Chitimacha is a language isolate that was spoken in southern Louisiana in the USA. It has been proposed that Chitimacha is part of, or related to, the hypothetical Totozoquean language family, which includes the Totonacan and Mixe–Zoque languages.
During the 18th century the Chitimacha started speaking French rather than their native language, after the French arrived in Louisiana in 1699. Over the next centuries the number of Chitimacha speakers diminished. By the beginning of the 20th century, Chitimacha parents had stopped passing the language on to their children. The last fluent speaker, Delphine Ducloux, died in 1940.
The language was extensively documented during the 19th and 20th centuries, and efforts are currently being made to revive it. Chitimacha courses and a dictionary have been produced, and the language is being taught in the tribal school and early learning center on the Chitimacha reservation near Charenton.
Details of the Chitimacha alphabet and pronuciation compiled by Wolfram Siegel
Information about Chitimacha
Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana
Ainu, Basque, Burushaski, Candoshi-Shapra, Chitimacha, Eskayan, Haida, Karuk, Kawésqar, Keres, Kuot, Kusunda, Kutenai, Natchez, Nihali, Nivkh, Páez, Purepecha, Sandawe, Seri, Sumerian, Ticuna, Tiwi, Tunica, Urarina, Wardaman, Washo, Yaghan, Yuchi/Euchee, Zuni
Page last modified: 23.04.21
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