World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Quiripi language

Native to United States
Extinct ca. 1900
Language codes
ISO 639-3 qyp
Glottolog wamp1250[1]

Quiripi (pronounced ,[2] also known as Quiripi-Unquachog, Quiripi-Naugatuck, and Wampano) was an Algonquian language formerly spoken by the indigenous people of southwestern Connecticut and central Long Island,[3][4] including the Quinnipiac, Naugatuck, Unquachog, Mattabesic, Potatuck, Weantinock, and Paugussett. It has been effectively extinct since the end of the 18th century,[5] although Frank T. Siebert, Jr., was able to record a few Unquachog words from an elderly woman in 1932.[6]


  • Affiliation and dialects 1
  • Attestation 2
  • Phonology 3
  • References 4
  • Bibliography 5
  • External links 6

Affiliation and dialects

Quiripi belonged to the Eastern Algonquian branch of the Algonquian language family.[7][8] It shared a number of linguistic features with the other Algonquian languages of southern New England, such as Massachusett and Mohegan-Pequot, including the shifting of Proto-Eastern Algonquian */aː/ and */eː/ to /ãː/ and /aː/, respectively, and the palatalization of earlier */k/ before certain front vowels.[9][10] There appear to have been two major dialects of Quiripi: an "insular" dialect spoken on Long Island by the Unquachog and a "mainland" dialect spoken by the other groups in Connecticut, principally the Quinnipiac.[11][12]


Quiripi is very poorly attested,[13] though some sources do exist. One of the earliest Quiripi vocabularies was a 67-page bilingual catechism compiled in 1658 by Abraham Pierson, the elder, during his ministry at Branford, Connecticut,[3][14] which remains the chief source of modern conclusions about Quiripi.[4] Unfortunately, the catechism was "poorly translated" by Pierson,[4] containing an "unidiomatic, non-Algonquian sentence structure."[15] It also displays signs of dialect mixture.[16] Other sources of information on the language include a vocabulary collected by Rev. Ezra Stiles in the late 1700s[17] and a 202-word Unquachog vocabulary recorded by Thomas Jefferson in 1791,[6] though the Jefferson vocabulary also shows clear signs of dialect mixture and "external influences."[18] Additionally, three early hymns written circa 1740 at the Moravian Shekomeko mission near Kent, Connecticut, have been translated by Carl Masthay.[19]


Linguist Blair Rudes attempted to reconstitute the phonology of Quiripi, using the extant documentation, comparison with related Algonquian languages, as "reconstructing forward" from Proto-Algonquian.[20] In Rudes' analysis, Quiripi contained the following consonant phonemes:[21]

Labial Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Plosive p t k
Fricative s (ʃ) h
Nasal m n
Rhotic r
Semivowel w j
^ /ʃ/ was a distinct phoneme only in the mainland dialect; in Unquachog it had merged with /s/

Quiripi's vowel system as reconstituted by Rudes was similar to that of the other Southern New England Algonquian languages. It consisted of two short vowels /a/ and /ə/, and four long vowels /aː/, /iː/, /uː/, and /ʌ̃/.[21]


  1. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Wampano". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  2. ^ Salwen (1978:175)
  3. ^ a b Rudes (1997:1)
  4. ^ a b c Goddard (1978:72)
  5. ^ Goddard (1978:71)
  6. ^ a b Rudes (1997:5)
  7. ^ Goddard (1978)
  8. ^ Mithun (1999:327)
  9. ^ Goddard (1978:75)
  10. ^ Rudes (1997:27)
  11. ^ Rudes (1997:6-7)
  12. ^ Costa (2007:116, 119)
  13. ^ Costa (2007:116, 118)
  14. ^ Mithun (1999:331)
  15. ^ Costa (2007:118)
  16. ^ Costa (2007:116)
  17. ^ Rudes (1997:4)
  18. ^ Costa (2007:120)
  19. ^ Rudes (1997:2)
  20. ^ Rudes (1997:6)
  21. ^ a b Rudes (2007:18)


  • Costa, David J. (2007). "The Dialectology of Southern New England Algonquian." In Papers of the 38th Algonquian Conference, ed. H. C. Wolfart. Winnipeg: University of Manitoba, pp. 81–127
  • Goddard, Ives (1978). "Eastern Algonquian Languages." In Northeast, ed. Bruce G. Trigger. Vol. 15 of Handbook of North American Indians, ed. William C. Sturtevant. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, pp. 70–77
  • Mithun, Marianne (1999). The Languages of Native North America. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  • Pierson, Rev. Abraham (1980). Some Helps for the Indians 1658 Bilingual Catechism, reprinted in "Language and Lore of the Long Island Indians," Readings in Long Island Archaeology and Ethnohistory, Vol. IV. Stony Brook, NY: Suffolk County Archaeological Association.
  • Rudes, Blair A. (1997). "Resurrecting Wampano (Quiripi) from the Dead: Phonological Preliminaries." Anthropological Linguistics (39)1:1-59
  • Salwen, Bert (1978). "Indians of Southern New England and Long Island: Early Period." In Northeast, ed. Bruce G. Trigger. Vol. 15 of Handbook of North American Indians, ed. William C. Sturtevant. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution, pp. 160–176

External links

  • OLAC resources in and about the Quiripi language
  • Quiripi language
  • The Algonquian Confederacy of the Quinnipiac Tribal Council
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.