Tillamook language

Tillamook is an extinct Salishan language, formerly spoken by the Tillamook people in northwestern Oregon, United States. The last fluent speaker was Minnie Scovell who died in 1972.[3] In an effort to prevent the language from being lost, a group of researchers from the University of Hawaii interviewed the few remaining Tillamook-speakers and created a 120-page dictionary.[4]

Native toUnited States
RegionNorthwestern Oregon
EthnicityTillamook, Siletz
Extinct1972, with the death of Minnie Scovell[1]
  • Tillamook
  • Siletz
Language codes
ISO 639-3til



Front Back
High i ə
Low æ ɑ


Alveolar Postalveolar
/ palatal
Velar Uvular Glottal
Central Lateral Unrounded "Rounded" Unrnd. "Rnd."
Stop t k kᵓ q qᵓ ʔ
Ejective kᵓʼ qᵓʼ
Affricate t͡s t͡ʃ
Ejective affricate t͡sʼ t͡ɬʼ t͡ʃʼ
Fricative s ɬ ʃ x xᵓ χ χᵓ h
Nasal n
Approximant l j ɰᵓ

Internal rounding

The so-called "rounded" consonants (traditionally marked with the diacritic ⟨ʷ⟩, but here indicated with ⟨⟩), including rounded vowels and ⟨w⟩ (/ɰᵓ/), are not actually labialized. The acoustic effect of labialization is created entirely inside the mouth by cupping the tongue. Uvulars with this distinctive internal rounding have "a kind of ɔ timbre" while "rounded" front velars have ɯ coloring. These contrast and oppose otherwise very similar segments having ɛ or ɪ coloring—the "unrounded" consonants.

/w/ is also formed with this internal rounding instead of true labialization, making it akin to [ɰ]. So are vowel sounds formerly written as /o/ or /u/, which are best characterized as the diphthong /əɰ/ with increasing internal rounding.[5]


  1. ^ http://www.tillamookheadlightherald.com/news/a-language-all-but-lost/article_02ccab3e-1530-53b4-85a5-af8a1f88f26a.html
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Tillamook". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ http://www.tillamookheadlightherald.com/news/a-language-all-but-lost/article_02ccab3e-1530-53b4-85a5-af8a1f88f26a.html
  4. ^ Official site of Clatsop-Nehalem Confederated Tribes Archived 2011-06-16 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ Thompson & Thompson (1966), p. 316


  • Thompson, Lawrence C.; M. Terry Thompson (1966). "A Fresh Look at Tillamook Phonology". International Journal of American Linguistics. 32 (4): 313–319. doi:10.1086/464920.
  • Edel, May M (1939). The Tillamook language. New York: J.J. Augustin. Retrieved 2013-09-22.
  • "May M. Edel papers". Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries. Retrieved 2013-09-22.

External links

Alsea language

Alsea or Alsean (also Yakonan) was two closely related speech varieties spoken along the central Oregon coast. They are sometimes taken to be different languages, but it is difficult to be sure given the poor state of attestation; Mithun believes they were probably dialects of a single language.

Cayuse language

The Cayuse language (Cailloux, Willetpoos) is an extinct unclassified language formerly spoken by the Cayuse Native American tribe in the U.S. state of Oregon. The Cayuse name for themselves was Liksiyu (see Aoki 1998).

Similarities to Molala, the language of people to the south of them in central Oregon, are thought to have been due to contact.

Central Kalapuya language

Central Kalapuyan, was a Kalapuyan language indigenous to the central and southern Willamette Valley in Oregon in the United States. It was spoken by various bands of the Kalapuya peoples who inhabited the valley up through the middle of the 19th century. The language is closely related to Northern Kalapuya, spoken in the Tualatin and Yamhill valleys. Dialects of Central Kalapuya that have been identified include:

Ahantchuyuk dialect, spoken in the northeastern Willamette Valley along the Pudding and Molalla rivers

Santiam dialect, spoken in the central Willamette Valley along the lower Santiam River

Luckiamute dialect, spoken in the central Willamette Valley along the Luckiamute River

Chepenafa dialect, spoken in the central Willamette Valley along Marys River

Chemapho dialect, spoken in the central Willamette Valley along Muddy Creek

Chelamela dialect, spoken in the southwestern Willamette Valley along the Long Tom River

Tsankupi dialect, spoken in the southeastern Willamette Valley along the Calapooia River

Winefelly-Mohawk dialects, spoken in the southeastern Willamette Valley along the McKenzie, Mohawk, and Coast Fork Willamette rivers


The Clatsop are a small tribe of Chinookan-speaking Native Americans in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. In the early 19th century they inhabited an area of the northwestern coast of present-day Oregon from the mouth of the Columbia River south to Tillamook Head, Oregon.

Galice language

Galice , or Galice-Applegate or Upper Rogue River, is an extinct Athabaskan language once spoken by the two Upper Rogue River Athabaskan tribes, the Galice (Taltushtuntede) tribe and Applegate (Nabiltse, Dakubetede) tribe of southwestern Oregon. It was spoken on the "Galice Creek and Applegate River, tributaries of the Rogue River in southwestern Oregon. There were at least two distinct dialects the Galice Creek and Applegate, but only the Galice Creek dialect is well documented."It is one of the languages of the Oregon Athabaskan (Tolowa–Galice) cluster of the Pacific Coast Athabaskan languages.

Klamath language

Klamath (), also Klamath–Modoc () and historically Lutuamian (), is a Native American language that was spoken around Klamath Lake in what is now southern Oregon and northern California. It is the traditional language of the Klamath and Modoc peoples, each of whom spoke a dialect of the language. By 1998, only one native speaker remained. and by 2003, this last fluent Klamath speaker who was living in Chiloquin, Oregon was 92 years old. As of 2006 there were no fluent native speakers of either the Klamath or Modoc dialects. Klamath is a member of the Plateau Penutian language family, which is in turn a branch of the proposed Penutian language family. Like other proposed Penutian languages, Plateau Penutian languages are rich in ablaut, much like Indo-European and Afro-Asiatic languages. Further evidence for this classification includes some consonant correspondences between Klamath and other alleged Penutian languages. For example, the Proto-Yokuts retroflexes */ʈ ʈʼ/ correspond to Klamath /tʃ tʃʼ/, and the Proto-Yokuts dentals */t̪ t̪ʰ t̪ʼ/ correspond to the Klamath alveolars /t tʰ tʼ/.

Labial consonant

Labial consonants are consonants in which one or both lips are the active articulator. The two common labial articulations are bilabials, articulated using both lips, and labiodentals, articulated with the lower lip against the upper teeth, both of which are present in English. A third labial articulation is dentolabials, articulated with the upper lip against the lower teeth (the reverse of labiodental), normally only found in pathological speech. Generally precluded are linguolabials, in which the tip of the tongue contacts the posterior side of the upper lip, making them coronals, though sometimes, they behave as labial consonants.The most common distribution between bilabials and labiodentals is the English one, in which the stops, [m], [p], and [b], are bilabial and the fricatives, [f], and [v], are labiodental. The voiceless bilabial fricative, voiced bilabial fricative, and the bilabial approximant do not exist in English, but they occur in many languages. For example, the Spanish consonant written b or v is pronounced, between vowels, as a voiced bilabial approximant.

Lip rounding, or labialization, is a common approximant-like co-articulatory feature. English /w/ is a voiced labialized velar approximant, which is far more common than the purely labial approximant [β̞]. In the languages of the Caucasus, labialized dorsals like /kʷ/ and /qʷ/ are very common.

Very few languages, however, make a distinction purely between bilabials and labiodentals, making "labial" usually a sufficient specification of a language's phonemes. One exception is Ewe, which has both kinds of fricatives, but the labiodentals are produced with greater articulatory force.

Lower Chinook

Lower Chinook is a dialect of the Chinook spoken at the mouth of the Columbia River.

Molala language

Molala (Molele, Molalla) is the extinct and poorly attested Plateau Penutian language of the Molala people of Oregon and Washington. It is first attested along the Deschutes River, and later moved to the Molalla and Santiam rivers, and to the headwaters of the Umpqua and Rogue rivers. It was once thought to be close to Cayuse. There were three known dialects:

Northern Molala, spoken in southern Oregon in the Cascade Range

Upper Santiam Molala, spoken along the upper Santiam River in the Cascades in central Oregon.

Southern Molala, spoken in southern Oregon in the Cascade Range

Neahkahnie Mountain

Neahkahnie Mountain is a mountain, or headland, on the Oregon Coast, north of Manzanita in Oswald West State Park overlooking U.S. Route 101. The peak is part of the Northern Oregon Coast Range, which is part of the Oregon Coast Range. It is best known for stories of Spanish treasure said to be buried either at the foot of the mountain, or on its slopes.

In earlier times, Native Americans would set fires to clear the mountain slopes so deer and elk would have tender vegetation to eat in the spring. Pioneers afterwards did the same so their cattle and sheep would have grass to graze on. Since at least 1990, however, this practice was discontinued and the slopes are heavily forested in many places.The name comes from the Tillamook language, although according to Lewis A. McArthur, an Oregonian geographic historian, the meaning of the word is controversial. Neah-Kah-Nie (other spellings, although obsolescent include "Ne-a-karney" and Ne-kah-ni) is translated as "the place of the god", whose name has been transcribed as Acarna.


Nehalem may refer to:

Nehalem (people), or Tillamook, a Native American tribe

Nehalem language, or Tillamook language, the language spoken by the Nehalem (Tillamook) tribe

Northern Kalapuya language

Northern Kalapuyan is a Kalapuyan language indigenous to northwestern Oregon in the United States. It was spoken by Kalapuya groups in the northern Willamette Valley southwest of present-day Portland.

Two distinct dialects of the languages have been identified. The Tualatin dialect (Tfalati, Atfalati) was spoken along the Tualatin River. The Yamhill (Yamhala) dialect was spoken along the Yamhill River. The language is closely related to Central Kalapuya, spoken by related groups in the central and southern Willamette Valley.

Northern Kalapuya is now extinct. The last speaker was Louis Kenoyer who died in 1937.

Northern Paiute language

Northern Paiute , also known as Numu and Paviotso, is a Western Numic language of the Uto-Aztecan family, which according to Marianne Mithun had around 500 fluent speakers in 1994. Ethnologue reported the number of speakers in 1999 as 1,631. It is closely related to the Mono language.

Salishan languages

The Salishan (also Salish) languages are a group of languages of the Pacific Northwest in North America (the Canadian province of British Columbia and the American states of Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana). They are characterised by agglutinativity and syllabic consonants. For instance the Nuxalk word clhp’xwlhtlhplhhskwts’ (IPA: [xɬpʼχʷɬtʰɬpʰɬːskʷʰt͡sʼ]), meaning "he had had [in his possession] a bunchberry plant", has thirteen obstruent consonants in a row with no phonetic or phonemic vowels. The Salishan languages are a geographically continuous block, with the exception of the Nuxalk (Bella Coola), in the Central Coast of British Columbia, and the extinct Tillamook language, to the south on the central coast of Oregon.

The terms Salish and Salishan are used interchangeably by linguists and anthropologists studying Salishan, but this is confusing in regular English usage. The name Salish or Selisch is the endonym of the Flathead Nation. Linguists later applied the name Salish to related languages in the Pacific Northwest. Many of the peoples do not have self-designations (autonyms) in their languages; they frequently have specific names for local dialects, as the local group was more important culturally than larger tribal relations.

All Salishan languages are considered critically endangered, some extremely so, with only three or four speakers left. Those languages considered extinct are often referred to as 'sleeping languages,' in that no speakers exist currently. In the early 21st century, few Salish languages have more than 2,000 speakers. Fluent, daily speakers of almost all Salishan languages are generally over sixty years of age; many languages have only speakers over eighty. Salishan languages are most commonly written using the Americanist phonetic notation to account for the various vowels and consonants that do not exist in most modern alphabets. Many groups have evolved their own distinctive uses of the Latin alphabet, however, such as the St'at'imc.

Siuslaw language

Siuslaw was the language of the Siuslaw people and Lower Umpqua (Kuitsh) people of Oregon. It is also known as Lower Umpqua; Upper Umpqua (or simply Umpqua) was an Athabaskan language. The Siuslaw language had two dialects: Siuslaw proper (Šaayušła) and Lower Umpqua (Quuiič).

Siuslaw is usually considered to belong to the Penutian phylum, and may form part of a Coast Oregon Penutian subgroup together with Alsea and the Coosan languages.

Takelma language

Takelma was the language spoken by the Latgawa and Takelma people and Cow Creek band of Upper Umpqua. It was first extensively described by Edward Sapir in his graduate thesis, The Takelma Language of Southwestern Oregon. The last fluent speaker of Takelma, with whom Sapir worked while writing about the language, was Frances Johnson (Gwísgwashãn). A dictionary from English to Takelma is currently being created in the hopes it can be revived.


Tillamook may refer to:


Tillamook County, Oregon, United States

Tillamook, Oregon, a city, the seat of Tillamook County

Tillamook River, United States

Tillamook Bay, a bay in the northwestern part of Oregon

Tillamook Head, a natural feature of the Oregon Coast

Tillamook State Forest, a forest in Oregon

Tillamook Rock Light, a lighthouse on the Oregon Coast

Tillamook Air Museum, an aviation museum in OregonOther:

Tillamook people, a Native American tribe of western Oregon, United States

Tillamook, a fictional version of the aforementioned Native American tribe.

Tillamook language, an extinct language

Tillamook Burn, a series of forest fires in Oregon

Tillamook Cheddar (dog), an American Jack Russell terrier known for her paintings

Tillamook County Creamery Association, makers of dairy products sold under the "Tillamook" brand name

P55C, Tillamook, a family of Pentium MMX mobile computer processors from Intel

USS Tillamook, the name of more than one United States Navy ship

Tolowa language

The Tolowa language (also called Chetco-Tolowa, or Siletz Dee-ni) is a member of the Pacific Coast subgroup of the Athabaskan language family. Together with three other closely related languages (Lower Rogue River Athabaskan, Upper Rogue River Athabaskan or Galice-Applegate and Upper Umpqua or Etnemitane) it forms a distinctive Oregon Athabaskan cluster within the subgroup.

Yoncalla language

Yoncalla (also Southern Kalapuya or Yonkalla) is a Kalapuyan language once spoken in southwest Oregon in the United States. In the 19th century it was spoken by the Yoncalla band of the Kalapuya people in the Umpqua River valley. It is closely related to Central Kalapuya and Northern Kalapuya, spoken in the Willamette Valley to the north.

The last-known user of the language was Laura Blackery Albertson, who attested to being a partial speaker in 1937.

Bella Coola
Coast Salish
Interior Salish
Languages of Oregon

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