The Atsugewi language was traditionally spoken to the south of the Pit River, along Hat Creek to the west and in Dixie Valley to the east. In pre-contact times, there were approximately 3000 speakers of Atsugewi and Achumawi combined (Kroeber 1925). Today, there are no first-language speakers (Golla 2011).
Atsugewi and the closely related Achumawi language constitute the Palaihnihan family, a branch of the hypothesized Hokan language family, which also includes Chimariko, Esselen, Karuk, the Pomoan languages (Central Pomo, Eastern Pomo, Kashaya, Northeastern Pomo, Northern Pomo, Southeastern Pomo, and Southern Pomo), Salinan, the Shastan languages (Konomihu, New River Shasta, Okwanuchu, and Shasta), Washo, Yana, and the Yuman languages (Cocopa, Kiliwa, Kumeyaay, Maricopa, Mojave, Pai, Paipai, and Quechan).
Selected archival materials at Berkeley
- Golla, Victor. 2011. California Indian languages. Berkeley: University of California Press.
- Olmsted, D. L. 1984. A lexicon of Atsugewi. (Survey Reports, Report 5.) Berkeley: Survey of California and Other Indian Languages, University of California, Berkeley. [PDF]
- Talmy, Leonard. 1972. Semantic structures in English and Atsugewi. Ph.D. dissertation, University of California, Berkeley.