Maiduan languages


Maiduan languages
Maidun
Pujunan
Geographic
distribution:
California
Linguistic classification: Penutian ?
  • Maidun
Subdivisions:
Maidu langs.png
Pre-contact distribution of Maiduan languages
Pre-contact distribution of Maiduan languages (California detail map)

Maiduan (also Maidun, Pujunan) is a small endangered language family of northeastern California.

Contents

Family division

The Maiduan consists of 4 languages:

  1. Maidu (aka Maidu proper, Northeastern Maidu, Mountain Maidu)
  2. Chico (aka Valley Maidu)
  3. Konkow (aka Northwestern Maidu)
  4. Nisenan (aka Southern Maidu)

The languages have similar phonologies (i.e. sound systems) but differ significantly in terms of grammar. They are not mutually intelligible, even though many works often refer to all of the speakers of these languages as Maidu. The Chico dialects are little known due to scanty documentation, so their precise genetic relationship to the other languages probably cannot be determined (Mithun 1999).

Chico is now extinct. The other languages are extremely endangered and nearing extinction: Northeastern Maidu has 1 or 2 speakers, Konkow has 1-2 speakers, Nisenan has only 1 speaker (Hinton 1994, reported in Gordon 2005).

Genetic relations

Maiduan is often considered in various Penutian phylum proposals. It was one of the original members of California Penutian (the Penutian "core").

See also

Bibliography

  • Callaghan, Catherine A. (1997). "Evidence for Yok-Utian", International Journal of American Linguistics, Vol. 63, No. 1 (Jan., 1997), pp. 18–64.
  • Gordon, Raymond G., Jr. (Ed.). (2005). Ethnologue: Languages of the world (15th ed.). Dallas, TX: SIL International. ISBN 1-55671-159-X. (Online version: http://www.ethnologue.com).
  • Heizer, Robert F. (1966). Languages, territories, and names of California Indian tribes.
  • Mithun, Marianne. (1999). The languages of Native North America. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-23228-7 (hbk); ISBN 0-521-29875-X.
  • Shipley, William. (1961). "Maidu and Nisenan: A Binary Survey", International Journal of American Linguistics, Vol. 27, No. 1 (Jan., 1961), pp. 46–51.



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