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Karankawa language

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Title: Karankawa language  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: List of unclassified languages of North America, Languages of Texas, Texas Silesian, Indigenous languages of the Americas, Extinct language
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Karankawa language

Native to United States
Region Texas coast, from Galveston Island to Corpus Christi
Ethnicity Karankawa people
Extinct 1858
Language codes
ISO 639-3 zkk
Linguist list
Glottolog kara1289[1]
Pre-contact distribution of the Karankawa language

Karankawa is the extinct, unclassified language of the Texan coast, where the Karankawa people migrated between the mainland and the barrier islands. It was not closely related to other known languages in the area, much of which are also poorly attested, and may have been a language isolate. A couple hundred words are preserved, collected in 1698, 1720, and 1828; in the 1880s, three lists were collected from non-Karankawa who knew some words.

Karankawa has sometimes been included with neighboring languages in a Coahuiltecan family, but that is now thought to be spurious.


  1. ^ Nordhoff, Sebastian; Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2013). "Karankawa". Glottolog 2.2. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. 
  • Grant, Anthony P. 1994. "Karankawa linguistic Materials" Kansas Working Papers in Linguistics, vol. 19.
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