Native Languages of the Americas: Amerindian Language Families
Hello, and welcome to Native Languages of the Americas! We are a small non-profit organization dedicated
to preserving and promoting American Indian languages, especially through the use of Internet technology.
Our website is not beautiful. Probably, it never will be. But this site has inner beauty, for it is, or will be, a compendium of
online materials about more than 800 indigenous languages of the Western Hemisphere and the people that speak them.
We are not responsible for the content of the external sites we link to. Some of them are more useful than others.
We have tried to provide the most complete directory of Amerindian language materials available online.
If you have found a dead link, an error in need of correction, or a great new Amerindian site we should add
to our index, here is our contact page, also
with answers to frequently asked questions. If you are looking for
Orrin's homepage, we moved it to its own location to
give more prominence to the Amerindian language pages.
Feel free to link to this site or to any of the pages in it. Also, you have our permission to use this information in any
way you would like to. Our goal is to make it easier to learn about, preserve, and
revive Amerindian languages by using the Internet. This is a public service on our part. All our information about Amerindians
and Amerindian language families was written by Orrin Lewis, Laura Redish, or our friend Nancy Sherman, who has kindly agreed to let us use
them. We will make every possible effort to honor any requests from Indian tribes and nations, and we will listen carefully to requests from other people as well.
Thank you for your interest in American Indian languages.
Laura Redish, Director
Orrin Lewis, Tribal Coordinator
Actually, Amerindian languages do not belong to a single language family, but 25-30 small ones; they are usually discussed together
because of the small numbers of native speakers of the Amerindian language families and how little is known about many of them.
There are around 25 million native speakers of the more than 800 surviving Amerind languages. The vast majority of these speakers live in
Central and South America, where language use is vigorous. In Canada and the United States, only about half a million native speakers of an
Amerindian tongue remain.
Click on a language family to see a linguistic tree of that family and links about the group. Click on a language name to see a description and
links about that language, as well as information about the Native American people who speak it.