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Chumash Indian Languages

The Chumash languages are considered by some linguists to be part of the Hokan family of languages, possibly related most closely to Salinan. There were once at least three distinct Chumashan languages--Northern Chumash (Obispeño), Island Chumash (Ysleño or Cruzeño), and Central Chumash, (with four dialects, Barbareño, Ineseño, Purisimeño, and Ventureño, some of which may also have been distinct languages of their own). The question is never likely to be answered, unfortunately, since none of the Chumash languages are still spoken today. Indian slavery was practiced in Southern California until late in the 19th century, and language loss in this region was particularly severe. The last speaker of a Chumash language (Barbareno, one of the Central Chumash dialects) died in the 1960's, but some young Chumash people hope to revive their ancestral language again.

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Chumash Language
Chumash language samples and resources.

Chumash Tribe Culture and History
Information and links about the Chumash Indians past and present.

Chumash Indians Fact Sheet
Our answers to common questions about the Chumashes.

Chumash Legends
Introduction to Chumash mythology.

Chumash Language Resources

Our Online Chumash Language Materials

Chumash Vocabulary:
    Our list of vocabulary words in the Chumash languages, with comparison to words in Hokan languages.
Chumash Picture Dictionary:
    Illustrated glossary of animal words in Chumash.

Chumash Dictionaries, Audio Tapes and Language Resources
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An Interim Barbareno Dictionary:
    Chumash dictionary (out of print).
Native American Dictionaries:
    Chumash and other American Indian dictionaries and language materials for sale.

Chumash Language Lessons and Linguistic Descriptions

Inezeño Chumash Tutorial:
    Online vocabulary, texts, pronunciation guide, and grammar lesson from the Santa Ynez Chumash language revival program.
Languages of the Coast of California:
    Language map showing the distribution of Yokuts, Salinan, Chumash, and other western California languages.
Barbareno (P'atna):
    Profile of the Barbareno Chumash language including a phonological inventory, orthography and a text.
Barbareño Chumash Placenames * Chumash Placenames:
    California place names from the Barbareno Chumash language.
Chumash Language * Chumash Vocabulary * Chumash Grammar * Chumash Text:
    Scanned-in Chumash language materials from the Rosetta Project.
The Chumash and Costanoan Languages:
    Complete text of A.L. Kroeber's grammar of the Chumash Indian language.
Chumash Prayers:
    Ineseno Chumash translation of the Lord's Prayer.
Obispeno Chumash language * Cruzeno Chumash language * Barbareno Chumash language:
    Ineseno Chumash language * Purisimeno Chumash language * Ventureno Chumash language:
    Demographic information about the Chumash languages from the Ethnologue of Languages.
Barbareño * Ineseño * Interior Chumash * Island Chumash * Obispeño * Purisimeño * Ventureño:
    Profiles of the Chumash languages from the Berkeley Survey of California Indian Languages.
Island Chumash Language Tree * Obispeño Language Tree * Ventureño Language Tree * Barbareño Language Tree * Purisimeño Language Tree * Ineseño Language Tree:
    Theories about Chumash language relationships compiled by Linguist List.
Barbareño Chumash Language Structures * Ineseño Chumash Language Structures:
    Central Chumash linguistic profiles and academic bibliographies.

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Links, References, and Additional Information

Wikipedia: Chumashan:
Encyclopedia articles on the Chumash language.
Lengua Chumashan:
Information on the Chumash language in Spanish.
Chumash Tribe:
Chumash Indian books.

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