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Language isolate




Nominals table

gloss stem phonology layer abs erg acc-loc
his/her father lexeme mɨtátš qamɨtátš mɨtáyu:s
his/her father prefix zero q zero
his/her father suffix zero zero u:s
his/her father infix zero zero zero
I lexeme qnà nàtš
I prefix zero q zero
I suffix zero zero
I infix zero zero zero
this lexeme səà səàs səainatš
this prefix zero zero zero
this suffix zero s inatš
this infix zero zero zero
woman lexeme qi:utšúnɨ qi:utšwánɨ qi:utšúnya
woman prefix zero zero zero
woman suffix zero zero a
woman infix zero a zero
lake polysyllabic i:-/u:-final lexeme pkˀí:ti: pkˀí:ti: pkˀí:ti:yu:s
lake polysyllabic i:-/u:-final prefix zero zero zero
lake polysyllabic i:-/u:-final suffix zero zero u:s
lake polysyllabic i:-/u:-final infix zero zero zero

Verbs table

gloss layer 1 sg 1incl du 1incl pl 2 sg 2 du 2 pl 3 sg 3 du 3 pl 1 du 1 pl
work suffix ɨn ns nx̣ ts tšɨ zero ux̣ nx̣ ux̣un nx̣an
work lexeme x̣ɨlːx̣šɨn x̣ɨlːx̣šyans x̣ɨlːx̣šyanł x̣ɨlːx̣šiː x̣ɨlːx̣šyux̣ x̣ɨlːx̣šyanx̣ x̣ɨlːx̣šyux̣un x̣ɨlːx̣šyanx̣an

Siuslaw notes

  • The examples are from Frachtenberg (1922), but have been adapted to the orthography employed by Mithun (2005).
  • Argument markers on verbs are in fact enclitics, as they can dock onto adverbials as well.
  • The prefixed ergative marker is found with 1st and 2nd person pronouns and with kinterms, the suffix -s with the demonstrative/3rd person, and an infixed <a> elsewhere. From the examples it appears that only animates take the ergative.
  • There are two main accusative-locative suffixes, -a and -u:s; -a appears to be the default, while -u:s is found with stems in -i: and -u:, but also with others as well. There are a number of irregular accusative-locative forms, but paradigms of them cannot be constructed with any confidence.


Frachtenberg, Leo J. 1922. Siuslawan (Lower Umpqua). In Boas, Franz (ed) Handbook of the American Indian Languages, Part 2, pp. 431-629.

Mithun, Marianne. 2005. Ergativity and contact on the Oregon coast: Alsea, Siuslaw, and Coos. Berkeley Linguistic Society 26 77-96.