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Sahaptian languages

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Title: Sahaptian languages  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Umatilla language, Sahaptin language, Nez Perce language, Sahaptian languages, Nez Perce people
Collection: Languages of the United States, Sahaptian Languages
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Sahaptian languages

Sahaptian (also Sahaptianic, Sahaptin, Shahaptian) is a two-language branch of the Plateau Penutian family spoken by Native American peoples in the Columbia Plateau region of Washington, Oregon, and Idaho in the northwestern United States.

Family division

Sahaptian includes 2 languages

1. Nez Perce (AKA Nez Percé, Nezperce)
  • Upper Nez Perce
  • Lower Nez Perce
2. Sahaptin (Sħáptənəxw)
  • Northern Sahaptin group
  • Northwest Sahaptin dialect cluster
  • Northeast Sahaptin dialect cluster
  • Southern Sahaptin group (AKA Columbia River cluster)

Nez Perce has two main varieties (Upper and Lower). Sahaptin has considerably greater internal diversity with several different varieties.

Note that the terms Sahaptian (the family) and Sahaptin (the language) have often been confused and used interchangeably in the literature.


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