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Tillamook language

Native to United States
Region Northwestern Oregon
Ethnicity Tillamook, Siletz
Extinct 1970[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3 til
Glottolog till1254[2]

Tillamook is an extinct Salishan language, formerly spoken by the Tillamook people in northwestern Oregon, United States. The last fluent speaker is believed to have died in the 1970s; between 1965 and 1972, in an effort to prevent the language from being lost, a group of researchers from the University of Hawaii interviewed the few remaining Tillamook-speakers and created a 120-page dictionary.[3]


  • Phonology 1
    • Vowels 1.1
    • Consonants 1.2
      • Internal Rounding 1.2.1
  • Notes 2
  • Bibliography 3
  • External links 4



Front Back
High i ə
Low æ ɑ


Alveolar Postalveolar
/ palatal
Velar Uvular Glottal
Central Lateral Unrounded "Rounded" Unrnd. "Rnd."
Stop t k kᵓ q qᵓ ʔ
Ejective kᵓʼ qᵓʼ
Affricate t͡s t͡ʃ
Ejective affricate t͡sʼ t͡ɬʼ t͡ʃʼ
Fricative s ɬ ʃ x xᵓ χ χᵓ h
Nasal n
Approximant l j ɰᵓ

Internal Rounding

The so-called "rounded" consonants (traditionally marked with the diacritic ʷ, but here indicated with ), including rounded vowels and w (/ɰᵓ/), are not actually labialized. The acoustic effect of labialization is created entirely inside the mouth by cupping the tongue. Uvulars with this distinctive internal rounding have "a kind of ɔ timbre" while "rounded" front velars have ɯ coloring. These contrast and oppose otherwise very similar segments having ɛ or ɪ coloring—the "unrounded" consonants.

/w/ is also formed with this internal rounding instead of true labialization, making it akin to [ɰ]. So are vowel sounds formerly written as /o/ or /u/, which are best characterized as the diphthong /əɰ/ with increasing internal rounding.[4]


  1. ^ Tillamook at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^
  3. ^ Official site of Clatsop-Nehalem Confederated Tribes
  4. ^ Thompson & Thompson (1966), p. 316


External links

  • University of Oregon: The Tillamook
  • Tillamook Language
  • OLAC resources in and about the Tillamook language
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