Kashaya language resources

Kashaya, also spelled Kashia by the tribe, is one of seven languages in the Pomoan family. It is the language of the Kashia Band of Pomo Indians of the Stewarts Point Rancheria.

This page was prepared by Gene Buckley. I first starting learning about Kashaya as a graduate student at UC Berkeley, in a field methods class in 1989-1990. It was directed by Leanne Hinton, and our language consultant was Milton (Bun) Lucas. My dissertation, Theoretical Aspects of Kashaya Phonology and Morphology, was completed in 1992; a slightly revised version was published in 1994. Since then I have written about various topics in Kashaya, which can be seen on my curriculum vitae. I have been working for several years to convert and update Robert Oswalt's unpublished dictionary materials into a lexical database for publication, as well as developing digital resources for language learners. These are described below.

Audio resources: Web

These pages are accessible from any computer or smartphone.

Kashaya Words and Sentences

Sound recordings of Kashaya words and (some) sentences, as pronounced by eight different speakers. Many of the words have images that accompany them. The entries are sortable by English or Kashaya, and can be filtered according the speaker or the category of meaning. Intended for learning vocabulary and pronunciation.

[January 2021]

Kashaya Alphabet

A listing of words according to the first letter of the English meaning. Prepared for use by the Kashia Elementary School.

[November 2019]

Kashaya Sounds

Recordings of the vowels and consonants of Kashaya, to help in learning correct pronunciation.

[May 2018]

Kashaya Vocabulary Lists

An older version of the Kashaya Words site. It has fewer examples and the design is less sophisticated.

[December 2017]

Kashaya Class Recordings

Sample sentences that have been used in the tribal language class. These have all been incorporated into the newer Kashaya Sentences page.

[June 2018]

Audio resources: Apps

These items run on Android smartphones or tablets; no iOS apps are currently available, but the web pages above can be used on a smartphone browser.

Kashaya cahno
(cahno means "word" or "language")

Pictures and sound recordings of Kashaya words, for learning vocabulary. Includes a quiz function. Based on an app originally designed for Northern Pomo, by Edwin Ko and Cathy O'Connor. Implemented for Kashaya by Edwin Ko.

This is in the Google Play store, and can be installed like any other app.

Kashaya Tutor

Plays individual sounds to help people learn to pronounce the sounds of the language, with recordings by five different speakers. Pictures and sound recordings of Kashaya words organized by general meaning, for learning vocabulary. Includes a quiz on the vocabulary.

Provided as a link to an apk file; if you click on the link using an Android device, it should offer to download the file, and then you have the opportunity to install it. (You might have to go to the Downloads app to complete this.) The first time you run the app, you will have to get the "update" when asked, in order to load the sound files.

This app combines the functions of two previous apps, which are still available for downloading:

Text resources

These documents give information about a subpart of the Kashaya lexicon. They can be viewed on a computer, or printed out if desired. The pdf files are interim versions that do not reflect the latest form of the dictionary database, but please report any errors you may find, or send suggestions for improvement.

Kashaya Suffix Forms

The various forms that Kashaya verb suffixes can take, depending on context. Designed to help understand the parts of a complex verb. See also a list of suffixes, prefixes, and clitics with more detailed information on their meanings.

[April 2019]

New Kashaya Vocabulary

An extensive list of nouns, adjectives, and other words but not verbs; includes Kashaya-English and English-Kashaya sections. PDF format.

[May 2014]

Kashaya Kinship Terms

Words for family relations, laid out in all their complexity, with an introduction about how the different forms should be used. This is an updated subpart of the full vocabulary list. PDF format.

[June 2016]

Kashaya Interlinear Texts

This is the entire set of texts published by Bob Oswalt in 1964, as well as unpublished texts collected in 1941 by Abraham Halpern. They have word-by-word translations and analysis.

[April 2019]

See also this text file consisting of the same texts reformatted as simple lines for easier searching and analysis; it was generated in May 2020 using a Python script written by Isabella Mandis.

The next three items are digital versions of the full dictionary.

Kashaya Webonary (web dictionary)

This web site has updated versions of the dictionary entries, which can be viewed one entry at a time. You can search by either Kashaya or English. Some background material still needs to be added. The boldface words are clickable links to other entries.

[September 2018]

Kashaya Dictionary on the web

This web site has both Kashaya-English (browse by letter) and English-Kashaya (use the index at the left side), but it has not been updated recently. See the About page for some information about the sounds and spelling system for the language as well as the structure of the dictionary entries.

[May 2013]

Kashaya Dictionary on Android

This app makes the current form of the dictionary available on a phone or tablet. See the user manual for an overview of functions. If you click on the link using an Android device, it should offer to download the file, and then you have the opportunity to install it. (You might have to go to the Downloads app to complete this.)

[January 2017]

Other resources

These other pages are descriptions of various aspects of Kashaya.

The territories of the Pomoan languages (including Kashaya).

An overview of Kashaya grammar at Wikipedia.


Preliminary work with the Oswalt dictionary materials was supported by a University Research Foundation grant from the University of Pennsylvania in the summer of 2011. Additional editing assistance was provided in summer 2016 by two students under the Penn Undergraduate Research Mentoring Program (PURM).

Major improvement of the lexical database, and some of the recordings included in the Sounds and Words apps, were made possible by a Documenting Endangered Languages grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in these documents or programs do not necessarily represent those of the NEH.

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