John Lyon

For the past fourteen years, I’ve been privileged to work with Salish language speaking elders and communities in Canada and the U.S. on dictionaries, story collections, and some of the finer grammatical nuances of how these languages work.

Contact information


  • Languages:
    • St’át’imcets (Lillooet Salish): conversational, with 6 years of fieldwork, and 6 years of instruction
    • Nsyilxcn (Okanagan Salish): conversational, with 8 years of fieldwork
    • Snchitsu’umshtsn (Coeur d’Alene Salish): 2 years of dictionary work
    • German: proficient with a total of 10 years school experience, and 1 year in Germany
    • English: native speaker
  • Salish languages, language documentation and revitalization, narratives and stories, transcription training, semantics, pragmatics, information structure


  • Teacher for UVIC’s Certificate in Aboriginal Language Revitalization Program in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut.
  • Co-taught community-based St’át’imcets classes with a fluent elder in Mission BC for 4 years.
  • Received the Ken Hale Prize for Language Documentation along with the Coeur d’Alene Online Language Resource Center (COLRC).
  • Mentor members of the St’át’imc community in language transcription and translation.
  • Collaborate with local artists to integrate awareness of language diversity and endangerment into their work.


  • University of British Columbia – Vancouver, BC – Doctor of Philosophy in Linguistics – 2014
  • University of Montana – Missoula, MT – Master of Arts in Linguistics – 2005
  • Auburn University – Auburn, AL – Bachelor of Arts in German – 2000
  • Auburn University – Auburn, AL – Bachelor of Science in International Business — 2000

Selected Publications

  • Davis, H., Lyon, J., & van Eijk, J. (eds). (2017). Sqwéqwel’s Nelh Skelkekla7lhkálha: Tales of  our Elders, from Bill Edwards, Martina LaRochelle, and Sam Mitchell . Upper St’át’imc Language Culture and Education Society (USLCES) / University of British Columbia Occasional Papers in Linguistics. 381 pages.
  • Alexander, C. (author), Callahan, E., Davis, H., Lyon, J., & Matthewson, L. (eds). (2016). Sqwéqwel’ múta7 sptakwlh: St’át’imcets Narratives by Qwa7yán’ak (Carl Alexander) . Upper  St’át’imc Language Culture and Education Society (USLCES) / University of British Columbia Occasional Papers in Linguistics. 457 pages.
  • Lyon, John. (2016). Okanagan Grouse Woman: Narratives from the Upper Nicola by Lottie Lindley.  University of Nebraska Press. Lincoln, NE. 492 pages.
  • Lyon, John. (2016). Francis Drake’s 1579 Voyage: Assessing Linguistic Evidence for an Oregon Landing. Anthropological Linguistics  58:1. 68 pages.
  • Lyon, John. (2015). Okanagan Determiner Phrases and Domain Restriction. International Journal of American Linguistics  81:2. pp 187-219.
  • Lyon, John. (2013). Oblique Marked Relatives in Southern Interior Salish: Implications for the Movement Analysis. Canadian Journal of Linguistics  58:2. pp 349-382.
  • Lyon, John. (2010). Lawrence Nicodemus’s Snchitsu’umshtsn File Card Collection in Dictionary Format . Northwest Journal of Linguistics  4:2. pp 1-110.
  • Lyon, John & Greene-Wood, Rebecca. (2007). An Edition of Lawrence Nicodemus’s Coeur d’Alene Dictionary in Root Format . University of Montana Occasional Papers in Linguistics (UMOPL), vol. 20. Missoula, MT. eds. Anthony Mattina, Timothy Montler. monograph, 242 pages.