Tahltan Word Formation: Considerations for Creating New Words in Tāłtān




Dennis, Odelia

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The Tāłtān language is a language at risk of becoming a sleeping language. Although language revitalization efforts are helping to reclaim this language, more could be done to create speakers. As languages evolve to contemporary life, developing new words would allow the language to be spoken uninterrupted by the dominant language and would spark the interest of younger generations to learning and speaking their language. This research focusses on the ways in which Tāłtān and other Dene languages have created new words in the past and more recently with consideration to how worldview is expressed in the language. There are steps that need to be taken when carrying out the task of creating new words in the Tāłtān language. Involving first language speakers will help to preserve the Tahltan way of thinking in the language. All language speakers should have a role to play in the creation of words, including those of different stages of language learning, and different dialect of speakers.



language revitalization, Tāłtān language, fluent speakers