Michif Language Dictionary

Image courtesy:
The Gabriel Dumont Institute & Leah Dorion & Todd Paquin

Michif Language Dictionary

Due to its rare blending of French and Cree, Michif is a language of unique importance to language contact studies. Formed through contact between European settlers and First Nations communities, it is emblematic of the unique mixing of cultures that form the Métis Nation. Despite its importance to both the Métis Nation and the discipline of linguistics, research pertaining to this language has thus far been nominal.

Project Mandate

To create a Michif language database. This database will serve two distinct purposes:

  1. to assist with the morphological analysis of Michif
  2. to create a Michif dictionary.

These resources will be made available to the two distinct audiences:

  1. The Michif community of Elders, teachers, and learners
  2. The linguistic community as a whole.

Project Overview:

This project is meant to be community-driven, principally aimed at improving the available resources for Métis teachers and learners, and for the use of the community as a whole. Our knowledge of the Michif morphological (word-building) component is essential to the building of a useful tool for Michif teachers and learners.

This descriptive work will prove indispensable for future researchers working in a variety of frameworks, across several interests: It is hoped that this project will make a substantial theoretical contribution to understanding the verbal complexities of this language, helping to support the idea that Michif is characterized as being an analytical language, more so than the Plains Cree, for instance.

This project would not be feasible without a collaborative approach between Michif community members, researchers and student assistants.

If you're interested in contributing or would like more information please contact Nicole Rosen: Email nicole.rosen@uleth.ca; Phone 403-329-5122.