from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. A family of North American Indian languages spoken by the Nootka and other peoples of Washington and British Columbia.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- proper n. A family of languages spoken in Western Canada composed of the Northern and Southern Wakashan language groups.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. a family of North American Indian languages of British Columbia and Washington
- n. a member of one of the peoples in British Columbia and Washington who speak the Wakashan language
The relationship of this family to the Wakashan is a very interesting problem.
A person I went to school with, Janna Underinner, is now working with one of the Oregon Coast reservations (it may be the Grand Ronde reservation) to make Chinook wawa their language (I'm a little fuzzy about the exact situation), so your short story would be good, but my impression is that Chinook Jargon is based on Nuuchanuulth which is Wakashan, not Salishan.
There are words from English and French, and from various NW languages (including Salish and Wakashan languages) but the largest single source appears to be Lower Chinook (Chinook Proper) of the Chinookan family.
Wakashan, at least, shares many of the typologically interesting features of Salishan.
They are divided into quite a large number of small separate groups -- the Wakashan or _N [¯u] tkas_ of
Tonkawe vocabulary collected by 82 on the Kitunahan family 85 distinguishes the Kusan as a distinct stock 89 on the habitat of the Yamasi 95 on the Taensa language 96 on the derivation of “Palaihnih” 97 on the Pima language 99 discovered radical affinity between Wakashan and
Wakashan researches 129 on the habitat of the Haeltzuk 130
Sproat, G. M., suggests Aht as name of Wakashan family 130
On the west, in British Columbia, the Athapascan tribes nowhere reach the coast, being cut off by the Wakashan, Salishan, and Chimmesyan families.
The neighborhood of Cape Flattery, Washington, is occupied by the Makah, one of the Wakashan tribes, who probably wrested this outpost of the family from the Salish (Clallam) who next adjoin them on Puget Sound.