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Encyclopedia > Language isolate

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. They are in effect language families consisting of a single language. Commonly cited examples include Basque, Ainu, Burushaski, and Korean, though in each case a minority of linguists claim to have demonstrated a relationship with another language (see Dene-Caucasian, Karasuk, and Altaic, for example). The term natural language is used to distinguish languages spoken and signed (by hand signals and facial expressions) by humans for general-purpose communication from constructs such as writing, computer-programming languages or the languages used in the study of formal logic, especially mathematical logic. ... Current distribution of Human Language Families A language family is a group of related languages said to have descended from a common proto-language. ... 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 Ainu language (Ainu: , aynu itak; Japanese: ainu-go) is spoken by the Ainu ethnic group on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaidō. It was once spoken in the Kurile Islands, the northern part of Honshū, and the southern half of Sakhalin. ... Burushaski (ISO/DIS 639-3 bsk) is a language isolate spoken by some 50,000-60,000 Burusho people in the Hunza, Nagar, Yasin, and parts of the Gilgit valleys in northern Pakistan and Kashmir. ... 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 Karasuk culture is a name given by archaeologists to a group of Bronze Age societies who lived in southern Siberia and Kazakhstan during the later second millennium BC. They succeeded the Andronovo culture in this region and were farmers who primarily raised sheep and may have been the first... Altaic is a proposed language family which includes 66 languages [1] spoken by about 348 million people, mostly in and around Central Asia and northeast Asia. ...


With context, a language isolate may be understood to be relatively isolated. For instance, Albanian, Armenian, and Greek are commonly called 'Indo-European isolates'. While part of the Indo-European family, they do not belong to any established branch (like the Romance, Indo-Iranian, or Germanic branches), but instead form independent branches of their own. However, without such a disambiguating context, "isolate" is understood to be in the absolute sense. The Romance languages (sometimes referred to as Romanic languages) are a branch of the Indo-European language family, comprising all the languages that descend from Latin, the language of the Roman Empire. ... The Indo-Iranian language group constitutes the easternmost extant branch of the Indo-European family of languages. ...


Some languages have become isolates in historical times, after all their known relatives went extinct. The Pirahã language of Brazil is one such example, the last surviving member of the Mura family. Others, like Basque, have been isolates for as long as their existence has been documented. The opposite also occurs: languages once seen as isolates may be reclassified as small families. This happened with Japanese when it was recognized that certain Japanese "dialects", such as Okinawan, were languages in their own right, and the Japonic family was formulated. The Pirahã language is a language spoken by Pirahã people of Brazil. ... The Mura language family is a language family of Brazil. ... 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. ... Okinawan (Okinawan: Ê”ucināguci) is a Ryukyuan language spoken in Japan on the southern island of Okinawa, as well as the surrounding islands of Kerama, Kume-jima, Tonaki, Aguni, and a number of smaller islands located to the east of the main island of Okinawa. ... The Japonic languages or Japanese-Ryukyuan languages constitute a language family that is agreed to have descended from a common ancestral language known as Proto-Japonic or Proto-Japanese-Ryukyuan. ...


Language isolates may be seen as a special case of unclassified languages, being languages which remain unclassified even after extensive efforts. If eventually such efforts do prove fruitful, a language previously considered an isolate may no longer be considered one; this has happened with the Yanyuwa language of northern Australia, which has recently been placed in the Pama-Nyungan family. Since linguists do not always agree on whether a genetic relationship has been demonstrated, it is often disputed whether a language constitutes a true isolate or not. Unclassified languages are languages whose genetic affiliation has not been established, mostly due to lack of reliable data. ... The Yanyuwa (also Yanyula, Anyula) language is spoken by the Yanyuwa people around the settlement of Borroloola (Yanyuwa burrulula) in the Northern Territory, Australia. ... The Pama-Nyungan languages are the most widespread family of Australian languages. ...

Contents

Genetic relationship

The term "genetic relationship" is meant in the genealogical sense of historical linguistics, which groups most languages spoken in the world today into a relatively small number of families, according to reconstructed descent from common ancestral languages. For example, English is related to other Indo-European languages and Mandarin is related to many other Sino-Tibetan languages. By this criterion, each language isolate constitutes a family of its own, which explains the exceptional interest that these languages have received from linguists. Historical linguistics (also diachronic linguistics or comparative linguistics) is primarily the study of the ways in which languages change over time. ... Current distribution of Human Language Families A language family is a group of related languages said to have descended from a common proto-language. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ... 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. ... This article is on all of the Northern Chinese dialects. ... The Sino-Tibetan languages form a putative language family composed of Chinese and the Tibeto-Burman languages, including some 250 languages of East Asia. ...


Looking for relationships

It is possible, though not certain, that all languages spoken in the world today are related by descent from a single ancestral tongue. The established language families would then be only the upper branches of the genealogical tree of all languages, or, equally, lower progeny of a parent tongue. For this reason, language isolates have been the object of numerous studies seeking to uncover their genealogy. For instance, Basque has been compared with every living and extinct language family known, from Sumerian to the South Caucasian, without conclusive results. 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. ... Sumerian ( native tongue) was the language of ancient Sumer, spoken in Southern Mesopotamia from at least the 4th millennium BCE. It was gradually replaced by Akkadian as a spoken language in the beginning of the 2nd millenium BCE, but continued to be used as a sacred, ceremonial, literary and scientific... It has been suggested that Kartvel be merged into this article or section. ...


There are some situations in which a language with no ancestor might arise. For example, if deaf parents were to raise a group of hearing children who have no contact with others until adulthood, they might develop a verbal language among themselves and keep using it later, teaching it to their children, and so on. Eventually, it could develop into the full-fledged language of a population, as has evidently happened in the case of Nicaraguan Sign Language. Such a situation is not very likely to occur at any one time but, over the tens of thousands of years of human history plus pre-history, the likelihood of this occurring at least a few times increases. There are also creole languages and constructed languages such as Esperanto which do not descend directly from a single ancestor as portrayed for most languages. Idioglossia refers to an idiosyncratic language, one invented and spoken by only one or a very few people. ... Nicaraguan Sign Language (or ISN, Idioma de Señas de Nicaragua or Idioma de Signos Nicaragüense) is a signed language spontaneously developed by deaf children in a number of schools in western Nicaragua in the 1970s and 1980s. ... A creole language, or simply a creole, is 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. ... A constructed or artificial language — known colloquially as a conlang — is a language whose phonology, grammar, and/or vocabulary have been devised by an individual or small group, instead of having naturally evolved as part of a culture. ...   is the most widely spoken constructed international auxiliary language. ...


Extinct isolates

Caution is required when speaking of extinct languages as isolates. Sumerian is well known for a language so ancient; well enough to be able to recognize modern relatives, if they existed. However, many extinct languages are very poorly attested, and the fact that they cannot be linked to other languages may be a reflection of our poor knowledge of them. Etruscan, for example, is sometimes claimed to be Indo-European; although most historical linguists believe this is unlikely, it's not yet possible to demonstrate it one way or the other. Similar situations pertain to many extinct isolates of America, such as Beothuk and Cayuse. A language thought to be an isolate may turn out to be relatable to other languages once enough material is recovered, but material is unlikely to be recovered if a language was not written. Some of the languages for Undeciphered writing systems may be extinct isolate as people try but cannot find their relationship with existing languages. An extinct language (also called a dead language) is a language which no longer has any native speakers. ... Sumerian ( native tongue) was the language of ancient Sumer, spoken in Southern Mesopotamia from at least the 4th millennium BCE. It was gradually replaced by Akkadian as a spoken language in the beginning of the 2nd millenium BCE, but continued to be used as a sacred, ceremonial, literary and scientific... Languages in Iron Age Italy, 6th century BC Etruscan was a language spoken and written in the ancient region of Etruria (current Tuscany plus western Umbria and northern Latium) and in parts of what are now Lombardy, Veneto, and Emilia-Romagna (where the Etruscans were displaced by Gauls), in Italy. ... Pre-contact distribution of Beothuk language The Beothuk language (also Beothukan) was the language spoken by the Beothuk indigenous people of Newfoundland. ... Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ...


List of language isolates by continent

Below is a list of known language isolates, arranged by continent, along with notes on possible relations to other languages or language families.


While this is likely to be a complete listing of spoken isolates, there are a large number of undocumented sign languages - seven in Tanzania alone, for example, and six in Thailand - which are also likely to be language isolates.

Note that the Status column reflects more or less the classification of "Language Types" in ISO 639-3. "Vibrant" is classified "Living" or sometimes "Endangered" in ISO, depending on ongoing efforts to preserve the language, and "Moribund" is classified as "Endangered" in ISO, but may already be "Extinct".

ISO 639 is one of several international standards that lists short codes for language names. ...

Africa

Hadza has recently emerged from the Khoisan family to stand as a language isolate. Sandawe is another possibility. Data for other languages is not sufficient for classification. However, there are a number of sign languages in Africa which may prove to be isolates; these are not listed here. A world map showing the continent of Africa Africa is the worlds second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia. ...

Language Status Comments
Laal Endangered Spoken in some parts along the Chari River, Chad. Not classified; possibly a language isolate.
Hadza Living, though fewer than 1000 speakers Once listed as an outlier among the Khoisan languages, this is now considered unlikely.
Mekejir (Shabo) Endangered Sometimes thought to be Nilo-Saharan, but extremely poorly known.
Meroitic Extinct Was spoken in ancient kingdom of Meroe (Kush). Sometimes suggested to be Nilo-Saharan or Afrasiatic, but the Meroitic texts have not been deciphered, and without this no classification is possible.
Oropom Extinct Once spoken in Uganda and Kenya. Currently unclassified, and possibly spurious.
Sandawe Living Tentatively linked to the Khoe languages of southern Africa.

The Laal language is a still-unclassified language spoken by about 300 people in three villages in the Moyen-Chari prefecture of Chad on opposite banks of the Chari River, called Gori (lá), Damtar (ɓual), and Mailao. ... An endangered language is a language with so few surviving speakers that it is in danger of falling out of use. ... The Chari or Shari River is a 949-kilometer-long river of central Africa, flowing from the Central African Republic through Chad into Lake Chad. ... Hadza is a language of Tanzania. ... The Khoisan languages (also Khoesaan languages) are the indigenous languages of southern and eastern Africa; in southern Africa their speakers are the Khoi and Bushmen (Saan). ... Shabo (also called Mikeyir) is an endangered language spoken by less than 1,000 hunter-gatherers in southwestern Ethiopia, in the south-central portion of the former Illubabor province. ... Map showing the distribution of the Nilo-Saharan languages. ... Meroitic funerary stela of Waleye son or daughter of Kadeye, from Sai, now at the British Museum. ... Aerial view of the pyramids at Meroe. ... Aerial view of the pyramids at Meroë Kush or Cush was a civilization centered in the North African region of Nubia, located in what is today northern Sudan. ... Map showing the distribution of the Nilo-Saharan languages. ... The Afro-Asiatic languages constitute a language family with about 375 languages (SIL estimate) and more than 300 million speakers spread throughout North Africa, East Africa, the Sahel, and Southwest Asia (including some 200 million speakers of Arabic). ... Oropom (or Oworopom, Oyoropom, Oropoi) is an almost certainly extinct African language, once spoken in northeastern Uganda and northwestern Kenya between the Turkwel River, Chemorongit Mountains, and Mount Elgon, by the Oropom ethnic group. ... Introduction Sandawe is a tonal language spoken in the Dodoma region of Tanzania. ... The Khoe languages comprise the most diverse of the language families that existed in southern Africa prior to the Bantu expansion. ...

Asia

Language Status Comments
Ainu Moribund Spoken in northern Japan and formerly in the islands to the north. Written in modified katakana. Historically a small closely related family of its own.
Ban Khor Sign Language Endangered Spoken in the Isan region of Thailand.
Burushaski Living Spoken in northern Pakistan. Sometimes thought to be related to Yeniseian in a family called Karasuk.
Elamite Extinct Spoken in the Elamite Empire. Some conjecture a relationship to the Dravidian languages (see Elamo-Dravidian), but this is not well supported.
Nihali Endangered Spoken in Maharashtra. Strong lexical Munda influence.
Ket Moribund Spoken in Siberia. Part of the Yeniseian family, which is otherwise extinct or nearly so. Some linguists have attempted to show a further relationship with Burushaski in a family called Karasuk.
Korean Living Connections to the Altaic languages have been proposed. See the Altaic hypothesis for these theories.
Kusunda Moribund A nearly extinct language of western Nepal. Sometimes considered one of the Tibeto-Burman languages. Since linguists have either claimed its vocabulary is obviously Tibeto-Burman, or that it's almost completely free of Tibeto-Burman cognates, this may be a case of language interference in a dying tongue.
Nivkh Endangered, perhaps moribund Also known as Gilyak. A Palaeosiberian language spoken in the lower Amur River basin and on the Sakhalin Islands. Dialects sometimes considered two languages. Has been linked to Chukchi-Kamchatkan.
Pucikwar Moribund Spoken on the Andaman Islands. Related to other Great Andamanese languages which are now extinct. Most linguists see a connection in the Andamanese family, but some propose closer ties with West Papuan.
Sumerian Extinct Long-extinct but well-attested language of ancient Sumer.

World map showing the location of Asia. ... The Ainu language (Ainu: , aynu itak; Japanese: ainu-go) is spoken by the Ainu ethnic group on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaidō. It was once spoken in the Kurile Islands, the northern part of HonshÅ«, and the southern half of Sakhalin. ... A language is usually considered moribund (literally, dying) when it is no longer the language of the community, and is no longer learned by children, so that without massive intervention it will likely become extinct when the last of its current speakers dies. ... Katakana ) is a Japanese syllabary, one component of the Japanese writing system along with hiragana, kanji, and in some cases the Latin alphabet. ... Ban Khor Sign Language (BKSL) is a sign language used by about 1,000 people of a rice-farming community in remote areas of Isan (northeastern Thailand). ... For other articles with similar names, see Isan (disambiguation). ... Burushaski (ISO/DIS 639-3 bsk) is a language isolate spoken by some 50,000-60,000 Burusho people in the Hunza, Nagar, Yasin, and parts of the Gilgit valleys in northern Pakistan and Kashmir. ... The Yenisei-Ostyak language family is spoken in central Siberia. ... The Karasuk culture is a name given by archaeologists to a group of Bronze Age societies who lived in southern Siberia and Kazakhstan during the later second millennium BC. They succeeded the Andronovo culture in this region and were farmers who primarily raised sheep and may have been the first... Elamite is an extinct language, which was spoken by the ancient Elamites (also known as Ilamids). ... An Elamite Man in Persepolis The ancient Elamite Empire (تمدن عیلام in Persian) lay to the east of Sumer and Akkad, in what is now southwestern Iran. ... The Dravidian family of languages includes approximately 73 languages[1] that are mainly spoken in southern India and northeastern Sri Lanka, as well as certain areas in Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and eastern and central India, as well as in parts of Afghanistan and Iran, and overseas in other countries such... The Elamo-Dravidian languages are a hypothesised language family which includes the living Dravidian languages of India and Pakistan, in addition to the extinct Elamite language of ancient Elam, in what is now southwestern Iran. ... Nihali is a language isolate of India. ... , Maharashtra (Marathi: महाराष्ट्र , IPA:  , English: ) is Indias third largest state in terms of area and second largest in terms of population after Uttar Pradesh. ... Munda Languages are spoken in north east India. ... The Ket language, formerly known as Yenisei Ostyak, is a Siberian language isolate, the sole surviving language of a Yeniseian language family, spoken along the middle Yenisei Basin by the Kets. ... It has been suggested that Western Siberia be merged into this article or section. ... The Yenisei-Ostyak language family is spoken in central Siberia. ... Burushaski (ISO/DIS 639-3 bsk) is a language isolate spoken by some 50,000-60,000 Burusho people in the Hunza, Nagar, Yasin, and parts of the Gilgit valleys in northern Pakistan and Kashmir. ... The Karasuk culture is a name given by archaeologists to a group of Bronze Age societies who lived in southern Siberia and Kazakhstan during the later second millennium BC. They succeeded the Andronovo culture in this region and were farmers who primarily raised sheep and may have been the first... Altaic is a proposed language family which includes 66 languages [1] spoken by about 348 million people, mostly in and around Central Asia and northeast Asia. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged into Altaic languages. ... The Kusunda are a tribe of people ethnically and linguistically related to the Chepang, but unlike the Chepang who dwell in mud houses, the few hundred Kusundas dwell in the forest. ... The Tibeto-Burman family of languages (often considered a sub-group of the Sino-Tibetan language family) is spoken in various central and south Asian countries, including Myanmar (Burma), northern Thailand, and parts of Western China (Tibet Autonomous Region, Qinghai (Amdo), Gansu, Yunnan, Guizhou, Sichuan, Hunan), Nepal, Bhutan, India (Himachal... Nivchische Sprache Nivkh language ---- (more info) Stage 1 : Request (How-to) Danke!! Yupik 23:25, 18 January 2007 (UTC) Because the German article contains a ton of info that the English does not. ... Paleosiberian (Palaeosiberian, Paleo-Siberian) languages or Paleoasian languages (from Greek palaios, ancient) is a term of convenience used in linguistics to classify a disparate group of languages spoken in remote regions of Siberia. ... The Amur (Russian: Амур) (Simplified Chinese: 黑龙江; Traditional Chinese: 黑龍江; Hēilóng Jiāng, literally meaning Black Dragon River) (Mongolian: Хара-Мурэн, Khara-Muren or Black River) (Manchu: Sahaliyan Ula, literal meaning Black... Sakhalin (Russian: Сахалин), also Saghalien, 库页岛 (Ku Ye Dao, Chinese), or Karafuto (Japanese: 樺太) is a large elongated island in the North Pacific, lying between 45° 50 and 54° 24 N, in East Siberia, Russia. ... The Chukotko-Kamchatkan languages (commonly also Chukchi-Kamchatkan) are a language family of northeastern Siberia. ... A-Pucikwar (also known as Pucikwar) is a nearly extinct language of the Andaman Islands, India. ... This article or section may be confusing for some readers, and should be edited to be clearer or more simplified. ... Ethnolinguistic map of the precolonial Andaman Islands (drawn 1902) The Andamanese languages form a language family spoken in the Andaman Islands, a India. ... The West Papuan languages are a hypothetical language family of about two dozen languages of the Birds Head (Vogelkopf) Peninsula of far western New Guinea and the island of Halmahera, spoken by about 220 000 people in all. ... Sumerian ( native tongue) was the language of ancient Sumer, spoken in Southern Mesopotamia from at least the 4th millennium BCE. It was gradually replaced by Akkadian as a spoken language in the beginning of the 2nd millenium BCE, but continued to be used as a sacred, ceremonial, literary and scientific... Sumer (or Å umer) was the earliest known civilization of the ancient Near East, located in the southern part of Mesopotamia (southeastern Iran) from the time of the earliest records in the mid 4th millennium BC until the rise of Babylonia in the late 3rd millennium BC. The term Sumerian applies...

Australasia and Oceania

Language Status Comments
Abinomn Endangered Spoken in New Guinea. Also known as Baso, Foia.
Anem Endangered Spoken on New Britain. Perhaps related to Yélî Dnye and Pele-Ata.
Busa Endangered Spoken in New Guinea. Also known as Odiai.
Enindhilyagwa Endangered Spoken in the Gulf of Carpenteria, Australia. Also known as Andilyaugwa.
Isirawa Endangered Spoken in New Guinea. Formerly classified as Trans-New Guinea.
Kakadju Endangered Spoken in northern Australia. Also known as Gaagudu. Part of a proposal for an Arnhem Land family.
Kol Endangered Spoken on New Britain.
Kuot Endangered Spoken on New Ireland. Also known as Panaras.
Laragiya Endangered May be extinct now. Spoken in northern Australia.
Minkin Extinct Was spoken in northern Australia. Perhaps a member of the Yiwaidjan or Tankic family.
Ngurmbur Endangered May be extinct now. Spoken in northern Australia. Perhaps related to the Pama-Nyungan languages.
Pele-Ata Endangered Spoken on New Britain. Also known as Wasi. Perhaps related to Yélî Dnye and Anem.
Pyu (New Guinean) Endangered Spoken in New Guinea. Formerly classified as Kwomtari-Baibai.
Sulka Endangered Spoken on New Britain.
Taiap Endangered Spoken by around a hundred people in the East Sepik Province of Papua New Guinea. Also known as Gapun, formerly classified as Sepik-Ramu.
Tiwi Endangered Spoken off northern Australia.
Umbugarla Endangered Spoken in northern Australia. Part of a proposal for an Arnhem Land family.
Yalë Endangered Spoken in New Guinea. Also known as Nagatman.
Yawa Endangered Spoken on Yapen Island, New Guinea. Part of the Extended West Papuan proposal; sometimes considered two languages.
Yélî Dnye Endangered Spoken on Rossel Island, Papua New Guinea. Also known as Yele. Perhaps related to Anem and Pele-Ata.
Yuri Endangered Spoken in New Guinea. Also known as Karkar.

Australasia Australasia is a term variably used to describe a region of Oceania: Australia, New Zealand, and neighbouring islands in the Pacific Ocean. ... World map exhibiting a common interpretation of Oceania; other interpretations may vary. ... The Abinomn language is a language isolate initially reported by Mark Donohue from Papua province, Indonesia. ... The Anêm language is a language isolate spoken in five main villages along the northwestern coast of New Britain island, Papua New Guinea: Malasoŋo (where it is spoken alongside Bariai), Karaiai, Mosiliki, Pudêlîŋ, Atiatu (where it is spoken alongside Lusi) and Bolo (where it is spoken alongside... (This article is about the island of New Britain in Papua New Guinea. ... The Busa language, also known as Odiai (Uriai), is a language isolate in northwestern Papua New Guinea. ... The Enindhilyagwa language, also spelled Andilyaugwa and Anindilyakwa, is an Australian language isolate spoken by the Warnindhilyagwa people on Groote Eylandt in the Gulf of Carpentaria in northern Australia. ... The Isirawa language is a language isolate in Malcolm Ross classification of Papuan languages, and linked to the Dani languages within the Trans-New Guinea family by Stephen Würm. ... Trans-New Guinea is a family of languages spoken mainly on the island of New Guinea, which comprises the nation of Papua New Guinea and Irian Jaya, Indonesia. ... Arnhem Land is an area of 97,000 km² in the north-eastern corner of the Northern Territory, Australia. ... The Kol language is a language spoken in eastern New Britain island, Papua New Guinea. ... (This article is about the island of New Britain in Papua New Guinea. ... The Kuot language, or Panaras, is a language isolate, the only non-Austronesian language spoken on the island of New Ireland, Papua New Guinea. ... Location of New Ireland Province New Ireland (Tok Pisin: Niu Ailan) is a about 8,650 km² large island in Papua New Guinea. ... The Laragiya language is an Australian language isolate spoken by just six people near the city of Darwin in northern Australia as of 1983. ... The Minkin language is an extinct Australian Aboriginal language, perhaps a language isolate, of northern Australia. ... The Yiwaidjan languages form a small family of Australian Aboriginal languages spoken in northern Australia. ... The Ngumbur language is an Australian language isolate spoken by just one person in Arnhem Land, northern Australia, as of 1981. ... The Pama-Nyungan languages are the most widespread family of Australian languages. ... (This article is about the island of New Britain in Papua New Guinea. ... The Kwomtari-Baibai languages are a hypothetical language family of five languages spoken by some 4000 people in central New Guinea. ... The Sulka language is a possible language isolate scattered across the eastern end of New Britain island, Papua New Guinea. ... (This article is about the island of New Britain in Papua New Guinea. ... Taiap (also called Gapun) is a language isolate spoken by around a hundred people in the remote village of Gupun in Papua New Guinea. ... The Sepik-Ramu languages are a hypothetical language phylum consisting of about one hundred languages of the Sepik and Ramu river basins of northern Papua New Guinea. ... Tiwi is a language spoken on the Tiwi Islands. ... The Umbugarla language is an Australian language isolate spoken by just three people in Arnhem Land, northern Australia, as of 1981. ... Arnhem Land is an area of 97,000 km² in the north-eastern corner of the Northern Territory, Australia. ... The Yalë language, also known as Nagatman, is a language isolate in northwestern Papua New Guinea. ... The Yawa languages are a small family of two closely related Papuan languages, Yawa (or Yava) and Saweru, which are often considered to be divergent dialects of a single language (and thus a language isolate). ... Yapen is an island of western New Guinea, Indonesia. ... The Extended West Papuan language family is a tentative proposal in Malcolm Rosss classification of Papuan languages. ... The Yélî Dnye language, also known as Yele, is the language of Rossel island, the easternmost island in the Louisiade Archipelago off the eastern tip of Papua New Guinea. ... Rossel Island (Yela) is the easternmost island of the Louisiade Archipelago, which itself is part of the Milne Bay Province of Papua New Guinea. ... The Yuri language, also known as Karkar, is a language isolate in Papua New Guinea, along the Indonesian border. ...

Europe

Language Status Comments
Aquitanian Extinct Spoken in parts of southern France and northern Spain until the Upper Middle Ages. Assumed to be an archaic form of Basque.
Basque Living Known in its own language as Euskara; no known living relatives; found in the Basque region of France and Spain. Aquitanian is commonly regarded as related to or a direct ancestor of Basque. Some linguists have claimed similarities with various languages of the Caucasus, especially because of their ergative case system, but such resemblances are superficial, as a quarter of the world's languages are ergative. Other linguists have proposed a relation to Iberian or Iberian, while others point to a relationship with the Berber language group of North Africa.
Etruscan Extinct Language of the ancient Etruscans in northwestern Italy; not well understood at present. Some have suggested Etruscan is in fact an Anatolian language, but better accepted is the suggestion of a Tyrrhenian family consisting of Etruscan, Lemnian, and possibly Raetic or Camunic.
Iberian Extinct Not well known enough to classify. There are lexical coincidences with Basque, but it is hard to know if they are more than a result of vicinity.
Pictish Extinct Not well known enough to classify. Usually not considered Indo-European, but some classify it as a Celtic language. Spoken in Scotland.
Tartessian Extinct Not well known enough to classify. Generally spoken in the southern part of the Iberian Peninsula.

World map showing the location of Europe. ... Aquitanian language was spoken in ancient Aquitaine (approximately between the Pyrenees and the Garonne), region later known as Gascony before the Roman conquest and, probably much later until the Upper Middle Ages. ... The Middle Ages formed the middle period in a traditional schematic division of European history into three ages: the classical civilization of Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and modern times, beginning with the Renaissance. ... 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. ... 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. ... Basque is the language spoken by the Basque people, who live in northern Spain and the adjoining area of southwestern France. ... The Ikurriña, Basque flag Location of Territory of the Basque Country The Basque Country divided in seven provinces. ... Aquitanian language was spoken in ancient Aquitaine (approximately between the Pyrenees and the Garonne), region later known as Gascony before the Roman conquest and, probably much later until the Upper Middle Ages. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... In ergative-absolutive languages, the ergative case identifies the subject of a transitive verb. ... The Iberian language describes a linguistic group identified with the Iberian civilization (7th century BC – 1st century BC), formed in the eastern and south-eastern regions of the Iberian peninsula. ... The Iberian language describes a linguistic group identified with the Iberian civilization (7th century BC – 1st century BC), formed in the eastern and south-eastern regions of the Iberian peninsula. ... The Berber languages (or Tamazight) are a group of closely related languages mainly spoken in Morocco and Algeria. ...  Northern Africa (UN subregion)  geographic, including above North Africa or Northern Africa is the northernmost region of the African continent, generally divided by the formidable barrier of the Sahara from Sub-Saharan Africa. ... Languages in Iron Age Italy, 6th century BC Etruscan was a language spoken and written in the ancient region of Etruria (current Tuscany plus western Umbria and northern Latium) and in parts of what are now Lombardy, Veneto, and Emilia-Romagna (where the Etruscans were displaced by Gauls), in Italy. ... The area covered by the Etruscan civilzation. ... The Anatolian languages are a group of extinct languages, either Indo-European or (in some classifications) closely related to Indo-European, which were spoken in Asia Minor, including Hittite. ... A close relationship of the Etruscan language and the Raetic language, together with the Lemnian language has been proposed by Helmut Rix (1998), who classifies them as Tyrsenian (Tyrsenisch, also Tyrrhenian), after the Tyrrhenoi. ... The Lemnian language is the language of a 6th century BC inscription found on a funerary stela on the island of Lemnos (termed the Lemnos stele, discovered in 1885 near Kaminia). ... Raetic is an obscure language of antiquity, which used to be spoken in the province of Raetia, in the eastern Alps, to the north and west of Venetic. ... Camunic is an extinct language once spoken by the Camunni tribe that dwelt in the Val Camonica, Brescia, Italy. ... The Iberian language describes a linguistic group identified with the Iberian civilization (7th century BC – 1st century BC), formed in the eastern and south-eastern regions of the Iberian peninsula. ... 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 Pictish language is the extinct language of the Picts, in what is now Scotland. ... Motto (Latin) No one provokes me with impunity Cha togar mfhearg gun dioladh (Scottish Gaelic) Wha daur meddle wi me?(Scots)1 Anthem (Multiple unofficial anthems) Scotlands location in Europe Capital Edinburgh Largest city Glasgow Official languages English, Gaelic and Scots1 Government Constitutional monarchy  -  Monarch Queen Elizabeth II... The Tartessian language is seemingly unrelated to all other languages, including Indo-European or Iberian language families, and is therefore considered a language isolate. ... The Iberian Peninsula, or Iberia, is located in the extreme southwest of Europe, and includes modern day Spain, Portugal, Andorra and Gibraltar. ...

North and Central America

Language Status Comments
Adai Extinct Poorly known. Was spoken in Texas and Louisiana, United States.
Atakapa Extinct Was spoken in Texas and Louisiana, United States. A connection to the Muskogean languages is sometimes proposed.
Beothuk Extinct Poorly known. Was spoken in Newfoundland, Canada. Sometimes thought to be Algonquian.
Cayuse Extinct Poorly known. Was spoken in Oregon and Washington, United States. Too poorly known to be classified.
Chimariko Extinct Was spoken in California, United States.
Chitimacha Extinct Was spoken in Louisiana, United States. A connection to the Muskogean languages has traditionally been proposed.
Coahuilteco Extinct Was spoken in Texas, United States and northeastern Mexico. Part of the Hokan hypothesis.
Cotoname Extinct Poorly known. Was spoken in Texas, United States and northeastern Mexico.
Cuitlatec Extinct Was spoken in Guerrero, Mexico.
Esselen Extinct Poorly known. Was spoken in California, United States. Part of the Hokan hypothesis.
Haida Endangered Spoken in Alaska, United States and British Columbia, Canada. Some proposals to connect to Na-Dené languages, but these have fallen in disfavor.
Huave Endangered Spoken in Oaxaca, Mexico. Part of the Penutian hypothesis when extended to Mexico, but this idea has generally been abandoned.
Jicaque (also known as Tol) Endangered (350 speakers) Spoken in Honduras. A connection to the Tequistlatecan languages has been proposed, but remains unexplored.
Karankawa Extinct Was spoken in Texas, United States. Proposed member of Coahuiltecan family, later under Sapir's Hokan phylum. These hypotheses are currently disfavored.
Karok Endangered Spoken in California, United States. Part of the Hokan hypothesis.
Kootenai Endangered Spoken in Idaho and Montana, United States and British Columbia, Canada.
Maratino Extinct Too poorly known to classify. Was spoken in northeastern Mexico.
Naolan (Oxalan) Extinct Too poorly known to classify. Was spoken in Tamaulipas, Mexico.
Natchez Extinct Was spoken in Mississippi and Louisiana, United States. Often linked to Muskogean.
P'urhépecha language (Tarascan) Generally viable but some varieties are endangered, more than 100,000 total speakers. Spoken by the P'urhépecha people in Mexico.
Quileute Endangered Spoken in Washington, United States. Last survivor of the Chimakuan family. The Mosan hypothesis is now seen as a language area.
Quinigua Extinct Poorly known. Was spoken in northeastern Mexico.
Salinan Extinct Was spoken in California, United States. Part of the Hokan hypothesis.
Seri Endangered Spoken in Sonora, Mexico. Part of the Hokan hypothesis.
Siuslaw Extinct Was spoken in Oregon, United States. Likely related to Coos, Alsea, possibly the Wintuan languages. Part of the Penutian hypothesis.
Solano language Extinct Too poorly known to classify. Was spoken in Texas, United States and northeastern Mexico.
Takelma Endangered Spoken in Oregon, United States. Part of the Penutian hypothesis. A specific relationship with Kalapuyan is now rejected.
Timucua Extinct Well attested. Was spoken in Florida and Georgia, United States. A connection with the poorly known Tawasa language has been suggested, but this may be a dialect.
Tonkawa Extinct Was spoken in Texas, United States.
Tunica Extinct Was spoken in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas, United States. Often linked to Muskogean.
Washo Endangered Spoken in California and Nevada, United States. Part of the Hokan hypothesis.
Xinca Endangered Spoken in eastern Guatemala. A relationship with Lenca has been proposed.
Yana Extinct Was spoken in California, United States. Part of the Hokan hypothesis.
Yuchi Endangered Spoken in Georgia and Oklahoma, United States. Connections to Siouan languages have been proposed.
Zuni Endangered Spoken in New Mexico, United States. Connections to Penutian languages have been proposed, but is generally considered unlikely.

World map showing North America A satellite composite image of North America. ... For other uses, see Central America (disambiguation). ... Adai (also Adaizan, Adaizi, Adaise, Adahi, Adaes, Adees, Atayos) is the name of a people and language that was spoken in eastern Louisiana. ... Official language(s) No Official Language See languages of Texas Capital Austin Largest city Houston 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. ... Official language(s) de jure: none de facto: English & French Capital Baton Rouge Largest city New Orleans [1] Area  Ranked 31st  - Total 51,885 sq mi (134,382 km²)  - Width 130 miles (210 km)  - Length 379 miles (610 km)  - % water 16  - Latitude 29°N to 33°N  - Longitude 89°W... Pre-contact distribution of the Atakapa language Atakapa is an extinct language isolate native to southwestern Louisiana and nearby eastern Texas. ... Official language(s) No Official Language See languages of Texas Capital Austin Largest city Houston 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. ... Official language(s) de jure: none de facto: English & French Capital Baton Rouge Largest city New Orleans [1] Area  Ranked 31st  - Total 51,885 sq mi (134,382 km²)  - Width 130 miles (210 km)  - Length 379 miles (610 km)  - % water 16  - Latitude 29°N to 33°N  - Longitude 89°W... Pre-contact distribution of Muskogean languages Muskogean (also Muskhogean, Muskogee) is a language family of the U.S. Southeast. ... Pre-contact distribution of Beothuk language The Beothuk language (also Beothukan) was the language spoken by the Beothuk indigenous people of Newfoundland. ... For other uses, see Newfoundland (disambiguation). ... The Algonquian (also Algonkian) languages are a subfamily of Native American languages that includes most of the languages in the Algic language family (the two Algic languages that are not Algonquian are Wiyot and Yurok of northwestern California). ... For other uses, see Cayuse (disambiguation). ... 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. ... 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. ... Pre-contact distribution of Chimariko Chimariko is an extinct language isolate formerly spoken in Trinity County in northwestern California by Chimariko peoples. ... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city 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. ... Chitimacha The Chitimacha (also Chitimachan, Chetimacha) are a Native American group that lives in the U.S. state of Louisiana, mainly in St. ... Official language(s) de jure: none de facto: English & French Capital Baton Rouge Largest city New Orleans [1] Area  Ranked 31st  - Total 51,885 sq mi (134,382 km²)  - Width 130 miles (210 km)  - Length 379 miles (610 km)  - % water 16  - Latitude 29°N to 33°N  - Longitude 89°W... Pre-contact distribution of Muskogean languages Muskogean (also Muskhogean, Muskogee) is a language family of the U.S. Southeast. ... Coahuilteco (also Pajalate) was a language isolate that was spoken in southern Texas and northeastern Mexico. ... Official language(s) No Official Language See languages of Texas Capital Austin Largest city Houston 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. ... The Hokan languages are a group of languages spoken in North America by Native Americans. ... 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). ... Official language(s) No Official Language See languages of Texas Capital Austin Largest city Houston 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. ... Guerrero is a state in the United Mexican States. ... Esselen The Esselen were the Native American inhabitants of what is now known as Big Sur on the Central Coast of California. ... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city 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. ... The Hokan languages are a group of languages spoken in North America by Native Americans. ... Pre-contact distribution of Haida The Haida language is the language of the Haida people. ... Official language(s) none Capital Juneau Largest city Anchorage Area  Ranked 1st  - Total 663,267 sq mi (1,717,855 km²)  - Width 808 miles (1,300 km)  - Length 1,479 miles (2,380 km)  - % water 13. ... Motto: Splendor Sine Occasu (Latin: Splendour without diminishment) Capital Victoria Largest city Vancouver Official languages English Government - Lieutenant-Governor Iona Campagnolo - Premier Gordon Campbell (BC Liberal) Federal representation in Canadian Parliament - House seats 36 - Senate seats 6 Confederation July 20, 1871 (6th province) Area Ranked 4th - Total 944,735 km... 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. ... Huave (also spelled Wabe) is a language isolate spoken by the indigenous Huave people on the Pacific coast of the Mexican state of Oaxaca. ... Catedral de Santo Domingo The Free and Sovereign State of Oaxaca or simply Oaxaca   is one of the 31 states of Mexico, located in the southern part of Mexico, west of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec. ... 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. ... Jicaque is a language spoken by around 300 people in La Montaña del Flor in Honduras. ... The Tequistlatecan language group also called Chontal of Oaxaca consists of three distinct languages. ... Karankawa A group of Indian tribes, now extinct, known collectively as the Karankawa (also Karankawan, Clamcoëhs), played a pivotal part in early Texas history. ... Official language(s) No Official Language See languages of Texas Capital Austin Largest city Houston 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. ... Coahuiltecan is a general name for a group of people who previously lived in the southern Texas region near the Rio Grande river. ... The Hokan languages are a group of languages spoken in North America by Native Americans. ... Karuk (also Karok) are an indigenous people of California in the United States. ... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city 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. ... The Hokan languages are a group of languages spoken in North America by Native Americans. ... 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. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Official language(s) English Capital Helena Largest city Billings Area  Ranked 4th  - Total 147,165 sq mi (381,156 km²)  - Width 255 miles (410 km)  - Length 630 miles (1,015 km)  - % water 1  - Latitude 44°26N to 49°N  - Longitude 104°2W to 116°2W Population  Ranked... Motto: Splendor Sine Occasu (Latin: Splendour without diminishment) Capital Victoria Largest city Vancouver Official languages English Government - Lieutenant-Governor Iona Campagnolo - Premier Gordon Campbell (BC Liberal) Federal representation in Canadian Parliament - House seats 36 - Senate seats 6 Confederation July 20, 1871 (6th province) Area Ranked 4th - Total 944,735 km... Tamaulipas is a state in the northeast of Mexico. ... 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. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Official language(s) de jure: none de facto: English & French Capital Baton Rouge Largest city New Orleans [1] Area  Ranked 31st  - Total 51,885 sq mi (134,382 km²)  - Width 130 miles (210 km)  - Length 379 miles (610 km)  - % water 16  - Latitude 29°N to 33°N  - Longitude 89°W... Pre-contact distribution of Muskogean languages Muskogean (also Muskhogean, Muskogee) is a language family of the U.S. Southeast. ... The Purhépecha or Tarascan language is a language isolate spoken by more than 100,000 Purhépecha people in the highlands of Michoacan, Mexico. ... Tarascan men reeling cord for nets & making nets, 1899. ... Tarascan men reeling cord for nets & making nets, 1899. ... Quileute is a group of Native American peoples from western Washington state in the United States. ... 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. ... The Chimakuan language family consists of two languages that are spoken in northwestern Washington, USA on the Olympic Peninsula. ... Mosan is a hypothetical language family consisting of the Salishan, Wakashan, and Chimakuan languages of the Pacific Northwest region of North America. ... The Salinan Native Americans lived in what is now Northern California, in the Salinas Valley. ... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city 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. ... The Hokan language family is a hypothetical grouping of a dozen small language families spoken in California and 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. ... Sonora is a state in northwestern Mexico, bordering the states of Chihuahua to the east, Sinaloa to the south, and Baja California to the northwest. ... The Hokan language family is a hypothetical grouping of a dozen small language families spoken in California and Mexico. ... 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. ... 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. ... Coosan languages The Coosan (also Coos or Kusan) language family consists of two languages spoken along the southern Oregon coast. ... Alsean languages The Alsean (also Yakonan) language family consists of two closely related languages that were spoken along the central Oregon coast. ... Wintuan languages Wintuan (also Wintun, Wintoon, Copeh, Copehan) is of family of languages spoken in the Sacramento Valley of central Northern California. ... 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. ... Pre-contact distribution of Solano language Solano is an unclassified extinct language formerly spoken in northeast Mexico and perhaps also in neighboring Texas. ... Official language(s) No Official Language See languages of Texas Capital Austin Largest city Houston 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. ... Takelma was the language spoken by the Takelma people. ... 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. ... 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 Kalapuya (also Kalapooian, Calapooya, Calapooia) are a Native American ethnic group that once inhabited the area present-day western Oregon in the United States. ... The Timucua were a Native American tribe that lived in North Central Florida, mainly around the St. ... Official language(s) English Capital Tallahassee Largest city Jacksonville Largest metro area Miami Area  Ranked 22nd  - Total 65,795[1] sq mi (170,304[1] km²)  - Width 361 miles (582 km)  - Length 447 miles (721 km)  - % water 17. ... The Tonkawa language was spoken in Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico by the Tonkawa people. ... Official language(s) No Official Language See languages of Texas Capital Austin Largest city Houston 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. ... The Tunica (or Tonica) language was a language isolate spoken in present-day Louisiana in the United States. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Official language(s) de jure: none de facto: English & French Capital Baton Rouge Largest city New Orleans [1] Area  Ranked 31st  - Total 51,885 sq mi (134,382 km²)  - Width 130 miles (210 km)  - Length 379 miles (610 km)  - % water 16  - Latitude 29°N to 33°N  - Longitude 89°W... Official language(s) English Capital Little Rock Largest city Little Rock Area  Ranked 29th  - Total 53,179 sq mi (137,002 km²)  - Width 239 miles (385 km)  - Length 261 miles (420 km)  - % water 2. ... Pre-contact distribution of Muskogean languages Muskogean (also Muskhogean, Muskogee) is a language family of the U.S. Southeast. ... 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. ... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city 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. ... there is a jungle in nevada by the park This article is about the U. S. state of Nevada. ... The Hokan languages are a group of languages spoken in North America by Native Americans. ... The Xinca language is a Mesoamerican language spoken by the indigenous Xinca people from communities in the southern portion of Guatemala, near its border with El Salvador and in the mountainous region to the north. ... The Lenca language is an unclassified indigenous language of Mesoamerica, spoken (or formerly spoken) by the indigenous Lenca peoples in a region encompassed by western Honduras and portions of El Salvador, Central America. ... 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. ... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city 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. ... The Hokan languages are a group of languages spoken in North America by Native Americans. ... 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. ... Official language(s) None Capital Oklahoma City Largest city Oklahoma City Area  Ranked 20th  - Total 69,960 sq mi (181,196 km²)  - Width 230 miles (370 km)  - Length 298 miles (480 km)  - % water 1. ... Pre-contact distribution of the Siouan languages The Siouan (a. ... 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. ... Capital Santa Fe Largest city Albuquerque Area  Ranked 5th  - Total 121,665 sq mi (315,194 km²)  - Width 342 miles (550 km)  - Length 370 miles (595 km)  - % water 0. ... 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. ...

South America

Language Status Comments
Aikaná Endangered Spoken in Rondônia, Brazil. Arawakan has been suggested.
Andoque Endangered May be extinct now. Spoken in Colombia and Peru. Possibly Witotoan.
Betoi Extinct Was spoken in Colombia. Paezan has been suggested.
Camsá Endangered Also known as Kamsa, Coche, Sibundoy, Kamentxa, Kamse, or Camëntsëá. Spoken in Colombia.
Canichana Living Spoken in Bolivia. A connection with the extinct Tequiraca (Auishiri) has been proposed.
Cayubaba Extinct Was spoken in Bolivia.
Cofán Living Spoken in Colombia and Ecuador. Sometimes classified as Chibchan, but the similarities appear to be due to borrowings.
Culle Extinct Was spoken in Peru. Possibly related to the extinct Cholonan languages.
Gamela Extinct Poorly known. Was spoken in Maranhão, Brazil.
Huamoé Extinct Poorly known. Was spoken in Pernambuco, Brazil.
Irantxe Living Also known as Iranche or Münkü. Spoken in Mato Grosso, Brazil. Arawakan has been suggested.
Itonama Endangered Spoken in Bolivia. Paezan has been suggested.
Jotí Endangered Spoken in Venezuela. Also known as Yuwana.
Karirí Extinct Was spoken in Paraíba, Pernambuco, and Ceará, Brazil. Likely demonstration of being Macro-Gê.
Kawésqar Endangered Was spoken in the Chilean coast between Tierra del Fuego and Taitao Peninsula. There are a few speakers left in Puerto Edén, Wellington Island.
Kukurá Extinct Poorly known. Was spoken in Mato Grosso, Brazil.
Mapudungun Living Spoken in Chile and Argentina. Also known as Araucano or Araucanian. Considered a family of 2 languages by Ethnologue. Variously part of Andean, macro-Panoan, or macro-Waikuruan proposals.
Movima Living Spoken in Bolivia.
Munichi Extinct Was spoken in Peru.
Nambiquaran Endangered Spoken in Mato Grosso, Brazil.
Natú Extinct Poorly known. Was spoken in Pernambuco, Brazil.
Nicaraguan Sign Language Living Used in Nicaragua where it was born recently as a vernacular language among small groups of deaf children, with little or no influence of Spanish. It is now self-developing throughout the country with better success than American Sign Language. Some linguists perceive it as a brake against the acquisition of Spanish literacy and have attempted to introduce an alphabet in the sign language, with little success for now because children do not perceive the concept of words with this alphabet and because of the unique semantics and syntax of NSL.
Omurano Living Spoken in Peru. A tentative family composed of Omuranao, Candoshi, Tequiraca, and Taushiro has been proposed.
Otí Extinct Was spoken in São Paulo, Brazil. Macro-Gêan has been suggested.
Pankararú Extinct Was spoken in Pernambuco, Brazil.
Pirahã Endangered Spoken in the Brazilian Amazon rainforest. Related to other Muran languages that have recently become extinct.
Puquina Extinct Was spoken in Bolivia. Puquina words survive in the Callahuaya jargon of Quechua.
Sabela Endangered Spoken in Ecuador and Peru. Also known as Waorani.
Taushiro Living Spoken in Peru. A tentative family composed of Omuranao, Candoshi, Tequiraca, and Taushiro has been proposed.
Tequiraca Living Spoken in Peru. Also known as Auishiri. A tentative family composed of Omuranao, Candoshi, Tequiraca, and Taushiro has been proposed.
Ticuna Living Spoken in Colombia, Peru, and Brazil. Perhaps related to the extinct Yuri language.
Tuxá Extinct Poorly known. Was spoken in Bahia and Pernambuco, Brazil.
Warao Endangered Spoken in Guyana, Surinam, and Venezuela. Sometimes linked to Paezan.
Xokó Extinct Poorly known. Was spoken in Alagoas and Pernambuco, Brazil.
Xukurú Extinct Poorly known. Was spoken in Pernambuco and Paraíba, Brazil.
Yámana Endangered Spoken in southern Tierra del Fuego, Chile.
Yuracaré Endangered Spoken in Bolivia. Connections to Mosetenan, Pano-Tacanan, Arawakan, Chon and Greenberg's Equatorial languages have been proposed.
Yuri Extinct Was spoken in Colombia and Brazil. Perhaps related to Ticuna
Yurumanguí Extinct Was spoken in Colombia.

South America South America is a continent crossed by the equator, with most of its area in the Southern Hemisphere. ... Flag of Rondônia See other Brazilian States Capital Porto Velho Largest City Porto Velho Area 238,512. ... The Arawakan languages (also Arahuacan, Arawakanas, Arahuacano, Maipurean, Maipuran, Maipureano, Maipúrean) are a hypothetical indigenous language family of South America and the Caribbean. ... 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). ... Paezan (also Páesan, Paezano) is a family of languages spoken in Colombia and Ecuador. ... Camsá (also Sibundoy, Coche, Kamsá, Kamemtxa, Kamse, Camëntsëá) is a language isolate of Colombia. ... 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 Chibchan languages (also Chíbchan, Chibchano) make up a language family indigenous to Colombia and Central America. ... Maranhão is one of the states of Brazil in the north-eastern region. ... Flag of Pernambuco See other Brazilian States Capital Recife Largest City Recife Area 98,281 km² Population   - Total   - Density 7,918,344 80. ... Flag of Mato Grosso See other Brazilian States Capital Cuiabá Largest City Cuiabá Area 906,806. ... The Arawakan languages (also Arahuacan, Arawakanas, Arahuacano, Maipurean, Maipuran, Maipureano, Maipúrean) are a hypothetical indigenous language family of South America and the Caribbean. ... Itonama is a moribund language isolate of Bolivia. ... Paezan (also Páesan, Paezano) is a family of languages spoken in Colombia and Ecuador. ... Flag of Paraíba See other Brazilian States Capital João Pessoa Largest City João Pessoa Area 56. ... Flag of Pernambuco See other Brazilian States Capital Recife Largest City Recife Area 98,281 km² Population   - Total   - Density 7,918,344 80. ... Flag of Ceará See other Brazilian States Capital Fortaleza Largest City Fortaleza Area 148,016 km² Population   - Total   - Density 6,500,000 43. ... 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. ... Kawésqar, also known as Qawasqar, Alacaluf, and Halakwulup, is a language isolate spoken in southern Chile. ... Tierra del Fuego Cerro Sombrero Village, Chile. ... The Taitao Peninsula (Spanish: Península de Taitao) is a westward projection of the mainland of Chile, with which it is connected by the narrow Isthmus of Ofqui, over which the natives and early missionaries were accustomed to carry their boats between the Moraleda Channel and Gulf of Penas. ... Puerto Eden is a village and minor port in Wellington Island, Chile. ... Wellington Island lies in Chile, west of Bernardo OHiggins National Park. ... Flag of Mato Grosso See other Brazilian States Capital Cuiabá Largest City Cuiabá Area 906,806. ... Mapudungun test of Wikipedia at Wikimedia Incubator Mapudungun (mapu means earth and dungun means to speak) is a language isolate spoken in central Chile and west central Argentina by the Mapuche (mapu is earth and che means people) people. ... 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. ... Flag of Mato Grosso See other Brazilian States Capital Cuiabá Largest City Cuiabá Area 906,806. ... Flag of Pernambuco See other Brazilian States Capital Recife Largest City Recife Area 98,281 km² Population   - Total   - Density 7,918,344 80. ... Nicaraguan Sign Language (or ISN, Idioma de Señas de Nicaragua or Idioma de Signos Nicaragüense) is a signed language spontaneously developed by deaf children in a number of schools in western Nicaragua in the 1970s and 1980s. ... American Sign Language (ASL; less commonly Ameslan) is the dominant sign language of the Deaf community in the United States, in the English-speaking parts of Canada, and in parts of Mexico. ... Omurano is an extinct language from Peru, in the Zaparoan language family. ... 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. ... Nickname: Motto: Non ducor, duco(Latin) I am not led, I lead Location in the São Paulo state. ... 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. ... Flag of Pernambuco See other Brazilian States Capital Recife Largest City Recife Area 98,281 km² Population   - Total   - Density 7,918,344 80. ... The Pirahã language is a language spoken by Pirahã people of Brazil. ... Map of the Amazon rainforest ecoregions as delineated by the WWF. Yellow line encloses the Amazon rainforest. ... Muran is a small language family of Amazonas, Brazil. ... Puquina is an extinct language, which was spoken by the ancient Inca in the region surrounding Lake Titicaca and in the north of what is now Chile. ... Quechua (Runa Simi in Quechua; Runa, human + Simi, speech, literally mouth; i. ... The Huaorani language (also Huao, Auishiri, Aushiri, 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. ... The Waorani (also spelled Huaorani or Waodani, and called Wao for short) are an indigenous people of Ecuador, living between the right bank of the Napo River and the left bank of the Curaray River. ... 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. ... 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. ... Ticuna is a language spoken by approximately 40,000 people in Brazil, Peru, and Colombia. ... The Yuri language, also known as Karkar, is a language isolate in Papua New Guinea, along the Indonesian border. ... Flag of Bahia See other Brazilian States Capital Salvador Largest City Salvador Area 564 273 km² Population   - Total   - Density 13 070 250 23. ... Flag of Pernambuco See other Brazilian States Capital Recife Largest City Recife Area 98,281 km² Population   - Total   - Density 7,918,344 80. ... Paezan (also Páesan, Paezano) is a family of languages spoken in Colombia and Ecuador. ... Flag of Alagoas See other Brazilian States Capital Maceió Largest City Maceió Area 27 818 km² Population   - Total   - Density 2 822 621 101. ... Flag of Pernambuco See other Brazilian States Capital Recife Largest City Recife Area 98,281 km² Population   - Total   - Density 7,918,344 80. ... Flag of Pernambuco See other Brazilian States Capital Recife Largest City Recife Area 98,281 km² Population   - Total   - Density 7,918,344 80. ... Flag of Paraíba See other Brazilian States Capital João Pessoa Largest City João Pessoa Area 56. ... Yagán, also known as Yámana, Yaghan, and Háusi Kúta, is one of the indigenous languages of Tierra del Fuego, spoken by the Yagán people. ... Tierra del Fuego Cerro Sombrero Village, Chile. ... 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. ... Pano-Tacanan (also Pano-Takana, Pano-Takánan, Pano-Tacana, Páno-Takána) is a family of languages spoken in Peru, western Brazil, Bolivia and northern Paraguay. ... The Arawakan languages are an indigenous language family of South America and the Caribbean. ... The Chon languages were spoken in Tierra del Fuego and Patagonia. ... Ticuna is a language spoken by approximately 40,000 people in Brazil, Peru, and Colombia. ...

External links

  • Orphans with no Families: Languages missing genetic relationships
  • Ethnologue's list of language isolates

Bibliography

  • Campbell, Lyle. (1997). American Indian languages: The historical linguistics of Native America. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-509427-1.
  • 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.
  • Grimes, Barbara F. (Ed.). (2000). Ethnologue: Languages of the world, (14th ed.). Dallas, TX: SIL International. ISBN 1-55671-106-9. (Online edition: http://www.ethnologue.com/).
  • Mithun, Marianne. (1999). The languages of Native North America. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-23228-7 (hbk); ISBN 0-521-29875-X.
  • 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).

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The Sumerian language is generally regarded as a language isolate in linguistics because it belongs to no known language family; Akkadian belongs to the Afro-Asiatic languages.
Sumerian, the oldest known written language in human history, was spoken in Mesopotamia (modern Iraq and peripheral regions) throughout the third millennium BC and survived as an esoteric written language until the death of the cuneiform tradition around the time of Christ.
In an ergative language the subject of a sentence with a direct object is in the so-called ergative case, which in Sumerian is marked with the suffix -e.
Language isolate - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1806 words)
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.
Language isolates may be seen as a special case of unclassified languages, being languages which remain unclassified even after extensive efforts.
Neither should isolates be confused with isolating languages, languages in which morphemes generally exist in the form of full-fledged words, as opposed to synthetic languages.
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