There are three main varieties of the Panamint language: the western variety (also called “Coso”), traditional to Owens Lake, in the Coso mountains, and in Panamint Valley; the central variety (also called “Timbisha” or “Tümpisa Shoshone”), traditional to Death Valley; and the eastern variety, traditional to Grapevine Canyon, the Funeral Range, and near Beatty. In pre-contact times, there were probably no more than 500 speakers of Panamint (Kroeber 1925). In the 21st century, there are no more than two dozen first-language speakers, mostly of the central variety (Golla 2011). Panamint is a member of the Numic branch of the Uto-Aztecan language family. Within Numic, it is most closely related to Shoshone (spoken throughout Nevada, Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming) and Comanche (spoken mainly in Oklahoma, Texas, and Arizona). It is more distantly related to Northern Paiute, Mono, Kawaiisu, and Chemehuevi-Southern Paiute-Ute. The other Uto-Aztecan languages of California are Tubatulabal and the Takic languages (Cahuilla, Cupeño, Gabrielino, Juaneño, Kitanemuk, Luiseño, Serrano, and Tataviam).

Selected archival materials at Berkeley

Selected materials in other archives

Further reading

  • Crum, Beverly, Earl Crum, and Jon P. Dayley. 2001. Newe Hupia: Shoshoni Poetry Songs. University Press of Colorado. [PDF – may not be publicly available]
  • Dayley, Jon P. 1989a. Tümpisa (Panamint) Shoshone grammar. Berkeley: University of California Press. [PDF]
  • Dayley, Jon P. 1989b. Tümpisa (Panamint) Shoshone dictionary. Berkeley: University of California Press. [PDF]
  • Golla, Victor. 2011. California Indian languages. Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • McLaughlin, John E. 1987. *A phonology and morphology of Panamint. * Ph.D. dissertation, University of Kansas.
  • McLaughlin, John E. 2006. Timbisha (Panamint). LINCOM Europa.