|Native to||Canada, United States|
|Region||British Columbia, Washington|
|130 (2014 FPCC)|
|Duployan shorthand (historical)|
The Thompson language, properly known as Nlaka'pamuctsin also known as the Nlaka'pamux ('Nthlakampx') language, is an Interior Salishan language spoken in the Fraser Canyon, Thompson Canyon, Nicola Country of the Canadian province of British Columbia, and also (historically) in the North Cascades region of Whatcom and Chelan counties of the state of Washington in the United States. A dialect distinctive to the Nicola Valley is called Scw'exmx, which is the name of the subgroup of the Nlaka'pamux who live there.
Nlaka'pamuctsin is a consonant-heavy language. The consonants can be divided into two subgroups: obstruents, which restrict airflow, and sonorants or resonants, which do not. The sonorants are often syllabic consonants, which can form syllables on their own without vowels.
|Labial||Dental||Lateral||Post-dental||Alveopalatal||(Pre)-Velar||Rounded (Pre-)Velar||Post-velar||Rounded Post-velar||Laryngeal|
|Obstruents||Stops, Glottalized Ejective||pʼ||(tʼ)||tɬʼ||tsʼ||kʼ||kʼw||qʼ||qʼw||ʔ|
|Close||i ~ i̠||u|
|Mid||e||ə ~ ə̠||o|
Conventional wisdom about Salishan languages has long maintained an absence of lexical categories in that family. Many researchers believe there is a lack of contrast between parts of speech like nouns and verbs in Nlaka'pamuctsin, based on a lack of clear morphological differences. Instead, linguists discuss morphology and syntax in Salishan based on a framework of predicates and particles. However, recent work suggests a changing understanding of Salishan grammar. Now, most Salishanists believe that functional categories are not prescriptive of lexical categories, and that morphological evidence does not prove that the latter categories do not exist, only that the distinction is more subtle in some languages than in others.
One morphological feature of Nlaka'pamuctsin is lexical suffixes. These are words that add nuance to predicates and can be affixed to the ends of root words to add their general meaning to that word. Thompson and Thompson assert that as a result of English language influence, speakers are using these more complex predicates less and less in favor of simpler predicates with complements and adjuncts, resulting in “a general decline in the exploitation of the rich synthetic resources of the language.”
|Suffix||Suffix Meaning||Root||Root Meaning||Suffixed Form||Header text|
|꞊uyəm’xw||earth, land, place; in vicinity; (earth) oven; baked goods||/q’íx̣-t||strong, secure||/q’íx̣꞊ym’xw||firm, hard ground|
|√c’əɬ||cold||/c’ɬ꞊úym’xw||it is a cold country|
|kw[ʔá]l’||turn green||/kwa[ʔ]l’꞊úym’xw||the grass turns green|
|√c’áp||ferment||n/c’áp꞊ym’xw||sour-dough, yeast bread|
|꞊ekst||hand, arm||√kiyèʔ||ahead, in front, principal, the eldest||s/kiyèʔ꞊qín'꞊kst||thumb|
|꞊xn||foot, leg||s/kiyèʔ꞊qín'꞊xn||big toe|
|√k'əm||focal area||n/k'm꞊énk꞊xn||sole of foot|
|꞊ene(ʔ)k||belly, under side|
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