Klallam, Clallam, Ns'Klallam or S'klallam (endonym: nəxʷsƛ̕ay̕əm̕ùcən), is a Straits Salishan language that was traditionally spoken by the Klallam peoples at Becher Bay on Vancouver Island in British Columbia and across the Strait of Juan de Fuca on the north coast of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington.[3] The last speaker of Klallam as a first language died in 2014,[4] but there is a growing group of speakers of Klallam as a second language.

Native toUnited States
Extinct2014 (with death of Hazel Sampson)[1][2]
RevivalKlallam Language is still spoken through youth programs.
DialectsElwha Klallam

Becher Bay Klallam

Jamestown Klallam

Little Boston Klallam
Language codes
ISO 639-3clm
Pre-contact distribution of the Klallam people and language
Klallam is classified as Critically Endangered by the UNESCO Atlas of the World's Languages in Danger
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

Klallam is closely related to the Northern Straits Salish dialects, Sooke, Lekwungen, Saanich, Lummi, and Samish[5] but the languages are not mutually intelligible. There were several dialects of Klallam, including Elwha Klallam, Becher Bay Klallam, Jamestown S'Klallam and Little Boston S'Klallam.[6]

Use and revitalization efforts Edit

The first Klallam dictionary was published in 2012. Port Angeles High School, in Port Angeles, Washington, offers Klallam classes, taught as a heritage language "to meet graduation and college entrance requirements."[7] Beginning fall 2020, the Klallam language has been taught at Peninsula College in Port Angeles.

The last native speaker of Klallam as a first language was Hazel Sampson of Port Angeles, who died on February 4, 2014, at the age of 103.[8] Sampson had worked along with Ed Sampson (d. 1995), Tom Charles (d. 1999), Bea Charles (d. 2009) and Adeline Smith (d. 2013), other native speakers of Klallam, and with language teacher Jamie Valadez and linguist Timothy Montler from 1992 to compile the Klallam dictionary.[8] In 1999, this effort led to the development of a lesson plan and guidebooks to teach students the basics of the language through storytelling.[8] In 2015, a complete grammar of Klallam was published for second language instruction and preservation of the language.[6]

English-Klallam street signs in Port Angeles

Bilingual English-Klallam street signs were installed at two intersections in Port Angeles in 2016.[9] In 2020, Donald Sullivan, a member of the Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe, installed street signs in Klallam alongside existing English ones in Little Boston.[10]

Phonology Edit

Vowels Edit

Klallam has 5 vowels:

Front Central Back
Close i u
Mid e ə
Open a
  • The sound e is rare, and occurs only before ʔ or y and y'.
  • The schwa can be pronounced as /ʌ/, /ɪ/, /ʊ/, or /ɑ/ depending on its environment:[11]
    • Before ʔ or h, it becomes /ɑ/.
    • Around c and č, it becomes /ɪ/.
    • Before rounded dorsal consonants, it becomes /ʊ/.
  • Vowels may be stressed or unstressed. Unstressed vowels are shorter and lower in intensity than stressed vowels.
    • Unstressed schwas are often deleted. For example 'nətán' ("my mother") is often pronounced as 'ntán'. Schwa deletion is consistent for English-oriented opinion, but "for the best speakers this rule is variable[12]".
    • In the case of schwa deletion after a nasal consonant, the nasal consonant is doubled. For example, 'ʔínət' ("what did you say") is pronounced as 'ʔínnt' even in very careful speech.
  • Vowels are lowered when followed by a glottal stop /ʔ/:
    • 'bird'   /t͡sʼiʔt͡sʼəmʼ/[t͡sʼɛʔt͡sʼəmʼ ]
    • 'deer'   /huʔpt/[ hoʔpt ]
    • 'salmon backbone'   /sχəʔqʷəʔ/[ sχaʔqʷaʔ ]

Consonants Edit

The 34 consonants of Klallam written in the IPA, with its orthography in brackets where different:

Bilabial Alveolar Post-
Velar Uvular Glottal
plain sibilant lateral plain labial plain labial
Plosive plain p t t͡s ⟨c⟩ t͡ʃ ⟨č⟩ k[a] q ʔ
glottalized t͡sʼ ⟨cʼ⟩ t͡ɬʼ ⟨ƛʼ⟩ t͡ʃʼ ⟨čʼ⟩ kʷʼ ⟨kʼʷ⟩ qʷʼ ⟨qʼʷ⟩
Fricative s ɬ ʃ ⟨š⟩ χ ⟨x̣⟩ χʷ ⟨x̣ʷ⟩ h
Sonorant plain m n l[b] j ⟨y⟩ w ɴ ⟨ŋ⟩
glottalized ⟨mʼ⟩ ⟨nʼ⟩ ⟨yʼ⟩ ⟨wʼ⟩ ɴˀ ⟨ŋʼ⟩
  1. ^ /k/ occurs in only a few borrowed words from Chinook Jargon, English, or French.
  2. ^ /l/ rarely occurs in Klallam. It often replaces rhotics in loanwords from Chinook Jargon, French, and English, although it does occur in native words like laʔyaʔləmʼtú, meaning a group of small sheep or lambs.[11]
  • Glottalized sonorants /mˀ/, /nˀ/, /ɴˀ/, /jˀ/, /wˀ/ are realized either
  1. with creaky voice: [m̰], [n̰], [ɴ̰], [j̰], [w̰],
  2. as decomposed glottal stop + sonorant: [ʔm], [ʔn], [ʔɴ], [ʔj], [ʔw], or
  3. as decomposed sonorant + glottal stop: [mʔ], [nʔ], [ɴʔ], [jʔ], [wʔ]
  • The alveolar affricate /t͡s/ contrasts with a sequence of stop + fricative /ts/.
  • Doubled stops and affricates are pronounced as two separate sounds, but doubled sonorants and fricatives are pronounced as long versions of a single sound.

Syllable structure Edit

In Klallam, strings of consonants are acceptable both at the beginning and ends of syllables. In the onset, consonant clusters are rather unstructured, so words like 'ɬq̕čšɬšáʔ' (fifty) can exist without problem. Similarly, codas can contain similar clusters of consonants, as in 'sx̣áʔəstxʷ' (to dislike something, to be no good).[12]

Stress Edit

Stress in Klallam defines the quality of the vowel in any given syllable and can occur only once in a word. If a vowel is unstressed, the changes are entirely predictable, as unstressed vowels get reduced to schwas. In turn, unstressed schwas are deleted.[6] Mark Fleischer (1976) argues that schwa may be the only underlying vowel, as all others can be derived from the environment.[13]

Stress normally falls on the penultimate syllable; however, some affixes attract stress. Additionally, not all words can have stress.[14][6]

Morphology Edit

Affixation Edit

Klallam is a polysynthetic language, like the other languages of the Salishan family. Affixation is common for both verbs and nouns, and affixes provide temporal, case, and aspectual information. Every word contains at least one root. For example, the Klallam word ʔəsxʷaʔnáʔyaʔŋəs ('smiling') includes prefixes, suffixes and an infix. In its component parts, ʔəs-xʷ-naʔnáʔ-yaʔ-ŋ-əs means "be in a state of small laughing on the face" or more simply, "smiling". There are many forms of prefix, suffix, and infix; below are a number of examples. Allomorphy is common; often, a single affix with have multiple phonetic realizations due to stress structure or the phonology of the word it is being added to.[6][11]

Prefixes Edit

A common form of prefix is the time prefix. These prefixes can be added to nouns, adjectives and verbs to project ideas of time into the root's meaning. Examples include kwɬ- (already), twaw̓ (still), čaʔ (just now), and txʷ- (first, for a while). Other prefixes add verbal semantics with meanings such as 'have', 'go to', 'go from', and 'be affected by'.[6][11]

Suffixes Edit

Klallam has lexical suffixes, which are unique to the languages of northwest North America. They have inherently noun-like meanings and can function as the object of a verb, create a compound meaning, and act as the object of a number word. Many refer to body parts, but there are almost 100 lexical suffixes that cover a number of different ideas. Oftentimes, these suffixes can take on metaphorically extended meaning, so 'nose' can also be used to refer to a single point, and 'mouth' can mean 'language'. Below are examples of common lexical suffixes with alternate pronunciation in parentheses. Alternate pronunciations usually depend on the location of the stress in the root.

  • -ákʷtxʷ (-aʔítxʷ) – ‘dollar, round object’
  • -áw̓txʷ – ‘house, building, room’
  • -áy – people
  • -éʔqʷ – ‘head’
  • -íkʷs (-íkʷən) – ‘body, of a kind’
  • -tən (-ən) – ‘instrument, tool’
  • -ucən (-cən, -cín, -úc) – ‘mouth, edge, language’

There are also activity suffixes that give more information about an activity, such as 'structured' with -ayu and -ay̓s, 'customary' with -iŋəɬ, or 'habitual' with -ənəq.[6][11]

Infixes Edit

Sometimes plurality is marked with an infix (however, there are many ways to mark plurality). This infix marks collective plurality, meaning that instead of strictly marking multiple of a noun, it creates a group of the noun. This infix takes one of the forms -əy̓-, -aʔy-, -éy-, or -éye- depending on the root structure and stress placement proceeding the infix.[6][11]

Reduplication Edit

There are multiple forms of reduplication in Klallam, and each lends a particular meaning to the word. Two-consonant reduplication is a way to express plurality in about 10% of Kallam words. The first two consonants are copied and inserted before their location in the stem, and a schwa is inserted between them. For example, ləmətú (sheep) becomes ləmləmətú (bunch of sheep) through this process. First letter reduplication is one of three ways to create a continuative verb form. The first consonant of a word is inserted after the first vowel, sometimes with a schwa added afterwards; for example, qán̓ cn (I steal) becomes qáqən̓ cn (I am stealing).[6][11]

To create a diminutive form the first consonant is reduplicated with an additional 'suffix' of -aʔ afterwards and an infix of -ʔ- later in the word. With this músmes (cow) becomes maʔmúʔsməs (little cow, calf). The diminutive is not limited to noun forms. When used on a verb, the meaning takes on the characteristic of 'just a little' or 'by a small thing'. With an adjective, the meaning is construed to a lesser extent then the original form. Other forms of reduplication exist with meanings of 'characteristic', 'inceptive', and 'affective' aspects.[6][11]

Syntax Edit

The typical word order in Klallam is VSO, but if the subject of the verb is obvious then the object and subject can be in any order. This means that VOS is a very frequent alternative structure. The subject is considered obvious when both participants are human and one possesses the other. For example, in kʷənáŋəts cə swéʔwəs cə táns, literally 'helped the boy his mother' (The boy helped his mother), the mother is possessed by the boy and therefore cannot be the subject. In this case, the sentence could also be written as kʷənáŋəts cə táns cə swéʔwəs, inverting the object and the subject. When an adjective is involved in a noun phrase, it comes before the noun it describes.[6]

After the first verb, either the main verb or an auxiliary verb, often there is one or more enclitic particles "that serve to situate the speech act". These particles will add information about tense and mode or serve as evidential or question markers.[6]

Case system Edit

In main clauses, Klallam uses an ergative-absolutive pattern to mark the third person. The first and second persons in the main clause, however, as well as all persons in subordinate clauses, follow a nominative-accusative pattern.[6]

Verbs are intransitive unless marked with one of several transitivizing suffixes. The suffix -t on a verb indicates control by the actor. For example, in cʼáʔkʷ cn ʔaʔ cə nətán "I got washed by my mother", the root is unmarked and the subject cn is a patient while the agent is the object of the oblique preposition ʔaʔ, but in cʼáʔkʷt cn cə nəŋənaʔ "I washed my child", the -t transitive suffix marks that the agent subject, cn is in control of the action. In a similar manner, the transitivizer -nəxʷ indicates a lack of control.[6]

A suffix -əŋ on a transitivized verb creates a passive construction. For example, cʼáʔkʷtəŋ cn ʔaʔ cə nəŋə́naʔ "I was washed by my child". There is additionally a middle voice in which the suffix -əŋ on an intransitive stem creates an antipassive construction indicating an agent subject. If no patient is mentioned in the middle voice, it is assumed that the patient and the agent are the same, as in an action being done to oneself. For example, cʼáʔkʷəŋ cn would usually be taken to mean "I washed myself", but it is subject to some ambiguity, as it could also mean "I washed (regularly)" or "I did some washing".[6]

References Edit

  1. ^ Kaminsky, Jonathan (2014-02-06). "Last native speaker of Klallam language dies in Washington state". Reuters. Retrieved 2014-03-05.
  2. ^ Klallam at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015) (subscription required)
  3. ^ "Linguist keeping language, culture of Pacific Northwest tribes alive". News, University of North Texas. 2002-09-26. Retrieved 2013-01-12.
  4. ^ "Last native speaker of Klallam language dies in Washington state", Reuters, February 7, 2014.
  5. ^ Klallam language website
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o Timothy, Montler (2015). Klallam grammar. Seattle. ISBN 9780295994611. OCLC 891427525.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  7. ^ Arwyn Rice (2012-12-13). "First Klallam language dictionary revives ancient Native American tongue". Olympic Peninsula Daily NEWS. Retrieved 2013-01-12.
  8. ^ a b c Arwyn Rice, "Last Native Klallam Speaker Dies in Port Angeles," Peninsula Daily News, Feb. 5, 2014.
  9. ^ "Port Angeles street signs honor Klallam history". Peninsula Daily News. February 14, 2016.
  10. ^ Pilling, Nathan. "On S'Klallam land, new street signs a reminder that 'our language is important and alive'". Kitsap Sun. Retrieved 2020-03-12.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h Timothy., Montler (2012). Klallam dictionary. Seattle: University of Washington Press. ISBN 9780295992075. OCLC 779740399.
  12. ^ a b Montler, Timothy (1998). "The Major Processes Affecting Klallam V" (PDF). 33rd International Conference on Salish and Neighboring Languages.
  13. ^ Fleischer, Mark (1976). Clallam: A Study in Coast Salish Ethnolinguistics. Washington State University.
  14. ^ Montler, Timothy (January 7, 2012). "Traditional Personal Names in Klallam" (PDF). American Indian Personal Names: A Neglected Lexical Genre.

Bibliography Edit

  • Brooks, Pamela. (1997). John P. Harrington's Klallam and Chemakum place names. Proceedings of the International Conference on Salish and Neighboring Languages, 32, 144-188.
  • Fleisher, Mark. (1976). Clallam: A study in Coast Salish ethnolinguistics. (Doctoral dissertation, Washington State University).
  • Fleisher, Mark. (1977). Aspects of Clallam phonology and their implication of reconstruction. Proceedings of the International Conference on Salishan Languages, 12, 132-141.
  • Mithun, Marianne. (1999). The languages of Native North America. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-23228-7 (hbk); ISBN 0-521-29875-X.
  • Montler, Timothy. (1996). Languages and dialects in Straits Salishan. Proceedings of the International Conference on Salish and Neighboring Languages, 31, 249-256.
  • Montler, Timothy. (1996). Some Klallam paradigms. Proceedings of the International Conference on Salish and Neighboring Languages, 31, 257-264.
  • Montler, Timothy. (1998). The major processes affecting Klallam vowels. Proceedings of the International Conference on Salish and Neighboring Languages, 33, 366-373.
  • Montler, Timothy. (1999). Language and dialect variation in Straits Salishan. Anthropological linguistics, 41 (4), 462-502.
  • Montler, Timothy. (2005). [Personal communication].
  • Montler, Timothy. (2012). Klallam Dictionary. Seattle: University of Washington Press.
  • Montler, Timothy. (2015). Klallam Grammar. Seattle: University of Washington Press.
  • Thompson, Laurence; & Thompson, M. Terry. (1969). Metathesis as a grammatical device. International Journal of American Linguistics, 35, 213-219.
  • Thompson, Laurence; & Thompson, M. Terry. (1971). Clallam: A preview. University of California Publications in Linguistics, 65, 251-294.
  • Thompson, Laurence; Thompson, M. Terry; & Efrat, Barbara. (1974). Some phonological developments in Straits Salish. International Journal of American Linguistics, 40, 182-196.

External links Edit