Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A proposed stock of North American Indian languages spoken in Pacific coastal areas from California into British Columbia.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • proper n. A proposed grouping of language families that includes many Native American languages of western North America, predominantly spoken at one time in Washington, Oregon, and California.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a family of Amerindian language spoken in the great interior valley of California
  • n. a member of a North American Indian people speaking one of the Penutian languages

Etymologies

From the reconstructed words for "two” in two of its subgroups.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • The languages of the Miluk and Hanis people were mutually unintelligible but are both included in the Coos family of the Penutian family of languages.

    South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, Oregon

  • Even if Kennewick Man spoke a non-Penutian language, historic Sahaptin-speakers might have inherited their "cultural core" of knowledge, belief, and practice with respect to their environmental relationships from the earlier group to which Kennewick Man belonged.

    Spirit Cave & Kennewick

  • Kennewick Man may have spoken a Proto-Penutian language, but other possibilities cannot be ruled out, in particular, that the group to which Kennewick Man belonged spoke a language that was not Penutian -- a language now extinct or ancestral to languages spoken outside the present region -- and that the Penutian-speaking predecessors of the historic occupants of this region either displaced this earlier group or arrived after that group had moved elsewhere or had died out.

    Spirit Cave & Kennewick

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