Cacán language

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Region Northern Argentina and Chile
Ethnicity Diaguita, Calchaquí
Extinct 18th century
Language codes
ISO 639-3 None (mis)
Glottolog calc1235[1]

Cacán (also Cacan, Kakán, Calchaquí, Chaka, Diaguita, and Kaka) is an extinct language that was spoken by the Diaguita and Calchaquí tribes in northern Argentina and Chile. It became extinct during the late 17th century or early 18th century. The language was documented by the Jesuit Alonso de Bárcena, but the manuscript is lost. Genetic affiliation of the language remains unclear, and due to the extremely limited number of known words, it has not been possible to conclusively link it to any existing language family.[2]

List of known words[edit]

Cacán vocabulary possibly exists today in toponyms and local surnames, but the etymologies are often dubious.

Other known words include:

  • Ao , hao , ahao = town.
  • Gasta = town.
  • Kakanchik (transcribed into Spanish: "cacanchic") = Name of a deity apparently of fertility.
  • Titakin (transcribed to the Castilian titaquin ) lord and king.
  • Zupka = "altar", place of sacrifice.


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Calchaqui". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. 
  2. ^ "Cacan". Retrieved 2009-01-31. 
  • Alain Fabre, 2005, Diccionario etnolingüístico y guía bibliográfica de los pueblos indígenas sudamericanos: CALCHAQUÍ[1]