Extinct language

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An extinct language is a language that no longer is the first language or the second language of anyone. The opposite of a modern language, an extinct language is not spoken anymore and so no longer develops or changes. The first recorded example in human history is Sumerian.

It is not to be confused with a dead language, such as Latin, which is still spoken as a second language.

Recently-extinct languages[change | change 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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