Talk:Penutian languages

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I believe the relationship between the Oregon Coast languages (Alsea, Coos, Siuslaw) and, surprisingly, Wintu, has been better substantiated, but that people have started giving up on Tsimshian. That would reduce Penutian to 7 families. I'll try to contribute something when I have better access to the research.

Whoever wrote this, you did a nice job. Could you maybe put your hand to Hokan? I touched it up a bit, but it's still a hack job. --kwami 10:55, 22 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Yes, this article is unfinished. Please contribute whatever you can. Before I started on this I think the authors simply copied's list. I dont know where Ethnologue is getting their info from. Maybe something from the 1960s? (Voegelin?)
Another issue is that many individual language articles state that X language is a Penutian language. I think that these statements all need to be qualified.
Re Hokan: The "wastepaper basket stock" needs to have some things mentioned about it as well. Feel free to work on this. I think that I would like to get every language at least represented on Wikipedia before turning to this matter.
Peace. — ishwar (SPEAK) 16:53, 2005 Mar 22 (UTC)

just some notes[edit]

Victor Golla's "intuitions" (1993, personal communication in Campbell 1997):

  • Oregon Penutian group
  1. Alsean langs (?)
  2. Coosan langs
  3. Wintuan langs
  4. Siuslaw
  • Central Penutian group
  1. Takelman langs   (discredited by Kendall & Tarpent 1998)
  2. Yokutsan langs
  • other group
  1. Maiduan langs
  2. Plateau Penutian langs
  3. Utian langs
  • Alsean langs (outlier) (?)
  • Chinookan langs (outlier) (??)

Catherine Callaghan:

  • Yok-Utian langs (not including Wintuan, Maiduan)
  • 5-lang California group is out

Berman's (1996) California Penutian:

  • Wintuan langs
  • Yokuts-Maiduan-Utian
    • Yokutsan langs
    • Maiduan langs
    • Utian langs


  • Mexican Penutian
  • Cayuse + Plateau Penutian langs (through Molala)
  • Sahaptian langs + Klamath + Tsimshian langs
  • Klamath + California Penutian langs
  • Takelman langs (= Takelma + Kalapuyan langs)
  • Zuni + Penutian family
  • Whorf's Macro-Penutian
  • Swadesh's Penutoid
  • Greenberg's Penutian (= California, Oregon-Plateau, Chinookan, Tsimshian, Huave-Mayan-Mixe-Zoque-Totonac-Tepehua, Yukian, Gulf, Zuni)

just enjoy these random notes for now. — ishwar  (SPEAK) 09:06, 2005 Jun 4 (UTC)

RE: sugroupings[edit]

Is "sugroupings" suppose to be "subgroupings"? WikiDon

yes. thanks, I changed it. peace – ishwar  (speak) 16:22, 2005 September 1 (UTC)
  • I thought so, but couldn't be sure that there wasn't some new academic term floating around that I hadn’t heard of. WikiDon

RE: "people have started giving up on Tsimshian"

What sources have you been consulting? The page on Tsimshianic languages gives a reference to an article "Tsimshianic and Penutian", published in IJAL in 1997. In the same volume (a special on "Penutian" languages) is this from the editors, DeLancey & Golla: "recent work by Tarpent ... substantially changes the status of Tsimshianic as a Penutian stock from intriguing and plausible to the default hypothesis." Tarpent is also the co-author (with Kendall) of a paper disproving the unity of "Takelman", a once-proposed (and uncritically adopted) group consisting of Takelma and Kalapuyan. This paper has been quoted approvingly in Mithun's comprehensive work on the languages of the Americas, as well as in the wiki pages on Takelma and Kalapuya.

Penutgirl 20:18, 3 June 2007 (UTC)

Criticism please?[edit]

The article is currently not optimally neutral. It lacks completely discussion of the arguments posed bby those linguists (among them important figures like Lyle Campbell (Campbell 1997: 290-305, 309-320)) who are not convinced by the evidence for Penutian. This needs to be remedied.·Maunus·ƛ· 23:01, 20 May 2009 (UTC)

Hi, Maunus! I am the person that just did a number of (what I would consider) minor edits to the Penutian page. You make a good point. By embedding the Golla block quote, I have swung the "impression" one would get away from those who belief Penutian is not a legitimate hypothesis, toward those who think it is basically sound. That said, let me plead that I am personally neutral, not having spent the years necessary with primary texts to have an opinion. I came upon this article a few days ago, and found that it was set up in exactly the opposite way, it was not neutral at all, but emphasized the Mary Haas quote, and was generally weighted to portray a situation in which everyone was now agreeing with Campbell. Note also that I hooked the citation to Campbell 1997, as well as to the opposition, right at the beginning of the article. (I hope that you will appreciate that before I worked with the article, there were absolutely no direct note citations in it.) Please compare the current article with the article as written before I edited it. I hope you will agree with me, as I agree with you that I have gone "too far" by hanging Golla's quote out at the end of the introductory material. Actually, I am awaiting my copy of Mithun (1999) to see if she has a neutral stance that I could quote. Whatever you can do to improve the neutrality, I would greatly appreciate. Middle Fork (talk) 00:10, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
I also added a few more scholarly references. There is much more that I might have added (especially more "notes" to "references" hookups), but when I newly come upon an article that is poorly-cited, I try to do just a bit at a time.Middle Fork (talk) 00:10, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
You effort is appreciated and has certainly improved the status of the article vis a vis citations, but yes the Golla quote is over the top to the enthusiast side in my opinion, and screams for being contradicted. I am currently a long way a way from my copy of Campbell 1997 and a short web survey was unable to produce any of the more conservative opinions that I know are out there. Mithun might not be a bad guess for a neutral view. ·Maunus·ƛ· 00:22, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for your feedback. I will let it rest until Mithun (1999) arrives from Amazon (via the slowest cheapest mail) early next week. Then I will try to re-craft a more balanced introduction and look forward to your review.Middle Fork (talk) 01:10, 21 May 2009 (UTC)
Your recent edits look good - however I don't think a huge blockquote goes very well in the lead - think about moving it into the body or into a note.·Maunus·ƛ· 00:53, 29 May 2009 (UTC)
I did move that Haas blockquote from the introduction down into historical sequence the other day, per recommendation of Maunus. It changes the introduction, which still has quite a bit of important material that does not appear below in historical sequence. Hopefully a real Penutian scholar with commitment to neutrality will appear as an editor some day and really improve this article.Middle Fork (talk) 17:51, 11 June 2009 (UTC)

Evidence for the Penutian hypothesis[edit]

Perhaps because many Penutian languages have ablaut, vowels are difficult to reconstruct. However, consonant correspondences are common. For example, the proto-Yokuts (Inland Penutian) retroflexes */ʈ/ */ʈʼ/ correspond to Klamath (Plateau Penutian) /t͡ʃ t͡ʃʼ/, whereas the Proto-Yokuts dental */t̪/ */t̪ʰ/ */t̪ʼ/ correspond to Klamath alveolar /d t tʼ/[citation needed]. Kalapuya, Takelma, and Wintu do not show such obvious connections,[citation needed] and DeLancey has not investigated Mexican Penutian or other geographic outliers.

Comment for rewriter: The last sentence seems odd: why mention what someone has NOT done? If DeLancey is to be quoted, he should be quoted in the earlier sentence listing the correspondences, which probably come from his work.

Suggestion: Start para with: According to DeLancey ((here mention citation)), .... ((and go on to "outliers")).Marie-lucie (talk) 20:12, 22 June 2013 (UTC)

WhaleyTim (talk) 22:40, 22 June 2013 (UTC)

Comment on the subgrouping section: after the list given as emanating from Golla, the 'other' proposals are not related to it and some are contradictory (eg 'Takelman'). The diagram below, showing 'core' and 'periphery', is also unrelated and should have a source indication. 'Core' used to be restricted to 'California Penutian' which is no longer recognized as a valid group (except geographically) but it is not at all obvious where this new classification comes from. Marie-lucie (talk) 17:11, 29 July 2013 (UTC)

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