Nez Perce


A language of United States

Alternate Names
Nuumiipuutimt, Nuumiipuutímt

100 (1997 H. Aoki), decreasing. Spoken fluently only by a handful of elders on Nez Perce and Colville Reservations. 30–40 semispeakers, mostly in Idaho (Golla 2007). Ethnic population: 610 (2000 census).


Idaho: Kamiah and Lapwai on Nez Perce Reservation; Washington: east on Colville Reservation (Upriver dialect). Oregon: Umatilla Reservation (Downriver dialect).

Language Status

8a (Moribund).


Downriver Nez Perce, Upriver Nez Perce.

Language Use

Shifting to English [eng]. Older adults.

Language Development
A class in Nez Perce is taught on Umatilla Reservation. Dictionary. Grammar. Texts. Bible portions: 1845–1876. Conversational Nez Perce taught in Nespelem, Washington. There is a formal program of Nez Perce language instruction at Lewis-Clark State College in Lewiston, Idaho as well as an independent program run by the tribe itself on the Idaho reservation, in Lapwai, Kamiah, and Orofino, Idaho.

Latin script [Latn].

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