Achumawi language


Achumawi language

language
name=Achumawi
nativename=
familycolor=American
states=California
speakers=8
fam1=Palaihnihan
iso2=|iso3=acv

The Achumawi language (also Achomawi or Pit River language) is the native language spoken by the Pit River people of present-day California. The term Achumawi is an anglicization of the name of the Fall River band, ajúmmááwí, from ajúmmá "river". Originally there were nine bands, with dialect differences among them but primarily between upriver and downriver dialects, demarcated by the Big Valley mountains east of the Fall River valley.

Together, Achumawi and Atsugewi are said to comprise the Palaihnihan language family. The basis of this assertion is weakened by poor quality of data. Olmsted's dictionary depends almost entirely upon de Angulo, and carelessly includes Pomo vocabulary from a manuscript in which he (de Angulo) set out to demonstrate that Achumawi and Pomo are not related. Bright has also pointed out problems with Olmsted's methods of reconstruction. The phenomenon of non-reciprocal intelligibility is a matter of bilingualism more prevalent in one community (Atsuge) than in the other.

Today, the Achumawi language is severely endangered. Out of an estimated 1500 Achumawi people remaining in northeastern California, perhaps ten spoke the language as of 1991, with only 8 as of 2000. However, out of these 8, 4 had a limited English proficiency.

External links

* [http://www.siskiyous.edu/shasta/nat/ach.htm Achumawi]
* [http://repository.upenn.edu/dissertations/AAI9913504/ "Aspects of Pit River Phonology"]
* [http://email.eva.mpg.de/~good/jcgood_mcfarland_paster-Palainihan.pdf "Reconstructing Achumawi and Atsugewi"]

Bibliography

*Bright, William. (1965). " [Review of "A history of Palaihnihan phonology" by D. L. Olmstead] ." "Language", "41" (1), 175–178.
*Good, Jeff. (2004). "A sketch of Atsugewi phonology." Boston, Massachusetts. (Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas, January 8 – January 11).
*Good, Jeff, Teresa McFarland, and Mary Paster. (2003). "Reconstructing Achumawi and Atsugewi: Proto-Palaihnihan revisited." Atlanta, Georgia. (Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Society for the Study of the Indigenous Languages of the Americas, January 2 – January 5).
*Mithun, Marianne. (1999). "The Languages of Native North America". Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-23228-7 (hbk); ISBN 0-521-29875-X.
*Nevin, Bruce E. (1991). "Obsolescence in Achumawi: Why Uldall Too?". Papers from the American Indian Languages Conferences, held at the University of California, Santa Cruz, July and August 1991. Occasional Papers on Linguistics 16:97-127. Department of Linguistics, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.
*Nevin, Bruce E. (1998). "Aspects of Pit River phonology". Ph.D. dissertation, University ofPennsylvania, Department of Linguistics.
*Olmstead, David L. (1954). "Achumawi-Atsugewi non-reciprocal intelligibility." "International Journal of American Linguistics", "20", 181–184.
*Olmstead, David L. (1956). "Palaihnihan and Shasta I: Labial stops." "Language", "32" (1), 73–77.
*Olmstead, David L. (1957). "Palaihnihan and Shasta II: Apical stops." "Language", "33" (2), 136–138.
*Olmstead, David L. (1959). "Palaihnihan and Shasta III: Dorsal stops." "Language", "35" (4), 637–644.
*Olmstead, David L. (1964). "A history of Palaihnihan phonology." "University of California Publications in Linguistics" (Vol. 35). Berkeley: University of California Press.

ee also

*Northern California Indian Development Council
*Pit River


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