The traditional Obispeño language area is along the Pacific coast around modern-day San Luis Obispo. During the Mission period, it was spoken at Mission San Luis Obispo de Tolosa. The language is attested solely in wordlists and the field notes of J. P. Harrington. Based on archaeological evidence and the testimony of early observers, it has been estimated that speakers of all Chumashan languages together numbered between 10,700 and 17,250 in pre-contact times (King 1969). In the 21st century, there are no first-language speakers of any Chumashan language. However, tribal members and language activists have been pursuing language revitalization and reclamation.
Selected archival materials at Berkeley
Selected materials in other archives
- Greenwood, Roberta S. 1978. In Heizer, Robert F. (ed) California, 520-523. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution.
- Heizer, R.F., ed. 1955. California Indian linguistic records: The Mission Indian vocabularies of H. W. Henshaw. University of California Anthropological Records 15:85-202. [PDF]
- Klar, Kathryn A. 1977. Topics in historical Chumash grammar. Ph.D. dissertation, University of California, Berkeley.[PDF]
- Kroeber, A.L. 1910. The Chumash and Costanoan languages. University of California Publications in American Archaeology and Ethnology 9,2:237-271. [PDF]
- Milliken, Randall and Johnson, John. 2005. An Ethnogeography of Salinan and Northern Chumash Communities - 1769 to 1810. [PDF - may not be publicly available]