|Region||Northwestern California, USA|
|Native speakers||10 (1997)
55 young speakers in 2000; unclear if any are native
Karuk or Karok is an endangered language of northwestern California. It is the traditional language of the Karuk people, most of whom now speak English. The name is derived from the word Káruk, which means 'upriver' (Campbell 1997:397).
William Bright documented the Karuk language and produced a grammar of it in 1957. Revitalization of the language followed. According to Census 2000, there are 55 people between the ages of 5 and 17 who can speak Karuk, including 10 with limited English proficiency.
Karuk is a language isolate, sharing few if any similarities with other nearby languages. Historically, the American linguist Edward Sapir proposed it be classified as part of the Hokan family he hypothesized. However, little evidence supports this proposal. As Bright wrote, "The Karok language is not closely or obviously related to any other (in the area), but has been classified as a member of the northern group of Hokan languages, in a subgroup which includes Chimariko and the Shasta languages, spoken in the same general part of California as Karok itself."
Karuk is a polysynthetic language known for its method of arranging old and new information: "...skilled Karuk speakers use separate words to communicate new, salient detail, or to underscore known detail; and they use affixes for background details so that a listener's attention is not diverted." 
- Drucker, Philip. Cultures of the North Pacific Coast. San Francisco: Chandler, 1965.
- Campbell, Lyle. 2000. American Indian languages: The historical linguistics of Native America. Oxford Studies in Anthropological Linguistics. USA: Oxford University Press.
- Bright, William. The Karok Language, Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1957.
- Silver, Shirley & Miller, Wick R., American Indian Languages: Cultural and Social Contexts, (1997, University of Arizona Press, Tucson, pg. 41).
- Karuk Language Resources
- Karuk Dictionary and Texts
- Karok Linguistic Lineage
- Efforts Under Way to Preserve Karuk Language
- Traditional Karuk Songs Audio Gallery
- Karuk language overview at the Survey of California and Other Indian Languages
- Karok language dictionary online from IDS (select simple or advanced browsing)
- Julian Lang's website with recordings and lessons in Karuk
- "Live Your Language Alliance (LYLA)". Retrieved 2012-08-02. "It is the desire of the Live Your Language Alliance to hear and speak the traditional languages of the Tolowa, Karuk, Yurok, Hupa, Tsnungwe, Wiyot, Mattole, and Wailaki."
- Heidi Walters (2011-10-27). "In Karuk: A family struggles to bring its ancestral tongue back to life". North Coast Journal. Retrieved 2012-08-08. Text " Humboldt County
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