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Encyclopedia > Indigenous languages of the Americas

Indigenous languages of the Americas (or Amerindian Languages) are spoken by indigenous peoples from the southern tip of South America to Alaska and Greenland, encompassing the land masses which constitute the Americas. These indigenous languages consist of dozens of distinct language families as well as many language isolates and unclassified languages. Many proposals to group these into higher-level families have been made. Native Americans redirects here. ... South America South America is a continent crossed by the equator, with most of its area in the Southern Hemisphere. ... Official language(s) English[1] Spoken language(s) English 85. ... World map showing the Americas The Americas are the lands of the Western hemisphere historically considered to consist of the continents of North America and South America with their associated islands and regions. ... A language family is a group of languages related by descent from a common proto-language. ... A language isolate, in the absolute sense, is a natural language with no demonstrable genealogical (or genetic) relationship with other living languages; that is, one that has not been demonstrated to descend from an ancestor common to any other language. ... Unclassified languages are languages whose genetic affiliation has not been established, mostly due to lack of reliable data. ...

Contents

Background

Thousands of languages were spoken in North and South America prior to first contact with Europeans between the beginning of the eleventh century (Norwegian settlement of Greenland and attempted settlement of Labrador and Newfoundland) and the end of the fifteenth century (the voyages of Christopher Columbus). The attitudes of the most of the European colonizers and their successor states toward Native American languages ranged from benign neglect to active suppression. John Eliot of Massachusetts, however, translated the Bible into an Algonquian language usually called Wampanoag, Massachusett or Natick (1661–63; the first Bible printed in North America) and Spanish missionaries preached to the natives in local languages. They actually spread Quechua beyond its original geographic area. Several indigenous creole languages developed in the Americas from European languages. North America North America is a continent[1] in the Earths northern hemisphere and (chiefly) western hemisphere. ... South America South America is a continent crossed by the equator, with most of its area in the Southern Hemisphere. ... Christopher Columbus (1451 – May 20, 1506) was a navigator and maritime explorer credited as the discoverer of the Americas. ... John Eliot is the name of several notable individuals. ... A map of the Massachusetts Bay Colony Capital Charlestown, Boston History  - Established 1629  - New England Confederation 1643  - Dominion of New England 1686  - Province of Massachusetts Bay 1692  - Disestablished 1692 The Massachusetts Bay Colony (sometimes called the Massachusetts Bay Company, for the institution that founded it) was an English settlement on... The Bible has been translated into many languages. ... The Algonquian (also Algonkian) languages are a subfamily of Native American languages that includes most of the languages in the Algic language family (others are Wiyot and Yurok of northwestern California). ... The Wampanoag (Wôpanâak in the Wampanoag language) are a Native American people. ... The Massachusett were tribal communities of Native Americans who lived in areas surrounding Massachusetts Bay in what is now the state of Massachusetts. ... Natick Common, Halloween 2004 Natick is a town located in Middlesex County, Massachusetts. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Quechuan languages. ... A creole language, or simply a creole, is a stable language that originated from a non-trivial combination of two or more languages, typically with many features that are not inherited from any parent. ...


But in most cases, the aboriginal languages of the Americas suffered extinction. Spanish, English, Portuguese, French, and Dutch were brought to the Americas by European settlers and administrators, and it is they which are the official or national languages of the modern nation-states of the Americas. The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ...


That said, Bolivia, Paraguay and Peru have one or more indigenous co-official languages in addition to Spanish. Several indigenous languages of the Americas had developed their own writing systems, including the Mayan languages and Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs and nearby related peoples (e.g., the Pipil in El Salvador). These and many other indigenous languages later adapted the Roman alphabet or Canadian Aboriginal Syllabics. Writing systems of the world today. ... “Maya language” redirects here. ... Nahuatl is a native language of central Mexico. ... It has been suggested that Mexica be merged into this article or section. ... The Latin alphabet, also called the Roman alphabet, is the most widely used alphabetic writing system in the world today. ... Note: This page or section contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ...


Tlingit was first written by Russian missionaries in the Cyrillic alphabet, when Alaska and the coast of North America down to Sonoma County, California, were part of the Russian Empire. It is now written in the Roman alphabet. The Tlingit language (Eng. ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ...


Indigenous languages vary greatly in the number of speakers, from Quechua, Aymara, Guarani, and Nahuatl with millions of active speakers to a number of languages with only a handful of elderly speakers. Most indigenous languages of the Americas are endangered, and many others are extinct, with no living native speakers. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Quechuan languages. ... Aymara is an Aymaran language spoken by the Aymara of the Andes. ... Guaraní (gwah-rah-nee) [gwarani] (local name: avañeẽ) is a language spoken in Argentina, Bolivia, Paraguay and southwestern Brazil. ... Nahuatl ( [1] is a term applied to a group of related languages and dialects of the Aztecan [2] branch of the Uto-Aztecan language family, indigenous to central Mexico. ... An endangered language is a language with so few surviving speakers that it is in danger of falling out of use. ... An extinct language is a language which no longer has any native speakers, in contrast to a dead language, which is is a language which has stopped changing in grammar, vocabulary, and the complete meaning of a sentence. ...


Language families (& isolates)

Notes:

  • Extinct languages or families are indicated by: .
  • The number of family members is indicated in parentheses (for example, Arauan (9) means the Arauan family consists of nine languages).
  • Out of convenience, the following list of language families is divided in 3 sections based on political boundaries of countries. These sections correspond roughly with the geographic regions (North, Central, & South America) but are not equivalent. This division also does not cleanly delineate indigenous culture areas.

An extinct language is a language which no longer has any native speakers, in contrast to a dead language, which is is a language which has stopped changing in grammar, vocabulary, and the complete meaning of a sentence. ...

South America

Although both North and Central America are very diverse areas, South America has a linguistic diversity rivalled by only a few other places in the world with approximately 350 languages still spoken and an estimated 1,500 languages at first European contact. The situation of language documentation and classification into genetic families is not as advanced as in North America (which is relatively well-studied in many areas). Kaufman (1994: 46) gives the following appraisal: For other uses, see Central America (disambiguation). ...

Since the mid 1950s, the amount of published material on SA [South America] has been gradually growing, but even so, the number of researchers is far smaller than the growing number of linguistic communities whose speech should be documented. Given the current employment opportunities, it is not likely that the number of specialists in SA Indian languages will increase fast enough to document most of the surviving SA languages before they go out of use, as most of them unavoidably will. More work languishes in personal files than is published, but this is a standard problem.
It is fair to say that SA and New Guinea are linguistically the poorest documented parts of the world. However, in the early 1960s fairly systematic efforts were launched in Papua New Guinea, and that area — much smaller than SA, to be sure — is in general much better documented than any part of indigenous SA of comparable size.

As a result, many relationships between languages and language families have not been determined and some of those relationships that have been proposed are on somewhat shaky ground.


The list of language families and isolates below is a rather conservative one based on Campbell (1997). Many of the proposed (and often speculative) groupings of families can be seen in Campbell (1997), Gordon (2005), Kaufman (1990, 1994), Key (1979), Loukotka (1968), and in the Language stock proposals section below. Indigenous languages of the Americas (or Amerindian Languages) are spoken by indigenous peoples from the southern tip of South America to Alaska and Greenland, encompassing the land masses which constitute the Americas. ...

  1. Aguano
  2. Ahuaqué (also known as Auaké, Uruak, Awaké)
  3. Aikaná (Brazil: Rondônia) (also known as Aikanã, Tubarão)
  4. Andaquí (also known as Andaqui, Andakí)
  5. Andoque (Colombia, Peru) (also known as Andoke)
  6. Andoquero
  7. Arauan (9)
  8. Arutani-Sape (2) (also known as Arutani-sapé)
  9. Aushiri (also known as Auxira)
  10. Aymaran (3)
  11. Baenan (Brazil: Bahia) (also known as Baenán, Baenã)
  12. Barbacoan (8)
  13. Betoi (Colombia) (also known as Betoy, Jirara)
  14. Bororoan
  15. Botocudoan (3) (also known as Aimoré)
  16. Cahuapanan (2) (also known as Jebero, Kawapánan)
  17. Camsá (Colombia) (also known as Sibundoy, Coche)
  18. Candoshi (also known as Maina, Kandoshi)
  19. Canichana (Bolivia) (also known as Canesi, Kanichana)
  20. Carabayo
  21. Cariban (29) (also known as Caribe, Carib)
  22. Catacaoan (also known as Katakáoan)
  23. Cayubaba (Bolivia)
  24. Chapacura-Wanham (9) (also known as Chapacuran, Txapakúran)
  25. Charruan (also known as Charrúan)
  26. Chibchan (Central America & South America) (22)
  27. Chimuan (3)
  28. Chipaya-Uru languages (also known as Uru-Chipaya)
  29. Chiquitano
  30. Choco (10) (also known as Chocoan)
  31. Cholonan
  32. Chon (2) (also known as Patagonian)
  33. Coeruna (Brazil)
  34. Cofán (Colombia, Ecuador)
  35. Cueva
  36. Culle (Peru) (also known as Culli, Linga, Kulyi)
  37. Cunza (Chile, Bolivia, Argentina) (also known as Atacama, Atakama, Atacameño, Lipe, Kunsa)
  38. Esmeraldeño (also known as Esmeralda, Takame)
  39. Fulnió
  40. Gamela (Brazil: Maranhão)
  41. Gorgotoqui (Bolivia)
  42. Guaicuruan (7) (also known as Guaykuruan, Waikurúan)
  43. Guajiboan (4) (also known as Wahívoan)
  44. Guamo (Venezuela) (also known as Wamo)
  45. Guató
  46. Harakmbut (2) (also known as Tuyoneri)
  47. Hoti (Venezuela) (also known as Jotí, Hodi, Waruwaru)
  48. Huamoé (Brazil: Pernambuco)
  49. Huaorani (Ecuador, Peru) (also known as Auca, Huaorani, Wao, Auka, Sabela, Waorani, Waodani)
  50. Huarpe (also known as Warpe)
  51. Irantxe (Brazil: Mato Grosso)
  52. Itonama (Bolivia) (also known as Saramo, Machoto)
  53. Jirajaran (3) (also known as Hiraháran, Jirajarano, Jirajarana)
  54. Jabutian
  55. Je (13) (also known as Gê, Jêan, Gêan, Ye)
  56. Jeikó
  57. Jivaroan (2) (also known as Hívaro)
  58. Kaimbe
  59. Kaliana (also known as Caliana, Cariana, Sapé, Chirichano)
  60. Kamakanan
  61. Kapixaná (Brazil: Rondônia) (also known as Kanoé, Kapishaná)
  62. Karajá
  63. Karirí (Brazil: Paraíba, Pernambuco, Ceará)
  64. Katembrí
  65. Katukinan (3) (also known as Catuquinan)
  66. Kawésqar (Kaweskar, Alacaluf, Qawasqar, Halawalip, Aksaná, Hekaine)
  67. Koihoma (Peru)
  68. Koayá (Brazil: Rondônia)
  69. Kukurá (Brazil: Mato Grosso)
  70. Leco (Lapalapa, Leko)
  71. Lule (Argentina) (also known as Tonocoté)
  72. Maipurean (South America & Caribbean) (64) (also known as Maipuran, Arawakan, Arahuacan)
  73. Maku language (also known as Macu)
  74. Malibú (also known as Malibu)
  75. Mapudungu (also known as Araucanian, Mapuche, Huilliche)
  76. Mascoyan (5) (also known as Maskóian, Mascoian)
  77. Matacoan (4) (also known as Mataguayan)
  78. Matanawí
  79. Maxakalían (3) (also known as Mashakalían)
  80. Mocana (Colombia: Tubará)
  81. Mochita
  82. Mosetenan (also known as Mosetén)
  83. Movima (Bolivia)
  84. Munichi (Peru) (also known as Muniche)
  85. Muran (4)
  86. Mutú (also known as Loco)
  87. Muzo (Colombia)
  88. Nambiquaran (5)
  89. Natú (Brazil: Pernambuco)
  90. Nonuya (Peru, Colombia)
  91. Ofayé
  92. Old Catío-Nutabe (Colombia)
  93. Omurano (Peru) (also known as Mayna, Mumurana, Numurana, Maina, Rimachu, Roamaina, Umurano)
  94. Otí (Brazil: São Paulo)
  95. Otomacoan (2)
  96. Paez (also known as Nasa Yuwe)
  97. Pakarara
  98. Palta
  99. Panche
  100. Pankararú (Brazil: Pernambuco)
  101. Pano-Tacanan (33)
  102. Pantagora
  103. Panzaleo (Ecuador) (also known as Latacunga, Quito, Pansaleo)
  104. Patagón
  105. Peba-Yaguan (2) (also known as Yaguan, Yáwan, Peban)
  106. Pijao
  107. Puelche (also known as Guenaken, Gennaken, Pampa, Pehuenche, Ranquelche)
  108. Puinavean (8) (also known as Makú)
  109. Puquina (Bolivia)
  110. Purian (2)
  111. Quechuan (46)
  112. Resígaro (Colombia-Peru border area)
  113. Rikbaktsá
  114. Saliban (2) (also known as Sálivan)
  115. Salumã (Brazil)
  116. Sechura language (Atalan, Sec)
  117. Tairona (Colombia)
  118. Tarairiú (Brazil: Rio Grande do Norte)
  119. Taruma
  120. Taushiro (Peru) (also known as Pinchi, Pinche)
  121. Tequiraca (Peru) (also known as Tekiraka, Avishiri)
  122. Teushen (Patagonia, Argentina)
  123. Ticuna (Colombia, Peru, Brazil) (also known as Magta, Tikuna, Tucuna, Tukna, Tukuna)
  124. Timotean (2)
  125. Tiniguan (2) (also known as Tiníwan, pamigua)
  126. Tucanoan (15)
  127. Trumai (Brazil: Xingu, Mato Grosso)
  128. Tupian (70)
  129. Tuxá (Brazil: Bahia, Pernambuco)
    Urarina shaman, 1988
    Urarina shaman, 1988
  130. Urarina (also known as Shimacu, Itukale, Shimaku)
  131. Vilela
  132. Wakona
  133. Warao (Guyana, Surinam, Venezuela) (also known as Guarao)
  134. Witotoan (6) (also known as Huitotoan, Bora-Witótoan)
  135. Xokó (Brazil: Alagoas, Pernambuco) (also known as Shokó)
  136. Xukurú (Brazil: Pernambuco, Paraíba)
  137. Yaghan (Chile) (also known as Yámana)
  138. Yaruro (also known as Jaruro)
  139. Yanomaman (4)
  140. Yuracare (Bolivia)
  141. Yuri (Colombia, Brazil) (also known as Carabayo, Jurí)
  142. Yurumanguí (Colombia) (also known as Yurimangui, Yurimangi)
  143. Zamucoan (2)
  144. Zaparoan (5) (also known as Záparo)

The Aguano (also Awano, Ahuano, Uguano, Aguanu, Santa Crucino) are a people of Peru, consisting of 40 families. ... Arauan (also Arahuan, Arawan, Arawán, Madi, Arawa, Arauán) is a family of languages spoken in western Brazil (Amazonas, Mato Grosso) and Peru. ... The Arutani-Sape are an endangered language family that includes two languages which are mainly spoken in Brazil and Venezuela. ... Aushiri is an extinct Zaparoan language formerly spoken in Peru. ... The Aymaran languages are a South American language family. ... Barbacoan (also Barbakóan, Barbacoano, Barbacoana) is a language family spoken in Colombia and Ecuador. ... The Cahuapanan languages include two languages, Chayahuita and Jebero. ... Camsá (also Sibundoy, Coche, Kamsá, Kamemtxa, Kamse, Camëntsëá) is a language isolate of Colombia. ... Candoshi-Shapra (also known as: Candoshi, Candoxi, Kandoshi, and Murato) is an isolate indiginous American language spoken in western South America by several thousand native people, although these figures are dated. ... The Cariban languages are an indigenous language family of South America. ... The Chapacura-Wanham languages are a nearly extinct Native American language family of South America. ... The Chibchan languages (also Chíbchan, Chibchano) make up a language family indigenous to Colombia and Central America. ... For other uses, see Central America (disambiguation). ... South America South America is a continent crossed by the equator, with most of its area in the Southern Hemisphere. ... Chimuan (also Chimúan) is a small extinct language family of northern Peru and Ecuador (inter-Andean valley). ... The Choco languages are a small family of Native American languages spread across Colombia and Panama. ... The two Chon languages are Selknan which died out two years ago and Tehuelche. ... The Cofán language (also Kofan, Kofan, Kofane; autonym: Aingae) is a language of the Chibchan family spoken by the Cofán people, an indigenous group native to Napo Province northeast Ecuador and southern Colombia, between the Guamués River (a tributary of the Putumayo River) and the Aguaric... The Cueva were an indigenous people that lived in the Darién region of eastern Panamá. They were completely exterminated between 1510 and 1535 due to Spanish colonization. ... Guaicuruan (also Guaykuruan, Waikurúan, Guaycuruano, Guaikurú, Guaicurú, Guaycuruana) is a language family spoken in northern Argentina, western Paraguay, and Brazil (Mato Grosso do Sul). ... Guajiboan (also Guahiban, Wahívoan, Guahiboan) is a language family spoken in the Orinoco River region in eastern Colombia and southwestern Venezuela, which is a savannah-like area known in Colombia as the Llanos. ... The Guató are a nomadic Native American tribe of South America that live along the Paraguay River, along the border of modern-day Brazil and Bolivia. ... Hoti (Urdu: ہوتی ) is a Baloch tribe in Balochistan, Pakistan. ... The Huaorani language (also Waorani, Wao, Sabela, Ssabela; autonym: Huao Terero; pejorative: Auka, Auca) is an language isolate spoken by the Huaorani people, an indigenous group living in the Amazon rainforest between the Napo and Curaray Rivers. ... Itonama is a moribund language isolate of Bolivia. ... The Ge languages (also Je, Ge, Jean, Ye, Gean) are spoken by the Gê, a group of indigenous peoples in Brazil. ... Jivaroan (also Hívaro, Jívaro, Jibaroana, Jibaro) is a small language family of northern Peru and eastern Ecuador. ... Katukinan is a language group consisting of three languages in Brazil. ... Kawésqar, also known as Qawasqar, Alacaluf, and Halakwulup, is a language isolate spoken in southern Chile. ... Leco is a language isolate that is spoken by about 20 individuals in areas east of Lake Titicaca, Bolivia. ... location of Chaco Province, Argentina Lule (also Tonocoté, Tonokoté) is a language isolate of northern Argentina. ... Maipurean (also Maipuran, Maipureano, Maipúre, Arawakan, Arahuacan, Maipuran Arawakan, mainstream Arawakan, Arawakan proper) is a language family of that spans from the Caribbean and Central America to every country in South America excepting Uruguay and Chile. ... South America South America is a continent crossed by the equator, with most of its area in the Southern Hemisphere. ... “West Indian” redirects here. ... Maku (also Macu, Makú) is an (unclassified) language isolate spoken on the Brazil-Venezuela border in Roraima along the Uraricoera River. ... Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Matacoan (also Mataguayan, Matákoan, Mataguayo, Mataco-Mataguayo, Matacoano, Matacoana) is a language family of northern Argentina, western Paraguay, and southeastern Bolivia. ... The Maxakalían languages were first classified into the Gê languages. ... Munichi (Ethnologue code MYR) is a recently extinct language which was spoken in the village of Munichis, about 10 miles/ 16 km West of Yurimaguas, Loreto Region, Peru. ... Muran is a small language family of Amazonas, Brazil. ... Muzo is a municipality in Boyacá Department, Colombia. ... The Ofayé (also spelled as Opaié or Ofayé) are an indigenous people of Central Brazil. ... Páez (also Paez, Páes, Paes, Paisa, autonym: Nasa Yuwe, which is becoming increasingly used) is a language isolate of Colombia spoken by Páez people in the central Andes region near Popayán. ... The Palta are an Ecuadorian Native American ethnic group. ... Pano-Tacanan (also Pano-Takana, Pano-Takánan, Pano-Tacana, Páno-Takána) is a family of languages spoken in Peru, western Brazil, and Bolivia. ... The Peba-Yaguan language family is located in the northwestern Amazon, but today Yagua is the only remaining spoken language of the family. ... Flag of Pijao. ... The Puelche are an extinct tribe of South American Indians. ... Puinavean (also Makú, Puinávean, Puinave-Maku, Puinaveano) is a language family of Brazil, Colombia, and Venezuela. ... Puquina is an extinct language and language isolate, which was spoken by the ancient Inca in the region surrounding Lake Titicaca (Perú and Bolivia) and in the north of what is now Chile. ... Purian (also Purían) is a small extinct language family of eastern Brazil. ... The Quechuan languages are a family of related languages in South America. ... Saliban (also Sálivan, Piaroan) is a small language family of Colombia (northern llanos) and Venezuela. ... Tairona figure pendants Monument in Santa Marta depicting Taironas. ... The title of this article contains the character ã. Where it is unavailable or not desired, the name may be represented as Taruma. ... Ticuna is a language spoken by approximately 21,000 people in Brazil, Peru, and Colombia. ... Tucanoan (also Tukanoan, Tukánoan) is a language family of Colombia, Brazil, Ecuador, and Peru. ... The Trumai (or Trumaí; former native name: ho kod ke[1]) are an indigenous group in Brazil. ... The Tupi languages are a language family of 70 languages which are spoken by Indian tribesmen in South America. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1215x1800, 1038 KB) Summary Urarina Shaman, Photo by Bartholomew Dean Licensing File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1215x1800, 1038 KB) Summary Urarina Shaman, Photo by Bartholomew Dean Licensing File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... The shaman is an intellectual and spiritual figure who is regarded as possessing power and influence on other peoples in the tribe and performs several functions, primarily that of a healer ( medicine man). The shaman provides medical care, and serves other community needs during crisis times, via supernatural means (means... An Indigenous Peoples of the Peruvian Amazon (Loreto), they refer to themselves as Kachá (lit. ... Vilela is a nearly extinct Lule-Vilela language which is only spoken by native Indians in two areas in the world: in the Resistencia province of Argentina and in the eastern Chaco near the Paraguayan border. ... The Warao are an indigenous people inhabiting eastern Venezuela. ... Witotoan (also Bora-Witotoan, Bora-Witótoan, Huitotoan, Bora-Huitoto, Bóra-Witóto, Bora-Uitoto, Huitotoano, Huitotoana) is a language family of northeastern Peru, southwestern Colombia (Amazonas Department), and western Brazil (Amazonas State). ... Yagán (variously spelled as Yahgan, Yaghan, Jagan, Iakan), also known as Yámana and Háusi Kúta, is one of the indigenous languages of Tierra del Fuego, spoken by the Yagán people. ... The Yaruro are Native Americans who live primarily in Venezuela near the Orinoco River and its tributaries. ... Yanomaman (also Yanomam, Yanomáman, Yamomámi, Yanomamana, Shamatari, Shirianan) is small family of languages spoken in northwestern Brazil (Roraima, Amazonas) and southern Venezuela. ... Yuracaré (also Yurakaré, Yurakar, Yuracare, Yurucare, Yuracar, Yurakare, Yurujuré, Yurujare) is an endangered language isolate of central Bolivia in Cochabamba and Beni departments spoken by the Yuracaré people. ... Zamucoan (also Samúkoan) is a small language family of Paraguay (northeast Chaco) and Bolivia (Santa Cruz Department). ... Zaparoan (also Sáparoan, Záparo, Zaparoano, Zaparoana) is a endangered language family of Peru and Ecuador with less than 700 speakers. ...

Mexico and Central America

Indigenous languages of Mexico
Indigenous languages of Mexico
  1. Alagüilac (Guatemala)'
  2. Algic (United States, Canada & Mexico) (29)
  3. Chibchan (Central America & South America) (22)
  4. Coahuilteco
  5. Comecrudan (Texas & Mexico) (3)
  6. Cotoname
  7. Cuitlatec (Mexico: Guerrero)
  8. Guaicurian (8)
  9. Huetar (Costa Rica)
  10. Huave
  11. Jicaquean
  12. Lencan
  13. Maratino (northeastern Mexico)
  14. Mayan (31)
  15. Misumalpan
  16. Mixe-Zoquean (19)
  17. Na-Dené (United States, Canada & Mexico) (40)
  18. Naolan (Mexico: Tamaulipas)
  19. Oto-Manguean (27)
  20. P'urhépecha
  21. Quinigua (northeast Mexico)
  22. Seri
  23. Solano
  24. Tequistlatecan (3)
  25. Totonacan (2)
  26. Uto-Aztecan (United States & Mexico) (33)
  27. Xincan
  28. Yuman-Cochimí (United States & Mexico) (11)

Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1350x909, 207 KB) Mapa de ubicación de las lenguas indígenas de México, que poseen más de 100 mil hablantes al año 2000. ... Image File history File links Download high-resolution version (1350x909, 207 KB) Mapa de ubicación de las lenguas indígenas de México, que poseen más de 100 mil hablantes al año 2000. ... Alaguilac. ... The Algic (also Algonquian-Wiyot-Yurok or Algonquian-Ritwan) languages are an indigenous language family of North America. ... The Chibchan languages (also Chíbchan, Chibchano) make up a language family indigenous to Colombia and Central America. ... For other uses, see Central America (disambiguation). ... South America South America is a continent crossed by the equator, with most of its area in the Southern Hemisphere. ... Coahuilteco (also Pajalate) was a language isolate that was spoken in southern Texas and northeastern Mexico. ... Comecrudan languages Comecrudan refers to a group of possibly related languages spoken in the southernmost part of Texas and in northern Mexico along the Rio Grande. ... Official language(s) No official language See languages of Texas Capital Austin Largest city Houston Largest metro area Dallas–Fort Worth Metroplex Area  Ranked 2nd  - Total 261,797 sq mi (678,051 km²)  - Width 773 miles (1,244 km)  - Length 790 miles (1,270 km)  - % water 2. ... Map indicating where Cotoname is spoken Cotoname is a Southwestern language family, spoken by Native Americans indigenous to the lower Rio Grande Valley of northeastern Mexico and extreme southern Texas (United States). ... Huave (also spelled Wabe) is a language isolate spoken by the indigenous Huave people on the Pacific coast of the Mexican state of Oaxaca. ... Jicaque is a language spoken by around 300 people in La Montaña del Flor in Honduras. ... “Maya language” redirects here. ... The Misumalpan languages are a small family of Native American languages spoken on the east coast of Nicaragua and nearby areas. ... The Mixe-Zoque languages are a language family spoken in and around the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, Mexico. ... Pre-contact distribution of Na-Dené languages (in red) Na-Dené (also Na-Dene, Nadene, Athabaskan-Eyak-Tlingit) is a Native American language family which includes the Athabaskan languages, Eyak, and Tlingit. ... Oto-Manguean languages (also Otomanguean) are a large family comprised of several families of Native American languages. ... The Purhépecha or Tarascan language is a language isolate spoken by more than 100,000 Purhépecha people in the highlands of Michoacan, Mexico. ... Seri (referred to as cmiique iitom by the Seri people) is a language isolate spoken by the Seri people in two villages on the coast of Sonora, Mexico. ... Pre-contact distribution of Solano language Solano is an unclassified extinct language formerly spoken in northeast Mexico and perhaps also in neighboring Texas. ... The Tequistlatecan language group also called Chontal of Oaxaca consists of three distinct languages. ... The Totonacan Languages are a family of closely-related languages spoken by approximately 200,000 speakers in the states of Veracruz, Puebla, and Hidalgo in Mexico. ... Pre-contact distribution of Northern Uto-Aztecan languages (note: this map does not show the distribution in Mexico) Uto-Aztecan (also Uto-Aztekan) is a Native American language family. ... Yuman-Cochimí languages Yuman-Cochimí is a family of languages spoken in Baja California and northern Sonora in Mexico and southern California and southwestern Arizona in the USA. Genetic relations The Yuman-Cochimí family consists of 11 languages: I. Cochimí 1. ...

United States, Canada and Greenland

Pre-contact distribution of North American language families north of Mexico
Pre-contact distribution of North American language families north of Mexico

There are approximately 296 spoken (or formerly spoken) indigenous languages north of Mexico, 269 of which are grouped into 29 families (the remaining 27 languages are either isolates or unclassified). The Nadene, Algic, and Uto-Aztecan families are the largest in terms of number of languages. Uto-Aztecan has the most speakers (1.95 million) if the languages in Mexico are considered (mostly due to 1.5 million speakers of Nahuatl); Nadene comes in second with approximately 180,200 speakers (148,500 of these are speakers of Navajo). Nadene and Algic have the widest geographic distributions: Algic currently spans from northeastern Canada across much of the continent down to northeastern Mexico (due to later migrations of the Kickapoo) with two outliers in California (Yurok and Wiyot); Nadene spans from Alaska and western Canada through Washington, Oregon, and California to the U.S. Southwest and northern Mexico (with one outlier in the Plains). Several families consist of only 2 or 3 languages. Demonstrating genetic relationships have proved difficult due to the great linguistic diversity present in North America. Two large (super-)family proposals, Penutian and Hokan, look particularly promising. However, even after decades of research, a large number of families and isolates remain. Download high resolution version (1005x912, 422 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Download high resolution version (1005x912, 422 KB) Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Na-Dené (also Na-Dene, Nadene) is a Native American language family which includes the Athabaskan languages, Eyak, and Tlingit. ... The Algic (also Algonquian-Wiyot-Yurok or Algonquian-Ritwan) languages are an indigenous language family of North America. ... The Uto-Aztecan languages are a Native American language family. ... Nahuatl is a native language of central Mexico. ... Reading Adahooniigii — The Navajo Language Monthly Navajo or Navaho (native name: Diné bizaad) is an Athabaskan language (of Na-Dené stock) spoken in the southwest United States by the Navajo people (Diné). It is geographically and linguistically one of the Southern Athabaskan languages (the majority of Athabaskan languages are spoken... This article is about the Native American tribe. ... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Largest metro area Greater Los Angeles Area  Ranked 3rd  - Total 158,302 sq mi (410,000 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)  - % water 4. ... Yurok (also Weitspekan) is a moribund Algic language. ... Wiyot (also Wishosk) is an extinct Algic language. ... Official language(s) English Capital Olympia Largest city Seattle Area  Ranked 18th  - Total 71,342 sq mi (184,827 km²)  - Width 240 miles (385 km)  - Length 360 miles (580 km)  - % water 6. ... Official language(s) (none)[1] Capital Salem Largest city Portland Area  Ranked 9th  - Total 98,466 sq mi (255,026 km²)  - Width 260 miles (420 km)  - Length 360 miles (580 km)  - % water 2. ... Regional definitions vary from source to source. ... The Penutian is a phylum (or stock) of language families that include many Native American languages of western North America, predominantly spoken at one time in Washington, Oregon, and California. ... The Hokan languages are a group of languages spoken in North America by Native Americans. ...


North America is notable for its linguistic diversity, especially in California where it alone has 18 genetic units consisting of 74 languages (compare to the mere 4 genetic units in all of Europe: Basque, Indo-European, Uralic, and Turkic). Another area of considerable diversity appears to have been the Southeast; however, many of these languages became extinct from European contact and as a result they are, for the most part, absent from historical record. This diversity has been and continues to be very influential in the development of linguistic thought in the U.S. Basque (native name: euskara) is the language spoken by the Basque people who inhabit the Pyrenees in North-Central Spain and the adjoining region of South-Western France. ... The Indo-European languages comprise a family of several hundred related languages and dialects [1], including most of the major languages of Europe, as well as many spoken in the Indian subcontinent (South Asia), the Iranian plateau (Southwest Asia), and Central Asia. ... Geographical distribution of Samoyedic, Finnic, Ugric and Yukaghir languages  Yukaghir  Samoyedic  Ugric  Finnic The Uralic languages (pronounced: ) form a language family of about 30 languages spoken by approximately 20 million people. ... The Turkic languages constitute a language family of some thirty languages, spoken across a vast area from Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean to Siberia and Western China, and are traditionally considered to be part of the proposed Altaic language family. ... Regional definitions vary from source to source. ...


Due to the diversity of this area, it is difficult to make generalizations that adequately characterize the entire region. Most North American languages have a relatively small number of vowels (i.e. four or five vowels). Languages of the western half of North America often have relatively large consonant inventories. The languages of the Pacific Northwest are notable for their complex phonotactics (for example, some languages have words that lack vowels entirely). The languages of the Plateau area have relatively rare pharyngeals and epiglottals (they are otherwise restricted to Afro-Asiatic and Caucasian languages). Ejective consonants are also common in North America, although they are rare elsewhere (except, again, for the Caucasus region, parts of Africa, and the Mayan family). The Pacific Northwest from space The Pacific Northwest, abbreviated PNW, or PacNW is a region in the northwest of North America. ... Note: This page or section contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... Note: This page contains IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode. ... The Interior Plateau comprises a large region of central British Columbia, and lies between the Cariboo and Monashee Mountains on the east, and the Hazelton Mountains, Coast Mountains and Cascade Range on the west. ... A pharyngeal consonant is a type of consonant which is articulated with the root of the tongue against the pharynx. ... An epiglottal consonant is a consonant that is articulated with the aryepiglottal folds (see larynx) against the epiglottis. ... Map showing the distribution of Afro-Asiatic languages The Afro-Asiatic languages are a language family of about 240 languages and 285 million people widespread throughout North Africa, East Africa, the Sahel, and Southwest Asia. ... The term Caucasian languages is loosely used to refer to a large and extremely varied array of languages spoken by more than 7 million people in the Caucasus region of Eastern Europe, between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. ... Ejective consonants are a class of consonants which may contrast with aspirated or tenuis consonants in a language. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Caucasus Mountains. ... “Maya language” redirects here. ...


Head-marking is found in many languages of North America (as well as in Central and South America), but outside of the Americas it is rare. Many languages throughout North America are polysynthetic (Eskimo-Aleut languages are extreme examples), although this is not characteristic of all North American languages (contrary to what was believed by 19th-century linguists). Several families have unique traits, such as the inverse number marking of Kiowa-Tanoan, the lexical affixes of Wakashan, Salishan and Chimakuan, and the unusual verb structure of Nadene. A head-marking language is one where the grammatical marks showing relations between different constituents of a phrase tend to be placed on the heads (or nuclei) of the phrase in question, rather than the modifiers or dependents. ... Polysynthetic languages are highly synthetic languages, i. ... Eskimo-Aleut (also called Inuit-Aleut, but both names are considered offensive by some) is a language family native to Greenland, the Canadian Arctic, Alaska, and parts of Siberia. ... In linguistics, grammatical number is a morphological category characterized by the expression of quantity through inflection or agreement. ... Kiowa-Tanoan languages Kiowa-Tanoan is a family of languages spoken in New Mexico, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. ... Look up affix in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Wakashan is a family of languages spoken around Vancouver Island. ... The Salishan languages are a group of languages of western Canada and the Pacific Northwest of the United States. ... The Chimakuan language family consists of two languages that are spoken in northwestern Washington, USA on the Olympic Peninsula. ...


The classification below is a composite of Goddard (1996), Campbell (1997), and Mithun (1999).

  1. Adai
  2. Algic (30)
  3. Alsean (2)
  4. Atakapa
  5. Beothuk
  6. Caddoan (5)
  7. Cayuse
  8. Chimakuan (2)
  9. Chimariko
  10. Chinookan (3)
  11. Chitimacha
  12. Chumashan (6)
  13. Coahuilteco
  14. Comecrudan (United States & Mexico) (3)
  15. Coosan (2)
  16. Cotoname
  17. Eskimo-Aleut (7)
  18. Esselen
  19. Haida
  20. Iroquoian (11)
  21. Kalapuyan (3)
  22. Karankawa
  23. Karuk
  24. Keresan (2)
  25. Kiowa-Tanoan (7)
  26. Kutenai
  27. Maiduan (4)
  28. Muskogean (9)
  29. Na-Dené (United States, Canada & Mexico) (39)
  30. Natchez
  31. Palaihnihan (2)
  32. Plateau Penutian (4) (also known as Shahapwailutan)
  33. Pomoan (7)
  34. Salinan
  35. Salishan (23)
  36. Shastan (4)
  37. Siouan-Catawban (19)
  38. Siuslaw
  39. Solano
  40. Takelma
  41. Timucua
  42. Tonkawa
  43. Tsimshianic (2)
  44. Tunica
  45. Utian (15) (also known as Miwok-Costanoan)
  46. Uto-Aztecan (33)
  47. Wakashan (7)
  48. Washo
  49. Wintuan (4)
  50. Yana
  51. Yokutsan (3)
  52. Yuchi
  53. Yuki-Wappo (2) disputed
  54. Yuman-Cochimí (11)
  55. Zuni

Adai (also Adaizan, Adaizi, Adaise, Adahi, Adaes, Adees, Atayos) is the name of a people and language that was spoken in eastern Louisiana. ... The Algic (also Algonquian-Wiyot-Yurok or Algonquian-Ritwan) languages are an indigenous language family of North America. ... Pre-contact distribution of Alsean languages The Alsean (also Yakonan) language family consists of two closely related languages that were spoken along the central Oregon coast. ... Pre-contact distribution of the Atakapa language Atakapa is an extinct language isolate native to southwestern Louisiana and nearby eastern Texas. ... Pre-contact distribution of Beothuk language The Beothuk language (also Beothukan) was the language spoken by the Beothuk indigenous people of Newfoundland. ... The Caddoan languages are a family of Native American languages. ... For other uses, see Cayuse (disambiguation). ... The Chimakuan language family consists of two languages that are spoken in northwestern Washington, USA on the Olympic Peninsula. ... Pre-contact distribution of Chimariko Chimariko is an extinct language isolate formerly spoken in Trinity County in northwestern California by Chimariko peoples. ... Oregon Penutian is a language family in the Penutian language phylum comprising languages spoken at one time by several groups of Native Americans in present-day western Oregon and western Washington in the United States. ... The Chitimacha (also Chitimachan, Chetimacha) are a Native American group that lives in the U.S. state of Louisiana, mainly in St. ... Pre-contact distribution of Chumashan languages Chumashan is a family of languages that were spoken on the southern California coast (from San Luis Obispo to Malibu), in neighboring inland regions (San Joaquin Valley), and on three nearby islands (San Miguel, Santa Rosa, and Santa Cruz). ... Coahuilteco (also Pajalate) was a language isolate that was spoken in southern Texas and northeastern Mexico. ... Comecrudan languages Comecrudan refers to a group of possibly related languages spoken in the southernmost part of Texas and in northern Mexico along the Rio Grande. ... The Coosan (also Coos or Kusan) language family consists of two languages spoken along the southern Oregon coast: Hanis Miluk (a. ... Map indicating where Cotoname is spoken Cotoname is a Southwestern language family, spoken by Native Americans indigenous to the lower Rio Grande Valley of northeastern Mexico and extreme southern Texas (United States). ... Eskimo-Aleut languages Eskimo-Aleut is a language family native to Greenland, the Canadian Arctic, Alaska, and parts of Siberia. ... Esselen The Esselen were the Native American inhabitants of what is now known as Big Sur on the Central Coast of California. ... Pre-contact distribution of Haida The Haida language is the language of the Haida people. ... Iroquoian languages The Iroquoian languages are a Native American language family. ... The Kalapuya (also spelled Calapooya or Calapooia) are a Native American ethnic group that once inhabited the area present-day western Oregon in the United States. ... Karankawa A group of Indian tribes, now extinct, known collectively as the Karankawa (also Karankawan, Clamcoëhs), played a pivotal part in early Texas history. ... // Karuk or Karok is a moribund language of northwestern California, USA. It was the traditional language of the Karuk people, most of whom now speak English. ... Keresan languages Keresan (also Keres) is a group of seven related lects spoken by Pueblo peoples in New Mexico, U.S.A.. Each is mutually intelligible with its closest neighbors. ... The Kiowa-Tanoan languages are a Native American language family. ... Kootenai language The Kootenai language (also Kutenai or Ktunaxa language) is named after and is spoken by some of the Kootenai Native American/First Nations people who are indigenous to the area of North America that is now Montana, Idaho, and British Columbia. ... Pre-contact distribution of Maiduan languages Maiduan (also Maidun, Pujunan) is a small endangered language family of northeastern California. ... Pre-contact distribution of Muskogean languages Muskogean (also Muskhogean, Muskogee) is a language family of the U.S. Southeast. ... Pre-contact distribution of Na-Dené languages (in red) Na-Dené (also Na-Dene, Nadene, Athabaskan-Eyak-Tlingit) is a Native American language family which includes the Athabaskan languages, Eyak, and Tlingit. ... Pre-contact distribution of Natchez peoples Although suffering a turbulent history since European contact, the Natchez Nation still represents a vital part of the United States Native American community. ... Palaihnihan is a language family consisting of two languages: Atsugewi Achumawi The Palaihnihan family is often connected with the hypothetical Hokan stock. ... Pre-contact distribution of Plateau Penutian languages Plateau Penutian (also Shahapwailutan) is a family of languages spoken in northern California, reaching through central-western Oregon to northern Washington and central-northern Idaho. ... Pomoan is a family of endangered languages spoken in northern California on the Pacific coast. ... The Salinan Native Americans lived in what is now Northern California, in the Salinas Valley. ... The Salishan (also Salish) languages are a group of languages of western Canada and the Pacific Northwest of the United States. ... Pre-contact distribution of Shastan languages The Shastan (also Sastean) family consisted of four languages, spoken in present-day northern California and southern Oregon. ... Siouan-Catawban is a language family of North America. ... Siuslaw is one of the three Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw located on the southwest Oregon Pacific coast in the United States. ... Pre-contact distribution of Solano language Solano is an unclassified extinct language formerly spoken in northeast Mexico and perhaps also in neighboring Texas. ... Takelma was the language spoken by the Takelma people. ... Pre-contact distribution of the Timucua language. ... The Tonkawa language was spoken in Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico by the Tonkawa people. ... Tsimshianic is a family of languages spoken in northern British Columbia and southern Alaska. ... The Tunica (or Tonica) language was a language isolate spoken in present-day Louisiana in the United States. ... Utian (also Miwok-Costanoan) is language family consisting of Miwokan languages and Costanoan languages. ... Pre-contact distribution of Northern Uto-Aztecan languages (note: this map does not show the distribution in Mexico) Uto-Aztecan (also Uto-Aztekan) is a Native American language family. ... Wakashan is a family of languages spoken around Vancouver Island. ... Pre-contact distribution of the Washo language The Washo language (also Washoe) is an endangered Native American language isolate spoken by the Washoe on the California-Nevada border in the drainages of Truckee and Carson rivers, especially around Lake Tahoe. ... Wintuan languages Wintuan (also Wintun, Wintoon, Copeh, Copehan) is of family of languages spoken in the Sacramento Valley of central Northern California. ... Pre-contact distribution of the Yana language Yana is an extinct language isolate formerly spoken in north-central California between the Feather and Pit rivers in what is now Shasta and Tehama counties. ... Yokutsan (also Yokuts) is a family of languages spoken in the interior of southern California in and around the San Joaquin valley. ... Pre-contact distribution of the Yuchi Language The Yuchi language is the language of the Yuchi people living in the southeastern United States, including eastern Tennessee, western Carolinas, northern Georgia and Alabama, in the period of early European colonization. ... Pre-contact distribution of Yuki-Wappo languages Yuki-Wappo (also Yukian, Wappo-Yuki) is a small extinct language family of eastern California consisting of only two languages. ... Yuman-Cochimí languages Yuman-Cochimí is a family of languages spoken in Baja California and northern Sonora in Mexico and southern California and southwestern Arizona in the USA. Genetic relations The Yuman-Cochimí family consists of 11 languages: I. Cochimí 1. ... Zuni language Zuni (also Zuñi or Shiwi) is spoken by over 10,000 people in New Mexico and much smaller numbers in parts of Arizona. ...

Language stock proposals

Many hypothetical language phylum proposals concerning American languages are often cited as uncontroversially demonstrated in more popular writings. However, many of these proposals have, in fact, not been fully demonstrated if even at all. Some proposals are viewed by specialists in a favorable light, believing that genetic relationships are very likely to be established in the future (for example, the Penutian stock). Other proposals are more controversial with many linguists believing that some genetic relationships of a proposal may be demonstrated but much of it undemonstrated (for example, Hokan, which, incidentally, Edward Sapir called his "wastepaper basket stock"). Still other proposals are almost unanimously rejected by specialists (for example, Amerind). Below is a (partial) list of some such proposals: The Penutian is a phylum (or stock) of language families that include many Native American languages of western North America, predominantly spoken at one time in Washington, Oregon, and California. ... The Hokan languages are a group of languages spoken in North America by Native Americans. ... Edward Sapir. ... In addition to its use by social scientists to refer (broadly) to the various indigenous languages of The Americas, the term Amerind languages may controversially refer to one of the three families in Joseph H. Greenbergs classification of all Native American languages—the other two being Na-Dene...

  1. Ahuaque-Kalianan
  2. Algonkian-Gulf   (= Algic + Beothuk + Gulf)
  3. Algonquian-Wakashan   (also known as Almosan)
  4. Almosan-Keresiouan (= Almosan + Keresiouan)
  5. Amerind   (= all languages excepting Eskimo-Aleut & Na-Dené)
  6. (macro-)Arawakan
  7. Aztec-Tanoan   (= Uto-Aztecan + Kiowa-Tanoan)
  8. Chibchan stock
  9. Chibchan-Paezan
  10. Chikitano-Boróroan
  11. Coahuiltecan   (= Coahuilteco + Cotoname + Comecrudan + Karankawa + Tonkawa)
  12. Cunza-Kapixanan
  13. Dene-Caucasian
  14. Esmeralda-Yaruroan
  15. Guamo-Chapacuran
  16. Gulf   (= Muskogean + Natchez + Tunica)
  17. Hokan   (= Karok + Chimariko + Shastan + Palaihnihan + Yana + Pomoan + Washo + Esselen + Yuman-Cochimí + Salinan + Chumashan + Seri + Tequistlatecan)
  18. Hokan-Siouan   (= Hokan + Subtiaba-Tlappanec + Coahuiltecan + Yukian + Keresan + Tunican + Iroquoian + Caddoan + Siouan-Catawba + Yuchi + Natchez + Muskogean + Timucua)
  19. Javaroan-Cahuapanan
  20. Je-Tupi-Carib
  21. Kalianan
  22. Kaweskar language area
  23. Keresiouan   (= Keres + Siouan + Iroquoian + Caddoan + Yuchi)
  24. Lule-Vilelan
  25. Macro-Andean
  26. Macro-Arawakan
  27. Macro-Carib
  28. Macro-Gê (also known as Macro-Jê)
  29. Macro-Katembrí-Taruma
  30. Macro-Kulyi-Cholónan
  31. Macro-Lekoan
  32. Macro-Mayan
  33. Macro-Otomákoan
  34. Macro-Paesan
  35. Macro-Panoan
  36. Macro-Puinávean
  37. Macro-Siouan   (= Siouan + Iroquoian + Caddoan)
  38. Macro-Tekiraka-Kanichana
  39. Macro-Tucanoan
  40. Macro-Tupí-Karibe
  41. Macro-Waikurúan
  42. Macro-Warpean
  43. Mosan   (= Salishan + Wakashan + Chimakuan)
  44. Mosetén-Chonan
  45. Mura-Matanawian
  46. Sapir's Na-Dené including Haida   (= Haida + Tlingit + Eyak + Athabaskan)
  47. Nostratic-Amerind
  48. Paezan (= Andaqui + Paez + Panzaleo)
  49. Paezan-Barbacoan
  50. Penutian   (= many languages of California and sometimes languages in Mexico)
    1. California Penutian   (= Wintuan + Maiduan + Yokutsan + Utian)
    2. Oregon Penutian   (= Takelma + Coosan + Siuslaw + Alsean)
    3. Mexican Penutian   (= Mixe-Zoque + Huave)
  51. Quechumaran
  52. Takelman   (= Takelma + Kalapuyan)
  53. Tunican   (= Tunica + Atakapa + Chitimacha)
  54. Yok-Utian
  55. Yuri-Ticunan
  56. Zaparoan-Yaguan

Good discussions of past proposals are found in Campbell (1997) and Campbell & Mithun (1979). Algonquian-Wakashan (also Almosan, Algonkian-Mosan, Algonkin-Wakashan) is a hypothetical language phylum composed of several established language families that was proposed by Edward Sapir in 1929. ... In addition to its use by social scientists to refer (broadly) to the various indigenous languages of The Americas, the term Amerind languages may controversially refer to one of the three families in Joseph H. Greenbergs classification of all Native American languages—the other two being Na-Dene... The Arawakan languages are an indigenous language family of South America and the Caribbean. ... Coahuiltecan is a general name for a group of people who previously lived in the southern Texas region near the Rio Grande river. ... The Dené-Caucasian (also called Sino-Dené) language family is a conjectural language superfamily containing the Sino-Tibetan, North Caucasian, Yenisseian, Burushaski, Basque and Na-Dené languages. ... The gulf languages are four extinct, native North American language isolates, named after the Gulf of Mexico, by SIL International in Ethnologue. ... The Hokan languages are a group of languages spoken in North America by Native Americans. ... In linguistics, Hokan-Siouan family of languages that includes various Native American languages. ... Several of the major language stocks of South America are thought to be related. ... Macro-Ge, also spelled Macro-Gê, Macro-Je, and Macro-Jê, is a medium sized language stock proposed for South America, centered around the Gê-Kaingang language family. ... The Macro-Siouan languages are a proposed language family that includes the Siouan, Iroquoian, and Caddoan languages. ... Mosan is a hypothetical language family consisting of the Salishan, Wakashan, and Chimakuan languages of the Pacific Northwest region of North America. ... Pre-contact distribution of Na-Dené languages (in red) Na-Dené (also Na-Dene, Nadene, Athabaskan-Eyak-Tlingit) is a Native American language family which includes the Athabaskan languages, Eyak, and Tlingit. ... This article is about the people. ... Paezan (also Páesan, Paezano) is a hypothetical language family of Colombia and Ecuador. ... The Penutian is a phylum (or stock) of language families that include many Native American languages of western North America, predominantly spoken at one time in Washington, Oregon, and California. ... Oregon Penutian is a language family in the Penutian language phylum comprising languages spoken at one time by several groups of Native Americans in present-day western Oregon and western Washington in the United States. ... Yok-Utian is a hypothetical language family of California. ...


Pidgins, mixed languages, & trade languages

  1. Labrador Eskimo Pidgin (also known as Labrador Inuit Pidgin)
  2. Hudson Strait Pidgin
  3. Greenlandic Eskimo Pidgin
  4. Eskimo Trade Jargon (also known as Herschel Island Eskimo Pidgin, Ship's Jargon)
  5. Mednyj Aleut (also known as Copper Island Aleut, Medniy Aleut, CIA)
  6. Haida Jargon
  7. Chinook Jargon
  8. Nootka Jargon
  9. Broken Slavey (also known as Slavey Jargon, Broken Slavé)
  10. Kutenai Jargon
  11. Loucheux Jargon (also known as Jargon Loucheux)
  12. Inuktitut-English Pidgin
  13. Michif (also known as French Cree, Métis, Metchif, Mitchif, Métchif)
  14. Bungee (also known as Bungi) (?)
  15. Broken Oghibbeway (also known as Broken Ojibwa)
  16. Basque-Algonquian Pidgin (also known as Micmac-Basque Pidgin, Souriquois)
  17. Montagnais Pidgin Basque (also known as Pidgin Basque-Montagnais)
  18. American Indian Pidgin English
  19. Delaware Jargon (also known as Pidgin Delaware)
  20. Pidgin Massachusett
  21. Jargonized Powhatan
  22. Ocaneechi
  23. Lingua Franca Creek
  24. Lingua Franca Apalachee
  25. Mobilian Jargon (also known as Mobilian Trade Jargon, Chickasaw-Chocaw Trade Language, Yamá)
  26. Güegüence-Nicarao
  27. Carib Pidgin (also known as Ndjuka-Amerindian Pidgin, Ndjuka-Trio)
  28. Carib Pidgin-Arawak Mixed Language
  29. Guajiro-Spanish
  30. Media Lengua
  31. Catalangu
  32. Callahuaya (also known as Machaj-Juyai, Kallawaya, Collahuaya, Pohena, Kolyawaya jargon)
  33. Lingua Geral Amazônica (also known as Nheengatú, Lingua Boa, Lingua Brasílica, Lingua Geral do Norte)
  34. Lingua Geral do Sul (also known as Lingua Geral Paulista, Tupí Austral)
  35. Plains Indian Sign Language

A pidgin is a simplified language that develops as a means of communication between two or more groups who do not share a common language, in situations such as trade. ... A mixed language is a language that arises when speakers of different languages are in contact and show a high degree of bilingualism. ... Chinook Jargon was a trade language (or pidgin) of the Pacific Northwest, which spread quickly up the West Coast from Oregon, through Washington, British Columbia, and as far as Alaska. ... Michif is the indigenous language of the Métis people of Canada. ... This article or section is in need of attention from an expert on the subject. ... Mobilian Jargon was a pidgin trade language used as a lingua franca among Native American groups living along the Gulf of Mexico around the time of European settlement of the region. ... Media Lengua (Spanish for half language or in-between language) is a language spoken in Salcedo, about 100 km south of Quito, Ecuador, by about 1,000 people of Native American ancestry. ... Língua Geral (Portuguese: literally, common or general language) is the name of two distinct linguae francae spoken in Brazil, the língua geral paulista, now extinct; and the língua geral amazônica whose modern descendant is Nheengatu. ... Língua Geral (Portuguese: literally, common or general language) is the name of two distinct lingua francas spoken in Brazil: Língua Geral Paulista, now extinct; and Língua Geral Amazônica with its modern descendant Nhengatu. ... Plains Indian Sign Language is a sign language formerly used as an interlanguage between Native Americans of the Great Plains of the United States of America and Canada. ...

Unattested languages

Several languages are only known by mention in historical documents or from only a few names or words. It cannot be determined that these languages actually existed or that the few recorded words are actually of known or unknown languages. Some may simply be from a historian's errors. Others are of known people with no linguistic record (sometimes due to lost records). A short list is below.

Loukotka (1968) reports the names of hundreds of South American languages which do not have any linguistic documentation. The Ais, or Ays were a tribe of Native Americans that inhabited the Atlantic Coast of Florida. ... Location of the San Jacinto river The Akokisa were a people that lived on Galveston Bay and the lower Trinity and San Jacinto rivers in Texas. ... Aksana or Aksanas is a dialect of the Qawasqar language, a language of Chile. ... Avoyel or Avoyelles was a small Natchesan tribe in the neighborhood of the present Marksville, Louisiana. ... The Diaguita, also called Diaguita-Calchaquí, are a group of South American indigenous peoples. ... The Calchaqui were a tribe of South American Indians, now extinct, who formerly occupied northern Argentina. ... The Calusa, sometimes spelled Caloosa or Calosa, were a Native American group that lived on the coast and along the inner waterways of Floridas southwest coast. ... The Cusabo (also Corsaboy) were a group of Native Americans who lived along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean in what is now South Carolina, approximately between present-day Charleston and the Savannah River. ... Guale was a Native American chiefdom that became part of Spanish Floridas missionary system in the late 16th century. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Pascagoula is a city located in Jackson County, Mississippi. ... The Quinipissa were an indigenous group living on the lower Mississippi River as reported by René-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle in 1682. ... The Taensa were a Muskogean native American tribe, who lived in present day Tensas Perish in Louisiana, as reported by Nicolas de la Salle in 1682. ... Approximate territory of the Tequesta in the 16th Century The Tequesta, Tekesta, Tegesta or Chequesta Native American tribe, at the time of first European contact, occupied an area along the Atlantic coast of Florida in what are now Broward and Miami-Dade Counties. ... The Yamacraw were a Native American tribe which settled parts of Georgia, specifically around the city of Savannah. ... The Yamasee were a Muskogean Native American tribe that lived in coastal region of present-day northern Florida and southern Georgia near the Savannah River. ... The Yazoo tribe were a small Native American tribe who lived on the lower course of Yazoo River, Mississippi, in close connection with several other tribes, the most important of which was the Tonica. ...


Linguistic areas

The languages of the Americas often can be grouped together into linguistic areas or Sprachbunds (also known as convergence areas). The linguistic areas identified so far deserve more research to determine their validity. Knowing about Sprachbunds help historical linguists differentiate between shared areal traits and true genetic relationship. The pioneering work on American areal linguistics was a dissertation by Joel Sherzer which was published as Sherzer (1976). The following tentative list of linguistic areas is based on primarily Campbell (1997): A Sprachbund (German for language bond, also known as a linguistic area, convergence area, diffusion area) is a group of languages that have become similar in some way because of geographical proximity. ...

  • Northern Northwest Coast
  • Northwest Coast
  • Plateau
  • Northern California
  • Clear Lake
  • South Coast Range
  • Southern California-Western Arizona
  • Great Basin
  • Pueblo
  • Plains
  • Northeast
  • Southeast
  • Mesoamerican
  • Colombian-Central American
  • Venezuelan-Antillean
  • Andean
    • Ecuadoran-Colombian (subarea)
  • Orinoco-Amazon
  • Amazonas (also known as Amazonia)
  • Lowland South America
  • Southern Cone

// The Mesoamerican Linguistic Area is a sprachbund containing many of the languages natively spoken in the cultural area of Mesoamerica. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...

See also

This article is a list of different language classification proposals developed for indigenous languages of the Americas. ... Genealogy Areal Uto-Aztecan —5000 BP* Soshonean (N Uto-Aztecan) —3500 BP Numic (Plateau group) —2000 BP C Plateau Soshoni [SHH] Comanche [COM] Paramint [PAR] S Plateau Ute-Chemehuevi (S Paiute) [UTE] Kawaiisu [KAW] W Plateau Mono [MON] Paiute (Northern Paiute) [PAO] Takic ( Southern Californian) —2400... Current distribution of Human Language Families Most languages are known to belong to language families (families hereforth). ... It has been suggested that List of Native American tribes be merged into this article or section. ... Native Americans redirects here. ... This is a list of Indigenous languages that are or were spoken in the present territory of Argentina. ... Peru is a multilingual nation. ... Map showing the distribution of African language families and some major African languages. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... Map showing approximate current distribution of languages in Europe, but with emphasis on locations of minority languages Most of the many languages of Europe belong to the Indo-European language family. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... This is an alphabetical list of the sovereign states of the world, including both de jure and de facto independent states. ... The official and predominant language of Costa Rica is Spanish; the variety spoken there is a form of Central American Spanish. ... The United States currently does not have an official language, but English is spoken by about 82% of the population as a native language. ... Download high resolution version (675x894, 685 KB)From http://cia. ... A dependent territory, dependent area or dependency is a territory that does not possess full political independence or sovereignty as a State. ... Types of administrative and/or political territories include: A legally administered territory, which is a non-sovereign geographic area that has come under the authority of another government. ... A transcontinental nation is a country belonging to more than one continent. ... World map showing the Americas CIA political map of the Americas The Americas are the lands of the Western hemisphere or New World consisting of the continents of North America[1] and South America with their associated islands and regions. ... South America South America is a continent crossed by the equator, with most of its area in the Southern Hemisphere. ... This is an alphabetical list of the sovereign states of the world, including both de jure and de facto independent states. ... Image File history File links South_America. ... A dependent territory, dependent area or dependency is a territory that does not possess full political independence or sovereignty as a State. ... A transcontinental nation is a country belonging to more than one continent. ... World map showing the Americas CIA political map of the Americas The Americas are the lands of the Western hemisphere or New World consisting of the continents of North America[1] and South America with their associated islands and regions. ... North America North America is a continent[1] in the Earths northern hemisphere and (chiefly) western hemisphere. ...

Bibliography

  • Bright, William. (1984). The classification of North American and Meso-American Indian languages. In W. Bright (Ed.), American Indian linguistics and literature (pp. 3-29). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Bright, William (Ed.). (1984). American Indian linguistics and literature. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. ISBN 3-11-009846-6.
  • Brinton, Daniel G. (1891). The American race. New York: D. C. Hodges.
  • Campbell, Lyle. (1997). American Indian languages: The historical linguistics of Native America. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-509427-1.
  • Campbell, Lyle; & Mithun, Marianne (Eds.). (1979). The languages of native America: Historical and comparative assessment. Austin: University of Texas Press.
  • Gordon, Raymond G., Jr. (Ed.). (2005). Ethnologue: Languages of the world (15th ed.). Dallas, TX: SIL International. ISBN 1-55671-159-X. (Online version: http://www.ethnologue.com).

South America

  • Adelaar, Willem F. H.; & Muysken, Pieter C. (2004). The languages of the Andes. Cambridge language surveys. Cambridge University Press.
  • Kaufman, Terrence. (1990). Language history in South America: What we know and how to know more. In D. L. Payne (Ed.), Amazonian linguistics: Studies in lowland South American languages (pp. 13-67). Austin: University of Texas Press. ISBN 0-292-70414-3.
  • Kaufman, Terrence. (1994). The native languages of South America. In C. Mosley & R. E. Asher (Eds.), Atlas of the world's languages (pp. 46-76). London: Routledge.
  • Key, Mary R. (1979). The grouping of South American languages. Tübingen: Gunter Narr Verlag.
  • Loukotka, Čestmír. (1968). Classification of South American Indian languages. Los Angeles: Latin American Studies Center, University of California.
  • Mason, J. Alden. (1950). The languages of South America. In J. Steward (Ed.), Handbook of South American Indians (Vol. 6, pp. 157-317). Smithsonian Institution Bureau of American Ethnology bulletin (No. 143). Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office.
  • Migliazza, Ernest C.; & Campbell, Lyle. (1988). Panorama general de las lenguas indígenas en América. Historia general de América (Vol. 10). Caracas: Instituto Panamericano de Geografía e Historia.
  • Rodrigues, Aryon. (1986). Linguas brasileiras: Para o conhecimento das linguas indígenas. São Paulo: Edições Loyola.
  • Rowe, John H. (1954). Linguistics classification problems in South America. In M. B. Emeneau (Ed.), Papers from the symposium on American Indian linguistics (pp. 10-26). University of California publications in linguistics (Vol. 10). Berkeley: University of California Press.
  • Sapir, Edward. (1929). Central and North American languages. In The encyclopædia britannica: A new survey of universal knowledge (14 ed.) (Vol. 5, pp. 138-141). London: The Encyclopædia Britannica Company, Ltd.
  • Voegelin, Carl F.; & Voegelin, Florence M. (1977). Classification and index of the world's languages. Amsterdam: Elsevier. ISBN 0-444-00155-7.

North America

  • Boas, Franz. (1911). Handbook of American Indian languages (Vol. 1). Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 40. Washington: Government Print Office (Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology).
  • Boas, Franz. (1922). Handbook of American Indian languages (Vol. 2). Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 40. Washington: Government Print Office (Smithsonian Institution, Bureau of American Ethnology).
  • Boas, Franz. (1929). Classification of American Indian languages. Language, 5, 1-7.
  • Boas, Franz. (1933). Handbook of American Indian languages (Vol. 3). Native American legal materials collection, title 1227. Glückstadt: J.J. Augustin.
  • Bright, William. (1973). North American Indian language contact. In T. A. Sebeok (Ed.), Linguistics in North America (part 1, pp. 713-726). Current trends in linguistics (Vol. 10). The Hauge: Mouton.
  • Goddard, Ives (Ed.). (1996). Languages. Handbook of North American Indians (W. C. Sturtevant, General Ed.) (Vol. 17). Washington, D. C.: Smithsonian Institution. ISBN 0-16-048774-9.
  • Goddard, Ives. (1999). Native languages and language families of North America (rev. and enlarged ed. with additions and corrections). [Map]. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press (Smithsonian Institute). (Updated version of the map in Goddard 1996). ISBN 0-8032-9271-6.
  • Goddard, Ives. (2005). The indigenous languages of the southeast. Anthropological Linguistics, 47 (1), 1-60.
  • Mithun, Marianne. (1999). The languages of Native North America. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-23228-7 (hbk); ISBN 0-521-29875-X.
  • Powell, John W. (1891). Indian linguistic families of America north of Mexico. Seventh annual report, Bureau of American Ethnology (pp. 1-142). Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office. (Reprinted in P. Holder (Ed.), 1966, Introduction to Handbook of American Indian languages by Franz Boas and Indian linguistic families of America, north of Mexico, by J. W. Powell, Lincoln: University of Nebraska).
  • Powell, John W. (1915). Linguistic families of American Indians north of Mexico by J. W. Powell, revised by members of the staff of the Bureau of American Ethnology. (Map). Bureau of American Ethnology miscellaneous publication (No. 11). Baltimore: Hoen.
  • Sebeok, Thomas A. (Ed.). (1973). Linguistics in North America (parts 1 & 2). Current trends in linguistics (Vol. 10). The Hauge: Mouton. (Reprinted as Sebeok 1976).
  • Sebeok, Thomas A. (Ed.). (1976). Native languages of the Americas. New York: Plenum.
  • Sherzer, Joel. (1973). Areal linguistics in North America. In T. A. Sebeok (Ed.), Linguistics in North America (part 2, pp. 749-795). Current trends in linguistics (Vol. 10). The Hauge: Mouton. (Reprinted in Sebeok 1976).
  • Sherzer, Joel. (1976). An areal-typological study of American Indian languages north of Mexico. Amsterdam: North-Holland.
  • Sletcher, Michael, ‘North American Indians’, in Will Kaufman and Heidi Macpherson, eds., Britain and the Americas: Culture, Politics, and History, (2 vols., Oxford, 2005).
  • Sturtevant, William C. (Ed.). (1978-present). Handbook of North American Indians (Vol. 1-20). Washington, D. C.: Smithsonian Institution. (Vols. 1-3, 16, 18-20 not yet published).
  • Vaas, Rüdiger: ‘Die Sprachen der Ureinwohner’. In: Stoll, Günter, Vaas, Rüdiger: Spurensuche im Indianerland. Hirzel. Stuttgart 2001, chapter 7.
  • Voegelin, Carl F.; & Voegelin, Florence M. (1965). Classification of American Indian languages. Languages of the world, Native American fasc. 2, sec. 1.6). Anthropological Linguistics, 7 (7): 121-150.
  • Zededa, Ofelia; Hill, Jane H. (1991). The condition of Native American Languages in the United States. In R. H. Robins & E. M. Uhlenbeck (Eds.), Endangered languages (pp. 135-155). Oxford: Berg.

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Indigenous languages of the Americas - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2369 words)
Indigenous languages of the Americas (or Amerindian Languages) are spoken by indigenous peoples from the southern tip of South America to Alaska and Greenland, encompassing the land masses which constitute the Americas.
Thousands of languages were spoken in North and South America prior to first contact with Europeans between the beginning of the eleventh century (Norwegian settlement of Greenland and attempted settlement of Labrador and Newfoundland) and the end of the fifteenth centure (the voyages of Christopher Columbus.
Indigenous languages vary greatly in the number of speakers, from Quechua, Aymara, Guarani, and Nahuatl with millions of active speakers to a number of languages with only a handful of elderly speakers.
Category:Indigenous languages of the Americas - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (336 words)
Languages that are within the same culture area are not necessarily related genetically (e.g.
However, parts of Central America are under the North American Southwest and the South American Northwest.
Classification schemes for indigenous languages of the Americas
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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