Tillamook language

Last updated
Hutyáyu, Hutyéyu
Native to United States
RegionNorthwestern Oregon
Ethnicity Tillamook, Siletz
Extinct 1972, with the death of Minnie Scovell [1]
  • Tillamook
  • Siletz
Language codes
ISO 639-3 til
Glottolog till1254
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.

Tillamook is an extinct Salishan language, formerly spoken by the Tillamook people in northwestern Oregon, United States. The last fluent speaker was Minnie Scovell who died in 1972. [1] 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. [2]




Vowels in Tillamook
Front Back
High i ə
Low æ ɑ


Consonants in Tillamook
Alveolar Post-
Velar Uvular Glottal
central sibilant lateral unroundedroundedunroundedrounded
Stop plain t t͡s t͡ʃ k kᵓ q qᵓ ʔ
ejective t͡sʼ t͡ɬʼ t͡ʃʼ kᵓʼ qᵓʼ
Fricative s ɬ ʃ x xᵓ χ χᵓ h
Sonorant n 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 (sulcalization). 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 coloringthe "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. [3]


  1. 1 2 "A language all but lost".
  2. Official site of Clatsop-Nehalem Confederated Tribes Archived 2011-06-16 at the Wayback Machine
  3. Thompson & Thompson (1966), p. 316


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