Site last updated April 2013.

Welcome to the Sm’algyax Living Legacy Talking Dictionary

Message of welcome in Sm’algyax from Gitxon, Former President Tsimshian Tribal Council.

New users may wish to check the instructions for using the dictionary at the very bottom of this page, following the acknowledgements. Scroll down and you will also find advice if you are having display problems.

NEW CONTENT

There are three new resources available for learning Sm'algyax available from this site: the Sm'algyax Learning Guide; a set of four PowerPoint Presentations on the use of connectives in Sm'algyax and a personal practice language helper. These can be downloaded from the links here:

NEW IN APRIL 2013: Sm'algyax Learning Guide

Using Sm'algyax Connectives

 

Ts'msyen Talking Language Helper (new download – this one should work better!)

 

Sm'algyax Learning Guide  I developed the Sm'algyax Learning Guide for students who took UNBC's language courses when I taught with fluent speakers (Mildred Roberts, Doug Brown, Velna Nelson, Theresa Lowther). Additional material was added over a number of years while working with fluent speakers:  Clarence Anderson, Doug Brown, Marjorie Brown, Sampson Collinson, Theresa Lowther, Velna Nelson, Fred Ridley, Mildred Roberts, Mildred Wilson. Theresa Lowther reviewed some sections with Perry Reece  The Learning Guide includes everyday language in topical sections (greetings, expressing gratitude, expressing regret, leave-taking, prayer before a meal, etc.). There are sound files for most of the examples (sorry, I never managed to get sound files for all of the material, but there are still hundreds to choose from, and users can look up the others in the talking dictionary). The sound files were recorded by Marjorie Brown of Gitxaaƚa. There are two important sections learners should definitely focus on first:

·       Powertools (language used to get more language, such as "How do you say ___ in Sm'algyax?" and "What does ____ mean?".

·       Survival Skills (key everyday conversational phrases)

The Learning Guide also includes suggestions for how learners can do their personal goal-setting and plan their learning.  In developing this learning resource I got a lot of ideas from the Field Guide for Language Learners, by A. Healey, which is included in the LinguaLinks Language Learning Bookshelf. This can be downloaded free from the following website: www.sil.org.

To get the Sm'algyax Learning Guide, right click on the link above and download the zipped folder. Then click on it to "unzip" and you should be able to begin using it – be sure to extract all the files so your computer can access them properly. Because of the number of sound files, the file is large, so downloading may take quite a while.

Using Sm'algyax Connectives

To work with the Using Sm'algyax Connectives PowerPoint resources, just download and "unzip" the compressed folder (make sure all the files are extracted so your computer can access them). Then watch each of the four PowerPoint shows, which include information on how connectives are used to "glue together" phrases in Sm'algyax. The first presentation gives a general introduction, while the other three provide information and practice with the use of connectives with words that end in three different types of sounds:

·       "no-change" sounds where the connective is added to a root with no alteration of the root;

·       "voicing" sounds where adding the connective causes a minor adjustment of the sound at the end of the root word; and

·       "a-eater" sounds, where the initial "a" sound of the connective is absorbed into the last sound of the root

The sound files for these presentations were recorded by Velna Nelson, who is a fluent speaker from Txaƚgiw. Margaret Anderson developed the PowerPoints, with assistance from Theresa Lowther. There are numerous examples included, and learners can increase their vocabulary as well as learn about the connective patterns. Here is what one of the slides in this Powerpoint looks like:

 

Ts'msyen Talking Language Helper

The next new resource, the Ts'msyen Talking Language Helper, is a copy of much of the data from the Living Legacy Talking Dictionary set up so that learners can identify which words they want to practice and keep track of their success. To use it, first download the file (it is large, so this will take quite a while). I have my copy installed in the Program Files directory of my computer, and this works well, so you might want to select a similar directory for your installation. Then install the program by double-clicking on it. This should put the program onto your computer (sorry, this won't work on smart phones or tablets). You may want to right click while you have it open to create a desktop shortcut.

There are different options available for using this software.

·       You can browse through all the entries,

·       list all the words so you can identify your own set of practice words, or

·       play a matching game where the words in your practice set will be shown and you can select the correct ones when the sound file is played and/or the typed word is displayed. Here are screen shots of several views of the Ts'msyen Talking Language Helper.

This is how the program looks when you first open it up. The photograh here  is of Louisa Anderson, who was from Txaƚgiw.

This is the page that lets you browse through all the entries. You can make choices to show only the Sm'algyax, or to hide the back of the card.

This is the "List/Find Cards" page, where you can select as many practice words as you wish. In the current view the system is set to display all words that have both a sound file and an image. You just click on a word in the list at the left to move it to your practice words list on the right.

This is the matching game that you can play in the Ts'msyen Talking Language Helper. The game randomly selects images from your set of practice words, and then asks you to select the correct image as you click the sound button to play the audio file of each. A correct answer gets you a happy face, while a mistake gets you a sad face and a chance to try again.

Additions to Dictionary Content: The Sm’algyax Living Legacy Talking Dictionary has been extensively revised and expanded. Note the following features, many of which have been expanded since the last update:

·         Word Parts are Linked: Words that have more than one meaningful unit have been linked to each component so that users can switch to those entries with a single click

·         Variants have been linked to each entry – including dialect variants, spelling variants, free variants, and inflectional variants (plural forms)

·         Links to Previous Dictionary Entries: Image clips of all entries from *John Dunn’s Practical Dictionary of Sm’algyax have been linked to the relevant entries (with permission from the original publisher, the Canadian Museum of Civilization) *Works from the John Dunn Practical Dictionary of Sm’algyax are courtesy ©Canadian Museum of Civilization. Requests for permission to use Works from John Dunn’s Practical Dictionary of Sm’algyax should be directed to the Canadian Museum of Civilization at permissions@civilization.ca

·         Comparison Links to entries from the first edition of the draft print dictonary: Image clips of all entries from the 2000 Draft Dictionary printed by School District 52 in Prince Rupert have been linked to the relevant entries for comparison purposes; changes from this earlier draft have been reviewed by fluent speakers

·         Expanded Definitions: Entries now include separate sense definitions for related forms that are different parts of speech (e.g. intransitive verbs, transitive verbs), which allows users to more easily connect example sentences to the proper usage. The importance of awareness of these categories is illustrated in the excerpts (see below) from Visible Grammar: Ts’msyen Sm’algyax Grammar Resources, which is a series of twenty user-friendly modules on key Ts’msyen Sm’algyax structures. Further down on this page you will find a colour-coded summary of the basic sentence templaces.

·         Scientific Names Included: Scientific names have been included for plants, along with additional pictures of plants, both of these provided by ethnobotanist Dr. Nancy Turner

Work on the database continues, and future additions will include more images, additional sound files, and more examples drawn from additional texts being added to the database.

Beyond the Dictionary - Grammar

Knowledge of vocabulary as represented in a dictionary, even a talking dictionary with lots of examples, is only the beginning for mastering a language. Many Sm’algyax learners find themselves unable to move past words to conversation because they are not familiar with how sentences are put together in Sm’algyax, which differs greatly from English grammar. The Visible Grammar: Ts’msyen Sm’algyax Grammar Resources modules were developed in order to assist learners and teachers with achieving success in putting words together in ways that are acceptable and understandable to fluent speakers. Sm’algyax sentences are usually built with a stable ‘core’ with a predictable word order (time word-verb-subject-object). Components are linked by ‘connectives’ that are selected according to what type of word is following (e.g. a common noun or a proper noun, etc.). There are 24 basic sentence patterns, depending on what time word is selected, what type of verb is used, and what type of nouns or pronouns are used in the sentence. These are described in detail in the grammar modules, but for convenience, here is a short summary using the system of colour-coding word categories that is used in the grammar modules to assist learners by making the grammar visible.  To obtain the full set of grammar modules, including a CD with sound files for each example sentence, contact the Aboriginal Education office of School District 52 at the Wap Sigatgyet, Aboriginal Education, 317 Ninth Avenue West, Prince Rupert, BC  V8J 2S6, Phone:  250 627-1536.

 

NOTE THAT IN THE FOLLOWING TEMPLATES, THE –A BEGINNING A CONNECTIVE MAY NOT BE PRONOUNCED IF IT FOLLOWS CERTAIN SOUNDS SUCH AS OTHER VOWELS. TO LEARN THE USE RULES FOR CONNECTIVES SEE MODULE 2 OF THE VISIBLE GRAMMAR SERIES OR DOWNLOAD THE SET OF 4 POWERPOINTS ON CONNECTIVES FROM THE LINK ABOVE.

Yagwa/ła Templates (patterns for sentences when the time word begins with yagwa (-ing) or ła (just before or after another action)

 

Intransitive Sentence with Common Noun Subject, -a CN All Tenses:

Start

Intransitive verb

-a CN

Ncm

End

Dm

yaga baa

-a

hana’a.

The woman will run down.

 

Transitive Template 1A: Comm Noun Subj/Comm Noun Obj with Yagwa/ɬa



Start

ERGative particle –t (indicates a noun SUBJect to follow)

Transitive Verb

CN-da before Ncm SUBJect

Ncm SUBJect

CN-a before Ncm OBJect

Ncm OBJect

End

Yagwa

-t

huumts’ax

-da

‘yuuta

-a

hana’a

The man is kissing the woman.

 

Transitive Template 2A: Common Noun Subj/Proper Noun Obj with Yagwa/ła

Start

Ergative particle

-t: noun SUBJect

Transitive Verb

CN-da

Ncm SUBJect

CN-at

Npr OBJect

End

Yagwa

-t

huumts’ax

-da

‘yuuta

-(a)t

Meli

The man is kissing M.

 

Template 3A: CN-a Subject, Pronoun Object, yagwa/ɬa (dm), with Yagwa:

Start

Ergative Particle

-t shows Noun SUBJect to follow

Transitive verb

Absolutive Pronoun OBJect

CN-a

Ncm SUBJ

End

Yagwa

-t

ɬimoom

-u

(-a)

‘yuuta

The man is helping me.

Ła

-t

T’uus

-t

-a

‘yuuta

The man pushed it.

 

Transitive Template 4A: proper noun subjects and common noun objects, with yagwa or ɬa time words

Start

Ergative Particle –t signals Noun SUBJect follows

Transitive Verb

CN-dat before Npr SUBJect

Npr SUBJect

CN-a to Ncm OBJ

Ncm OBJect

 

End

Yagwa

-t

ɬimoom

-dat

Dzon

-a

‘yuuta

John is helping the man.

 

Transitive Template 5A: Proper Noun Subj / Proper Noun Obj with yagwa/ɬa:

Start

-t Ergative Particle indicating following noun SUBJect

Transitive Verb

CN-dat

Npr SUBJect

CN-(a)t

Npr OBJect

End

Ła dm

-t

huumts’ax

-dat

Terry

-(a)t

Cowboy

T is about to kiss C.

 

Intransitive Sentence with ABS Pronoun, no CN with Pronoun (Yagwa/Ła)

Start

Intransitive verb

-absolutive pronoun suffix

End

 

Transitive Template 6A: Proper Noun Subject/ABS Pronoun Object, yagwa/ɬa

Start

Ergative Particle –t signalling N SUBJect

Transitive verb

Abs Pronoun OBJect

CN-(a)t

Npr SUBJect

End

Yagwa

-t

Niits

-u

-(a)t

Dick

D is looking at me.

Ła

-t

Güüdax

-m

-(a)t

Jezebel

J asked us.

 

Transitive Template 7A: Yagwa/ɬa Ergative Pronoun Subject/Common N Object

Start

ERG Pronoun

SUBJect

Suffix

Transitive Verb

CN-a (heard only with –t pronoun)

Ncm OBJect

End

Yagwa / Ła

-m

t’uus

-a

‘yuuta

We are pushing the man.

 

Transitive Template 8A: ERG Pronoun Subj/ Proper Noun Obj with Yagwa /ɬa

Start

ERG Pronoun

SUBJect Suffix

Transitive Verb

Proper noun CN–(a)s

Proper Noun OBJect

End

Yagwa

-n

huumts'ax

-(a)s

Katie

I’m kissing Katie.

 

Transitive Template 9A: Ergative Pronoun Subj/ABS Pronoun Obj – yagwa / ɬa

Start Yagwa /Ła

Ergative Pronoun Suffix SUBJect

Transitive Verb

ABS Pronoun Suffix OBJect

End.

Yagwa

-m

ɬimoom

-u

You are helping me.

Yagwa

-t

ɬimoom

-u

S/he is helping me.

 

Nah/dm Templates (patterns for sentences when the time word begins with dm (future) or nah (past or completed action)

 

 

Transitive template 1B: Comm Noun SUBJect / Comm Noun OBJect with dm/nah

Start

Transitive Verb

-a CN to Ncm SUBJect

Ncm SUBJect

-a CN to Ncm OBJect

Ncm OBJect

End

Nah

huumts’ax

-a

‘yuuta

-a

hana’ax

The man kissed the woman.

 

Transitive Template 2B: Common Noun Subj / Proper Noun OBJ with nah/dm

Start

Transitive Verb

CN-a

Ncm SUBJect

CN-at

Npr OBJect

End

Nah

huumts’ax

-a

‘yuuta

-(a)t

Meli

The man kissed M.

 

Transitive template 3B: Common Noun Subjects / Pronoun Objects Nah/dm

Start

Ergative Particle

–t indicating N SUBJect

Transitive verb

Marked Absolutive Pronoun OBJect

CN-a

Ncm SUBJect

End

The following template applies only to sentences with 1st and 2nd person objects:

Nah

-t

ɬimoom

-‘nm

-a

‘yuuta

The man helped us.

The template is different for sentences where the object is a 3rd person:

Dm

Dzem

-a

hana’a

The woman will boil it.

Nah

Gyiik

-a

‘yuuta

The man will buy it.

 

Intransitive Sentences, Proper Noun Subject, -(a)s CN (Yagwa/Ła)

Start

Intransitive verb

-(a)s cn

Proper noun

End

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Transitive Template 4B: Proper Noun Subj / Common Noun Obj with nah/dm:

Start

Transitive Verb

CN-as to  Npr  SUBJ

Npr SUBJect

CN-a

Ncm OBJect

End

Dm

Gap          

-(a)s

Clarence

-a

suubm wan

C will eat deer soup.

 

Transitive Template 5B: Proper N Subject / Proper N Object with nah/dm

Start

Transitive Verb

CN-(a)s

Npr SUBJect

CN-(a)t

Npr OBJect

End

Nah

huumts’ax

-(a)s

Terry

-(a)t

Cowboy

Terry kissed Cowboy.

 

Transitive Template 6B: Proper Noun Subj Marked ABS Pronoun Obj – nah/dm

Start

Ergative particle

–t

Transitive verb

Marked Abs Pronoun OBJect

can(t)

Npr SUBJect

End

This is the template for sentences when the object is a 1st or 2nd person pronoun

Dm

-t

güüdax

-‘nm

-(a)t

Jezebel

J will ask us.

This is the template for sentences when the object is a 3rd person pronoun

Nah

ksisityaawt[1]

-as

Jerry

J traded it.

Nah

lugats

-as

Dzak

Jack poured it in.

Notice that there are two distinct patterns; one when the object is a first or second person pronoun, and a different pattern when the object is third person.

 

Transitive template 7B: Nah/dm ABS Pronoun Subject / Common Noun Object

Start

Transitive Verb

Absolutive Pronoun

SUBJect Suffix

CN-a (heard only with –t pronoun)

Ncm OBJect

End

Nah / Dm

gap

-u

-a

hoon

I ate the fish.

 

Intransitive Sentences with Proper Noun Subject, -(a)t CN (Nah/Dm)

Start

Intransitive verb

-(a)t cn

Proper noun

End

Dm

Bax yaa

-(a)t

Meli

Mary will run up.

 

Intransitive Sentence with 1st or 2nd Person Marked ABS Pronoun (Nah); no CN

Start

Ergative

Intransitive verb

-marked absolutive pronoun suffix[2]

End

Nah

-n

yaga baa

-‘nu

I ran down.

 

Intransitive Sentence with 3rd Person Marked ABS Pronoun (Nah); or 1st, 2nd or 3rd Person Marked ABS Pronoun (DM); no CN

Start

Intransitive verb

-marked absolutive pronoun suffix

End

Dm

hadiks

-‘nu

I am going to swim.

 

Transitive Template 9B: Ergative Pronoun Subject/ABS Pronoun Object – nah/dm

Start

Nah/Dm TEMPoral

1st or 2nd Person ERG PRON Subj Suffix

Trans Verb

ABS PRON

OBJ suffix

End

Nah

-m

ɬimoom

-u

You helped me.

When the subject is a 3rd person, the pattern is different

TEMPoral

-t Ergative 3rd pers. particle

Trans Verb

Marked ABS Pron.

END

Nah

-t

ɬimoom

-‘nu

He helped me.

When the object is a 3rd person, the pattern is again different.  Such sentences would only be used in conversations when it is very clear who the object pronoun refers to; many speakers try to insert a name after the pronoun object to ensure that this is clear in examples.

TEMPoral

Transitive Verb

ABS SUBJect Pron. Suffix

Marked ABS PRON

END

Nah

ɬimoom

-u

Marked ABS PRON

I helped him.

 

Display problems?  

Some users experience problems with the way that this website looks on their computers. There are several simple things that can be done to make the display appear as it should.

·         The site seems to work better in the Mozilla Firefox browser than in other browsers. You can download Firefox free – just go to this site on the web and follow the instructions to install Firefox.: http://www.mozilla.com/firefox

·         The site was developed using Unicode fonts, and to display it properly your browser should be set so that the encoding is compatible. To ensure that your browser is set properly you should open the browser and select ‘view’ from the drop-down tabs at the top of your screen; and then select ‘character encoding’ from the list there.  Make sure that the character encoding is set to UTF-8.

·         Some browsers may require add-ons for Adobe Acrobat to properly display all parts of the entries. To check for add-ons, go to http://www.adobe.com/downloads/ and download the free reader and/or add-ons.

·         The sound files have been checked, and all seem to be working properly. If you can't hear the sound files, confirm that you have your speakers or headset plugged in correctly, and that the volume is not muted.

If you still have display problems, please contact your technical support personnel, or email Margaret Anderson at the following email address: Anderson@unbc.ca  Please include a ‘screen shot’ of how the site displays on your screen. The screen shot below shows how the display should look when the entry for ‘great-grandchild’ is open.

Acknowledgements

List of contributors

A large number of people have made contributions to the development of the database from which this Sm’algyax Living Legacy talking dictionary has been developed. The following list provides brief details on many of these contributions. Sincere regrets if any individuals have been inadvertently omitted below.

Lexical Database and Software Development

The original database for this dictionary was developed through a process led by the Ts’msyen Sm’algyax Authority and the Sm’algyax Committee of School District 52. A graduate student in linguistics at the time, Tonya Stebbins was hired to establish the initial lexical database, which was based on data from John Dunn’s Practical Dictionary*, entered in SIL’s Shoebox software by Stebbins. Some data from Franz Boas’ publications on the Tsimshian was also referenced. The Sm’algyax committee then met regularly to add entries and to provide examples and details on meaning and usage for the entries. Members of the Sm’algyax committee include: Tammy Blumhagen, Doug Brown, Marjorie Brown, Alex Campbell, Sandra Carlick, Sampson Collinson, Pauline Dudoward, Stephanie Fisher, Verna Helin, Ernie Hill, Isabel Hill, Nadine Leighton, Sylvia Leighton, Theresa Lowther, Velna Nelson, Beatrice Robinson, Debbie Leighton-Stephens, Darlene Wilson and Mildred Wilson. After the printing of a draft of the initial database, Stebbins was hired to import the data to SIL’s LinguaLinks Software so that Margaret Anderson could use it as the basis for her research project, which provided funding to expand the dictionary, record and link sound files and images, and link lexical entries to texts that were transcribed and entered into a separate component of the database linked to the lexicon, including transcriptions of recordings made by John Dunn and Margaret Anderson and re-writings of texts by William Beynon from the collection that he sent to Boas in the 1930s. This work was a component of a project funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, called The Spoken Land.  Some data was added in the latter stages of this project from recordings and transcriptions by Fumiko Sasama, a linguist from Japan who has worked in Hartley Bay for the past twenty years. The content of the Sm’algyax curriculum taught in School District 52 is included in the database as well; this was developed by the Sm’algyax Committee, with Dr. Marianne Ignace.  The exported dictionary has been available on the web as the Sm’algyax Living Legacy Talking Dictionary since 2003 at the following website: http://smalgyax.unbc.ca

 

Recording and Data Review/Confirmation

The following individuals have contributed enormously to the work on the Living Legacy database. Some of them made sound recordings, some assisted with confirmation of transcriptions and translations, while others entered data, edited sound files, and collected and prepared image files. Some made multiple contributions. Each of these individuals is a hero in the effort to retain and revitalize Sm’algyax:  Clarence Anderson, Txałgiw; Tammy Blumhagen, Txałgiw; Alvin Bolton, Txałgiw; Bernice Bolton, Txałgiw; Arnold Booth, New Metlakatla, Alaska; Mary Booth, New Metlakatla, Alaska; Albert Brooks, Lax Kw’alaams; Doug Brown, Gitxaała; Marjorie Brown, Gitxaała; Bea Bryant, Lax Kw’alaams; Bert Bryant, Lax Kw’alaams; Alex Campbell, Lax Kw’alaams; Sampson Collinson, Gitxaała; Alfred Eaton, New Metlakatla, Alaska; George Eaton, Txałgiw; Lorraine Green, Lax Kw’alaams; Percy Green, Lax Kw’alaams; Isobel Hill, Gitxaała, Robert Hill, Txałgiw; Sylvia Leighton, Metlakatla; Darlene Leland, Txałgiw; Delores Lewis, Gitxaała; John Lewis, who was then a student of Sm’algyax provided one sound recording facilitated by his teacher, Tammy Blumhagen; Theresa Lowther, Txałgiw; Elinor Mason, Txałgiw; Morris Mason, Kitselas; Violet McKay, Lax Kw’alaams; Velna Nelson, Txałgiw; Perry Reece, Txałgiw; Fred Ridley, Txałgiw; Herbert (Sonny) Ridley, Jr., Txałgiw; Beatrice Robinson, Gitxaała; Delores Robinson, Txałgiw; Everett Robinson, Gitxaała; Violet (Tina) Robinson, Txałgiw; and Mildred Wilson, Txałgiw.  Please note that village identifications in this list reference the home community of the speaker, not their current residence. All of the recordings were made by fluent speakers who grew up speaking the language except one file made by a student, as indicated above. When listening to a sound file it is generally possible for users of this talking dictionary to identify the speaker, since the file names for the sound recordings include the initials of the speaker and an abbreviation of their village home.

Sound Clips from Archival Recordings

While many of the sound recordings linked in the lexical database were recorded specifically for this project, support from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada allowed Margaret Anderson to hire several individuals who catalogued a number of archival recordings made from 1968 to 1987. These were selected from recordings made by Dr John Dunn during his research in Kitkatla, and by Dr. Margaret Seguin Anderson during her research in Hartley Bay. Tammy Blumhagen and Theresa Lowther did a great deal of work in locating appropriate clips and cleaning them up with sound editing software. Archival Recordings included are from: Alfred Anderson, Txałgiw, Clarence Robinson, Txałgiw, Louisa Anderson, Txałgiw, Dorothy Brown, Gitxaała, Elizabeth (Betty Lou) Dundas, Txałgiw, Alfred Eaton, New Metlakatla, Alaska, Flora (Lola) Eaton, Txałgiw, Belle Eaton, Txałgiw, Cora Robinson, Txałgiw, Violet Robinson, Txałgiw, and Kathleen Vickers, Gitxaała.

Images Provided

Dr. Nancy Turner provided a large collection of photographs of plants, all with their Latin nomenclature – much appreciated!  Several photographs were provided by the following: Nadine Leighton, Txałgiw and Donald Reece, Txałgiw, Edward Bryant, Lax Kw’alaams and Michael Dangeli, Vancouver. The artwork used at the top of this site is a collage of images from Bryant and Dangeli.

 

One PowerPoint image was provided by each of the following, who were then students of Sm’algyax at Charles Hayes Secondary School in Prince Rupert: Brianne Gladstone, Vance Leask, Vanessa Leighton, Graham Lindsay, William Nelson, Kiesha Pahl, and Alana Russell.

Recording and Editing Sound Clips, & Image Acquisition

Tammy Blumhagen, Txałgiw, Lorraine Green, Lax Kw’alaams, Theresa Lowther, Txałgiw and Morris Mason, Kitselas.

Scanning and editing of image clips from previous dictionaries and archival materials from Franz Boas, William Beynon and Marius Barbeau

Janice Astawa, Karla Booth, Charanda McLean, Keisha Pahl, and Alana Nelson.

Debbie Ridley, Txałgiw and Erin Seguin, Tracy, California.

Financial Support

First Peoples Heritage, Language and Culture Council/First Peoples’ Cultural Foundation facilitated several grants to for expansion of the original lexical database, and especially for the recording and editing of sound files now linked to most entries in the database.  Support and accounting of these grants was provided at various points by the former Tsimshian Tribal Council (Pansy Blackmon) and the Hartley Bay Band Council office staff (Ann Clifton).

 

School District 52 has supported this project and other initiatives for the revitalization of the Sm’algyax language in numerous ways. The Aboriginal Education Council and the Aboriginal Education Department of School District 52 have supported the development of this and other resources. The district’s contributions have included substantial time and energy from Debbie Leighton-Stephens, as well as defraying expenses and facilitating meetings of the Sm’algyax Committee and the Ts’msyen Sm’algyax Authority. The Ts’mysen Sm’algyax Authority was
established under the auspices of the Tsimshian Tribal Council, and has been facilitated by the Aboriginal Education Council of the school district since the tribal council was disbanded.

 

The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada awarded a research grant to The Spoken Land project, for which Margaret Anderson was the primary researcher. The funds from this grant facilitated much of the work on this database.

 

The University of Northern British Columbia has provided support through Dr. Anderson’s research time, by providing research accounting services for the three-year SSHRCC grant that facilitated much of the work on this project, by hosting the online version of the Living Legacy Sm’algyax Talking Dictionary and generous assistance by computer support personnel.

Software and Support

The lexical database for the Sm’algyax Living Legacy Talking Dictionary was developed initially using SIL’s Shoebox software. It was subsequently shifted to SIL’s LinguaLinks software in order to facilitate inclusion of sound and image files. In 2009 the project was migrated to SIL’s FieldWorks software. The process of setting up the initial database was managed by Tonya Stebbins, and the shift to LinguaLinks was initially handled by Stebbins. Margaret Anderson then took over management of the database, and took a training course in the use of LinguaLinks taught by Peggy Griffin, and later contracted for some training and support by two SIL linguists, first Verna Stutzman and later Larry Hayashi. Hayashi has continued to provide support through the migration to SIL’s FieldWorks software, and has also provided excellent software tools to export the data in a format suitable for uploading to the web. He has also developed a software solution to export the entire database to a vocabulary manager tool that lets each learner set up an individual practice set, and to access entries as sound, image, text or a combination of all three; that vocabulary practice tool also includes a game that tests users’ mastery of the content. Though there is no partnership or affiliation whatsoever between the Ts’msyen and the SIL, the availability of their free software, fonts, and the generous support of several SIL linguists who contracted to provide training and consultation are much appreciated. I wish to express particular thanks to Larry Hayashi, who has done far more for this project than he ever contracted to do.

Font

This project uses the Segoe UI font for words and examples in Sm’algyax. This is a "unicode" font that facilitates display of characters such as ü (dotted u) and Ł (barred-ell) which are needed to represent the sounds of Sm'algyax accurately. This font should be standard on your computer, but if you don't have it please email Margaret Anderson and she'll send it as an email attachment: anderson@unbc.ca

Keyboard

Work on this project was facilitated by the use of software to adapt the normal keyboard of a computer for the special characters used in Sm’algyax. This software may be downloaded free by going to the following website: www.languagegeek.com and searching for the Sm’algyax keyboard.

Copyright and Use Restrictions

This website, its format and all component files are the property of the Ts’msyen Sm’algyax Authority, and are protected by copyright. No part may be copied, distributed or sold by any other individual or group. Permission to download files for educational purposes may be requested from the Ts’msyen Sm’algyax Authority, c/o Debbie Leighton-Stephens, Wap Sigatgyet, School District 52, Prince Rupert, British Columbia. If permission is granted for use of any material from this website, it is expressly agreed that the writing system will not be altered without written permission from the Ts’msyen Sm’algyax Authority.

Errors and Omissions

This is a living legacy, and it will never be ‘finished’ – there are inevitably errors and omissions in the present version as there were in previous ones. Users will note that many entries include analysis of words into several components. Some of these analyses are clear and will be readily accepted by fluent speakers, while others are quite tentative and should be understood as suggestions and questions to be resolved through continuing work on the database. Similarly, many words are listed as derivations, contractions, dialect variants, spelling variants, or free variants of other words, and these assignments of various types of variation should be considered tentative as only a small proportion have yet been reviewed by fluent speakers. The meaning and use of the proposed derivational suffixes should also be considered highly tentative until further work clarifies these; meanwhile, numerous examples have been provided for many of the forms still requiring analysis, and this may assist users in grasping their meanings and functions.  Another component that should be considered tentative is the list of thesaurus categories or semantic domains connected with each entry; the process of assigning and confirming these remains to be completed, and entries may include semantic domains that are incongruent with their use.  Further work based on the texts that have been and will be added to the database may assist in clarifying some of these questions.

While many people have contributed to this project, maintaining and editing the database for the Sm’algyax Living Legacy has for the past ten years been done by Margaret Anderson, and all errors and omissions are her responsibility. Please feel free to contact her with comments and corrections at anderson@unbc.ca.

This Dictionary is a true Living Legacy of Sm’algyax. We have tried to avoid errors, but we know that inevitably there will be some that we missed. We are continuing to make revisions, and would appreciate it if users let us know about errors that they encounter so that the next version of the dictionary can be even better. Email comments to anderson@unbc.ca. We intend to continue to work on the database and to release updated versions from time to time, with additional data and enhancements. If you are a fluent speaker, we hope that you will add your own voice to this Sm’algyax Living Legacy -- call Margaret Anderson at (250) 624-4569 to book a time to do a recording, or drop off photographs at the UNBC office in Prince Rupert for scanning.

We hope that you will enjoy using the talking dictionary.

Instructions for using the Talking Dictionary

If you know the Sm’algyax word you want to look up then do the following:

Select the first letter of the word from the top left hand corner.

Scroll to the word from the list on the left-hand side.

Click on the word. The entry will appear in the middle.

If you want to find Sm’algyax words by their English equivalents, do the following:

Try typing the English word in the top right hand corner. If the English word exists in the list, it will automatically scroll to it.

Click on the Tsimshian equivalent found underneath the English word. The Tsimshian entry will appear in the middle.

To hear Sm’algyax:

Many of the entries have recordings. Look for button and click on it. Please note that not all words have associated sound files yet, but we will keep adding sound files over the coming years.