Heiltsuk-Oowekyala language

August 13, 2017

Heiltsuk-Oowekyala is a Northern Wakashan (Kwakiutlan) language spoken in the Central Coast region of the Canadian province of British Columbia, spoken by the Wuikinuxv (Oweekeno) and Heiltsuk peoples. It has two dialects, Heiltsuk (Bella Bella) and Oowekyala (Wuikyala), which unlike other Wakashan languages are tonal. It has no traditional name, so the hyphenated construction Heiltsuk-Oowekyala is used by linguists. Ethnologue calls this language “Heiltsuk”, with the Bella Bella dialect (Heiltsuk) labelled “Northern Heiltsuk” and the Oowekyala dialect labeled “Southern Heiltsuk”.

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