Gitxsan

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A language of Canada

Alternate Names
Giklsan, Gitksan, Gityskyan
Population

930 (2011 census).

Location

West central British Columbia, Gitxsan, middle Skeena river.

Language Maps
Language Status

7 (Shifting).

Dialects

Gitsken (Western Gitsken), Gitxsan (Eastern Gitxsan). High comprehension of Nisga’a [ncg].

Typology

VSO; prepositions; genitives after noun heads; articles, adjectives, numerals before noun heads; relatives without noun heads; question word initial in sentence; 3 or 4 prefixes, 1 inflectional suffix; word order distinguishes subjects, objects, indirect objects, given and new information, topic and comment; verb affixes mark person and number of subject and object unless obscured by phonological rule; pronominal system is fully ergative; morphological passives, but not by construction; direct causatives indicated by suffixes, indirect (jussive) by prefix; CVC; nontonal

Language Use

Small number of families in which children and young people are fluent speakers. Taught in public schools in some communities and at the University of Northern British Columbia (2007). Positive attitudes. About 1,500 also speak Nisga’a [ncg].

Language Development
Dictionary. Bible portions: 1906.
Writing
Latin script.
Other Comments

No fluent L2 speakers but many are familiar with the writing system and a few have achieved considerable literacy. Christian.