American Indian language groups
American Indian culture
Native American ancestry
Atakapa linguistic relationships
Q: You helped me earlier with a language affinity. I
hope you have time
for another question.
I am finding conflicting comments on Atakapa. First
Swanton said it
was related to Tunica, then changed his mind.
Another source said
"distantly related to Muskogean."
What was it related to?
A: Atakapa has not been spoken in almost a
century, so most of what I know about it is just from
the academic records, which you already seem to know.
Most linguists treat it as an isolate. Some
(especially Swanton and Swadesh) have hypothesized
connections to Tunica and Chitimacha. In the 1950's
Haas suggested those three languages might be
distantly related to Muskogean, but I don't think
anyone believes that anymore.
It's certainly not -closely- related to any other
recorded language. I'd treat the relationships with
Tunica and Chitimacha as hypothetical, and discount
the Muskogean idea, personally.
Hope that helps!
Native Languages of the Americas
Native American language families
Native Languages of the Americas website © 1998-2015 Contacts and FAQ page
Give us feedback (or ask a question of your own!)
Back to our Native American mail
Would you like to help support our organization's work with endangered American Indian languages?