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Costanoan/Ohlone Indian Language

The Costanoan languages are considered by most linguists to be part of the Penutian family of languages, most closely related to Miwok. There were once several distinct Costanoan languages, including Mutsun, Rumsen, Karkin, and Cholon. These languages were as different from one another as the Romance languages of Europe (French, Spanish, Italian, and Portuguese.) Language loss in California has been especially severe--the legacy of the Gold Rush days, in which massacres and Indian slavery, while technically illegal, were not actively discouraged--and none of the Costanoan languages has been spoken in more than fifty years. However, some Ohlone Indian people are working to revive their ancestral language again.

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Ohlone Language
Ohlone language samples and resources.

Ohlone Culture and History
Information and links about the Ohlone tribe past and present.

Ohlone Legends
Introduction to Ohlone mythology.

Ohlone Language Resources

Our Online Ohlone Materials

Ohlone Vocabulary
     List of vocabulary words in the Ohlone language, with comparison to words in other Penutian languages.

Ohlone Language Lessons and Linguistic Descriptions

Mutsun Language Foundation
     Organization dedicated to the revival of the Mutsun Ohlone language.
Grammar of the Mutsun Language
     Complete text of a Mutsun Ohlone language book. Spanish-language only.
Languages of the Coast of California
     Language map showing the distribution of Costanoan, Salinan, Esselen, and other western California languages.
Linguistic Families of Northern California * Pre-Contact California Tribal Territories:
    Maps showing where in California the Costanoan/Ohlone language is spoken.
The Chumash and Costanoan Languages
    Complete text of A.L. Kroeber's grammar of the Ohlone Indian language.
A Faith In Words
     Article about Chochenyo Ohlone language revival.
Northern Ohlone v Southern Ohlone v Karkin
     Demographic information about the Costanoan languages from the Ethnologue of Languages.
Awaswas * Chalon * Chochenyo * Karkin * Mutsun * Ramaytush * Rumsen * Tamyen:
    Profiles of the Ohlone languages from the Berkeley Survey of California Indian Languages.
Costanoan Language Tree * Karkin Language Structures:
    Theories about Ohlone's language relationships compiled by Linguist List.
Costanoan Language Structures * Mutsun Language Structures:
    Ohlone linguistic profiles and academic bibliographies.

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Links, References, and Additional Information

Lengua Costanoano:
Information about the Ohlone language in Spanish.
Ohlone links.
Ohlone Tribe:
Ohlone Indian books.

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