Alsea Indian Language (Yaquina, Yakona, Alsean, 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.
Names: The name Alsea comes from the word for the tribe in the neighboring Tillamook language. Their
name for themselves in their own language was Wusi or Wusitslum. Wusi and Yaquina were native placenames
in Alsea-Yaquina language, which were then used as names for the two bands.
Spelling variants of these tribal names include Alseya, Alsiya, Alséya, Alse,
Älsé, Alsi, Alcea, Alsean; Yakwina, Yakona, Yakon, Iakon, Yakonan; and Wusin.