A Dictionary of the Saanich Language
- PUBLISHED: September 2018
- SUBJECT LISTING: Language, Native American and Indigenous Studies
- BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION: 1520 Pages, 8.5 x 11 in, 17 b&w illus.
- ISBN: 9780295743851
- Publisher: University of Washington Press
The SENĆOŦEN language historically has been spoken on the Saanich Peninsula of southern Vancouver Island and islands in the Strait of Georgia, today divided by the US-Canada border. SENĆOŦEN—also known as Saanich—is now the first language of fewer than ten people, as English has replaced it in everyday use. However, because of revitalization efforts that began in the 1970s with David Elliott Sr., who developed a unique SENĆOŦEN writing system, a large and growing number of people are learning to speak it. SENĆOŦEN is increasingly being used in both ceremonial and casual settings and, thanks to the W̱SÁNEĆ School Board, classes in the language are taught at all levels, with an immersion curriculum also offered. This volume is the first complete SENĆOŦEN-English dictionary and also includes a brief introduction to the language and English-SENĆOŦEN, affix, and root indexes. SENĆOŦEN: A Dictionary of the Saanich Language is based on audio recordings made with twenty-six elders, all native speakers. Their words, sentences, and stories made this dictionary possible.
Authors & Contributors
Timothy Montler is distinguished research professor at the University of North Texas. He is the author of Klallam Dictionary and Klallam Grammar.
This text will prove to be an indispensable resource for the W̱SÁNEĆ communities and those of neighbouring Coast Salish, and especially Straits Salish nations whose dialects and languages share many commonalities with SENĆOŦEN. It also stands as an example of the value of long-term collaboration between committed and passionate individuals.- Ormsby Review
Montler is indisputably the leading linguistic expert on the SENĆOŦEN language. This dictionary is critically important for the emerging second generation of second-language speakers eager to master the language.- Henry Davis, professor of linguistics, University of British Columbia
It is from the water we emerged, W̱SÁNEĆ (Saanich); ever since our ancestor had seen the land appear, pointing toward it and shouting, “NI QENET TŦE W̱SÁNEĆ LO,TE ȻȽ ṮÁȽ - look what is emerging from the receding water”. The time of the great flood had ended and from it we were a people renewed, W̱SÁNEĆ; in memory of that sacred time. Thus, the words that would speak of our identity, customs and so on, were spoken in the W̱SÁNEĆ tongue, SENĆOŦEN. As water had taken the land from us with one flood, another flood had taken the language, to which, a cry to language revitalization is commanded. And so, the language emerges again from those who want it, who learn it, who teach it, who speak it. Again, the words of our grandmothers and grandfathers are being carried on from one generation to the next through education and the capture of their voices in this volume. U, XAXE TŦE SȻÁ, ȽTE SḰÁL. NIȽ ȻE,ĆÁ, ĆELÁṈEN ȽTE TŦE SENĆOŦEN – Our language is sacred. SENĆOŦEN is our ancestry, our culture, our birthright.- PENÁĆ G. David Underwood, SENĆOŦEN Teacher/Language Revitalist