Native American Languages


Posted By Paul G October 26th, 2011 Featured


The languages among the Native American tribes are many. Some are very similar to each other and some are very different. Together, the native languages of the Americas are among the most numerous and varied in the world, which provides scholars with rich sources of information on the many ways people make speech and language.

The number of distinct languages in North America figures in the hundreds, however, by studying similarities and differences, scientists have placed most tribes into one of about 12  groups. Their theory is that all tribes assigned to one group were once one tribe living in the same area. Listed below are some of the  groups and some of their modern day tribes:

Algonkian:
Chickasaw, Choctaw, Cree, Creek,
Lumbee, Micmac, Ojibwa
(Chippewa), Ottawa, Potawatomi,
Seminole and Blackfeet (Siksika)



Athapaskan:
Apache, Navajo, and Tlingit

Aztecan-Tanoan:
Aztec, Comanche, Hopi, Kiowa,
Paiute, Pima, Shoshoni,
Tarahumara, Tohono O’odham
(Papago), Ute, and Yaqui

Caddoan:
Pawnee and Wichita

Eskimoan:
Aleut and Eskimo

Hokan:
Yuman (Cocopah and Mohave)

Keres:
Keres (Cochiti and some other
tribes of the upper Rio Grande
area in the southwest)

Mayan:
Quiche, Tzotzil, and 29 others

Siouan:
Cherokee, Crow, Dakota and
Lakota (Sioux), Ho-Chunk
(Winnebago), Huron or Wyandot,
Iroquois (Cayuga, Mohawk,
Oneida, Onondaga, and Seneca)

Penutian:
Yakima and Zuni

Salish:
Salish

The above list is just a small sampling of the different languages found across North America.  According to Wikipedia, there are over 296 separate spoken languages.  The full classification of the North American languages can be seen in the map below.

Native American Languages

Source: Wikipedia

North American Indegenious Languages

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

For more information on languages of the First Nations in Canada please visit FirstVoices.com.

Source: The Indian Way CD by Mark Thiel and Wikipedia

Purchase the Indian Way CD from Noc Bay



TAGGED:    students  

Comments

8 thoughts on “Native American Languages

  1. American Indian views of language categories do not always coincide with scientific linguistic views.

      • Off the top of my head, the Kiowa, voiced through the Kiowa museum committee made up of elders and fluent speakers, believes they are an Isolate language and do not fit into the scientific language category of Uto-Aztecan.

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