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Ta Sts’its’áp’s ta Sḵwx̱wu7mesh Snichim Sḵexwts "The Squamish Language Dictionary Project

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Title: Ta Sts’its’áp’s ta Sḵwx̱wu7mesh Snichim Sḵexwts "The Squamish Language Dictionary Project
Authors: Jacobs, Peter
Johnston, Eva
Issue Date: 05 Mar 2017
Description: We discuss Ta Sts’its’áp’s ta Sḵwx̱wu7mesh Snichim Sḵexwts "The Squamish Language Dictionary Project (SLDP). This is a community lead project that includes a published dictionary and now an e-dictionary project. Our print dictionary (Author 2011), was developed by a team lead by Nation members. The SLDP includes first language speakers (S1 speakers who are all elders) and second language learners (S2 speakers who are language teachers), a community linguist (also an S2 speaker) and other contracted experts. The dictionary is targeted to students of the language, both adults and children. We now have some informal observations about the role the dictionary has in our language revitalization efforts. We discuss the strengths and limitations that a written dictionary has, e.g., increased language status within (and outside of) the community, more independent language learning, difficulties in imparting complex grammatical information, misleading English translation. The second part of our project is our e-dictionary - Ta wa nichim Sḵwexwts "The Talking Dictionary". The Sḵwx̱wu7mesh Nation has less than 10 first language speakers. The language has been taught for 40 years in the local public schools and now in our own Nation run school (K-1). There are hundreds of second language learners, most from beginner to intermediate levels. A challenge for them is to hear spoken Sḵwx̱wu7mesh with any regularity. It is not feasible for all learners to spend time with our small group of elders. The e-dictionary then in part will serve to expand the voices of our S1 speakers. The entries in this e-dictionary include entries with sample sentences collected by the language teachers from existing curriculum and from other written sources. Sentences are chosen to represent a wide range of sentence types to assist learners to develop more complex ways of speaking. The audio includes voices of the elder speakers, and various S2 speakers (language teachers, adult learners and youth). Our primary purpose here is to provide a range of voices for learners to hear, both S1 speakers and S2 speakers. We are providing a range of S2 speaker since these are the voices that most learners are likely to hear. This phase of the e-dictionary project includes the most common words in the language. We plan to expand on this in the next phase to expand learners' vocabulary. References Author. (2011). Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Sníchim - Xwelíten Sníchim Sḵexwts = Squamish - English Dictionary. Seattle: University of Washington Press.
Appears in Collections:5th International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (ICLDC)

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