Shasta language

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Native to United States
Region primarily northern California
Ethnicity Shasta people
Extinct by end of 20th century
Hokan ?
  • Shasta–Palaihnihan
Language codes
ISO 639-3 sht
Glottolog shas1239[1]
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters.

The Shasta language is an extinct Shastan language formerly spoken from northern California into southwestern Oregon. It was spoken in a number of dialects, possibly including Okwanuchu. By 1980, only two fluent speakers, both elderly, were alive. Today, all surviving Shasta people speak English.



Bilabial Dental Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Stop ejective tsʼ tʃʼ
tenuis p t ts k ʔ
Fricative s x h
Sonorant m n r j w

Length is distinctive for consonants in Shasta. The affricates are generally written ⟨c⟩ and ⟨č⟩, and the ejectives indicated by an apostrophe written over the character. The phoneme /j/ is represented by ⟨y⟩.


Shasta has four vowels, /i e a u/, with contrastive length, and two tones: high tone, marked with an acute accent, and low tone, which is unmarked.


  1. Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Shasta". Glottolog. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Mithun, Marianne (1999), The Languages of Native North America, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>


External links