Extinct language

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An extinct language (or dead language) is a language which no longer has any native speakers. It is the opposite of a modern language. Because it is not spoken anymore, the language cannot develop or change. A well known extinct language is Latin. The first dead language in human history recordings is that of the Sumerians.

Recently extinct languages[change | edit source]

With last known speaker and/or date of death.

  1. Adai: (late 19th century)
  2. Akkala Sami: Marja Sergina (2003)
  3. entire Alsean family
    1. Alsea: John Albert (1942)
    2. Yaquina: (1884)
  4. Apalachee: (early 18th century)
  5. Atakapa: (early 20th century)
  6. Atsugewi: (1988)
  7. Beothuk: Shanawdithit (a.k.a. "Nancy April") (1829)
  8. entire Catawban family:
    1. Catawba: before 1960
    2. Woccon
  9. Cayuse: (ca. 1930s)
  10. Chemakum: (ca. 1940s)
  11. Chicomuceltec: (late 20th century)
  12. Chimariko: (ca. 1930s)
  13. Chitimacha: Benjamin Paul (1934) & Delphine Ducloux (1940)
  14. entire Chumashan family: Barbareño language was last to become extinct.
  15. Barbareño: Mary Yee (1965)
  16. Ineseño
  17. Island Chumash
  18. Obispeño
  19. Purisimeño
  20. Ventureño
  21. Coahuilteco: (18th century)
  22. Cochimí (a Yuman-Cochimí language): (early 19th century)
  23. entire Comecrudan family
    1. Comecrudo: recorded from children (Andrade, Emiterio, Joaquin, & others) of last speakers in 1886
    2. Garza: last recorded in 1828
    3. Mamulique: last recorded in 1828
  24. entire Coosan family
    1. Hanis: Martha Johnson (1972)
    2. Miluk: Annie Miner Peterson (1939)
  25. Cornish: (Dolly Pentreath, last fluent speaker, died 1777) (undergoing attempts at revival)
  26. all Costanoan languages (which make up a subfamily of the Utian language family): (ca. 1940s)
    1. Karkin
    2. Mutsun
    3. Northern Costanoan:
      1. Ramaytush
      2. Chochenyo
      3. Tamyen
      4. Awaswas
    4. Rumsen: last recorded speaker died 1939 in Monterey, California.
    5. Chalon
  27. Cotoname: last recorded from Santos Cavázos and Emiterio in 1886
  28. Esselen: report of few speakers left in 1833, extinct before end 19th century
  29. Gabrielino (an Uto-Aztecan language): elderly speakers last recorded in 1933
  30. Galice-Applegate (an Athabaskan language):
    1. Galice dialect: Hoxie Simmons (1963)
  31. Juaneño (an Uto-Aztecan language): last recorded in 1934
  32. Kakadu (Gagadju): Big Bill Neidjie (July 2002)
  33. entire Kalapuyan family:
    1. Central Kalapuya:
      1. Ahantchuyuk, Luckimute, Mary's River, and Lower McKenzie River dialects: last speakers were about 6 persons who were all over 60 in 1937
      2. Santiam dialect: (ca. 1950s)
    2. Northern Kalapuya:
      1. Tualatin dialect: Louis Kenoyer (1937)
      2. Yamhill dialect: Louisa Selky (1915)
    3. Yonkalla: last recorded in 1937 from Laura Blackery Albertson who only partly remembered it.
  34. Kamassian: (1989)
  35. Karankawa: (1858)
  36. Kathlamet (a Chinookan language): (ca. 1930s)
  37. Kitanemuk (an Uto-Aztecan language): Marcelino Rivera, Isabella Gonzales, Refugia Duran (last recorded 1937)
  38. Kitsai (a Caddoan language): (ca. 1940)
  39. Kwalhioqua-Clatskanie (an Athabaskan language): children of the last speakers remembered a few words, recorded in 1935 & 1942
    1. Clatskanie dialect: father of Willie Andrew (ca. 1870)
    2. Kwalhioqua dialect: mother of Lizzie Johnson (1910)
  40. Lower Chinook (a Chinookan language): (ca. 1930s)
  41. Mahican: last spoken in Wisconsin (ca. 1930s)
  42. Manx: Ned Maddrell (December 1974) (but is being revived as a second language)
  43. Mattole-Bear River (an Athabaskan language):
    1. Bear River dialect: material from last elderly speaker recorded (ca. 1929)
    2. Mattole dialect: material recorded (ca. 1930)
  44. Mbabaram: Albert Bennett (1972)
  45. Miami-Illinois: (1989)
  46. Mochica: ca. 1950s
  47. Mohegan: Fidelia Fielding (1908)
  48. Molala: Fred Yelkes (1958)
  49. Munichi: Victoria Huancho Icahuate (late 1990s)
  50. Natchez: Watt Sam & Nancy Raven (early 1930s)
  51. Negerhollands: Alice Stevenson (1987)
  52. Nooksack: Sindick Jimmy (1977)
  53. Northern Pomo: (1994)
  54. Nottoway (an Iroquoian language): last recorded before 1836
  55. Pentlatch (a Salishan language): Joe Nimnim (1940)
  56. Pánobo (a Pano-Tacanan language): 1991
  57. Polabian (a Slavic language): (late 18th century)
  58. Salinan: (ca. 1960)
  59. entire Shastan family
    1. Konomihu
    2. New River Shasta
    3. Okwanuchu
    4. Shasta: 3 elderly speakers in 1980, extinct by 1990
  60. Siuslaw: (ca. 1970s)
  61. Slovincian (a Slavic language): (20th century)
  62. Susquehannock: all last speakers murdered in 1763
  63. Takelma: Molly Orton (or Molly Orcutt) & Willie Simmons (both not fully fluent) last recorded in 1934
  64. Tasmanian: (late 19th century)
  65. Tataviam (an Uto-Aztecan language): Juan José Fustero who remembered only a few words of his grandparents' language (recorded 1913)
  66. Teteté (an Tucanoan language)
  67. Tillamook (a Salishan language): (1970)
  68. Tonkawa: 6 elderly people in 1931
  69. Tsetsaut (an Athabaskan language): last fluent speaker was elderly man recorded in 1894
  70. Tunica: Sesostrie Youchigant (ca. mid 20th century)
  71. Ubykh: Tevfik Esenç (October 1992)
  72. all dialects of Upper Chinook (a Chinookan language) are extinct, except for the Wasco-Wishram dialect. The Clackamas dialect began extinct in the 1930s, other dialects have little documentation. (The Wasco-Wishram dialect is still spoken by 6 elders.)
  73. Upper Umpqua: Wolverton Orton, last recorded in 1942
  74. Vegliot Dalmatian: Tuone Udaina (Italian: Antonio Udina) (10 June 1898)
  75. Wappo
  76. Wiyot: Della Prince (1962)
  77. Yana: Ishi (1916)
  78. Yola related to English (mid 19th c.)

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