Features of Carrier Dialects

This chart describes features of Carrier dialects that have been found to differ from dialect to dialect and can be described in a reasonably systematic way. It does not describe purely lexical differences, which are, however, extensive. The information available for some dialects is quite detailed, while for others it consists of only a few hundred forms.

The column labels name the dialects. The row labels give short, often crude descriptions of the features. Selecting a row label will take you to a more detailed description of the feature.

Some features are binary; a dialect has the property specified or it does not. In this case, the value in the cell is Y for "yes" or N for "no". For example, the Nak'albun dialect does not have the rule deleting /n/ preceding glottal stop, so there is an N in this cell. The Saik'uz dialect does have this rule, so there is a Y in this cell.

Other features are described in terms of a non-binary value, typically the outcome of a rule or the form of a morpheme. For example, in the Nak'albun dialect the form taken by "vocalized /l/" is /lh/, while in the other dialects it is /lhu/.

In either case, a question mark indicates that the information is not available for that dialect.

In this version of the chart, the transcription used is the Carrier Linguistic Committee writing system, the most widely used writing system for Carrier.

The term Nak'albun/Dzinghubun (Stuart/Trembleur Lake) encompasses a fairly large area, including the communities of Binche (Pinchie), Tache (Tachie), K'uzche (Grand Rapids), Dzitl'ainli (Middle River), all of which belong to the Tl'azt'en Nation, Nak'azdli (Fort Saint James), and Yekooche (Portage). This area is not entirely homogeneous, but the differences within it are both small and not well studied, so for present purposes it is treated as a single dialect. Saik'uz is known in English as Stoney Creek, Nadleh as Nautley, Sdelakoh as Stelakoh, Lhtakoh as Red Bluff, Ndazko as Nazko, Lhoosk'uz as Kluskus, and Lhk'acho as Ulkatcho. Tsetl'adak is the name of one of the villages in the territory of the Cheslatta Carrier Nation. Lheidli T'enneh is the band centered on Prince George. Not all of the features listed here are helpful for subgrouping, since, for example, some reflect shared retentions. Preliminary analysis suggests that the dialects of Carrier in the narrow sense fall into three main groups:

The Fraser-Nechako and Blackwater dialect groups probably form a Southern dialect group sister to Stuart/Trembleur.

It should be noted that the major dialect groups are associated with the waterways which are the traditional means of transportation and communication. Specifically, the Stuart-Trembleur Lake dialect is associated with Stuart Lake, Trembleur Lake, and the Tachie River, which connects them. The Fraser-Nechako group is associated with Fraser Lake, Cheslatta Lake, and the Nechako River. The Blackwater group is associated with the Blackwater River, the West Road River, and the numerous lakes in the region.

Phonological Features
Feature/Dialect Nak'albun Lheidli Saik'uz Nadleh Stelakoh Tsetl'adak Lhtakoh Ndazko Lhoosk'uz Lhk'acho
/e/ N Y Y Y Y/N Y Y Y Y Y
Final /k/ N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Final Glottal Stop Y N N N N N N N N N
Palatal Realization of /aih/ N N N N N N Y Y Y Y
Reflex of /uh/ oh oh oh oh ah ah oh oh ah ah
Presence of /gl/ /gl/ /gl/ /gl/ /gl/ /gl/ /dl/ ? ? /dl/ /dl/
/ukw/ vs. /ook/ ukw ukw ukw ukw ukw ook ook ook ook ook
Vocalized /l/ lh lhu lhu lhu lhu lhu lhu lhu lhu lhu
/i/ After Velar C ui->i ui ui ui i i i i i i
n->0/_' N Y Y Y N Y ? ? ? N
/n'/ Present Y N N N Y N N N N N
/ng/ Present Y Y N N N N N N N N
/tl/->/lh/ After /lh/ N Y Y Y Y Y ? ? ? Y
D-Effect Bleeds /tl/->/lh/ n/a N Y N N N ? ? ? N
Long /a/ N N Y Y ? N ? ? ? N
1s Possessive Epenthesis N N N N Y/N Y/N Y Y Y Y


Morphophonological Features
Feature/Dialect Nak'albun Lheidli Saik'uz Nadleh Stelakoh Tsetl'adak Lhtakoh Ndazko Lhoosk'uz Lhk'acho
1s subj /s/ + valence /lh/ s s s lh lh lh lh lh lh lh
1s subj /s/ + valence /l/ z lhu lhu lhu lhu lhu lhu lhu lhu lhu
Negative /s/ + Valence /l/ lh lhu lhu lhu lhu lhu lhu lhu lhu lhu
Perfective /s/ + Valence /l/ lh ? lh lhu ? lhu ? ? ? ?
2dp /h/ + Valence /l/ lh lhu lhu lhu lhu lhu lhu lhu ? lhu
uh$ -> /o/ or /a/ o n/a a a a a ? ? ? n/a
Optative oo/w Alternation N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
D-Effect on /gh/ Y N N N N N N ? ? N
Epenthesis To Realize Valence /d/ N Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
/wh/ + /k/ hukw hookw hookw hookw hukw hukw hookw hookw hookw hookw
2s /in/ -> n/#_ N N N N N N Y Y Y Y
3s PPobj Labial Shift N Y Y N ? Y ? ? ? N


Morphological Features
Feature/Dialect Nak'albun Lheidli Saik'uz Nadleh Stelakoh Tsetl'adak Lhtakoh Ndazko Lhoosk'uz Lhk'acho
PA 1s subject s i->s s s s s i i i i
1d subject id idud idud idud idud idud idud idud idud idud
3s Possessive Before C oo bu oo bu bu bu bu bu bu bu
3dp Possessive Before C bu hubu hubu hubu hubu hubu hubu hubu hubu hubu
/a/ Future Exists Y Y Y Y N N N N N N
Disjunct Negative Prefix lh none none cha cha cha cha cha cha cha/sha
Modal /gh/ N N N Y ? Y Y Y ? Y
/in/ precedes Si N Y/N N N N N Y Y Y Y
1d Possessor/Object = 1p Y Y N N N N N N N N
1d/1p Subject Overlap N N N N N N ? ? ? Y
Instrumental Nouns Conjugated Y Y Y ? Y ? N N N N
Productive Nominal Plural Y Y Y Y N N N N N N
Plural Suffixes < /yaz/ etc. Y N N N n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a n/a
Comparative Verb Form Y Y Y Y ? N Y ? ? ?
Agentive Nominalizing Suffixes Y N Y ? ? N N N N N
Locative Nominalizing Suffixes Y N Y ? ? N N N N N
Admirative Valence l lh lh ? ? ? ? ? ? ?


Syntactic Features
Feature/Dialect Nak'albun Lheidli Saik'uz Nadleh Stelakoh Tsetl'adak Lhtakoh Ndazko Lhoosk'uz Lhk'acho
Distinct Subject RCs Y N N ? N Y ? ? ? ?
Relativizing Suffixes Y Y N ? ? N ? ? ? ?
NP Complement Suffix Y N N N N N N N N N
Aspect in Verb Classification Y ? N ? ? N ? ? ? ?
Mode With "want" F/O F/O F F/O F/O F ? ? ? F/O
Comparison of Minority Y Y N Y ? Y ? ? ? ?
Topic Particle N N N N N N ? Y ? ?

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