Talk:Carrier language

Active discussions


I have changed "formerly known as Carrier" to "for whom Carrier is the usual English name". It is simply not true that "Carrier" is no longer used. In fact, "Carrier" is the term commonly used both by non-Carrier people and, in English, by Carrier people themselves. (Note, for example, the name of the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council.) The term "Carrier" is not pejorative, either etymologically or in actual use. Some Carrier people prefer to use "Dakelh" in English, but very few insist that people with no knowledge of the language should do so. There is a broad issue concerning the use of indigenous vs. non-indigenous names, which has arisen to a limited extent among Carrier people, but it is not accurate to say that there has been a shift from "Carrier" to "Dakelh". Bill

thank you for clarifying this. i think that many Wikipedian editors assume that all peoples are switching to "native" names. peace – ishwar  (speak) 19:22, 24 December 2005 (UTC)

This is a complicated issue. Some peoples do have strong feelings about what name is used for them, often where the common external name is pejorative. My impression is, however, that a lot of the impetus for use of native names by outsiders does not come from the people themselves but is a form of political correctness. Also, there is a difference between use of the native name in the territory and outside of it. For non-native people to use the native name in or near the territory is arguably a courtesy that acknowledges the association of the people with the territory. This motivation disappears away from the territory.

In the case of the languages of British Columbia, the one case that I can think of in which a native term has come to replace the earlier English name is that of Nuuchanulth, which seems to have pretty much replaced Nootka. I'm not quite sure why this is.

I have written a paper that discusses the ethical issues: The Names of the First Nations Languages of British Columbia Bill 07:37, 30 December 2005 (UTC)


I removed the characterization of the language teachers in SD91 as "certified", for two reasons. First, they are not always certified - I'm pretty sure that some of them are still teaching on letters of permission. Second, "certified" suggests that the language teachers are fully qualified teachers, which is not the case. No Carrier language teacher possesses a regular teaching certificate. The certificate that those who are certified possess is the "First Nations Interim Language Teacher Certificate". To obtain this certificate requires only that the person be proficient in the language and considered suitable by his or her community. It does not require any particular training, knowledge of language teaching methods, or analytic knowledge of the language. Bill 08:12, 30 December 2005 (UTC)

Very thorough, a bit more "lay" content would be usefulEdit

Very thorough; like all linguistics-oriented articles a bit more "lay" content would be better than the academic/IPA emphasis that's typical; useful "beginner" stuff like word lists, basic sentences, interesting words etc. ---- Skookum1 (9 May 06)


I'm wonderng why the Carrier are classed as subarctic and not plateau, in terms of regional groupings; this aren't phylal, right, I mean, Athapaskan is in both groups; and to me, as a geographer (if not a linguist) the plateau ends north of Prince George, i.e. including the Nechako/McGregor Plateau. The reason for this query is the idea of {{Peoples of the Northwest Plateau}} or {{Peoples of the North American Plateau}}, whatever terminology is crrect; see {{Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast}}. Is the division plateau/subarctic entirely arbitrary? If s, it should be revised, given the joint tribal councils and occasionally joint bands/communities of Tshilqt'in and would seem to me the Carrier are at least in both plateau and subarctic; I would have added Category:Languages of the North American Plateau but I suspect it would be removed.....but is the plateau/coast/subarctic division from ethnography or from linguistics, and what are its justifications? i.e. for why not all of BC's plateau is in the Plateau group.Skookum1 (talk) 15:05, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

June Helm's Introduction to the Subarctic volume of the Handbook of North American Indians discusses this issue briefly. She says that the inclusion of Carrier and Chilcotin in the Subartic volume rather than the Plateau volume is somewhat arbitrary and motivated in part by linguistic considerations. Looking at lists of features of the two culture areas, it does seem that the affiliation of the Carrier is mixed. The use of pit houses, for example, is a plateau feature, but the absence of winter dances and first fruits ceremonies is more typical of subarctic cultures. I wouldn't take the mixture of people in the Ulkatcho band and the inclusion of one Chilcotin band in the Carrier-Chilcotin Tribal Council as evidence of much. Historically it looks like the Carrier and Chilcotin were generally hostile to each other and that these friendly relations are a fairly recent development. Bill (talk) 22:11, 20 December 2008 (UTC)


Adding in-line citations is a bit of a pain becauseit would be necessary to cite a bunch of different sources, many of which are not readily accessible to the average reader. A book on Carrier for a popular audience will be published in the near future, so I think the easiest thing to do is to wait until it is available and then cite to it in most cases.Bill (talk) 18:18, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

I think it is really valuable to have references also to the most obscure works on a language in the wikipedia article. When dealing with little studied languages it is often difficult for a non specialist to find a way to study a language - I think providing complete bibliographies in wikipedia article is a huge help in that way. Thats what I do when I write about less studied languages such as Otomi - I try to include all the relevant sources no matter how obscure. I would encourage you to include inline refs and at least to include bibliographic references to as many works about carrier as convenient.·Maunus·ƛ· 19:06, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
Fully agree w Maunus on this one. Bibliographies in our articles provide other highly useful information and resources, besides the basic function of listing the source materials that were used in writing the article. It doesn't matter if the literature on a topic is highly specialised or not generally available online. At a minimum the works consulted need to be listed, and like Maunus says providing a fuller biblio of published works relevant to a specialised area of study like this one is useful to both readers and editors alike.

Verifiability is a wikipedia policy, and providing a biblio list goes only part-way towards meeting that policy. Having a list of sources that contain or validate the information in the article somewhere within them is one thing, but really individual statements need to pinpoint exactly which of the source(s) can be used to validate them. So they either need an intext cite (eg parenthetical referencing) or footnoted cite (via <ref>..</ref> tags). If you use a system like WP:CITESHORT it's really not that painful, & don't worry about whether the average reader would have ready access to the source—what's important is that the source(s) exist & have been published somewhere/somehow, they are reliable sources & support the statements made, and they could in principle be verified by some third party. --cjllw ʘ TALK 01:14, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

I think I may not have been clear. I agree that in-line citations are better than a mere bibliography list. My point is that it is a lot easier to include in-line citations mostly to a single recently published (well, soon to be published, at this point) source than to a whole bunch of different sources so that, rather than devoting the effort right now to adding the in-line citations, I propose to wait a little bit and then add them. Another aspect of this is that a lot of the the existing material takes the form of dictionaries, from which generalizations of the sort that one wants to present in an encyclopedia article are either not there, just the raw data (in which case we're getting into original research territory) or given in passing, in a convoluted way, etc. So having a published source to cite to that really gives this kind of information in a direct way would be valuable.Bill (talk) 03:20, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

Does "bizarre" have a specific linguistic meaning?Edit

The section Scope phenomena refers to a specific usage as "bizarre."

"Bizarre" doesn't seem to be a useful word here, but I can't edit it because I don't know what the correct word or words would be.

Does the sample phrase not occur? Would it be ungrammatical? Is it something that some speakers say but other speakers claim is bad Carrier? Could "not" applying only to smoking be used in a sentence meaning "I am not smoking tobacco, I am chewing it."?

Thisisnotatest (talk) 02:25, 11 February 2019 (UTC)

Return to "Carrier language" page.