Coosan languages

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Coosan
Kusan
Ethnicity: Coos people
Geographic
distribution:
Oregon
Linguistic classification: Oregon Coast Penutian ?
  • Coosan
Subdivisions:
Glottolog: coos1248[1]
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Pre-contact distribution of Coosan languages

The Coosan (also Coos or Kusan) language family consists of two languages spoken along the southern Oregon coast. Both languages are now extinct.

Classification[edit]

Melville Jacobs (1939) says that the languages are as close as Dutch and German. They share more than half of their vocabulary, though this is not always obvious, and grammatical differences cause the two languages to look quite different.

The origin of the name Coos is uncertain: one idea is that it is derived from a Hanis stem gus- meaning 'south' as in gusimídži·č 'southward'; another idea is that it is derived from a southwestern Oregon Athabaskan word ku·s meaning 'bay'.

In 1916 Edward Sapir suggested that the Coosan languages are part of a larger Oregon Penutian genetic grouping. This is currently being investigated. See Oregon Coast Penutian languages.

References[edit]

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

External links[edit]