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Gitxsan-Nisga'a (Nass-Gitksan)

Language: Nisga'a-Gitxsan is a Penutian language of the Pacific Northwest Coast, spoken by about 2000 people in the Nisga'a (or Nisgha) and Gitxsan (or Gitksan) tribes of British Columbia. Though the Nisga'a and the Gitxsan are culturally and politically distinct nations, their languages are no more different than American and Australian English and speakers from the two tribes can understand each other with little difficulty. Nisga'a and Gitxsan are consonant-rich, polysynthetic languages with VSO word order.

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Names: "Nisga'a" and "Gitxsan" are tribal names referring to the traditional territory of the two tribes-- each is the native name of a river that runs through their lands (simplified to "Nass River" and "Skeena River" by English-speaking Canadians.) There have been many spellings of these names over the years, including Nisgaa, Nisga, Nisga-a, Nisgha, Nishga, Niska, Nishka, Nisk'a, Nisqa'a, Gitx̱san, Gitksan, Kitxsan, Kitksan, Ksan, Giklsan, Gitksan, Gitxan, Gityskyan, Gitsken, and Gitksian. The Gitxsan language is sometimes referred to as Gitksanimx or Gitsenimx. Nisga'a band names include Gingolx (or Kincolith), Gitlaxt'aamix (or Aiyansh), Gitwinksihlkw (or Gwinaha), and Laxgalts'ap. Gitxsan band names include Gitwangak (or Kitwanga), Gitanyow, Gitsegukla, Sik-E-Dakh (or Glen Vowell), Gitanmaax (or Hazelton), and Kispiox.

Nisgaa-Gitxsan Language
Nisgaa-Gitxsan language samples and resources.

Nisgaa Culture and History
Information and links about the Nisgaa tribe past and present.

Gitxsan Culture and History
Information and links about the Gitxsan tribe past and present.

Nisga'a Indian Legends
Introduction to the mythology of the Nisgaa Indians.

Gitksan Indian Legends
Introduction to the mythology of the Gitxsan Indians.

Nisgaa-Gitxsan Language Resources

Nisga'a-Gitxsan Dictionaries and Language Books for Sale
Our organization earns a commission from any book bought through these links

Lo'ops Trudy
     Charming children's picture book in the Gitxsan language.

Nisgaa-Gitxsan Language Lessons and Linguistic Descriptions

First Nations Language Groups at the Time of European Contact:
    Linguistic map of Canada showing the locations where Nisgaa-Gitxsan and Tsimshian are spoken.
Native Languages of British Columbia: Nisga'a Language * Gitksan Language
     Brief profiles of these Tsimshianic dialects, with thorough linguistic bibliographies.
Nisga'a Language Dictionary
     Information about Nisga'a-Gitksan language preservation and language materials for sale from the Nisga'a tribal college.
Omniglot: Gitxsan:
    Profile of the Gitxsan language including a phonological inventory, orthography and a text.
Gitksanimx * Nisga'a
     Nishga and Gitksan orthography and text examples.
British Columbia Placenames:
     Canadian place names in Haida, Kwakiutl, and Nass-Gitksan.
The Names Spread In All Directions:
    Essay on the meaning and importance of personal names in Tsimshian and Gitxsan culture.
Nisga'a Song:
    Nisga'a version of the song "Silent Night."
Canadian Human Rights Tribute: Niska'a:
    Plaque written in the Nisga'a Indian language.
House of Languages: Nisga'a-Gitksan:
     Information about Nisga'a-Gitksan language usage.
Gitxsan illustrator inspired to keep language alive: * Gitksan dictionary goes mobile:
    News articles about language revival efforts on the Gitxsan reserves.
Gitxsan * Nisga'a
     Demographic information about Gitxsan-Nisga'a from the Ethnologue of Languages.
Nisga'a Language Tree * Gitksan Language Tree:
    Theories about Nass-Gitksan language relationships compiled by Linguist List.
Theoretical Aspects of Gitksan Phonology * Gitksan Modals: * Morphosyntax and wh-agreement in Gitksan:
    Linguistics papers on the Gitksan language.
Nisgha Language Structures * Gitxsan Language Structures:
    Nisga'a-Gitxsan linguistic profiles and academic bibliographies.

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Links, References, and Additional Information

Endangered Languages Project: Gitsenimx:
Bibliography of Gitksan language resources.
Nisga'a Language * Gitxsan Language:
Encyclopedia articles on Nisga'a-Gitxsan.
Lengua Nass-Gitksan:
Information about the Nisga'a-Gitxsan language in Spanish.
Nisga'a : * Gitxsan:
Nisgaa-Gitksan links.
Learning Gitksan:
Bibliography of Gitksan language learning resources.

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