The Lake Miwok language is a moribund (or possibly extinct) language of Northern California, traditionally spoken in an area adjacent to the Clear Lake. It is one of the languages of the Clear Lake Linguistic Area, along with Patwin, East and Southeastern Pomo, and Wappo.
The consonant inventory of Lake Miwok differs substantially from the inventories found in the other Miwok languages. Where the other languages only have one series of plosives, Lake Miwok has four: plain, aspirated, ejective and voiced. Lake Miwok has also added the affricates č, c, čʼ, ƛʼ and the liquids r and ł. These sounds appear to have been borrowed through loanwords from other, unrelated languages in the Clear Lake area, after which they spread to some native Lake Miwok words.
In her Lake Miwok grammar, Callaghan reports that one speaker distinguishes between 1st person dual inclusiveʔoc and exclusiveʔic. Another speaker also remembers that this distinction used to be made by older speakers.
the Subjective case marks a noun which functions as the subject of a verb. If the subject noun is placed before the verb, the Subjective has the allomorph-n after vowel (or a vowel followed by /h/), and -Ø after consonants. If it is placed after the verb, the Subjective is -n after vowels and -nu after consonants.
"A flea is sitting on your forehead."
the Possessive case is -n after vowels and -Ø after consonants
"the man's hair"
the Objective case marks a noun which functions as the object of a verb. It has the allomorph -u (after a consonant) or -Ø (after a vowel) when the noun is placed immediately before a verb which contains the 2nd person prefix ʔin- (which then has the allomorph -n attached to the noun preceding the verb; compare the example below) or does not contain any subject prefix at all.
"Did you see the fish?"
It has the allomorph -Ø before a verb containing any other subject prefix:
"I saw the horse"
If the object noun does not immediately precede the verb, or if the verb is in the imperative, the allomorph of the Objective is -uc:
"Eat the fish"
the allative case is -to or -t depending on the environment. It has a variety of meaning, but often expresses direction towards a goal.
the locative case-m gives a less specific designation of locality than the Allative, and occurs more rarely.
the ablative case is -mu or -m depending on the context, and marks direction out of, or away from, a place.
the instrumental case-ṭu marks instruments, e.g. tumáj-ṭu "(I hit him) with a stick".
the comitative case-ni usually translates as "along with", but can also be used to coordinate nouns, as in kaʔunúu-ni ka ʔáppi-ni "my mother and my father".
the vocative case only occurs with a few kinship terms, e.g. ʔunúu "mother (voc)" from ʔúnu "mother".
the Appositive case is the citation form of nouns.
Lake Miwok uses pronominal clitics to indicate the possessor of a noun. Except for the 3d person singular, they have the same shape as the nominative pronominal clitics, but show no allomorphy.
3d person non-reflexive
3d person reflexive
The reflexive hana forms have the same referent as the subject of the same clause, whereas the non-reflexive forms have a different referent, e.g.:
hana háju ʔúṭe – "He sees his own dog"
ʔiṭi háju ʔúṭe – "He sees (somebody else's) dog"
^Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Lake Miwok". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
Callaghan, Catherine A. (1964). "Phonemic Borrowing in Lake Miwok". In William Bright (ed.). Studies in Californian Linguistics. Berkeley: University of California Press. pp. 46–53.
Callaghan, Catherine A. (1965). Lake Miwok Dictionary. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Campbell, Lyle (1997). American Indian Languages. The Historical Linguistics of Native America. New York: Oxford University Press.
Callaghan, Catherine A. "Note of Lake Miwok Numerals." International Journal of American Linguistics, vol. 24, no. 3 (1958): 247.
Keeling, Richard. "Ethnographic Field Recordings at Lowie Museum of Anthropology," 1985. Robert H. Lowie Museum of Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley. v. 2. North-Central California: Pomo, Wintun, Nomlaki, Patwin, Coast Miwok, and Lake Miwok Indians
Lake Miwok Indians. "Rodriguez-Nieto Guide" Sound Recordings (California Indian Library Collections), LA009. Berkeley: California Indian Library Collections, 1993. "Sound recordings reproduced from the Language Archive sound recordings at the Language Laboratory, University of California, Berkeley." In 2 containers.