalization of these Indigenous languages.