Thompson / Nlaka'pamux (Nłeʔkepmxcín)

Thompson is an Interior Salishan language spoken in British Columbia in Canada, and in Washington state in the USA. In Canada it is spoken along the Fraser, Thompson and Nicola rivers in and near the town of Merritt. In the USA it is spoken in Whatcom and Chelan counties in the the North Cascades region of northern Washtington state.

In 2016 there were about 380 native speakers of Thompson, which is also known as Thompson Salish, Nklapmx, Nle’kepmxcín, Ntlakapamux, Ntlakapmuk, Nlaka'pamuctsin, Nlaka'pamux or Nthlakampx.

The Nlakapmx Tribal Council in Lytton run a program to teach the language.

John Booth Good, an English missionary, translated parts of the Book of Common Prayer into Thompson between 1878 and 1880. He used his own spelling system. Several different ways to write Thompson are currently in use, including the Americanist Orthography and the Bouchard Orthography.

Thompson alphabet (Americanist Orthography)

Thompson alphabet (Americanist Orthography)

An acute accent (á) is used to indicate stress.

Thompson alphabet (Bouchard Orthography)

Thompson alphabet (Bouchard Orthography)

Sample text (Americanist spelling)

Wʔéx ekʷu néʔ ƛ̓iʔsqáyxʷ, ƛ̓uʔ ʔe sxʷúy̓s xʷǝsxʷesít u ł xéʔłtmíxʷ. Tǝtéʔ k e stéʔs, tém ekʷu téʔ k e stéʔs e séytknmx. Tǝtéʔ k syix̣mstés k stéʔ. Tǝtéʔe k syix̣mstés k stéʔ téʔe tǝk c̓íy us xʷuy̓ scutǝ́ns. ƛ̓uʔ ʔe suʔéxs ƛ̓iʔsqáyxʷ ƛ̓uʔ ʔe scutés ł sc̓ǝqʔéwłc e sxʷuy̓s nes u ł e máʕxetn. Wʔéx ekʷu ƛ̓iʔsqáyxʷ ƛ̓uʔ ʔe sxʷáwkʷs k sx̣ǝkpstés tǝk c̓iy us xéʔe u cíʔe k scutǝ́ns. ʔE xéʔe ƛ̓uʔ ʔe scúts “Xʷuy̓ xéʔe x̣ǝkpsténe he c̓kén̓m us u cíʔe he scutǝ́ns, u cíʔe tǝk tmíxʷ k séytknmx.”

Sample text (Bouchard spelling)

W7áx akwu ná7 tl’i7sḵáyxw, tl’u7 7a sxwúy̓s xwesxwasít u lh xá7lhtmíxw. Tetá7 k a stá7s, tám akwu tá7 k a stá7s a sáytknmx. Tetá7 k syix̱mstás k stá7. Tetá7a k syix̱mstás k stá7 tá7a tek ts’íy us xwuy̓ stsuténs. Tl’u7 7a su7áxs tl’i7sḵáyxw tl’u7 7a stsutás lh sts’eḵ7áwlhts a sxwuy̓s nas u lh a mág̱xatn. W7áx akwu tl’i7sḵáyxw tl’u7 7a sxwáwkws k sx̱ekpstás tek ts’iy us xá7a u tsí7a k stsuténs. 7a xá7a tl’u7 7a stsúts “Xwuy̓ xá7a x̱ekpstána ha ts’kán̓m us u tsí7a ha stsuténs, u tsí7a tek tmíxw k sáytknmx.”


Sample videos in and about Thompson


Information about Thompson

Salishan languages

Coeur d'Alene, Comox, Halkomelem, Klallam, Lushootseed, Lillooet, Nuxalk, Okanagan, Saanich, Salish, Shuswap, Squamish, Thompson / Nlaka'pamux

Languages written with the Latin alphabet

Page last modified: 23.04.21

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