MA Thesis Defence – Helen Zhang

March 28, 2023

Congratulations to Helen Zhang for successfully defending her MA thesis, “Creating an Online Hul’q’umi’num’ Dictionary for Teachers and Learners.


This thesis is about a collaborative dictionary project for Hul’q’umi’num’. Hul’q’umi’num’ is the Island dialect of Halkomelem, a Salishan language spoken in BC, Canada.

This involved the compilation of legacy and new language materials into a modern database, along with the creation of an online dictionary website with a subset of words directed at learners and teachers. Legacy documents had to be converted into the modern Unicode standard and then transliterated into a practical orthography. The dictionary design work, including the creation of a new classification system, was done in collaboration with community members from the Hul’q’umi’num’ Language & Culture Society (HLCS), based in Duncan, BC. The work on Hul’q’umi’num’ is also being used a model for a collaborative dictionary project for the neighboring Downriver dialect of Halkomelem, hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓.


Halkomelem; Hul’q’umi’num’; Salish; dictionary; digital lexicography

Members of Examining Committee

Dr. Heather Bliss, SFU (Chair)
Dr. Nancy Hedberg, SFU (Supervisor)
Dr. Donna Gerdts, SFU (Committee Member)
Dr. David Beck, University of Alberta (External Examiner)

This event was held on Friday, March 24th at 1-4pm remotely over Zoom.