SFU Masters in Linguistics of Hul’q’umi’num’ (2018)

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Linguistics of a First Nations Language

Year 1 (2017) & Year 2 (2018)

Description of Program

This is a cohort program is a two year program with classes taking place in Duncan, BC. Students receive training for careers as language researchers, educators, and material developers, gaining expertise in communicative skills, language documentation, and analysis of a particular First Nations language. Emphasis is placed on the language in its socio-cultural and educational setting. The learning model integrates Indigenous Ways of Knowing with linguistic analysis and documentation, featuring mentorship and participation in projects in addition to formal lectures and paper writing. Besides gaining linguistic knowledge of Hul’q’umi’num’, the program has a goal of increasing fluency and literacy. Courses are taught by teams of Hul’q’umi’num’ Elders and academic experts on the language.


This is a full-time MA program, consisting of two academic years of two terms each for a total of four terms.

Class page:

Note that this page is password protected. Ask Donna for access.

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Admission Requirements

Students must have completed the SFU Graduate Certificate in the Linguistics of a First Nations Language (Hul’q’umi’num’) with a minimun GPA of 3.0.

Program Requirements

This program consists of course work and a project for a total of 32 units.

The following courses (16 units), completed for the GCLFNL during 2017, are transferred into the MA program:

  • LING 804 – Field Methods (4 units) (Hul’q’umi’num’)
  • LING 811 Topics in Linguistics II (4 units) (Hul’q’umi’num’)
    Morphology and syntax of a First Nations language (Hul’q’umi’num’)
  • LING 812 Topics in Linguistics II (4 units)
    Narrative and Discourse Structure of a First Nations language (Hul’q’umi’num’)
  • LING 813-4 Topics in Linguistics II (10 units)
    Socio-cultural and cognitive aspects of a First Nations language (Hul’q’umi’num’)

In addition students must complete the following courses (16 units total):

Course Units Dates
LING 834 – Effective pedagogies and materials development for First Nations Language

Topic: Ethnographic Issues [led by Dr. Dorothy Kennedy]

(4) March 19, 20, 21, 22  9:00–4:00;

• at Queen Margaret’s school

March 23

• trip to Royal BC Museum

Wednesday evenings 5:00-8:00 April 4–June 13

LING 830 – Phonetics and phonology of a First Nations language [led by Dr. Janet Leonard] (4) Thursdays & Fridays 9:00–2:00 July 5–August 16
LING 890 & 891 – Graduate Seminar I, II

[led by Dr. Donna Gerdts]

(2) Wednesday evenings 5:00–8:00 September 12–November 7

And students must complete:

LING 897 – First Nations Linguistics MA Project (6)

MA Project

The First Nations Linguistics MA Project is examined by two examiners. A student who fails may be permitted a second attempt. Students present the project at a final MA cohort project symposium and submit their projects to the library.

Examples of suitable projects are: a linguistic analysis of some aspect of the language, the production and presentation of a video that documents use of the language; a digital media project that integrates visual, audio and textual resources in the language; an educational module for teaching the language; a museum exhibit that incorporates the language, or an annotated narrative or set of narratives transcribed, glossed and translated into English.

Program Length

Students are expected to complete the program requirements by December 2018.