Cahuilla language

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Cahuilla
Ivia
Native to USA
Region Southern California
Native speakers
35  (2009)[1]
Uto-Aztecan
Latin
Language codes
ISO 639-3 chl
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This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters.

Cahuilla /kəˈwə/ is an endangered Uto-Aztecan language, spoken by the Cahuilla tribe, living in the Coachella Valley, San Gorgonio Pass and San Jacinto Mountains region of Southern California.[2] Cahuilla call themselves Iviatam, speakers of 'Ivia' - the 'original' language.[3] A 1990 census revealed 35 speakers in an ethnic population of 800. It is nearly extinct, since most speakers are middle-aged or older.

Three dialects are known to have existed, referred to as Desert, Mountain, and Pass Cahuilla.[4]

Use and revitalization efforts[edit]

Alvino Siva of the Los Coyotes Band of Cahuilla and Cupeño Indians, a fluent speaker, died on June 26, 2009. He preserved the tribe's traditional bird songs, sung in the Cahuilla language, by teaching them to younger generations of Cahuilla people.[5] Katherine Siva Saubel (b. 1920 - d. 2011) was a native Cahuilla speaker dedicated to preserving the language.[6]

In April 2014, the University of California, Riverside offered free public workshops in the Cahuilla language.[7]

Phonology[edit]

Cahuilla has the following vowel and consonant phonemes (Bright 1965, Saubel and Munro 1980:1-6)

Front Back
High iː   i uː   u
Mid eː   e ()
Low a

Long /oː/ only appears in borrowings.

IPA chart of Cahuilla consonants
Bilabial Labio-
dental
Alveolar Palatal Velar Labialized Uvular Glottal
Stop p [p] t [t] (d [d]) k [k] qw [qʷ] q [q] ' [ʔ]
Nasal m [m] n [n] ny [ɲ] ng [ŋ]
Flap r [ɾ]
Fricative (f [f]) v [v] s [s] (z [z]) sh [ʃ] x [x] (g [ɣ]) xw [χʷ] h [ʜ]
Affricate ch [t͡ʃ]
Approximant w[w] y [j]
Lateral l [l] ll [ʎ]

Consonants in parentheses only occur in loans. Material in <> after a consonant shows how it is spelled in the practical orthography of Saubel and Munro (1980).

Morphology[edit]

Verb morphology[edit]

Cahuilla verbs show agreement with both their subject and object. Person agreement is shown by prefixes and number agreement is shown by suffixes. (Saubel and Munro p. 29)

kúp-qa
sleep-singular:present
'He is sleeping.'
hem-kúp-we
3rd-sleep-plural:present
'They are sleeping.'

Basic sample vocabulary[edit]

  • One: Súplli'
  • Two: Wíh
  • Three: Páh
  • Four: Wíchiw
  • Five: Nemaqwánang
  • Man: Náxanish
  • Woman: Nícill
  • Sun: Támit
  • Moon: Ménill
  • Water: Pál[8]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cahuilla at Ethnologue (17th ed., 2013)
  2. ^ "Cahuilla." Ethnologue Report for the Language Code: chl. (retrieved 13 Dec 2009)
  3. ^ "Cahuilla Indian Language (Iviatim)." Native Languages of the Americas. 2009 (retrieved 13 Dec 2009)
  4. ^ Shipley, William F. (1978). "Native Languages of California". In R.F. Heizer. Handbook of North American Indians. 8, California. Washington DC: Smithsonian Institution. pp. 80–90. 
  5. ^ Waldner, Erin. "Cahuilla elder, one of last fluent in language, dies." The Press-Enterprise. 9 July 2009 (retrieved 13 Dec 2009)
  6. ^ Elaine Woo (2011-11-06). "Katherine Siva Saubel obituary: Preserver of Cahuilla Indian culture dies at 91". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2012-12-02. 
  7. ^ Victoria, Anthony (2014-04-15). "UCR to offer free workshops on endangered Native American language". University of California, Riverside Highlander. Retrieved 2014-04-21. 
  8. ^ "Vocabulary Words in Native American Languages: Cahuilla." Native Languages of the Americas. 2009 (retrieved 13 Dec 2009)
  • Saubel, Katherine Siva, Pamela Munro, Chem'ivillu' (Let's Speak Cahuilla), Los Angeles, American Indian Studies Center, University of California, 1982.
  • Seiler, Hansjakob, Cahuilla Texts with an Introduction, Bloomington, Language Science Monographs, Indiana University Press, 1970.
  • Seiler, Hansjakob, Cahuilla Grammar, Banning, Malki Museum Press, 1977.
  • Seiler, Hansjakob, Kojiro Hioki, Cahuilla Dictionary, Banning, Malki Museum press, 1979.

External links[edit]