|Native to||United States|
|Region||Washington, Oregon, and Idaho|
|Ethnicity||10,000 Sahaptins (1977)|
uma – Umatilla
waa – Walla Walla
yak – Yakima
tqn – Tenino
Sahaptin (also Shahaptin), Sħáptənəxw, is a Plateau Penutian language of the Sahaptian branch spoken in a section of the northwestern plateau along the Columbia River and its tributaries in southern Washington, northern Oregon, and southwestern Idaho, in the United States. Many of the tribes that surrounded the land were skilled with horses and trading with one another.
The Yakama tribal cultural resources program has been promoting the use of the traditional name of the language, Ichishkíin Sɨ́nwit, instead of Sahaptin, which means "stranger in the land."
Sahaptin has four dialects in a dialect cluster :
- Northern Sahaptin group
- Northwest Sahaptin dialect cluster: Klickitat (Klikitat) (Yakama name: Xwálxwaypam or L'ataxat), Tainapam (Taidnapam / Táytnapam or Upper Cowlitz), Upper Nisqually (Meshal / Mashel or Mica'l, also known as Mishalpam), Yakima (Yakama) (Lower or Yakama proper, autonym: Mámachatpam), Kittitas (Upper Yakama, autonym: Pshwánapam or Pshwanpawam)
- Northeast Sahaptin dialect cluster: Wanapum (Wanapam) (Wánapam), Palouse (Palus) (Yakama name: Pelúuspem), Lower Snake (Chamnapam, Wauyukma, and Naxiyampam), Walla Walla (Waluulapan)
- Southern Sahaptin group (Columbia River cluster): Umatilla (Rock Creek Indians, Yakama name: Amatalamlama; Imatalamlama), Skin-pah (Sk'in tribe or Sawpaw, also known as Fall Bridge and Rock Creek people or K'milláma, a Tenino subtribe; perhaps another Yakama name for the Umatilla, who were known as Rock Creek Indians), Tenino (Tygh Valley dialect of the Tygh (Taih, Tyigh or Tayxɫáma) or "Upper Deschutes", Celilo dialect of the Wyam (Wayámɫáma) (Yakama name: Wayámpam) or "Lower Deschutes", also known as "Celilo Indians", Tenino dialect of the Dalles Tenino or "Tinainu (Tinaynuɫáma)"; John Day dialect oft the Dock-Spus (Tukspush or Takspasɫáma) or "John Day.")
There are published grammars, a recent dictionary, and a corpus of published texts. Sahaptin has a split ergative syntax, with direct-inverse voicing and several applicative constructions.
The ergative case inflects third-person nominals only when the direct object is first- or second-person (the examples below are from the Umatilla dialect):
- 1) i-q̓ínu-šana yáka paanáy
- 3nom-see-asp bear 3acc.sg
- ‘the bear saw him’
- 2) i-q̓ínu-šana=aš yáka-nɨm
- 3nom-see-asp=1sg bear-erg
- ‘the bear saw me’
The direct-inverse contrast can be elicited with examples such as the following. In the inverse, the transitive direct object is coreferential with the subject in the preceding clause.
- 3) wínš i-q̓ínu-šana wapaanłá-an ku i-ʔíƛ̓iyawi-ya paanáy
- man 3nom-see-asp grizzly-acc and :3nom-kill-pst 3acc.sg
- ‘the man saw the grizzly and he killed it’
- 4) wínš i-q̓ínu-šana wapaanłá-an ku pá-ʔiƛ̓iyawi-ya
- man 3nom-see-asp grizzly-acc and inv-kill-pst
- ‘the man saw the grizzly and it killed him’
The inverse (marked by the verbal prefix pá-) retains its transitive status, and a patient nominal is case marked accusative.
- 5) ku pá-ʔiƛ̓iyawi-ya wínš-na
- and inv-kill-pst man-acc
- ‘and it killed the man’ (= ‘and the man was killed by it’)
A semantic inverse is also marked by the same verbal prefix pá-.
- 6) q̓ínu-šana=maš
- ‘I saw you’
- 7) pá-q̓inu-šana=nam
- ‘you saw me’
In Speech Act Participant (SAP) and third-person transitive involvement, direction marking is as follows:
- 8) á-q̓inu-šana=aš paanáy
- obv-see-asp=1sg 3sg.acc
- ‘I saw him/her/it’
- 9) i-q̓ínu-šana=aš pɨ́nɨm
- 3nom-see-asp=1sg 3erg
- ‘he/she/it saw me’
- Sahaptian languages
- Sahaptin people
- Palus (tribe)
- Umatilla (tribe)
- Walla Walla (tribe)
- Umatilla at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
Walla Walla at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
Yakima at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
Tenino at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
- Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Sahaptin". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
- Mithun, 1999.
- Beavert, Virginia and Hargus, Sharon Ichishkíin sɨ́nwit yakama = Yakima Sahaptin dictionary. Toppenish, Wash.: Heritage University, Seattle: in association with the University of Washington Press, 2009; 492 pp. OCLC 268797329.
- Sharon Hargus 2012, First position clitics in Northwest Sahaptin
- Jacobs, 1931.
- Rigsby and Rude, 1996.
- Beavert & Hargus, 2009.
- Jacobs, 1929.
- Jacobs, 1937.
- Rude, 2009.
- Beavert, Virginia, and Sharon Hargus (2010). Ichishkiin Sɨ́nwit Yakama/Yakima Sahaptin Dictionary. Toppenish and Seattle: Heritage University and University of Washington Press.
- Hargus, Sharon, and Virginia Beavert. (2002). Yakima Sahaptin clusters and epenthetic [ɨ]. Anthropological Linguistics, 44.1-47.
- Jacobs, Melville (1929). Northwest Sahaptin Texts, 1. University of Washington Publications in Anthropology 2:6:175-244. Seattle: University of Washington Press.
- Jacobs, Melville (1931). A Sketch of Northern Sahaptin Grammar. University of Washington Publications in Anthropology 4:2:85-292. Seattle: University of Washington Press.
- Jacobs, Melville (1934). Northwest Sahaptin Texts. English language only. Columbia University Contributions to Anthropology 19, Part 1. New York: Columbia University Press.
- Jacobs, Melville (1937). Northwest Sahaptin Texts. Sahaptin language only. Columbia University Contributions to Anthropology 19, Part 2. New York: Columbia University Press.
- Mithun, Marianne. (1999). The languages of Native North America. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-23228-7 (hbk); ISBN 0-521-29875-X.
- Rigsby, Bruce, and Noel Rude. (1996). Sketch of Sahaptin, a Sahaptian Language. In Languages, ed. by Ives Goddard, pp. 666–692. Handbook of North American Indians, Volume 17. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution.
- Rude, Noel. (1988). Pronominal prefixes in Klikitat Sahaptin. In Papers from the 1988 Hokan-Penutian Languages Workshop: Held at the University of Oregon, June 16–18, 1988, compiled by Scott DeLancey, pp. 181–197. Eugene, Oregon: University of Oregon Papers in Linguistics.
- Rude, Noel. (1994). Direct, inverse and passive in Northwest Sahaptin. In Voice and Inversion, ed. by T. Givón. Typological Studies in Language, Vol. 28:101-119. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
- Rude, Noel. (2006). Proto-Sahaptian vocalism. University of British Columbia Working Papers in Linguistics, Volume 18: 264-277.
- Rude, Noel. (2009). Transitivity in Sahaptin. Northwest Journal of Linguistics, Vol. 3, Issue 3, pp. 1–37.
- Rude, Noel. (2011). External possession, obviation, and kinship in Umatilla Sahaptin. University of British Columbia Working Papers in Linguistics, Volume 30: 351-365.
- Rude, Noel. (2012). Reconstructing Proto-Sahaptian Sounds. University of British Columbia Working Papers in Linguistics, Volume 32: 292-324.
- Rude, Noel. (2014). Umatilla Dictionary. Seattle & London: University of Washington Press.
- Beavert, Virginia; Sharon Hargus (2010). Ichishkiin sinwit Yakama/Yakima Sahaptin Dictionary. Toppenish, WA: Heritage University, University of Washington Press. Retrieved 2012-07-10.
- "Sahaptin Noun Dictionary (Yakama Dialect)". Retrieved 2012-07-10.
- Muir, Pat (2010-02-20). "Virginia Beavert keeping Sahaptin language alive". Yakima Herald-Republic. Retrieved 2012-07-10.
- McDonald, Rachael (2009-05-25). "Yakama Elder Keeps Language Alive". KLCC Eugene Oregon NPR. Retrieved 2012-07-10.
- Martin, Shelby (2009-02-14). "Rare Yakama Sahaptin language taught at university". Spokesman.com, The Spokesman-Review. Retrieved 2012-07-10.
- Dadigan, Marc (2010). "Guardians of Language". CAScade, UO College of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 2012-07-10.
- ELAR archive of Yakima (Sahaptin) language documentation materials