Sonja Thoma

Sonja is an experienced linguist with a track record in both research and fieldwork. She’s been developing Halq’méylem language resources for the Stó:lō Nation for the past two years, reigniting her passion to support indigenous language revitalization and documentation. Since Sonja is also passionate about spreading her love of language and linguistics, she is developing materials and is speaking at conferences to educate teachers about linguistics, to better serve their students. Sonja is lucky enough to live, work and play in the Kootenays on the unceded and ancestral territories of the Interior Salish and Ktunaxa peoples. There she loves to be out in nature, rollerskate (yes, the kind with 4 wheels), and practice Aikido.

Contact information

Email address:
Phone number: 250-355-2996


  • Halq’méylem language documentation (transcription) and development of teaching materials
  • based on Elders’ stories, website development to host materials
  • Experience with St’át’imcets (Lillooet Salish) field work and analysis.
  • Native speaker of German and Bavarian, fluent in Spanish, some French.
  • Trained in general linguistics and linguistic field work. Specialization in syntax.


  • Cumulative experience of over a decade in language documentation, analysis, and community
  • Work
  • Created multi-media teaching materials for Stó:lō Nation (2018- present)
  • Website development and maintenance for online language materials
  • Linguistics consultant for University of Calgary’s iLab on a data visualization project using basic
  • coding and programming skills (Idyll, Python) (2017-present)
  • Created multi-media linguistics teaching materials for a closed online repository at UBC (UBC
  • Linguistics Department 2017)


  • Ph.D. Linguistics. University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC (2017)
  • Dissertation: The syntax of discourse: Evidence from Bavarian discourse particles
  • Double B.A. Linguistics and Spanish. Fairhaven College at Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA (2002-2005)

Selected Publications and Presentations

  • S. Thoma with J. Heim, H. Keupdjio, Z. Lam, A. Osa-Gómez, and M. Wiltschko. (2016) Intonation and Particles as Speech Act Modifiers: A Syntactic Analysis. In: Studies in Chinese Linguistics.
  • Thoma S. (2008) Ti Lhápa Ts’úqwaz’ Láti7 Q’íl’qa: The Forgotten Fish on the Sofa. In L. Matthewson, C. Christodolou and M. Oberg (eds.), Wenácw Ti7: True Stories by a St’át’imc Elder, UBCWPL, Vancouver, 108-114.
  • Thoma, S. (2008) St’át’imcets independent pronouns-The invisible cleft. In Proceedings of the 23rd Northwest Linguistics Conference. Working Papers of the Linguistics Circle of the University of Victoria. Victoria. 109-123.