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Upper Chinook language

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Upper Chinook
Native toUnited States
RegionColumbia River
Extinct11 July 2012[1]
with the death of Gladys Thompson
  • Upper Chinook
Language codes
ISO 639-3wac

Upper Chinook, endonym Kiksht,[3] also known as Columbia Chinook, and Wasco-Wishram after its last surviving dialect, is a recently extinct language of the US Pacific Northwest. It had 69 speakers in 1990, of whom 7 were monolingual: five Wasco[4] and two Wishram. In 2001, there were five remaining speakers of Wasco.[5]

The last fully fluent speaker of Kiksht, Gladys Thompson, died in July 2012.[1] She had been honored for her work by the Oregon Legislature in 2007.[6][7][8] Two new speakers were teaching Kiksht at the Warm Springs Indian Reservation in 2006.[9] The Northwest Indian Language Institute of the University of Oregon formed a partnership to teach Kiksht and Numu in the Warm Springs schools.[10][11] Audio and video files of Kiksht are available at the Endangered Languages Archive.[12]

The last fluent speaker of the Wasco-Wishram dialect was Madeline Brunoe McInturff, and she died on 11 July 2006 at the age of 91.[13]


  • Multnomah, once spoken on Sauvie Island and in the Portland area in northwestern Oregon
  • Kiksht
    • Watlala or Watlalla, also known as Cascades, now extinct (two groups, one on each side of the Columbia River; the Oregon group were called Gahlawaihih [Curtis]).
    • Hood River, now extinct (spoken by the Hood River Band of the Hood River Wasco in Oregon, also known as Ninuhltidih [Curtis] or Kwikwulit [Mooney])
    • White Salmon, now extinct (spoken by the White Salmon River Band of Wishram in Washington)
    • Wasco-Wishram (the Wishram lived north of the Columbia River in Washington and the kin Wasco lived south of the same river in Oregon)
    • Clackamas, now extinct, was spoken in northwestern Oregon along the Clackamas and Sandy rivers.

Kathlamet has been classified as an additional dialect; it was not mutually intelligible.


Bilabial Alveolar Postalveolar Velar Uvular Glottal
central lateral plain rounded plain rounded
Stop nasal m n
plain p t k q ʔ
ejective kʷʼ qʷʼ
voiced b d ɡ ɡʷ
Affricate plain ts
ejective tsʼ tɬʼ tʃʼ
Continuant voiceless s ɬ ʃ x χ χʷ h
voiced w l j ɣ ɣʷ

Vowels in Kiksht are as follows: /u a i ɛ ə/.


  1. ^ a b Kristian Foden-Vencil (2012-07-17). "Last Fluent Speaker Of Oregon Tribal Language 'Kiksht' Dies". Oregon Public Broadcasting. Retrieved 2013-02-26.
  2. ^ Endangered Languages Project data for Wasco-Wishram.
  3. ^ Leonard, Wesley Y.; Haynes, Erin (December 2010). "Making "collaboration" collaborative: An examination of perspectives that frame linguistic field research". Language Documentation & Conservation. 4: 269–293. ISSN 1934-5275.
  4. ^ Culture: Language. The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Reservation of Oregon. 2009 (retrieved 9 April 2009)
  5. ^ "Lewis & Clark—Tribes—Wasco Indians". National Geographic. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
  6. ^ Last Fluent Speaker of Kiksht Dies 
  7. ^ "Honors Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs elder Gladys Miller Thompson for her contribution to preserving Native languages of Oregon". 74th OREGON LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY--2007 Regular Session. Retrieved 2013-02-26.
  8. ^ "Zelma Smith, 1926-2010". Spilyay Tymoo, Coyote News, the Newspaper of the Warm Springs Reservation. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
  9. ^ Keith Chu (2006-07-30). "New speakers try to save language". The Bulletin. Bend, OR. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
  10. ^ Joanne B. Mulcahy (2005). "Warm Springs: A Convergence of Cultures" (Oregon History Project). Retrieved 2013-02-26.
  11. ^ Aaron Clark. "USA: Tribes Strive to Save Native Tongues". GALDU, Resource Centre for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Retrieved 2013-02-26.
  12. ^ Nariyo Kono. "Conversational Kiksht". Endangered Languages Archive. Retrieved 2013-02-25.
  13. ^ "Holy road: Speaker of Wasco language dead at 91 - Indian Country Media Network". Retrieved 2017-05-24.


External links

This page was last edited on 7 January 2021, at 07:30
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