Open main menu

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
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 a guide to 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.
  • 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