Mutsun language

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San Juan Bautista
Native to United States
Region California
Ethnicity Ohlone
Extinct 1930, with the death of Ascencion Solórzano de Cervantes[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 (included in css)
Glottolog muts1243[2]
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters.
Area where the Utian languages were spoken

Mutsun is one of the languages of the Ohlone people of California.

The people[edit]

Mutsun (also known as San Juan Bautista Costanoan) is an Utian language in the Ohlone/Costanoan language family that was spoken in Northern California by the division of the Ohlone who lived in the Mission San Juan Bautista area.

The language[edit]

Ascencion Solorsano, who died in 1930, left mass amounts of language and cultural data of the Mutsun. The Spaniard, Father Felipe Arroyo de la Cuesta, wrote a grammar of the language, and linguist John Peabody Harrington collected very extensive notes on the language from Solorsano. Harrington's field notes formed the basis of the grammar of Mutsun written by Marc Okrand as a University of California dissertation in 1977,[1] which to this day remains the only grammar ever written of any Costanoan language.



Consonant phonemes[3]
Labial Dental /
Retroflex Alveolo-palatal /
palatal /
palatalised alveolar
Velar Glottal
Nasal m /m/ n /n/ nY /nʲ/
Plosive p /p/ t /t/ /ʈ/ tY /tʲ/ k /k/ /ʔ/
Affricate c /ts/ č /ts̠/
Fricative s /s/ š /ʃ/ h /h/
Approximant central w /w/ y /j/
lateral l /l/ lY /lʲ/
Flap r /ɾ/


Front Back
Close i /i/ u /u/
Close-mid o /o/
Open-mid e /ɛ/
Open a /ɑ/



English Mutsun
one hemetca
two tRhin
three kaphan
four utRit
five parwes
six nakitci
seven takitci
eight tayitmin
nine pakki
ten tansakte

Notable Mutsun Ohlone people[edit]

  • 1913 – Barbara Solorsano died 1913, Mutsun linguistic consultant to C. Hart Merriam 1902-04, from San Juan Bautista (Teixeira 1997:33, 40).
  • 1930 – Ascención Solorsano de Cervantes, died 1930, renowned Mutsun doctor, principal linguistic and cultural informant to J. P. Harrington (Ortiz 1994:133).

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Okrand, Marc. 1977. "Mutsun Grammar". Ph.D. dissertation, University of California, Berkeley.
  2. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Mutsun". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  3. ^ a b Okrand, (page 21)

External links[edit]