Book- J. Dunn, SM'ALGYAX - A Reference Dictionary

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In the mid-1970s, Sm'algyax, the language of the Coast Tsimshian people, came under the protection of Canada's Urgent Ethnology Program, which commissioned a dictionary by linguist John Dunn. With the help of many Tsimshian consultants, Dunn completed the dictionary in 1978 and the first written grammar of the language in 1979. The dictionary quickly became the spelling authority for teachers, and together with the grammar has established a standard writing system for Sm'algyax that is in use throughout Alaska and British Columbia.

This 1995 publication, with a new preface and revisions by John Dunn, brings these two classic works back into print in a single volume. Part I "A Practical Dictionary of the Coast Tsimshian Language" includes for each word a transcription, morphological information, English glosses, and phonetic transcriptions showing local variants of the entry. Part II "A Reverence Grammar for the Coast Tsimshian Language" is a nontechnical introduction to phonology, morphology, and syntax. It includes summaries showing the basic sentence types and their grammatical relationships.

The new one-volume format of the dictionary and grammar will facilitate their use by teachers, students, and the Tsimshian community for years to come.