Barbareño language

Native to California
Region Santa Barbara, Santa Ynez
Extinct 1965, with the death of Mary Yee[1]
  • Southern

    • Central
      • Barbareño
Language codes
ISO 639-3 Either:
boi  Barbareño
inz  Ineseño
Glottolog barb1263  (Barbareno)[2]
ines1240  (Ineseno)[3]

Barbareño is one of the extinct Chumashan languages, a group of Native American languages, which was spoken in the area of Santa Barbara, California. The closely related Ineseño may have been a dialect of the same language. Barbareño became extinct in 1965 with the death of Mary Yee.[1]

Language revitalization

As of 2013, the Barbareno Chumash Council is engaged in ongoing efforts to revive the language. Two of its members are language apprentices and teachers.[4][5] Wishtoyo Chumash Village, in Malibu, California, announced the opening of its Šmuwič Language School in 2010.[6][7]

The Ineseño community now call their language Samala. In 2008 Richard Applegate compiled a grammar and dictionary of Ineseño based on Harrington's work in the early 1900s with one of the last fluent speakers, Maria Solares.[8] Applegate and Nakia Zavalla, Cultural Director for the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash and a descendant of Solares, have begun an effort to revitalize the language. Applegate began teaching Ineseño in 2003, and Zavalla has started an immersion-based language apprentice program.[9] As of 2008, Applegate had five students, though none had reached fluency.[10]



Barbareño consonant phonemes
Bilabial Alveolar Postalveolar/
Velar Uvular Glottal
Nasal plain m n
glottalized ˀm ˀn
Plosive plain p t k q ʔ
Affricate plain t͡s t͡ʃ
ejective t͡sʼ t͡ʃʼ
aspirated t͡sʰ t͡ʃʰ
Fricative plain s ʃ x h
ejective ʃʼ
aspirated ʃʰ
Approximant plain l j w
glottalized ˀl ˀj ˀw


Barbareño vowel phonemes
Front Central Back
Close i h u
Open e a o


  1. 1 2 Poser, William J. (2004). "On the Status of Chumash Sibilant Harmony" (PDF). Ms., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. Retrieved 2010-09-22.
  2. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Barbareno". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Ineseno". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  4. "Barbareno Chumash Council". Retrieved 2013-05-08.
  5. "Funded Projects". Seventh Generation Fund for Indian Development. Retrieved 2013-05-08.
  6. "Chumash Language". Wishtoyo Foundation. Retrieved 2013-05-08.
  7. Moreno, Sarah Koyo (2011). "Our Ancestors are Happy: Chumash Language Learning at Wishtoyo". News from Native California. 24 (4). Retrieved 2013-05-08.
  8. Chawkins, Steve (2008-04-20). "Chumash recover their 'alishtaha'n: Armed with a trove of scattered notes, linguist saves ancestral tongue from brink of extinction.". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-05-07.
  9. "Bringing Back the Samala Chumash Language". Channel Islands National Park. 2010-04-08. Archived from the original on June 1, 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-07.
  10. "Chumash Dictionary Breathes Life into Moribund Language". The Santa Barbara Independent. Retrieved 2013-05-07.

External links

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