The Nomlaki language was traditionally spoken in the Sacramento Valley from Cottonwood Creek in the north to Grindstone Creek in the south. In pre-contact times, there were 12,500 speakers of Nomlaki, Patwin, and Wintu together (Kroeber 1932). Today, there is only one speaker (Golla 2011).

Nomlaki (also known as "Wintun") is a Wintuan language; the other Wintuan languages are Patwin and Wintu. Together, these languages form one branch of the hypothesized Penutian language family. This groups also includes Klamath-Modoc, the Maiduan languages (Konkow, Maidu, and Nisenan), the Miwokan languages (Central Sierra Miwok, Coast Miwok, Lake Miwok, Northern Sierra Miwok, Plains Miwok, Saclan, and Southern Sierra Miwok), the Ohlone languages (Awaswas, Chalon, Chochenyo, Karkin, Mutsun, Ramaytush, Rumsen, and Tamyen), and the Yokuts languages.

Selected archival materials at Berkeley

Further reading

  • Barrett, S. A. 1908. The ethno-geography of the Pomo and neighboring Indians. University of California Publications in American Archaeology and Ethnology 6:1-322. [PDF]
  • Golla, Victor. 2011. California Indian languages. Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • Powers, Stephen. 1877. Tribes of California, pp. 518-534. Washington: Government Printing Office. [PDF]