Okanagan language – Wikipedia

Endangered Salish language of North America

Okanagan, or Colville-Okanagan, or Nsyilxcən (n̓səl̓xcin̓, n̓syilxčn̓), is a Salish language which arose among the indigenous peoples of the southern Interior Plateau region based primarily in the Okanagan River Basin and the Columbia River Basin in precolonial times in Canada and the United States. Following British, American, and Canadian colonization during the 1800s and the subsequent assimilation of all Salishan tribes, the use of Colville-Okanagan declined drastically.

Colville-Okanagan is highly endangered and is rarely learned as either a first or second language. About 150 deeply fluent speakers of Colville-Okanagan Salish remain, the majority of whom live in British Columbia.[2] The language is currently moribund and has no first-language speakers younger than 50 years of age. Colville-Okanagan is the second-most spoken Salish language after Shuswap.

History and description[edit]

Historically, Colville-Okanagan originated from a language which was spoken in the Columbia River Basin and is now termed Proto Southern Interior Salish. As a result of the initial expansion of Colville-Okanagan prior to European contact, the language developed three separate dialects: Colville, Okanagan, and Lakes. A low degree of dialectic divergence exists in terms of vocabulary and grammar. Variation is primarily confined to pronunciation.

The vast majority of Colville-Okanagan words are from Proto-Salish or Proto-Interior Salish. A number of Colville-Okanagan words are shared with or borrowed from the neighboring Salish, Sahaptian, and Kutenai languages. More recent loanwords are from English and French. Colville-Okanagan was an exclusively oral form of communication until the late 19th century, when priests and linguists began transcribing the language for word lists, dictionaries, grammars, and translations. Colville-Okanagan is currently written in Latin script using the American Phonetic Alphabet.

In Colville-Okanagan the language itself is known as n̓səl̓xcin̓ or nsyilxcn. Speakers of n̓səl̓xcin̓ occupied the northern portion of the Columbia Basin from the Methow River in the west, to Kootenay Lake in the east, and north along the Columbia River and the Arrow Lakes. In Colville-Okanagan, all nsyilxcn-speaking bands are grouped under the ethnic label syilx. Colville-Okanagan is the heritage language of the Lower Similkameen Indian Band, the Upper Similkameen Indian Band, the Westbank First Nation, the Osoyoos Indian Band, the Penticton Indian Band, the Okanagan Indian Band, the Upper Nicola Indian Band, and the Colville, Sanpoil, Okanogan, Lakes, Nespelem, and Methow bands of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation.


In 2012, the CBC featured a report on a family which is teaching its children n̓səl̓xcin̓ in the home.[3]

Five nonprofit organizations which support Colville-Okanagan language acquisition and revitalization are the Paul Creek Language Association in Keremeos, British Columbia, the En’owkin Centre in Penticton, British Columbia, the Hearts Gathered Waterfall Montessori in Omak, Washington, the Salish School of Spokane in Spokane, Washington, and the Inchelium Language and Culture Association in Inchelium.

Revitalization in the United States[edit]

Revitalization efforts for Colville-Okanagan in the United States are limited largely to instruction for children. However, concentrated efforts are made on the part of the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation to promote language preservation. Among the activities in which the Confederation takes part are allocating funds both local and federal for cultural preservation projects. The Confederated Tribes’ goals are to establish three language programs, develop language dictionaries, provide translation services and curriculum, and establish language classes with a regular attendance of 30 or more people. Though the Confederation’s efforts are laudable, the limitations of 150 truly native speakers are evident. Language revitalization on the scale the Confederation proposes is limited by the number of native speakers available for those projects.[4]

Despite the confederation’s efforts, language revitalization cannot be reproduced on such a large scale in the short run. The Salish School of Spokane in Washington takes a smaller approach towards revitalization. This school caters to the Colville-Okanagan-speaking population in the tribal regions of northeastern Washington. This school’s efforts fall under the category of full-immersion school. The Salish School’s target demographic is children between the ages of one and 10 years old. This places the Salish School of Spokane in the children revitalization group of schools. The school’s programs are designed to spur full native fluency in Okanagan before the age of 10. The school does this by offering classes in Okanagan from 9 am to 3:15 pm. According to school expectations and curricula, children are expected to speak Okanagan for the duration of their time in school. In addition, the school is committed to an active learning strategy, that is, children are taught common nursery rhythms (heads, shoulders, knees, and toes) that engage the learner’s body.[5]

The Salish School of Spokane makes a point of not falling into the trap of monopolizing teaching resources. Unlike Walsh’s examples of tribes opting to not share materials, the Salish School maintains a variety of audio resources and curricula to advance Okanagan revitalization. Along with these efforts, the school not only provides curriculum, but also helps develop and translate it. The Salish School works alongside organizations such as the Paul Creek Language Association, a nonprofit based in British Columbia, on the N̓səl̓xcin̓ Curriculum Project.[6] The N̓səl̓xcin̓ Project aims to create foundational lesson plans from which teachers of Okanagan can draw. The project is spearheaded by Christopher Parkin, and is translated primarily by the fluent elder Sarah Peterson, with the additional help of Hazel Abrahamson and Herman Edwards. The participation of native speakers ensures clear meaning and high fidelity to the Okanagan language. The project is composed of six textbooks divided into three levels: beginner, intermediate, and advanced.[6] Each level consists of a language book which contains a number of audio recordings, language, and learning software to ease language teaching. Additionally, each level includes a literature book. The literature book provides the vital function of providing entertainment for language learners when outside of class and also reinforces sentence construction for Okanagan. The project also contains daily quizzes, midterm-style tests, and both oral and written final exams for evaluation.[6] Most importantly, the curriculum developed by the N̓səl̓xcin̓ Curriculum Project is available in electronic format online free of charge.[7]

Revitalization in Canada[edit]

To encourage interest in teaching vocations, the En’Owkin places a strong emphasis on its various certification programs. The Certificate of Aboriginal Language Revitalization is offered in the En’Owkin Centre and is taught by linguist Maxine Baptiste. The course does have a fee involved, but the certificate is offered in partnership with the University of Victoria.[8] Additionally, the center also offers a certification to become a Certified Early Childhood Education Assistant which is in partnership with Nicola Valley Institute of Technology. The certificate does not qualify one to teach at the secondary level, but does ensure employability in daycare and pre-K.[8] The strategy behind these two certificates ensures that potential teachers have easy access to college credits from centers of higher learning like the University of Victoria, and potential education assistants can be involved in the education of children, thus establishing fluency in Okanagan early on.
Finally, the En’Owkin Centre places a heavy emphasis on its college readiness programs. The importance of these programs lies not only in setting up native students for success, but also incorporating Colville-Okanagan courses into curriculum for young adult to adult students. William Cohen notes in his article, that many native students perform poorly in school and the high school dropout rate for aboriginal high schoolers is very high.[9]

Additionally, a Syilx Language House was developed in 2015 in British Columbia. The goal of the house is to create 10 fluent Nsyilxcen speakers in four years.[10] In this program, participants spend 2000 hours over four years learning Nsyilxcen via a variety of different teaching methods, regular assessments, frequent visits from Elders, and full immersion.[10] Following completion of the program in 2020, the Syilx Language House is hoping to expand by developing more language houses across the Okanagan and will increase the goal to creating 100 new Nsyilxcen speakers in the 2020 cohort.[10]


The Paul Creek Language Association uses this alphabet:

Letter Letter Name IPA English Explanation Nsyilxcn Example
a a /a/ as in the word father anwí (it is you)
c ci /t͡ʃ/ as in the word church cʕas (crash)
c̓a /t͡ʃʼ/ as in the word cats c̓ałt (cold)
ə ə /ə/ as in the word elephant əcxʷuy (goes)
h ha /h/ as in the word happy hiw̓t (rat)
i is /i/ as in the word see ixíʔ (that/then)
k kut /k/ as in the word kite kilx (hand)
k̓it /kʼ/ is pronounced as a hard k k̓ast (bad)
kʷup /kʷ/ as in the word queen kʷint (take)
k̓ʷ k̓ʷap /kʷʼ/ is pronounced as a hard k̓ʷck̓ʷact (strong)
l li /l/ as in the word love limt (happy)
əl̓ /lˀ/ pronounced as an abruptly stopped l sl̓ax̌t (friend)
ł łu /ɬ/ pronounced as a slurpy l łt̓ap (bounce/jump)
ƛ̓ ƛ̓i /t͡ɬʼ/ pronounced as a click tl out of the side of the mouth ƛ̓lap (stop)
m mi /m/ as in the word mom mahúyaʔ (racooon)
əm̓ /mˀ/ pronounced as an abruptly ended m stim̓ (what)
n nu /n/ as in the word no naqs (one)
ən̓ /nˀ/ pronounce as an abruptly stopped n n̓in̓wiʔs (later)
p pi /p/ as in the word pop pn̓kin̓ (when)
p̓a /pʼ/ pronounced as a popped p p̓um (brown)
q qi /q/ pronounced as a k deep in the back of the throat qáqnaʔ (grandma)
q̓u /qʼ/ pronounced as a hard q q̓aʔxán (shoe)
qʷa /qʷ/ pronounced as a q with rounded lips qʷacqn (hat)
q̓ʷ q̓ʷʕay /qʷʼ/ pronounced as a hard q with rounded lips q̓ʷmqin (antler)
r ri /r/ pronounced rolled on the tongue yirncút (make itself round)
s sas /s/ as in the word sister síyaʔ (saskatoon/sarvis/June berry)
t ti /t/ as in the word top tum̓ (mother)
t̓a /tʼ/ pronounced as a hard t t̓ínaʔ (ear)
u u /u/ as in the word soon uł (and)
w wa /w/ as in the word walk wikn (I saw it)
əw̓s /wˀ/ pronounced as an abruptly ended w sw̓aw̓ásaʔ (auntie)
x xu /x/ pronounced as a soft h in the back of the throat xixəw̓tm (girl)
x̌a /χ/ pronounced as a guttural h deep in the back of the throat x̌ast (good)
xʷi /xʷ/ pronounced as an h in the back of the throat but with rounded lips xʷuy (go)
x̌ʷ x̌ʷay /χʷ/ pronounced as a guttural h in the back of the throat but with rounded lips x̌ʷus (foam)
y yi /j/ as in the word yellow yus (dark/purple)
y̓u /jˀ/ pronounced as an abruptly ended y c̓sy̓aqn (head)
ʔ ʔət /ʔ/ is a breath stop in the back of the throat as in the word uh-oh ʔaʔúsaʔ (egg)
ʕ ʕay /ʕ/ pronounced as a short a deep in the back of the throat ʕaymt (angry)
ʕ̓ ʕ̓aw /ʕˀ/ pronounced as an abruptly ended ʕ ʕ̓ac̓nt (look)
ʕʷ ? /ʕʷ/ pronounced as a nasally ow in the back of the throat kaʕʷm (pray)

The letters with acute accent á, ə́, í, and ú are not counted as separate letters in this alphabet.

The Westbank First Nation uses this alphabet, in which the letters with acute accent are counted as separate letters:

Westbank First Nation alphabet[11]
a á c ə ə́ ɣ ɣʼ h i í k kʼʷ l ɬ ƛʼ m n p
t qʼʷ q r s u ú w x x̌ʷ y ʔ ʕ ʕʼ ʕʷ ʕʼʷ



Consonant inventory of Okanagan:[12]

  1. ^ Only occurs in some dialects.[13]
  2. ^ Sometimes realized as a uvular flap in the Southern Okanagan dialect.[14]


The vowels found in Lakes are: [i], [a], [u], [ə], and [o]. Stress will fall only on the full vowels [i], [a], and [u] in Okanagan.

  1. ^ The [ə] is the single unstressed variant of the full vowels in Okanagan
  2. ^ The [o] vowel is found only in borrowed words


The morphology of Okanagan is fairly complex. It is a head-marking language that relies mostly on grammatical information being placed directly on the predicate by means of affixes and clitics. The combination of derivational and inflectional suffixes and prefixes that are added onto the stem words make for a compact language.[15]

Person markers[edit]

Okanagan demonstrates great flexibility when dealing with persons, number, and gender. The language encodes the person via a series of prefixes and suffixes, and uses its number system in tandem with pluralized pronominals to communicate the number of actors within a sentence. For example:


k- kaˀ- kaˀɬis

num.CL PL.REDUP three

“There are three people” [15]

In this example the /k/ classification designates that the word contains a numeral classifier.

Additionally, Okanagan relies heavily on the use of suffixes to designate gender. Okanagan handles gender in much the same way, by attaching both determiner and ‘man’ to the sentence, the gender of an object or subject can be communicated:

wikən iˀ sqəltmixw

wik- -ən iˀ sqəltmixw

saw 1sg det man

“I saw the man”

In this example, there is a combination of 2nd singular marker with ‘wife.’ ‘She’ is encoded into the meaning of the word via the inclusion of the gender suffix at the end of the sentence.

Person markers within Okanagan are attached to verbs, nouns, or adjectives. The marker used depending on transitivity of verbs and other conditions outlined below. The person maker used largely depends on the case being used in the sentence.

Absolutive case[edit]

Absolutive markers within Okanagan can only be used if the predicate of the sentence is intransitive.
For example, [Kən c’k-am] (I count) is perfectly viable in Okanagan, but *[Kən c’k-ən-t] *(I count it)is not because the verb ‘count’ is transitive. Person markers never occur without an accompanying intransitive verb.[15]

Singular Plural
1st person kən kwu
2nd person kw p
3rd person null (…-əlx)

Possessive case[edit]

Simple possessives within Okanagan are predominantly a result of prefixation and circumfixation on a verb. However, Okanagan uses simple possessives as aspect forms on the verb in very complex ways. This practice is predominantly seen in Southern interior Salish languages.[15]

The stem: kilx ‘hand’
Possessive Example Use Morphological process Translation
1st SG inkilx in-kilx prefix my-hand
2nd SG ankilx an-kilx prefix your-hand
3rd SG iʔ kilxs iʔ⟩kilx⟨s circumfix his/her⟩hand⟨
1st PL iʔ kilxtət iʔ⟩kilx⟨tət circumfix Our⟩hand⟨
2nd PL iʔ kilxəmp iʔ⟩kilx⟨əmp circumfix Your.PL⟩hand⟨
3rd PL iʔ kilxsəlx iʔ⟩kilx⟨səlx circumfix Their⟩hand⟨

Where prefixation occurs with -in / an in the 1st and 2nd person singular, /n/ may undergo deletion as below:


in- s- xʷuy -tan

1sg.POSS- nom- go -inst

“They are my tracks.”


an- kɬ- tkɬmilxʷ

2sg.POSS- {to be} -woman

“She is your wife to be.”


an- nik’mən

2sg.POSS- knife

“your knife”[15]

Ergative case[edit]

In the case of verbs, Okanagan morphology handles transitivity in various ways. The first is a set of rules for verbs that only have a single direct object, transitive verbs. For the ergative case there are two variants of person markers a stressed and an unstressed.

Stressed and Unstressed

Stressed Unstressed
1st SG -ín -n
2nd SG -íxw -xw
3rd SG -ís -s
1st PL -ím -m
2nd PL -ip -p
3rd PL -ísəlx -səlx

The stem: c’k-ən-t is the equivalent of the transitive verb ‘count.’

Example Use Translation
1st SG c̓kəntin c’k-ən-t-ín I count it
2nd SG c̓kəntixʷ c’k-ən-t-íxw You count it
3rd SG c̓kəntis c’k-ən-t-ís S/he counts it
1st PL c̓kəntim c’k-ən-t-ím We count it
2nd PL c̓kəntip c’k-ən-t-íp You (PL) count it
3rd PL c̓kəntisəlx c’k-ən-t-ísəlx They count it

wikn̓t (see it) is an example of a strong -nt- transitive past/present verb, with ‘XX’ identifying non-occurring combinations and ‘–‘ identifying semantic combinations which require the reflexive suffix -cut-

Two-participant event inflections: wikn̓t
Singular Plural
1 2 3 1 2 3
Executor Sg 1 wikn̓tsn̓ wikn̓ XX wikłəm̓n̓ wikn̓əl̓x
2 kʷuʔ wikn̓txʷ wikn̓txʷ kʷuʔ wikn̓txʷ XX wikn̓txʷəl̓x
3 kʷuʔ wiks wikn̓ts wiks kʷuʔ wikn̓tm̓ wikłəm̓s wiksəl̓x
Pl 1 XX wikn̓tst wikn̓tm̓ wikłəm̓t wikn̓tm̓əl̓x
2 kʷuʔ wikn̓tp XX wikn̓tp kʷuʔ wikn̓tp wikn̓tpəl̓x
3 kʷuʔ wiksəl̓x wikn̓tsəl̓x wiksəl̓x kʷuʔ wikn̓tm̓əl̓x wikłəm̓səl̓x wikn̓tm̓əl̓x

Accusative case[edit]

There are two sets of verb affixes each containing two members that dictate the composition of a verb. The first set is composed of the affixes –nt-, and -ɬt-. The second set is composed of –st- and x(i)t- where ‘i’ is a stressed vowel.

The major difference between two sets is how they incorporate affixes to remain grammatically correct. In the case of the –nt-, -ɬt- group, all particles and suffixes joining onto the stem and suffix of the verb will be identical for both. The –nt- affix connects to the stem of a transitive verb via suffixation. The suffix –nt- can only make reference to two persons: an actor and a primary goal.

q̓y̓əntin q’y’-ənt-in (I write something)

The -ɬt- affix is the ditransitive counterpart of –nt- and works in much the same. The difference between the two is that it refers to three persons: an actor, and two other actors or goals. Furthermore, -ɬt- is further differentiated from its ditransitive cousin -x(i)t- because it does not require a clitic to be a part of the verb.

In contrast to this group, -st- and –x(i)t- operate by unique rules. The –st- affix, much like its counterpart must be added to a verb stem by means of suffixation, it is also transitive, and refers to an actor and a primary goal, but it implies a reference to a third person, or a secondary goal without explicitly stating it.

q̓y̓əstin q’y’-əst-in. (I write it [for myself])

The -x(i)t- ditransitive affix shares all of the features of -ɬt- with the sole exception that it requires a clitic to be attached to front of the verb stem. The reason for the clitic in Okanagan is to add emphasis or focus on the second object, whereas -ɬt- makes no distinction.[16]

Predicates and arguments[edit]

Each clause in Okanagan can be divided into two parts: inflected predicates which are required for every sentence, and optional arguments. Okanagan allows a maximum of two arguments per sentence construction. These are marked by pronominal markers on the predicate. Each argument is introduced to the sentence via an initial determiner; the only exception to initial determiners is in the case of proper names which do not need determiners to introduce them. Predicates may be of any lexical category. There may be additional arguments added to a sentence in Okanagan via complementizers. Okanagan is unique among the majority of Salish languages for the inclusion of the complementizer.[15]


Okanagan has one oblique marker that serves adapts it to several different functions depending upon the context in which it is used. The oblique marker ‘t’ can be used to mark the object of an intransitive verb, as in the case below.

kən ˀiɬən t sɬiqw

I eat OBL meat

I ate (some)meat [15]

‘t’ may also mark the agent in a passive construction, and it may be used to mark the ergative agent of transitive verbs. Finally, the oblique ‘t’ may be used to mark functions including time and instrument:

kən txam t sx̌əx̌c’iˀ

I comb OBL stick

“I combed my hair with a stick” [15]

‘t’ may also coincide with the determiner ‘iʔ’ in the case of instrumentals and passive agents:



tʕapəntís [iʔ [t swlwlmínk] ].

shoot-DIR-3SG.ERG DET OBL gun {}

He shot it with a gun.

Mike cúmqs-nt-m [iʔ [t tkɬmílxʷ] ].

Mike kiss-DIR-PASS DET OBL woman {}

Mike was kissed by the woman.[17]


There are a number of complements available to Okanagan to clarify its predicates among these are positional complements, which merely indicate the place of a predicate.
In addition to positional complements, there are a variety of marked complements, complements used in Okanagan that express further meaning through a series of particles.[18]

The first of the marked complements is the prefix /yi/. For the most part, /yi/ is an optional complement that is used in definite cases with the exception of cases when a proper noun is used. In such cases, the /yi/ prefix is not allowed. When /yi/ is used it refers to a definite referent.[18]

wikən yiʔ sqilxʷ
” I saw the/those people.”
The sequential complements are composed of the particles /ɬ/ and /ɬa/. /ɬa/ conveys temporal sequence while /ɬ/ represents a subordinate element.

way̓ x̌ast ɬ kʷ cxʷuy̓
“It’s good if/that you come.”

way̓ x̌ast ɬa kʷ cxʷuy̓
“It will be good when/after you come.”

Okanagan also contains a number of locational complements which refer to when or where something happened. It is a point of reference. The /l/ and the variant /lə/particles are used to tie a predicate to a time or place.[18]
xʷuy̓ lə sənkʷəkʷəʔac.
“He went in the night”

Ablative complements in Okanagan come in the form of the /tl/ particle. Along with directional complements, /k̓/ and /k̓l/, Okanagan speakers can indicate motion.[18] The ablative complement /tl/ only serves to indicate ‘moving away from.’ For instance, in the sentence below, the ablative is ‘from (across the ocean).’

Kʷ scutxx tl sk̓ʷətikənx
“Were you saying [that he is] from Seattle?”

The directional complement’s two particles represent both direction towards something, and direction towards a specific location. /k/ signifies movement towards something:

k̓ incitxʷ
“to my house” (not towards it)

The /k̓l/ particle modifies this sentence so that it specifies the house as the location to which the subject must move.
k̓əl incitxʷ
“To my house” (there specifically)


Verbs may react in a number of different ways when a suffix is attached to the root stem of the word. Below are a number of ways in which intransitive roots are modified.[12]

  • -t can indicate a natural characteristic of the root
    • c̓ik̓ “burn”
    • c̓ik̓t “burned”
  • -lx indicates the subject is engaged in an activity
  • -ils expresses state of mind.
  • -p expresses lack of a subject’s control


  • -n involves action upon an object by a subject
    • kʷuʔ caʔntis “he hit me”
  • -s involve action or state resulting from an activity.
  • -cut indicates when the action of a subject is directed toward oneself.
  • Transitive stems without person markings indicate imperatives
  • Intransitives can express an imperative via the –x suffix:

Space, time, modality[edit]

The Okanagan system relies heavily on its affixes to demonstrate tense, space, and time. Below are demonstrated various affixes that attach to roots to encode meaning.

Of the following two examples, they are only possible in the –n transitive paradigm.[12]

ks- unrealized action

“I’m going to look after him”

səc- past perfect
“I’ve been looking after him.”

The following examples are for intransitives.

-k Unrealized: expresses an intentional future action or state. (I am going to…)
Kn kʷal̓t
” I’m warm”

-aʔx Continuative: Action or state that is in progress
kn scpútaʔx
“I am celebrating”

Directional prefixes[edit]

  • ɬ- Movement back
  • c- Movement toward speaker
  • kɬ- down, and under [12]

Prepositional case-markings for oblique objects[edit]

  • tl̓ from, source.
  • k̓l to, at, goal, recipient, dative.
  • k̓ for, benefative.
  • l on, locative.
  • nˁəɬ with, comitative.
  • ˁit with, by, instrumental [12]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Okanagan at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  2. ^ Gordon, Raymond G. Ed. (2005). Salishan: Ethnologue Archived 2012-11-04 at the Wayback Machine. Ethnologue: Languages of the World, 15th ed. Retrieved April 14, 2014.
  3. ^ “First Voices: bringing aboriginal language to the dinner table. The Bent family, who live near Penticton, are teaching their young children both English and Nsyilxcen”. Daybreak South – CBC Player. 2012-06-20. Retrieved 2012-08-05.
  4. ^ The Confederated Tribes Of The Colville Reservation Archived 2014-04-24 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved May 8, 2014
  5. ^ Salish School of Spokane. Retrieved May 1, 2014
  6. ^ a b c Johnson, Sʔímlaʔx Michele K. (May 2017). “Breathing Life into New Speakers: Nsyilxcn and Tlingit Sequenced Curriculum, Direct Acquisition, and Assessments”. Canadian Modern Language Review. 73 (2): 109–132. doi:10.3138/cmlr.3549. ISSN 0008-4506. S2CID 151866033.
  7. ^ The Nsəlxcin Curriculum Project. (2011). Interior Salish: Enduring Languages of the Columbian Plateau. Retrieved May 8, 2014
  8. ^ a b En’owkin Centre. Retrieved May 8, 2014
  9. ^ Cohen, William Alexander (2010). University of British Columbia. “School failed Coyote, so Fox made a new school: Indigenous Okanagan knowledge transforms educational pedagogy.” Retrieved May 8, 2014.
  10. ^ a b c Johnson, Sʔímlaʔx Michele K. (2017-11). “Syilx Language House: How and Why We Are Delivering 2,000 Decolonizing Hours in Nsyilxcn”. Canadian Modern Language Review. 73 (4): 509–537. doi:10.3138/cmlr.4040. ISSN 0008-4506
  11. ^ “Alphabet | Nsyilxcən | FirstVoices”.
  12. ^ a b c d e Pattison, Lois Cornelia. “Douglas Lake Okanagan: Phonology and Morphology.” University of British Columbia. 1978.
  13. ^ Paul D., Kroeber (1999). The Salish Language Family: Reconstructing Syntax. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. p. 8.
  14. ^ “Uvular-Pharyngeal Resonants in Interior Salish.” M. Dale Kinkade. International Journal of American Linguistics, Vol. 33, No. 3 (Jul., 1967), pp. 228–234
  15. ^ a b c d e f g h Baptiste, Maxine Rose. Okanagan wh-questions. Diss. University of British Columbia, 2001.
  16. ^ Mattina, Anthony. The Colville-Okanagan Transitive System. International Journal of American Linguistics , Vol. 48, No. 4 (Oct. 1982), pp. 421-435
  17. ^ Lyon, John (2013). “Oblique Marked Relatives in Southern Interior Salish: Implications for the Movement Analysis”. Canadian Journal of Linguistics. 58 (2): 349–382. doi:10.1017/S0008413100003066. S2CID 146947730.
  18. ^ a b c d Mattina, Anthony. “Colville Grammatical Structure.” University of Hawaii. May 1973.


Language learning texts[edit]

  • Peterson, Wiley, and Parkin. (2004). Nsəlxcin 1: A Beginning Course in Colville-Okanagan Salish. The Paul Creek Language Association.
  • Peterson and Parkin. (2005). Captíkʷł 1: Nsəlxcin Stories for Beginners. The Paul Creek Language Association.
  • Peterson and Parkin. (2007). Nsəlxcin 2: An Intermediate Course in Okanagan Salish. The Paul Creek Language Association.
  • Peterson and Parkin. (2007). Captíkʷł 2: More Nsəlxcin Stories for Beginners. The Paul Creek Language Association.
  • Peterson and Parkin. (In Press). Nsəlxcin 3. The Paul Creek Language Association.
  • Peterson and Parkin. (In Press). Captíkʷł 3. The Paul Creek Language Association.
  • Manuel, Herbert, and Anthony Mattina. (1983). Okanagan Pronunciation Primer. University of Montana Linguistics Laboratory.

Narratives, songbooks, dictionaries, and word lists[edit]

  • Doak, Ivy G. (1983). The 1908 Okanagan Word Lists of James Teit. Missoula, Montana: Dept. of Anthropology, University of Montana, 1983.
  • Mattina, Anthony and Madeline DeSautel. (2002). Dora Noyes DeSautel łaʔ kłcaptikʷł: Okanagan Salish Narratives. University of Montana Occasional Papers in Linguistics 15.
  • Seymour, Peter, Madeline DeSautel, and Anthony Mattina. (1985). The Golden Woman: The Colville Narrative of Peter J. Seymour. Tucson: University of Arizona Press.
  • Seymour, Peter, Madeline DeSautel, and Anthony Mattina. (1974). The Narrative of Peter J. Seymour Blue Jay and His Brother-In-Law Wolf.
  • Lindley, Lottie & John Lyon. (2012). 12 Upper Nicola Okanagan Texts. ICSNL 47, UBCWPL vol. 32, Vancouver BC.
  • Lindley, Lottie & John Lyon. (2013). 12 More Upper Nicola Okanagan Narratives. ICSNL 48, UBCWPL vol. 35, Vancouver BC.
  • Mattina, Anthony. Colville-Okanagan Dictionary. Missoula, Mont: Dept. of Anthropology, University of Montana, 1987.
  • Pierre, Larry and Martin Louie. (1973). Classified Word List for the Okanagan Language. MS, Penticton, B.C.
  • Purl, Douglas. (1974). The Narrative of Peter J. Seymour: Blue Jay and Wolf. ICSL 9, Vancouver, B.C.
  • Someday, James B. (1980). Colville Indian Language Dictionary. Ed.D. dissertation, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks. DAI 41A:1048.
  • Peterson and Parkin n̓səl̓xcin iʔ‿sn̓kʷnim: Songs for Beginners in Okanagan Salish. The Paul Creek Language Association.
  • Peterson and Parkin n̓səl̓xcin iʔ‿sn̓kʷnim 2: More Songs for Beginners in Okanagan Salish. The Paul Creek Language Association.
  • Peterson and Parkin. n̓səl̓xcin iʔ‿sn̓kʷnim 3: Even More Songs for Beginners in Colville-Okanagan. The Paul Creek Language Association.

Linguistic descriptions and reviews[edit]

  • Arrowsmith, Gary L. (1968). Colville Phonemics. M.A. thesis, University of Washington, Seattle.
  • Baptiste, M. (2002). Wh-Questions in Okanagan Salish. M.A. thesis, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C.
  • Barthmaier, Paul. (2004). Intonation Units in Okanagan. Pp. 30–42 of Gerdts and Matthewson (eds.) 2004.
  • Barthmaier, Paul. (2002). Transitivity and Lexical Suffixes in Okanagan. Papers for ICSNL 37 (Gillon, C., N. Sawai, and R. Wojdak, eds.). UBCWPL 9:1–17.
  • Charlie, William M., Clara Jack, and Anthony Mattina. (1988). William Charlie’s “Two-Headed Person”: Preliminary Notes on Colville-Okanagan Oratory. ICSNL 23(s.p.), Eugene, Oregon.
  • Dilts, Philip. (2006). An Analysis of the Okanagan “Middle” Marker -M. Papers for ICSNL 41 (Kiyota, M., J. Thompson, and N. Yamane-Tanaka, eds.). UBCWPL 11:77–98.
  • Doak, Ivy G. (1981). A Note on Plural Suppletion in Colville Okanagan. Pp. 143–147 of (Anthony) Mattina and Montler (eds.) 1981.
  • Doak, Ivy G. (2004). [Review of Dora Noyes DeSautel ła’ kłcaptíkwł ([Anthony] Mattina and DeSautel [eds.] 2002.] AL 46:220–222.
  • Doak, Ivy and Anthony Mattina. (1997). Okanagan -lx, Coeur d’Alene -lš, and Cognate Forms. IJAL 63:334–361.
  • Fleisher, Mark S. (1979). A Note on Schuhmacher’s Inference of wahú’ in Colville Salish. IJAL 45:279–280.
  • Galloway, Brent D. (1991). [Review of Colville-Okanagan Dictionary ([Anthony] Mattina 1987).] IJAL 57:402–405.
  • Harrington, John P. (1942). Lummi and Nespelem Fieldnotes. Microfilm reel No. 015, remaining data as per Harrington 1910.
  • Hébert, Yvonne M. (1978). Sandhi in a Salishan Language: Okanagan. ICSL 13:26–56, Victoria, B.C.
  • Hébert, Yvonne M. (1979). A Note on Aspect in (Nicola Lake) Okanagan. ICSL 14:173–209, Bellingham, Washington.
  • Hébert, Yvonne M. (1982a). Transitivity in (Nicola Lake) Okanagan. Ph.D. dissertation, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, B.C. DAI 43A:3896.
  • Hébert, Yvonne M. (1982b). Aspect and Transitivity in (Nicola Lake) Okanagan. Syntax and Semantics 15:195–215.
  • Hébert, Yvonne M. (1983). Noun and Verb in a Salishan Language. KWPL 8:31–81.
  • Hill-Tout, Charles. (1911). Report on the Ethnology of the Okanák.ēn of British Columbia, an Interior Division of the Salish Stock. JAIGBI 41:130–161. London.
  • Kennedy, Dorothy I. D. and Randall T. [Randy] Bouchard. (1998). ‘Northern Okanagan, Lakes, and Colville.’ Pp. 238–252 of Walker, Jr. (vol. ed.) 1998.
  • Kinkade, M. Dale. (1967). On the Identification of the Methows (Salish). IJAL 33:193–197.
  • Kinkade, M. Dale. (1987). [Review of The Golden Woman: The Colville Narrative of Peter J. Seymour (Mattina 1985).] Western Folklore 46:213–214.
  • Kroeber, Karl, and Eric P. Hamp. (1989). [Review of The Golden Woman: The Colville Narrative of Peter J. Seymour (Mattina, ed.).] IJAL 55:94–97.
  • Krueger, John R. (1967). Miscellanea Selica V: English-Salish Index and Finder List. AL 9(2):12–25.
  • Lyon, John (2013). Predication and Equation in Okanagan Salish: The Syntax and Semantics of DPs and Non-verbal Predication University of British Columbia, PhD Dissertation. (http://hdl.handle.net/2429/45684)
  • Lyon, John. (2013). Oblique Marked Relatives in Southern Interior Salish: Implications for the Movement Analysis. Canadian Journal of Linguistics 58:2. pp 349–382.
  • Mattina, Anthony and Clara Jack. (1982). Okanagan Communication and Language. ICSNL 17:269–294, Portland, Oregon.
  • Mattina, Anthony and Clara Jack. (1986). Okanagan-Colville Kinship Terms. ICSNL 21:339–346, Seattle, Washington. [Published as Mattina and Jack 1992.]
  • Mattina, Anthony and Nancy J. Mattina (1995). Okanagan ks- and -kł. ICSNL 30, Victoria, B.C.
  • Mattina, Anthony and Sarah Peterson. (1997). Diminutives in Colville-Okanagan. ICSNL 32:317–324, Port Angeles, Washington.
  • Mattina, Anthony and Allan Taylor. (1984). The Salish Vocabularies of David Thompson. IJAL 50:48–83.
  • Mattina, Nancy J. (1993). Some Lexical Properties of Colville-Okanagan Ditransitives. ICSNL 28:265–284, Seattle, Washington.
  • Mattina, Nancy J. (1994a). Roots, Bases, and Stems in Colville-Okanagan. ICSNL 29, Pablo, Montana.
  • Mattina, Nancy J. (1994b). Argument Structure of Nouns, Nominalizations, and Denominals in Okanagan Salish. Paper presented at the 2nd Annual University of Victoria Salish Morphosyntax Workshop, Victoria, B.C.
  • Mattina, Nancy J. (1994c). Notes on Word Order in Colville-Okanagan Salish. NWLC 10:93–102. Burnaby, B.C.: Simon Fraser University.
  • Mattina, Nancy J. (1996a). Aspect and Category in Okanagan Word Formation. Ottawa: National Library of Canada = Bibliothèque nationale du Canada, 1997. ISBN 0-612-17011-X
  • Mattina, Nancy J. (1996b). Anticausatives in Okanagan. Paper presented at the 4th Annual University of Victoria Salish Morphosyntax Conference, Victoria, B.C.
  • Mattina, Nancy J. (1999a). Future in Colville-Okanagan Salish. ICSNL 34:215–230, Kamloops, B.C. [Note also (Nancy) Mattina 1999c.]
  • Mattina, Nancy J. (1999b). Toward a History of the Inflectional Future in Colville-Okanagan Salish. University of California Santa Barbara Occasional Papers in Linguistics 17:27–42. Santa Barbara: University of California Santa Barbara.
  • Mattina, Nancy J. (2004). smiyáw sucnmínctәxw: Coyote Proposes. Pp. 289–299 of Gerdts and Matthewson (eds.) 2004.
  • O’Brien, Michael. (1967). A Phonology of Methow. ICSL 2, Seattle, Washington.
  • Pattison, Lois C. (1978). Douglas Lake Okanagan: Phonology and Morphology. M.A. thesis, University of British Columbia.
  • Petersen, Janet E. (1980). Colville Lexical Suffixes and Comparative Notes. MS.
  • Ray, Verne F. (1932). The Sanpoil and Nespelem: Salish Peoples of Northwestern Washington. UWPA 5. Seattle.
  • Schuhmacher, W. W. (1977). The Colville Name for Hawaii. IJAL 43:65–66.
  • Spier, Leslie. (1938). The Sinkaietk or Southern Okanagan of Washington. General Series in Anthropology, no. 6. Menasha, Wisconsin: George Banta Publishing.
  • Turner, Nancy J., Randy Bouchard, and Dorothy D. Kennedy. (1980). Ethnobotany of the Okanagan-Colville Indians of British Columbia and Washington. Occasional Paper Series 21. Victoria: British Columbia Provincial Museum.
  • Vogt, Hans. (1940). Salishan Studies. Comparative Notes on Kalispel, Spokane, Colville and Coeur d’Alene. Oslo: Skrifter utgitt av Det Norske Videnskaps-Akademi i Oslo, II, Hist.-filos. Klasse, No. 2, Jacob Dybwad.
  • Watkins, Donald. (1972). A Description of the Phonemes and Position Classes in the Morphology of Head of the Lake Okanagan. Ph.D. dissertation, University of Alberta, Edmonton.
  • Watkins, Donald. (1974). A Boas original. IJAL 40:29–43.
  • Young, Philip. (1971). A Phonology of Okanogan. M.A. thesis, University of Kansas.

External links[edit]