California Language Dialects

California native language groups

In 2000, according to the U.S. Census, there were 220,657 American Indians living in California, for those designating only one race, and excluding Alaska Natives and Native Hawaiians in California. California had the second-largest Native American population of any state, second only to Oklahoma. Most of the American Indians in California are native California Indians, while many other Indians have come from other states either through relocation by the United States government or for employment purposes. There are over 100 federally-recognized Indian tribes in California, and almost 100 Federal Indian reservations in the state, with about 40 Indian groups seeking to gain federal recognition. Prior to the arrival of the Europeans, the native peoples of California lived in all areas of the state. There was no “empty” land, as long as that land could support human life. Nowhere else in the United States is there such a variety of cultures and languages spoken. California Indians have dozens of languages and dialects from six major language families: Hokan, Penutian, Algonkian, Athabascan, Uto-Aztecan (Shoshonean), and Yukian.

Athabascan FamilyOregon Group 1a. Rogue River1b. Dakubetede
Tolowa Group 1b. Tolowa.Hupa Group 1c. Hupa 1d. Whilkut1e. Chilula
Matole Group 1e. MatoleWailaki Group 1f. Nongatl 1g. LassikSinkyone

1h. Shelter Cove Sinkyone
1i. Lolangkok Sinkyone

1j. Eel River Wailaki 1k. Pitch Wailaki 1l. North Fork Wailaki 1m.KatoBear River Group 1n. Bear RiverAlgonkin FamilyYurok 2a. Yurok 2b. Coast Yurok 3. Wiyot
Yuki–Wappo languages (Yukian Family)
4a. Yuki 4b. Huchnom 4c. Coast Yuki 4d. Wappo

Hokan FamilyShastan 6a. Shasta 6b. New River Shasta 6c. Konomihu 6d. Okwanuchu 6e. Achomawi (Pit River) 6f. Atsugewi (Hat Creek)Yana 7a. Northern Yana 7b. Central Yana 7c. Southern Yana 7d. Yahi 8. Karok 9. ChimarikoPomo 10a. Northern 10b. Central 10c. Eastern 10d. Southeastern 10e. Northeastern 10f. Southern 10g. Southwestern 11. Washo 12. EsselenSalinan 13a. Antoniano 13b. Migueleño 13c. Playano (doubtful)Chumash 14a. Obispeño 14b. Purisimeño 14c. Ynezeño 14d. Barbareño 14e. Ventureño 14f. Emigdiano 14g. Cuyama 14h. IslandYumanDiegueño
15a. Northern (Western) Diegueño 15b. Mountain Diegueño 15c. Southern (Eastern or Desert) Diegueño 15d. Kamia (Kumeyaay) 15e. Yuma 15f. Halchidhoma & Kohuana (now Chemehuevi) 15g. Mohave

Penutian FamilyWintun Dialect Groups 16a. Northern (Wintu) 16b. Central (Nomlaki)
16c. Hill (Patwin) 16d. River (Patwin)Maidu Dialect Groups 17a. Northeastern 17b. Northwestern 17c. Southern (Nisenan)Miwok 18a. Coast 18b. Lake 18c. Bay (Saclan) 18d. Plains 18e. Northern Sierra 18f. Central Sierra 18g. Southern SierraCostanoan 19a. San Pablo (Karkin) 19b. San Francisco 19c. Santa Clara 19d. Santa Cruz 19e. San Juan Bautista (Mutsun) 19f. Rumsen (Monterey) 19g. SoledadYokuts Dialect Groups 20a. Northern Valley (Chulamni, Chauchila, etc.) 20b. Southern Valley (Tachi, Yauelmani, etc.) 20c. Northern Hill (Chukchansi, etc.) 20d. Kings River (Chionimni, etc.) 20e. Tule-Kaweah (Yaudanchi, etc.) 20f. Poso Creek (Paleuyamni) 20g. Buena Vista (Tulamni, etc.)Modoc 20h. Modoc

Uto-Aztecan (Shoshonean) FamilyPlateau Branch Mono-Bannock Group 21a. Northern Paiute (Paviotso) 21b. Owens Valley Paiute 21c. Mono Lake Paiute 21d. Monache (Western Mono) Shoshoni-Comanche Group 21e. Panamint Shoshone (Koso) Ute-Chemehuevi Group 21f, Chemehuevi (Southern Paiute) 21g. Kawaiisu (Tecachapi)Kern River Branch 21h. Tübatulabal (& Bankalachi)Southern California BranchSerrano Group 21i. Kitanemuk (Tajon) 21j. Alliklik 21k. Möhineyam (Vanyume) 21l. Serrano Gabrielino Group 21m. Fernandeño 21n. Gabrielino 21o. Nicholeño Luiseño-Cahuilla Group 21p. Juaneño 21q. Luiseño 21r. Cupeño
Cahuilla 21s. Pass Cahuilla 21t. Mountain Cahuilla 21u. Desert Cahuilla

REFERENCESHeizer, R.F. 1966. Languages, Territories, and Names of California Indian Tribes. University of California Press, Berkeley.
Kroeber, A.L. 1925. Handbook of the Indians of California. Bureau of American Ethnology Bulletin 78.

November 19, 2014

The Atsugewi Indians are one of the eleven bands of California Indians that make up the Pit River Tribe. They were originally located in Northeastern California, south of the Pit River in what is now Lassen County and eastern Shasta County. Atsugewi is also one of the two Palaihnihan branches of the Hokan language.

California Language Dialects
November 19, 2014

The Southern Athabaskan speakers of California lived in Northwestern California, on the coast and inland, midway between San Francisco Bay and the Oregon border (Humboldt & northern Mendocino Counties). They included the Lassik , Mattole, Nongatl, Sinkyone, and Wailaki tribes.

California Language Dialects