Chinookan languages

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Columbia River Valley
Linguistic classification: Penutian ?
  • Chinook
Glottolog: chin1490[1]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

External links[edit]