Chinookan languages

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Columbia River Valley
Linguistic classification: Penutian ?
  • Chinook
Glottolog: chin14901

Pre-contact distribution of Chinookan languages

Chinookan is a small family of languages spoken in Oregon and Washington along the Columbia River by Chinook peoples.

Family division

Chinookan languages consist of three languages with multiple varieties. There is some dispute over classification, and there are two ISO 639-3 codes assigned: chh (Chinook, Lower Chinook) and wac (Wasco-Wishram, Upper Chinook). For example, Ethnologue 15e classifies Kiksht as Lower Chinook, while others consider it instead Upper Chinook (discussion), and others a separate language.

See also

Chinook Jargon – a pidgin based on Chinookan and with many words adapted from other languages, which was used in trade along the Pacific Northwest coast and adjoining areas inland.


  1. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Chinook". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 

A Chinookan Phonetic Law E. Sapir International Journal of American Linguistics , Vol. 4, No. 1 (Jan., 1926) , pp. 105-110 Published by: The University of Chicago Press Article Stable URL:

Hymes, Dell. "A Pattern Of Verbal Irony In Chinookan." International Journal Of The Sociology Of Language 1987.65 (1987): 97-110. Communication & Mass Media Complete. Web. 4 Feb. 2014.

"We Should Lose Much by Their Absence": The Centrality of Chinookans and Kalapuyans to Life in Frontier Oregon Mathias D. Bergmann Oregon Historical Quarterly , Vol. 109, No. 1 (Spring, 2008) , pp. 34-59 Published by: Oregon Historical Society Article Stable URL:


Further reading

External links

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