Sahaptin Dictionary

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The first modern dictionary of Sahaptin has been published. Sahaptin is a language of the Northwestern plateau, spoken in the drainage of the Columbia River in southern Washington, northern Oregon, and southwestern Idaho. There are now no more than 200 speakers. This dictionary is of the Yakima dialect, called by its speakers Ichishkíin Sɨ́nwit.

Dictionaries of endangered languages appear pretty frequently because so many languages are endangered, but it isn't that often that a dictionary of this calibre appears. The authors are Virginia Beavert, a native speaker of the language who received the Ken Hale Prize in 2007, and Sharon Hargus, a linguist at the University of Washington better known for her work on Athabascan languages. It comes with a CD containing over 9,200 sound files. Even better, the Sahaptin-English portion of the dictionary is available on-line.


  1. marie-lucie said,

    February 26, 2010 @ 9:29 pm

    Thank you for making this announcement. I tried your on-line link and it redirected to a UW page which listed a number of languages but not Sahaptin. So the online version might not be available yet. But at $60 for the full paper + audio version, I think that the price is quite reasonable.

  2. Bill Poser said,

    February 26, 2010 @ 9:43 pm

    The link to the on-line version was good when I put it up, but you're right that at the moment it is no good. Presumably this is a temporary glitch.

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