Barbareño language

Barbareño is one of the extinct Chumashan languages, a group of Native American languages, which was spoken in the area of Santa Barbara, California. The closely related Ineseño may have been a dialect of the same language. Barbareño became extinct in 1965 with the death of Mary Yee.[1]

Native toCalifornia, United States
RegionSanta Barbara, Santa Ynez
Extinct1965, with the death of Mary Yee[1]
  • Southern
    • Central
      • Barbareño
Language codes
ISO 639-3Either:
boi – Barbareño
inz – Ineseño
Glottologbarb1263  Barbareno[2]
ines1240  Ineseno[3]
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.

Language revitalizationEdit

As of 2013, the Barbareno Chumash Council is engaged in ongoing efforts to revive the language. Two of its members are language apprentices and teachers.[4][5] Wishtoyo Chumash Village, in Malibu, California, announced the opening of its Šmuwič Language School in 2010.[6][7]

The Ineseño community now call their language Samala. In 2008 Richard Applegate compiled a grammar and dictionary of Ineseño based on Harrington's work in the early 1900s with one of the last fluent speakers, Maria Solares.[8] Applegate and Nakia Zavalla, Cultural Director for the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash and a descendant of Solares, have begun an effort to revitalize the language. Applegate began teaching Ineseño in 2003, and Zavalla has started an immersion-based language apprentice program.[9] As of 2008, Applegate had five students, though none had reached fluency.[10]



Barbareño consonant phonemes
Bilabial Alveolar Postalveolar/
Velar Uvular Glottal
Nasal plain m n
glottalized ˀm ˀn
Plosive plain p t k q ʔ
Affricate plain t͡s t͡ʃ
ejective t͡sʼ t͡ʃʼ
aspirated t͡sʰ t͡ʃʰ
Fricative plain s ʃ x h
ejective ʃʼ
aspirated ʃʰ
Approximant plain l j w
glottalized ˀl ˀj ˀw


Barbareño vowel phonemes
Front Central Back
Close i ɨ u
Open e a o


  1. ^ a b Poser, William J. (2004). "On the Status of Chumash Sibilant Harmony" (PDF). Ms., University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. Retrieved 2010-09-22.
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Barbareno". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Ineseno". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  4. ^ "Barbareno Chumash Council". Archived from the original on 2013-08-22. Retrieved 2013-05-08.
  5. ^ "Funded Projects". Seventh Generation Fund for Indian Development. Retrieved 2013-05-08.
  6. ^ "Chumash Language". Wishtoyo Foundation. Archived from the original on 2013-07-05. Retrieved 2013-05-08.
  7. ^ Moreno, Sarah Koyo (2011). "Our Ancestors are Happy: Chumash Language Learning at Wishtoyo". News from Native California. 24 (4). Archived from the original on 2013-02-02. Retrieved 2013-05-08.
  8. ^ Chawkins, Steve (2008-04-20). "Chumash recover their 'alishtaha'n: Armed with a trove of scattered notes, linguist saves ancestral tongue from brink of extinction". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2013-05-07.
  9. ^ "Bringing Back the Samala Chumash Language". Channel Islands National Park. 2010-04-08. Archived from the original on June 26, 2013. Retrieved 2013-05-07.
  10. ^ "Chumash Dictionary Breathes Life into Moribund Language". The Santa Barbara Independent. Archived from the original on 2014-05-08. Retrieved 2013-05-07.

Further readingEdit

  • Beeler, M. S. (January 1970). "Sibilant Harmony in Chumash". International Journal of American Linguistics. 36 (1): 14–17. doi:10.1086/465084. JSTOR 1264477.
  • Applegate, Richard. (1972). Ineseño Chumash Grammar. (Doctoral dissertation, University of California, Berkeley).
  • Beeler, M. S. 1976. Barbareno Chumash: a farrago. In Langdon, Margaret and Silver, Shirley, eds. Hokan Studies: Papers from the 1st Conference on Hokan Languages held in San Diego, California April 23–25, 1970, pp. 251–270. The Hague: Mouton.
  • Wash, Suzanne. (1995). Productive Reduplication in Barbareño Chumash. (Master's thesis, University of California, Santa Barbara; 210 + x pp.)
  • Wash, Suzanne. (2001). Adverbial Clauses in Barbareño Chumash Narrative Discourse. (Doctoral dissertation, University of California, Santa Barbara; 569 + xxii pp.)

External linksEdit