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Oregon Penutian languages
Oregon Penutian is a hypothetical language family in the Penutian language phylum comprising languages spoken at one time by several groups of Native Americans in present-day western Oregon and western Washington in the United States. Various languages in the family are divided by dialects that are in most cases identical to the various identified tribal bands in the region. The languages were spoken largely along both banks of the lower and middle Columbia River, in the Willamette Valley, in the Oregon Cascade Range, along the Oregon Coast, and in the valleys of the Umpqua and Rogue rivers. The area in which the languages were spoken includes the most populated areas of Oregon today.
Linguists are not in complete agreement over the classification of languages in this family. In classifications, the languages of the family are classified in several distinct families. Some linguists classify Lower and Middle Chinookan as belong to a distinct family called the Chinookan languages.
Languages in the Oregon Penutian family (with their identified dialects and area of speech in the 19th century) include:
- Lower (Coastal) Chinookan
- Middle Chinookan
- Multnomah dialect, spoken on Sauvie Island and in the Portland area in northwestern Oregon
- Kathlamet dialect, spoken in northwestern Oregon along the south bank of the lower Columbia River.
- Wahkiakum dialect, spoken in southwestern Washington along the north bank of the lower Columbia River.
- Clackamas dialect, spoken in northwestern Oregon along the Clackamas and Sandy rivers
- Watlala dialect, spoken in north-central Oregon along the Columbia River Gorge.
- Northern Molala dialect, spoken in southern Oregon in the Cascade Range
- Upper Santiam Molala dialect, spoken along the upper Santiam River in the Cascades in central Oregon.
- Southern Molala dialect, spoken in southern Oregon in the Cascade Range
- Northern Kalapuya
- Central Kalapuya
- Ahantchuyuk dialect, spoken in the northeastern Willamette Valley along the Pudding and Molalla rivers
- Santiam dialect, spoken in the central Willamette Valley along the lower Santiam River
- Luckiamute dialect, spoken in the central Willamette Valley along the Luckiamute River
- Chepenafa dialect, spoken in the central Willamette Valley along Mary's River
- Chemapho dialect, spoken in central Willamette Valley along Muddy Creek .
- Chelamela dialect, spoken in the southwestern Willamette Valley along the Long Tom River
- Tsankupi dialect, spoken in the southeastern Willamette Valley along the Calapooia River
- Winefelly-Mohawk dialects, spoken in the southeastern Willamette Valley along the McKenzie, Mohawk, and Coast Fork Willamette rivers
- possibly two or three dialects spoken in southwestern Oregon in the Umpqua River valley, along Elk Creek and Calapooia Creek.
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