The traditional Southern Sierra Miwok language area is in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada between the Merced and Chawchilla Rivers. In pre-contact times, there were an estimated 19,500 speakers of Plains Miwok, Saclan, and Central, Northern, and Southern Sierra Miwok together (Levy 1978). In the 21st century, Southern Sierra Miwok has only a few speakers (Golla 2011). However, tribal members and language activists have been pursuing language revitalization and reclamation. Southern Sierra Miwok is a Miwokan language, most closely related to Northern Sierra Miwok and Central Sierra Miwok. The others members of this family are Coast Miwok, Lake Miwok, Plains Miwok, and Saclan. The Miwokan languages comprise one branch of the hypothesized Penutian language family, within which they form a subgroup with the Ohlone languages (Awaswas, Chalon, Chochenyo, Karkin, Mutsun, Ramaytush, Rumsen, and Tamyen). Penutian includes, in addition, Klamath-Modoc, the Maiduan languages (Konkow, Maidu, and Nisenan), the Wintuan languages (Nomlaki, Patwin, and Wintu), and the Yokuts languages.
Selected archival materials at Berkeley
Selected materials in other archives
- Broadbent, Sylvia M. 1960. A Grammar of Southern Sierra Miwok. Doctoral dissertation, University of California, Berkeley
- Broadbent, Sylvia M. 1964. The Southern Sierra Miwok language. Berkeley: University of California Press. [Online version]
- Freeland, L. S. 1951. Language of the Sierra Miwok. (Publications in Anthropology and Linguistics, Memoir 6.) Bloomington, ID: Indiana University Press.
- Golla, Victor. 2011. California Indian languages. Berkeley: University of California Press.
- Levy, Richard. 1978. Eastern Miwok. In Robert F. Heizer (ed.), California, 398-413. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution.
- Buena Vista Rancheria
- California Valley Miwok Tribe
- Colfax-Todds Valley Consolidated Tribe
- Ione Band of Miwok Indians
- Shingle Springs Rancheria
- Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians
- United Auburn Indian Community
- Yosemite online library
- Glottolog: Southern Sierra Miwok
- OLAC Resources in and about the Southern Sierra Miwok language
- World Atlas of Language Structures: Southern Sierra Miwok