List of endangered languages in the United States

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An endangered language is a language that it is at risk of falling out of use, generally because it has few surviving speakers. If it loses all of its native speakers, it becomes an extinct language. UNESCO distinguishes four levels of endangerment in languages, based on intergenerational transfer:[1]

  • Vulnerable: Most children speak the language, but it may be restricted to certain domains (e.g., home).
  • Definitely endangered: Children no longer learn the language as mother tongue in the home.
  • Severely endangered: Language is spoken by grandparents and older generations; while the parent generation may understand it, they do not speak it to children or among themselves.
  • Critically endangered: The youngest speakers are grandparents and older, and they speak the language partially and infrequently.
Language Speakers Status Comments
Achumawi language[1] 8 Critically endangered  
Acoma-Laguna language[1]   Definitely endangered Keresan languages
Ahtna language[1] 80 Critically endangered  
Alabama language[1] 100 Definitely endangered  
Aleut language (Eastern)[1] Critically endangered  
Aleut language (Western)[1] Severely endangered  
Arapaho language (Wyoming)[1] 1,000 Vulnerable  
Arikara language[1] 3 Critically endangered  
Assiniboine language (United States)[1] 250 Critically endangered  
Blackfoot language (United States)[1] 5,100 Vulnerable  
Caddo language[1] 25 Critically endangered  
Cahuilla language[1] 15 Critically endangered  
Central Alaskan Yup'ik language [1] 18,950 Vulnerable Two varieties, one on Nunivak Island
Central Pomo language[1] 8 Critically endangered  
Central Siberian Yupik language (St. Lawrence Island)[1] 1,010 Vulnerable  
Central Sierra Miwok language[1] Critically endangered  
Chemehuevi language[1]   Critically endangered  
Cherokee language (North Carolina)[1]   Vulnerable  
Cherokee language (Oklahoma)[1]   Vulnerable  
Cheyenne language (Montana)[1]   Vulnerable  
Cheyenne language (Oklahoma)[1]   Vulnerable  
Chickasaw language[1]   Severely endangered  
Chinook Jargon language[1]   Critically endangered  
Choctaw language (Louisiana)[1]   Vulnerable  
Choctaw language (Mississippi)[1]   Vulnerable  
Choctaw language (Oklahoma)[1]   Vulnerable  
Cocopa language (Arizona)[1]   Severely endangered  
Coeur d'Alene language[1]   Critically endangered  
Columbia-Moses language[1]   Critically endangered Columbia-Wenatchi language
Comanche language[1]   Severely endangered  
Creek language[1]   Vulnerable  
Crow language[1]   Vulnerble  
Gros Ventre language[1]   Critically endangered  
Gwich'in language (United States)[1]   Severely endangered  
Halkomelem language[1]   Severely endangered Primarily in Canada
Hän language (United States)[1]   Critically endangered  
Havasupai language[1]   Definitely endangered  
Hawaiian language[1]   Vulnerable  
Hidatsa language[1]   Vulnerable  
Holikachuk language[1]   Critically endangered  
Hopi language[1]   Vulnerable  
Hualapai language[1]   Vulnerable  
Hupa language[1]   Critically endangered  
Ingalik language[1]   Critically endangered  
Ipai language[1]   Critically endangered  
Jemez language[1]   Vulnerable  
Jicarilla Apache language[1]   Severely endangered  
Kalispel-Pend d'Oreille[1]   Critically endangered Montana Salish language
Karuk language[1]   Severely endangered  
Kashaya language[1]   Critically endangered  
Kawaiisu language[1]   Critically endangered  
Kickapoo language (Kansas)[1]   Vulnerable  
Kickapoo language (Oklahoma)[1]   Vulnerable  
Kickapoo language (Texas)[1]   Vulnerable  
Kiksht language[1]   Critically endangered  
Kings River Yokuts[1]   Critically endangered  
Kiowa language[1]   Severely endangered  
Kiowa Apache language[1]   Critically endangered  
Klallam language[1]   Critically endangered  
Koasati language (Louisiana)[1]   Definitely endangered  
Koasati language (Texas)[1]   Definitely endangered  
Konkow language[1]   Critically endangered  
Koyukon language[1]   Critically endangered  
Kutenai language[1]   Severely endangered Primarily in Canada
Kwak'wala language[1]   Critically endangered Primarily in Canada
Lake Miwok language[1]   Critically endangered  
Luiseño language[1]   Critically endangered  
Lushootseed language[1]   Critically endangered  
Maidu language[1]   Critically endangered  
Makah language[1]   Critically endangered  
Malecite-Passamaquoddy language[1]   Definitely endangered Primarily in Canada
Maliseet-Passamaquoddy language[1]   Severely endangered  
Mandan language[1]   Critically endangered  
Maricopa language[1]   Severely endangered  
Massachusett language[1] Five child speakers; 400 adult learners Vulnerable Current attempts at revival; Bible translated into the language in 1663
Menominee language[1]   Critically endangered  
Mescalero-Chiricahua Apache language (New Mexico)[1]   Definitely endangered  
Mescalero-Chiricahua Apache language (Oklahoma)[1]   Critically endangered  
Micmac language (Massachusetts)[1]   Vulnerable  
Mikasuki language[1]   Vulnerable  
Mohave language (Arizona)[1]   Severely endangered  
Mohave language (California)[1]   Severely endangered  
Mohawk language (Akwesasne, St. Regis)[1]   Vulnerable  
Mohawk language (Ganienkeh)[1]   Vulnerable  
Mohawk language (Kanatsiohareke)[1]   Vulnerable  
Mono language (Eastern)[1]   Critically endangered  
Mono language (Western)[1]   Critically endangered  
Montana Salish language[1]   Critically endangered  
Munsee language (United States)[1]   Critically endangered  
Navajo language[1]   Vulnerable  
Nez Perce language[1]   Critically endangered  
Inupiat language ()[1]   Severely endangered North Alaskan: Kotzebue Sound & North Slope
Northern Haida language[1]   Critically endangered Primarily in Canada
Northern Paiute language (Idaho)[1]   Critically endangered  
Northern Paiute language (Nevada)[1]   Definitely endangered  
Northern Paiute language (Oregon)[1]   Critically endangered  
Northern Pomo language[1]   Critically endangered  
Northern Sierra Miwok language[1]   Critically endangered  
Northern Straits Salish language[1]   Critically endangered  
O'odham language (Akimel)[1]   Vulnerable  
O'odham language (Tohono)[1]   Vulnerable  
Ojibwe language[1]   Vulnerable  
Okanagan language[1]   Definitely endangered Primarily in Canada
Omaha-Ponca language[1]   Critically endangered  
Oneida language (New York)[1]   Critically endangered Also in Canada
Oneida language (Wisconsin)[1]   Critically endangered  
Onondaga language (New York)[1]   Critically endangered Also in Canada
Osage language[1]   Vulnerable  
Ottawa language (Michigan)[1]   Critically endangered Also in Canada
Pacific Gulf Yupik language[1]   Severely endangered  
Panamint language[1]   Critically endangered  
Patwin language[1]   Critically endangered  
Pawnee language[1]   Critically endangered  
Picuris language[1]   Vulnerable  
Potawatomi language (Kansas)[1]   Critically endangered  
Potawatomi language (Michigan)[1]   Critically endangered  
Potawatomi language (Oklahoma)[1]   Critically endangered  
Potawatomi language (Wisconsin)[1]   Critically endangered  
Quechan language[1]   Definitely endangered  
Rio Grande Keresan language[1]   Definitely endangered Keresan languages
Sahaptin language[1]   Severely endangered  
Sauk-Fox language[1]   Critically endangered  
Seneca language (United States)[1]   Severely endangered  
Seward Peninsula Inupiaq language (King Island)[1]   Critically endangered Inupiat language
Seward Peninsula Inupiaq language (Little Diomede Island)[1]   Critically endangered Inupiat language
Seward Peninsula Inupiaq language (Norton Sound)[1]   Critically endangered Inupiat language
Shawnee language[1]   Vulnerable  
Shoshoni language (Idaho)[1]   Vulnerable  
Shoshoni language (Nevada)[1]   Vulnerable  
Shoshoni language (Wyoming)[1]   Vulnerable  
Sioux language[1]   Vulnerable  
Southern Paiute language[1]   Severely endangered  
Southern Pomo language[1]   Critically endangered  
Southern Sierra Miwok language[1]   Critically endangered  
Southern Tiwa language (Isleta Pueblo)[1]   Definitely endangered  
Southern Tiwa language (Sandia Pueblo)[1]   Definitely endangered  
Spokane language[1]   Critically endangered Interior Salish languages, Montana Salish language
Straits Salish language[1]   Severely endangered Primarily in Canada
Tanacross language[1]   Critically endangered  
Tanaina language[1]   Severely endangered  
Tanana language[1]   Critically endangered  
Taos language[1]   Definitely endangered  
Tewa language (Arizona)[1]   Definitely endangered  
Tewa language (New Mexico)[1]   Severely endangered  
Tipai language (United States)[1]   Severely endangered  
Tlingit language (United States)[1]   Critically endangered  
Tolowa language[1]   Critically endangered  
Tubatulabal language[1]   Critically endangered  
Tule-Kaweah Yokuts[1]   Critically endangered  
Tuscarora language (United States)[1]   Critically endangered  
Upland Yuman language[1]   Vulnerable  
Upper Kuskokwim language[1]   Critically endangered  
Upper Tanana language (United States)[1]   Critically endangered  
Ute language (Colorado, Southern Ute)[1]   Vulnerable  
Ute language (Colorado, Ute Mountain)[1]   Vulnerable  
Ute language (Utah)[1]   Vulnerable  
Valley Yokuts[1]   Severely endangered  
Washo language[1]   Severely endangered  
Western Apache language[1]   Vulnerable  
Wichita language[1]   Critically endangered  
Winnebago language (Nebraska)[1]   Severely endangered  
Winnebago language (Wisconsin)[1]   Severely endangered  
Wintu-Nomlaki language, Wintu language[1]   Critically endangered Wintuan languages
Yaqui language (United States)[1]   Definitely endangered  
Yavapai language[1]   Severely endangered  
Yuchi language[1]   Critically endangered  
Yurok language[1]   Critically endangered  
Zuni language[1]   Vulnerable  

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa ab ac ad ae af ag ah ai aj ak al am an ao ap aq ar as at au av aw ax ay az ba bb bc bd be bf bg bh bi bj bk bl bm bn bo bp bq br bs bt bu bv bw bx by bz ca cb cc cd ce cf cg ch ci cj ck cl cm cn co cp cq cr cs ct cu cv cw cx cy cz da db dc dd de df dg dh di dj dk dl dm dn do dp dq dr ds dt du dv dw dx dy dz ea eb ec ed ee ef eg eh ei ej ek el em en eo ep eq er es et eu ev ew ex ey ez fa fb fc fd fe ff fg fh fi fj fk fl fm Moseley, Christopher (ed.). 2010. Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger, 3rd edn. Paris, UNESCO Publishing. Online version: http://www.unesco.org/new/en/culture/themes/endangered-languages/atlas-of-languages-in-danger/