|Native to||United States|
|Region||Northwestern corner of the Olympic Peninsula of Washington state, on the south side of the Strait of Juan de Fuca|
|Ethnicity||2,220 Makah (2000 census)|
|Extinct||2002, with the death of Ruth E. Claplanhoo|
The Makah language is the indigenous language spoken by the Makah. Makah has not been spoken as a first language since 2002, when its last fluent native speaker died. However, it survives as a second language, and the Makah tribe is attempting to revive the language, including through preschool classes. The endonym for the Makah is q?i·q?i·diaq.
The Makah reside in the northwestern corner of the Olympic Peninsula of Washington on the south side of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It is closely related to Nuu-chah-nulth and Ditidaht, which are languages of the First Nations of the west coast of Vancouver Island on the north side of the strait, in the Canadian province of British Columbia. Makah is the only member of the Wakashan language family in the United States, with the other members spoken in British Columbia, from Vancouver Island to the Central Coast region.
Makah, Nuu-chah-nulth and Ditidaht belong to the Southern Nootkan branch of the Wakashan family. The Northern Wakashan languages, which are Kwak'wala, Heiltsuk-Oowekyala and Haisla, are spoken farther north, beyond the territory of the Nuu-chah-nulth.
The phonemes (distinctive sounds) of Makah are presented below in the Makah alphabet; if the symbol in the native alphabet differs from the IPA symbol, the IPA equivalent will be given in brackets.
|ejective||p? [p']||t? [t']||k? [k']||k [k?']||q? [q']||q [q?']|
|Affricate||voiceless||c [ts]||? [t?]||? [t?]|
|Fricative||s||? [?]||? [?]||x||x?||x? [?]||x |
There are five phonologically short vowels (written ?a e i o u? and pronounced [?], [?], [?], [?], and [?]) and five phonologically long vowels (written ?a· e· i· o· u·? and pronounced [a], [æ], [i], [o], and [u]). There are also and six diphthongs" (written ?ay oy ey iy aw uy?, pronounced [aj], [?j], [e], [i:], [aw], and [u:j]).
"Like other Wakashan languages, Makah inflects verbs for evidentiality, indicating the level and source of the speaker's knowledge about a statement. Some examples are shown in the following table:
|hi·daw?a?wa·d||"I hear he found it"||-wa·t, hearsay|
|pu·pu·q?ad?i||"he's blowing a whistle"||-q?adi, auditory|
|apaccaqil||"It looks like a canoe"||-caqi?, uncertain visual evidence, as trying to make out something at a distance|
|ha?uk?a?pi·dic||"I see you ate"||-pi·t, inference from physical evidence|
|dudu·k?a?x?a·?||"He's probably singing"||-x?a·-?, inferred probability|
Alongside those examples, compare corresponding sentences without the evidentials: hi·daw?al, "he found it"; apac?, "it's a canoe"; ha?uk?alic, "you're eating"; dudu·k?al, "he's singing"."
The Makah word encodes much information; Davidson (2002) outlines the formal word structure below (pg. 160),
|base||core suffixes||aspect||peripheral suffixes||aspect||clitic sequence|
|expanded unextended word|
The 'unextended word' consists of a root (the 'base'), lexical suffixes, and aspectual suffixes. It carries the 'dictionary meaning' of the word, while the clitics represent what can be thought of as 'inflections' for other grammatical categories. The unextended word,[sentence fragment]
The 'expanded unextended' word is formed by the addition of a peripheral suffix, which can change the part of speech while and often contains an aspectual value. These suffixes 'cross-cut' the core/nuclear distinction. The order of the clitic sequence is as follows:
=Diminutive=Temporal=Causative=Possessive=Passive-Inverse=Tense=Mood=Pronominal=Habitual=3rd Person Plural=Responsive='again'
The modal-pronominal clitics are often combined, creating a separate set of pronominal clitics for each mood. Makah marks for the indicative, purposive, quotative, subordinate, inferential, mirative, conditional, relative, content interrogative and polar interrogative moods.