Tataviam language

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Region Southern California
Ethnicity Tataviam people
Extinct < 1916
Language codes
ISO 639-3 None (mis)
Linguist list
Glottolog None

The Tataviam language was spoken by the Tataviam people of the upper Santa Clara River basin, Santa Susana Mountains, and Sierra Pelona Mountains in southern California. It had become extinct by 1916 and is known only from a few early records, notably a word list collected by the linguist John P. Harrington in 1917.

Language family[edit]


Most scholars have recognized Tataviam as belonging to the Uto-Aztecan language family, Northern Uto-Aztecan division.

They have been uncertain whether it should be considered a member of the Takic branch or a separate isolate-branch of Uto-Aztecan.


An alternative suggestion by some scholars is that Tataviam was a Chumashan language, from a Ventureño language and others, of the Chumash-Ventureño and other Chumash groups, that had been influenced by the neighboring Uto-Aztecan speaking peoples (Beeler and Klar 1977).

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  • Beeler, Madison, and Kathryn A. Klar. 1977. "Interior Chumash". Journal of California Anthropology 4:287-305.
  • Bright, William. 1975. "The Alliklik Mystery". Journal of California Anthropology, 2:228-230.
  • Goddard, Ives. 1996. "Introduction". In Languages, edited by Ives Goddard, pp. 1–16. Handbook of North American Indians, William C. Sturtevant, general editor, vol. 17. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
  • Hinton, Leanne. 1994. Flutes of Fire: Essays on California Indian Languages. Heyday Books, Berkeley, California.
  • Hudson, Travis. 1982. "The Alliklik-Tataviam Problem". Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology 4:222-232.
  • Johnson, John R., and David D. Earle. 1990. "Tataviam Geography and Ethnohistory". Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology 12:191-214.
  • King, Chester, and Thomas C. Blackburn. 1978. "Tataviam". In California, edited by Robert F. Heizer, pp. 535–537. Handbook of North American Indians, William C. Sturtevant, general editor, vol. 8. Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.