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Lillooet phonology, texts and dictionary Swoboda, Leo John

Abstract

The reasons for writing North American Indian stories and legends are both numerous and obvious, especially in light of the fact that many Indian languages, which hitherto have orally preserved such material, are dying due to many complex, socioeconomic factors. Less obvious is the manner in which such material should be preserved; however, few would dispute that to do so by ignoring the source language would be to ignore a fundamental means of transcending the ethnic barrier to the Indian cognitive system from which the legends are derived. While many such descriptions of Indian material exist, the linguistic models used in these descriptions render them unintelligible to both Indian and non-Indian alike. The aim of this project, therefore, has been to collect a sizeable corpus of material in the Lillooet language and not only to write it in a manner discernible to the layman as well as the language specialist but also to present it in a manner which could provide the basis for a more technical linguistic study. Part One of the three parts comprising this study presents the description of the phonological system used to transcribe the corpus given in Part Two and Part Three. This description is based on an analysis of the entire corpus which was achieved by using the 360/67 IBM computer located at the University of British Columbia. Further, this description is governed by the criteria of descriptive and functional adequacy defined in Part One, and this part concludes with statistical data supplementing the phonological description. Part Two gives a transcription of eight Lillooet texts with a quasi-literal, English translation below each line. Immediately following each of the texts is a free English translation. Part Three is a dictionary of basic lexical and phrasal units. In that the transcribed material of Part Two and Part Three was read with understanding by a native speaker of Lillooet and in that further linguistic research based on this material is now under way, the dual aim of this project has been achieved.

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