Description

Ichishkíin Sinwit Yakama / Yakima Sahaptin Dictionary

Virginia Beavert and Sharon L. Hargus

  • Published: 2010
  • Subject Listing: Language; Native American and Indigenous Studies
  • Bibliographic information: 576 pp., 100 illus., 70 in color, 7 x 10 in.
  • Published with: Heritage University, Toppenish, Washington
  • Contents

Sahaptin, or Ichishkíin Sínwit (literally, "this language"), is a Plateau Penutian language spoken in south-central Washington and northern Oregon. This dictionary documents the dialect of Sahaptin that is spoken by the Yakama people. Ichishkíin Sínwit Yakama / Yakima Sahaptin Dictionary is the first modern published dictionary of any Sahaptin dialect.

The dictionary is divided into three sections: a Sahaptin-English section; an English-Sahaptin section; and a section listing roots used in the formation of Sahaptin words. The Sahaptin-English section contains approximately 3,500 headwords, over 4,500 example sentences, more than 100 images, and over 9,200 sound files available online.

Copious cross-references alert readers to related words elsewhere in the Sahaptin-English section. The English-Sahaptin and roots sections serve as indices to the Sahaptin-English section. In the English-Sahaptin section, users can look up the Sahaptin equivalents of English words. In the root section, users can see words from different parts of the dictionary that share the same component of meaning.

The dictionary also contains essays by noted Plateau linguist Bruce Rigsby (professor emeritus, University of Queensland) on the histories and current usage of the terms "Sahaptin" and "Yakima / Yakama."
Virginia Beavert , M.Ed., a member of the Yakama Nation and native speaker of Sahaptin, is a 2006 recipient of the Washington Governor's Heritage Award; 2007 Central Washington University Alumna of the Year; 2008 recipient of the Ken Hale prize of the Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas; and 2008 recipient of a Distinguished Service Award, University of Oregon. She has been a professor, director of the Sahaptin Language Program, and scholar-in-residence at Heritage University since 1991. Sharon Hargus is a professor of linguistics at the University of Washington.

"The book will benefit scholars as well as the Native community. The inclusion of example sentences greatly increases its usefulness and will help learners of the language as well as scholars."
-Noel Rude, linguist, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation

"Heritage University's mission for excellent education is significantly advanced through the publication of this dictionary. Professors Beavert and Hargus's scholarly work creates a quantum leap in resources on Native languages and culture in the Northwest. Yet it also makes highly accessible to any interested reader a visual, auditory, and linguistic experience of Yakama culture."
-Kathleen Ross, Ph.D., President, Heritage University

Reviews

"This useful, beautiful, and important contribution to the maintenance and documentation of the Sahaptin language should be of great use to those interested in anthropology, history, and linguistics in general. Useful to anyone, of any age or education level, with an interest in the language or culture of the Yakama people. Highly recommended."
-Choice