Yuki language

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RegionEel River area (formerly)
EthnicityYuki people
Extinct20th century
Language codes
ISO 639-3yuk (Yuki proper)
yuk Yuki proper
 qdw Coast Yuki
 qiq Huchnom

The Yuki language, also spelled Ukiah and also known as Ukomno'm, was a language of California, spoken by the indigenous American Yuki people, formerly in the Eel River area, the Round Valley Reservation, northern California.[2] It became extinct some time in the 20th century. Yuki is generally thought to be distantly related to the Wappo language.

Yuki consisted of three dialects: Northern Yuki (Round Valley Yuki), Coast Yuki, and Huchnom (Clear Lake Yuki). These were at least partially mutually intelligible, but are sometimes counted as distinct languages.[3]

Yuki had an octal (base-8) counting system, as the Yuki keep count by using the four spaces between their fingers rather than the fingers themselves.[4] Yuki also had an extensive vocabulary for the plants of Mendocino County, California.[5]

An extensive reference grammar of Yuki was published in 2016 and is based primarily on the texts and other notes recorded by Alfred L. Kroeber from Yuki speaker Ralph Moore in the first decade of the 20th century as well as elicited material recorded from other speakers later in the 20th century. This grammar also contains sketches of Huchnom and Coast Yuki based on the notes of Sydney Lamb and John Peabody Harrington, respectively.[6]


Bilabial Dental Alveolar Postalveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Stop Plain p k ʔ
Ejective t̪ʼ t̺ʼ
Affricate Plain t͡ʃ
Ejective t͡ʃʼ
Fricative Plain s ʃ h
Nasal Plain m n
Glottal ˀm ˀn
Approximant Plain w l j
Glottal ˀw ˀl ˀj

An alveolar stop /t/ is an apico-alveolar stop articulated as [t̺].

Front Central Back
short long short long
Close i u
Mid ə o
Open a



  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Yuki". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. ^ Ethnologue report for language code:yuk
  3. ^ Campbell 1997:132
  4. ^ Ascher, Marcia (1994), Ethnomathematics: A Multicultural View of Mathematical Ideas, Chapman & Hall, ISBN 978-0-412-98941-4
  5. ^ Chestnut, Victor King (1902). Plants used by the Indians of Mendocino County, California. Government Printing Office. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
  6. ^ a b Balodis, Uldis (2016). Yuki Grammar with Sketches of Huchnom and Coast Yuki. University of California Press. ISBN 9780520292192.

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