Oregon "Penutian" Organizational Node

"Heheełənne nyaqanjin lau hantł shin kʾitłłiiwat."

"When we are gone (behind) you will remember these things we tell you."

[Hanis Coos admonition, Jacobs: Coos Myth Texts p.239]

The "Penutian" languages have always interested me, representing what are likely a number of small phyla and isolates squeezed into a dubious large grouping. In more recent years the macro-level Penutian has been scrapped, with smaller taxa created, some of them possibly still too ambitious. Oregon Penutian (Oregon Coast Penutian, Kalapuyan, and Takelman) was one of these, and even Oregon Coast Penutian (Alsean, Siuslawan, and Coosan) seems overly-optimistic. However, for my territory-based interest in the Peoples whose lands we lived on and enjoyed for several years, "Oregon Penutian" works as an organizing node. We lived in Hanis Coos territory, enjoyed the local Miluk Coos coast and coastal towns up into Siuslawan and Alsean territories, and traveled frequently to Kalapuyan territory (Eugene), enjoying en route our favorite restaurant/cafe in Takelma territory (Elkton).

Coosan Languages

I have a habit of working on and learning at least some of the native language of whatever place my wife and I live: Wea when we lived in southern Indiana, Upper Chinook when we lived on the Columbia River in southwestern Washington, Lushootseed when we've lived in the Seattle/Puget Sound area (including now), and Hanis and Miluk Coos when we lived most recently on Coos Bay on the southern Oregon coast. Following are some sample Coosan materials I've created. Currently the dictionary database stands at 1700 Hanis headwords (from Frachtenberg's grammar and vocabularies and gleaned from analysing less than 10% of the extant Hanis texts) and 500 Miluk headwords (mostly gleaned from an even smaller percentage of the available Miluk texts analyzed). These materials demonstrate how much can still be accomplished in a much shorter timeline than the long-term Cahto project. My Coosan materials are the product of late-night and weekend hours over a period of about six months, so for now only small samples are edited into anything approximating presentable form. I'm currently (June 2015) working to expand the Miluk dictionary.

Hanis Coos Dictionary print sample: a few pages of somewhat filled out entries, most with text examples.

Hanis Coos Online Dictionary sample: a small sample of the Coosan dictionary database I'm developing in SIL's FieldWorks, exported via their LexiquePro to a basic online format. FieldWorks plus LexiquePro are fairly standard tools for producing minority language dictionaries, offering a familiar and easy to use interface, though with less powerful search and filtering capability than the dictionary searches I've programmed myself.

Hanis Coos Text sample: the first few pages of Frachtenberg's first text, Arrow Young Men, told by Jim Buchanan, analyzed and linked to the dictionary using FieldWorks

Other Languages

Takelma Dictionary Sample: Takelma was one of my first loves, language-wise, as I happened upon Sapir's Takelma Texts either at the downtown library or one of the local university libraries I frequented while in high school. Oddly enough, I've not yet done a major project on the language, just admired it from afar mostly.


email to author: Sally Anderson sally@turtlenodes.com