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Chinook Indian Language (Coastal or Lower Chinook)

The Chinookan languages are considered by most linguists to be part of the Penutian family of languages. Coastal or "Lower" Chinook, once spoken on the Washington coast by the powerful Chinook tribe at the mouth of the Columbia River, is the language that is generally referred to simply as "Chinook." The Chinook Indian tribe was one of the most important tribes of the west coast, but their language has not been spoken since the early 20th century and few records remain of it.

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Instead, the Chinook people are better-known for the widespread pidgin trade language, Chinook Jargon, that its speakers used to communicate with trading partners throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Chinook Language
Chinook language learning resources and research.

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

Chinook Indians Fact Sheet
Our answers to common questions about the Chinooks.

Chinook Native American Legends
Introduction to the mythology of the Chinooks.

Chinook Language Resources

Our Online Chinook Language Materials

Chinook Vocabulary:
    Our list of vocabulary words in the Chinook language, with comparison to words in other Penutian languages.
Chinook Jargon:
    Language materials for the Chinook Jargon, a trade pidgin based on Chinook, Nootka, French, English, and other languages of the Northwest Coast.

Chinook Dictionaries, Audio Tapes and Language Resources
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Alphabetical Vocabulary of the Chinook Language:
    This is the only dictionary of the original or "Old Chinook" language I know of. It's out of print but sometimes available.
American Indian Language Dictionaries:
    Chinook and other American Indian dictionaries and language materials for sale.

Chinook Language Lessons and Linguistic Descriptions

Chinook Language:
    Quicktime videos of a Chinook man describing the old Chinook language and its influence on Chinook Wawa.
Chinook Language:
    Demographic information about Chinook from the Ethnologue of Languages.
Pacific Northwest Language Domains:
    Language map of Lower Chinook and other Northwest Coast languages of Washington, Oregon and California.
Lower Chinook Language Tree:
    Theories about Chinook's language relationships compiled by Linguist List.
Lower Chinook Language Structures:
    Chinook linguistic profile and academic bibliography.
*Chinookan Comparative Vocabulary:
    Early 20th-century wordlists of Wishham, Chinook and Cathlamet.

Chinook Proper Names

Chinook Placenames:
    Chart of place names in Chinook and Wasco-Wishram.
Native American Dog Names:
    Our new fundraiser offering names for dogs and other animals in American Indian languages.

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Links, References, and Additional Information

Wikipedia: Chinookan Languages:
Encyclopedia articles on the Chinook language.
Lengua Bajo Chinook * Lenguas Chinukanas:
Information on the Lower Chinook language in Spanish.
  Chinook Tribe:
  Chinook Indian books.

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