Cowlitz language

Native to United States
Region Southwestern Washington
Ethnicity 200 Cowlitz people (1990)[1]
Extinct maybe 2 speakers in 1990[1]
Revival the 110 listed in 2010 census[2] are not native speakers
  • Coast

    • Tsamosan
      • Inland
        • Cowlitz
Language codes
ISO 639-3 cow
Glottolog cowl1242[3]

The Cowlitz language is a member of the Tsamosan branch of the Coast Salish family of Salishan languages.

The Cowlitz people

The Cowlitz people were originally two distinct tribes: the Lower Cowlitz and the Upper Cowlitz. Only the Lower Cowlitz spoke Cowlitz; the Upper Cowlitz, a Sahaptin tribe, spoke a dialect of Yakama.


Cowlitz is most similar to Lower Chehalis, another Tsamosan language, although it does contains some oddities, such as the word for one, utsus (in contrast to the Lower Chehalis paw).

English Cowlitz
Lower Cowlitz tribe Sł'púlmš
one (number) utsus
two salli
three kałi
four mus


  1. 1 2 Cowlitz at Ethnologue (14th ed., 2000).
  2. Cowlitz at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  3. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Cowlitz". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.

See also

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