Alsea Indian Language (Yaquina, Yakona, Alcea, Alse)
Language: The two Yakonan dialects, Alsea and Yaquina, were once spoken on the coast of Oregon. Unfortunately neither dialect
has been spoken for more than fifty years, and few recordings of the language remain, but Alsea-Yaquina appears to have
been related to Siuslaw
and Coos, and some linguists consider all these languages part of a broader
Penutian language family.
Alsea was a consonant-rich agglutinative language with
complex verb morphology and verb-initial word order.
Thanks for your interest in indigenous American languages!
Names: The name Alsea comes from the word for the tribe in the neighboring Coos language. Their
name for themselves in their own language was Wusi or Wusitslum. Wusi and Yaquina were native placenames
in the Alsea-Yaquina language, which were then used as names for the two bands and their languages.
Spelling variants of these tribal names include Alsiiya, Alsíiya, Alseya, Alsiya, Alséya, Aleya, Alse,
Älsé, Alsi, Alcea, Alsean; Yakwina, Yakona, Yacona, Yakon, Iakon, Yakonan, Yaquuna, Yuquuna; and Wusin.
Our list of vocabulary words in the Alsea language, with comparison to words in other Penutian languages.
Alsea Pronunciation Guide:
How to pronounce Alsea words for English speakers.
Worksheet showing how to count in the Alsea language.
Alsea Dictionaries, Audio Tapes and Language Resources