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The Nooksack language (Lhéchalosem) is a Coast Salish language spoken by the Nooksack Indians of northwestern Washington Statemarker in the United Statesmarker, centred in Whatcom County.

The Nooksack language belonged to the Coast Salishan family of Native American but became extinct around 1988. In the 1970s the Salishan linguist Brent Galloway worked closely with the last remaining fluent speaker and is currently completing a dictionary of the language. George Adams, Nooksack Tribal member, is also working on the language.

Nooksack is most closely related to Squamish, Sháshíshálhem (Sechelt), and Halkomelem, which are all spoken in nearby parts of British Columbiamarker, Canadamarker.

Phonology

Vowels

The following table includes all the vowel sounds found in the Nooksack language.
  Front Central Back
Close  
Mid   ,
Open    

Consonants

The following table includes all the consonant sounds found in the Nooksack language.
Bi­labial Dental Alveolar Lateral
Alveolar
Post­alveolar Palatal Velar Uvular Glottal
Plain Rounded Plain Rounded
Stop Plain
Ejective
Affricate Plain
Ejective
Fricative Plain
Ejective
Nasal
Approximant Plain
Ejective


Alphabet

The names of letters in the Nooksack alphabet are based on the Latin alphabet.

letter name
A, a ayʔ
C, c siʔ
E, e iiʔ
H, h áyich
I, i iyʔ
K, k kay
L, l al
M, m am
N, n an
O, o
P, p piʔ
Q, q tl’epótsin kay
S, s as
T, t tiʔ
U, u yiwʔ
W, w tsemám yiwʔ
X, x aʔqs
X̱, x̱ tl’epótsin aʔqs
Y, y wayʔ
ʔ hóy qen


Orthography

(di)graph (di)graph
a qw
ch qw’
ch’ s
e sh
h t
i t’
k ts
kw ts’
kw’ tl’
l u
lh w
lh’ x
m xw
n
o x̱w
p y
p’ y’
q ʔ
q’


In addition the symbol "ː" is used to indicated elongated vowels and consonants (i.e, mː, aː, etc.). An acute accent (´) is placed over the accented syllable.

References




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