|Ethnicity||Alsea people, Yaquina people|
|Extinct||1942, with John Albert|
Oregon Coast Penutian ?
Pre-contact distribution of Alsean
Alsea or Alsean (also Yakonan) was two closely related speech varieties spoken along the central Oregon coast. They are sometimes taken to be different languages, but it is difficult to be sure given the poor state of attestation; Mithun believes they were probably dialects of a single language.
- Alsea (Alséya) (†)
- Yaquina (Yakwina, Yakona) (†)
Both are now extinct.
The name Alsea derives from the Coosan name for them, alsí or alsí·, and the Marys River Kalapuyan name for them, alsí·ya. Alsea was last recorded in 1942 from the last speaker, John Albert, by J. P. Harrington.
The name Yaquina derives from the Alsean name for the Yaquina Bay and the Yaquina River region, yuqú·na. Yaquina was last recorded in 1884 by James Owen Dorsey.
Alsea is usually considered to belong to the Penutian phylum, and may form part of an Oregon Coast Penutian subgroup together with Siuslaw and the Coosan languages (Grant 1997). Numerous lexical resemblances between Alsea and the Northern Wintuan languages, however, are more likely the result of borrowing about 1,500 years ago when the (Northern) Wintuan speech community appears to have been located in Oregon (Golla 1997).
Alsea had 34 consonants:
- The status of /hʷ/ is uncertain.
- /s/ is actually between alveolar and post-alveolar.
|This section requires expansion. (May 2008)|
There were both oral and nasal vowels.
- Campbell, Lyle. (1997). American Indian languages: The historical linguistics of Native America. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-509427-1.
- Frachtenberg, Leo Joachim (1920). Alsea texts and myths. Govt. Printing Office. Retrieved 28 August 2012.
- Golla, Victor (1997). The Alsea-Wintu connection. International Journal of American Linguistics, 63, 157-170.
- Grant, Anthony (1997). Coast Oregon Penutian. International Journal of American Linguistics, 63, 144-156.