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Building Literature from St’át’imcets Oral Narrative

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Title: Building Literature from St’át’imcets Oral Narrative
Authors: Lyon, John
Davis, Henry
Issue Date: 02 Mar 2017
Description: This poster presents a collaboration between UBC (University of British Columbia) and USLCES (the Upper St’át’imc Language, Culture, and Education Society) involving the documentation, transcription, analysis, and dissemination of three comprehensive collections of modern and heritage recordings of personal narratives in St’át’imcets (a.k.a. Lillooet), a highly endangered Interior Salish language spoken in British Columbia, Canada, spoken by approximately 50 elderly fluent speakers. The overall goals in producing these collections are (a) to provide the language community with quality learning materials; (b) to provide the linguistic community with accurate data; and (c) to build a legacy of literature in the language. Subject matter of the narratives includes traditional legends, childhood memories, historical events, stories remembered from parents, work experiences, among others. We present one finished volume, Sqwéqwel’ múta7 sptakwlh (Stories and Legends): St’át’imcets Narratives by Qwa7yán’ak (Carl Alexander) (UBC Occasional Papers in Linguistics, 2016), consisting of contemporary recordings of a fluent speaker of the Bridge River band. We also present two volumes which are nearly complete, St’át’imcets Narratives recorded by Jan van Eijk, and St’át’imcets Narratives recorded by Randy Bouchard (titles tentative), which stem from heritage recordings made during the 1960’s and 1970’s. Volumes are published in both a low-cost hard copy format, and as a freely accessible electronic resource, including sound files, on the UBC Working Papers in Linguistics website. These projects approach stories about “everyday life” as valued contributions to a growing body of Interior Salish literature and linguistics (cf. Matthewson 2005, Matthewson et al, 2008). They include a wealth of linguistic material, including registers of speaking which are poorly represented in existing texts, and have also brought to light previously unattested lexical roots and derivations not found in dictionaries for the language (cf. van Eijk, 2013). The poster focuses on methodological issues surrounding transcription and translation techniques, typography and formatting, and the documentation and inclusion of place-name maps as part of the volumes. We discuss specific ways in which creating these materials involved the community (e.g. training community members in transcription/translation), and discuss ways in which these materials are being (and could be in the future) used in community-based language revitalization initiatives. This work has been made possible by a SSHRC (Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada) Partnership Grant titled “First Nations Languages in the Twenty-First Century: Looking Back, Looking Forward” which supports language documentation and revitalization efforts across British Columbia. References Alexander, C., Author 1, Author 2, & Matthewson, L. (eds). (2016). Sqwéqwel’ múta7 sptakwlh: St’át’imcets Narratives by Qwa7y’án’ak (Carl Alexander). University of British Columbia Occasional Papers in Linguistics and USLCES, vol. 3. 457 pages. Author 1, Author 2, van Eijk, J. (forthcoming). St’át’imcets Narratives recorded by Jan van Eijk. University of British Columbia Occasional Papers in Linguistics and USLCES, vol. 4. 293 pages. Author 1, Author 2. (forthcoming). St’át’imcets Narratives recorded by Randy Bouchard. University of British Columbia Occasional Papers in Linguistics and USLCES, vol. 5. 300 pages. Matthewson, Lisa. (2005). When I Was Small - I Wan Kwikws: A Grammatical Analysis of St'át'imcets Oral Narratives. University of British Columbia Press: Vancouver. Matthewson, L., Christodolou, C., Author 1, & Oberg, M. (2008). Wenácw Iz’: Sqwéqwel’s sLaura: True Stories by Laura Thevarge. University of British Columbia Working Papers in Linguistics, volume 22. Vancouver. van Eijk, Jan. (2013). Lillooet-English Dictionary. University of British Columbia Occasional Papers in Linguistics, vol. 2.
Appears in Collections:5th International Conference on Language Documentation and Conservation (ICLDC)

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