Klamath Tribes Language Project
waq dal ?i gee ?ewksiknii ?elGank
How do you say that in Klamath?
THE KLAMATH INDIANS OF OREGON.
BY ALBERT S. GATSCHET.
DICTIONARY OF THE KLAMATH LANGUAGE.
The present Dictionary, divided in two parts, contains the lexical portion of an Oregonian language never before reduced to writing. In view of the numerous obstacles and difficulties encountered in the preparation of such a work, a few hints upon its origin and tendencies will be of service in directing the studies of those who wish to acquire a more intimate knowledge of this energetic and well developed western language.
The Klamath or Maklaks language is spoken in two dialects, that of the Klamath Lake Indians, or ^-ukshikni, and that of the Modocs. No obstacle prevented the gathering of the terms of both dialects into one and the same word-list, because the dialects differ but slightly, though more in their lexical than in their grammatic forms. The difference is so slight that the people of both chieftaincies understand each other readily in conversing about common subjects, and the few terms of which they fail to have a mutual understanding are entered below as belonging to only one of the two divisions of the Maklaks people. Generally speaking, the northern or fi-ukshikni dialect has, where differences exist, preserved its words in a more original, archaic and uncontracted form, while the southern or Modoc dialect is apt to exhibit contractions and elisions instead, as well as other phonetic processes which tend to show a more advanced stage of linguistic decay. This dialect has also incorporated more foreign terms borrowed from English, Shasti, etc. than the northern dialect.