Columbia-Moses language

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Native toUnited States of America
Regionnorthern Idaho, eastern Washington
Ethnicity230 (2000 census)[1]
Native speakers
40 (2007)[1]
  • Columbian
  • Wenatchi
Language codes
ISO 639-3col

Columbia-Moses, or Columbia-Wenatchi, is a Southern Interior Salish language, also known as Nxaảmxcín. Speakers currently reside on the Colville Indian Reservation

There are two dialects, Columbia (Sinkiuse, Columbian) and Wenatchi (Wenatchee, Entiat, Chelan). Wenatchi is the heritage language of the Wenatchi, Chelan, and Entiat tribes, Columbian of the Sinkiuse-Columbia.


Phonology of the Columbia-Wenatchi dialect:

Bilabial Alveolar Lateral Palatal Velar Uvular Pharyngeal Glottal
nor. lab. nor. lab. nor. lab.
Plosive plain p t k q ʔ
glottalized kʼʷ qʼʷ
Affricate plain ts
glottalized tsʼ tɬʼ
Fricative s ɬ x χ χʷ ħ ħʷ h
Nasal plain m n
Trill plain r
Approximant plain w l j ʕ ʕʷ
glottalized ʕʼ ʕʼʷ

The three vowels in Columbia-Moses are /i/, /a/, /u/. They are sometimes transcribed as [e]; /i/, [o]; /u/, and [æ]; /a/, and could also tend to sound unstressed, almost as a schwa sound, /ə/.


  1. ^ a b Columbia-Moses at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Columbia-Wenatchi". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.

Further reading

  • Czaykowska-Higgins, Ewa and Paul Proulx. 2000. "REVIEWS - What's in a Word? Structure in Moses-Columbia Salish". International Journal of American Linguistics. 66, no. 3: 410.
  • Kinkade, M. Dale. Dictionary of the Moses-Columbia Language (Nxaảmxcín). Nespelem, Wash: Colville Confederated Tribes, 1981.
  • Mattina, Nancy. 2006. "Determiner Phrases in Moses-Columbia Salish". International Journal of American Linguistics. 72, no. 1: 97.
  • Willet, Marie Louise. 2003." A Grammatical Sketch of Nxa'amxcin" PhD Thesis, University of Victoria.

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