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 many 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 I have been working for several years to convert and update Robert Oswalt's unpublished dictionary materials into a lexical database for publication, as well as developing digital resources for language learners.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.

Main resources

These pages are accessible from any computer or smartphone, and reflect the most recent work I have been doing.

Kashaya Online

Sound recordings of Kashaya words and (some) sentences, as pronounced by eight different speakers. Includes all the texts published by Oswalt 1964, with sound recordings for most of them. Intended for learning vocabulary and pronunciation. Updated periodically.

Older resources include a more limited list of audio  clips (2017), a simple Kashaya alphabet (2019), and some recordings of sentences used in the tribal language class (2018).

Kashaya Grammar Online

The beginnings of an online reference to Kashaya grammar, with many examples. The goal is to explain this complex language in ways that are useful to both linguists and language learners.

Kashaya Sounds

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

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.

Additional text resources

The first two of these resources show some of the texts and examples on which the analysis of Kashaya are based. The others give more information about the Kashaya lexicon. The pdf files are older versions that do not reflect the latest form of the dictionary database; they can be viewed on a computer, or printed out if desired.

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.

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.

Kashaya sentences from Halpern's fileslips

This is the entire set of more than 2000 sentences transcribed in 1940 by Abraham Halpern. They also have word-by-word translations and analysis.

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.

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 Dictionary on the web

This older 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]

Android Apps

These items run on Android smartphones or tablets; no iOS apps have been developed, but the web pages above can be used on an iPhone browser. They are not being further developed at this time.

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:

Kashaya Dictionary

This app makes 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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