|Linguistic classification||Proposed language family|
Chimuan consisted of three attested languages:
- Mochica (a.k.a. Yunga, Chimú)
- Cañari (a.k.a. Cañar, Kanyari)
- Puruhá (a.k.a. Puruwá, Puruguay)
All languages are now extinct.
Mochica was one of the major languages of pre-Columbian South America. It was documented by Fernando de la Carrera and Middendorff in the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries respectively. It became extinct ca. 1950, although some people remember a few words. Adelaar & Muysken (2004) consider Mochica a language isolate for now.
Cañari and Puruhá are documented with only a few words. These two languages are usually connected with Mochica. However, as their documentation level is so low, it may not be possible to confirm this association. According to Adelaar & Muysken (2004), Jijón y Caamaño's evidence of their relationship is only a single word: Mochica nech "river", Cañari necha; based on similarities with neighboring languages, he finds a Barbacoan connection more likely.
Quingnam, possibly the same language as Lengua (Yunga) Pescadora, is sometimes taken to be a dialect of Mochica, but it is unattested, unless a list of numerals discovered in 2010 turns out to be Quingnam or Pescadora as expected. Those numerals are not, however, Mochica.
- PROEL: Familia Chimúan
- Adelaar, Willem F. H.; & Muysken, Pieter C. (2004). The languages of the Andes. Cambridge language surveys. Cambridge University Press.
- Campbell, Lyle. (1997). American Indian languages: The historical linguistics of Native America. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-509427-5.
- Kaufman, Terrence. (1994). The native languages of South America. In C. Mosley & R. E. Asher (Eds.), Atlas of the world's languages (pp. 46–76). London: Routledge.