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Title: Chinookan  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Wahkiakum County, Washington, Clackamas County, Oregon, Chinook Jargon, Shoalwater Bay Tribe, Hood River, Wallooskee River, Clatsop people, Multnomah people, Clackamas people, Mountain beaver
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


Columbia River Valley
Linguistic classification: Penutian ?
  • Chinook
Ethnologue code: 17-3849

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

Chinookan languages consist of three languages with multiple discussion), and others a separate language.

  • Lower Chinook (also known as Chinook-proper or Coastal Chinook), now extinct (†).
  • Kathlamet (also known as Katlamat, Cathlamet), now extinct (†).
  • Upper Chinook (also known as Kiksht, Columbia Chinook)

See also

Chinook Jargon – a pidgin based on Chinookan and with many words loaned from other languages, which was used in trade along the Pacific Northwest coast and adjoining areas inland.



Further reading

  • George Gibbs, New York : Cramoisy Press, 1863.

External links

  • Aaron Clark, "Tribes strive to save native tongues (Wasco tribe’s Kiksht language)", Christian Science Monitor, 23 May 2008
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