Apalachee language

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Native to United States
Region Florida
Ethnicity Apalachee
Extinct early 18th century
  • Eastern
    • Apalachee
Language codes
ISO 639-3 xap
Linguist list
Glottolog apal1237[1]

Apalachee was a Muskogean language of Florida. It was closely related to Koasati and Alabama.[2]

The language is known primarily from one document, a letter written in 1688 to Charles II of Spain. Geoffrey Kimball has produced a grammatical sketch (Kimball 1987) and a vocabulary of the language (Kimball 1988) based on the contents of the letter.

Haas (1949) showed that Apalachee belonged to the same branch of the Muskogean family as Koasati, Alabama, and Hitchiti.



Bilabial Labial Dental Lateral Alveolar Palatal Velar Glottal
Plosive plain c (tʃ)
aspirated p (pʰ) t (tʰ) k (kʰ)
voiced b (b)
Fricative f (f~ɸ) ł (ɬ) s (s) h (h)
Nasal m (m) n (n)
Approximant w (w) l (l) y (j)

/f/ could be pronounced as /f/ or /ɸ/.


Front Back
Close i (ɪ~i)
Close-mid o (o~ʊ)
Open a (a)

The sound /ɪ/ could also be pronounced as /i/, and /o/ can also be pronounced as /ʊ/ as well. When the Spanish used their orthography to record the language, they did not note the distinction in the vowel length.


  • Haas, M. R. (1949). The position of Apalachee in the Muskogean family.International Journal of American Linguistics, 15(2), 121-127.
  • Kimball, G. (1987). A grammatical sketch of Apalachee. International journal of American linguistics, 53(2), 136-174.
  • Kimball, G. (1988). An Apalachee vocabulary. International Journal of American Linguistics, 54(4), 387-398.


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Apalachee". Glottolog 2.7. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  2. ^ Broadwell 1992, pp. 3; 41-2, fn. 2

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