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The Karkin language (also called Los Carquines in Spanish) is one of eight Ohlone languages. It was extinct by the 1950s and was formerly spoken in north central California.[2]

Native toUnited States (California)
EthnicityKarkin people
Language codes
ISO 639-3krb

Karkin is an Ohlone/Costanoan language, in the Utian language family,[3][4] which is a Yok-Utian language, in the Penutian language family.[2]

It was historically spoken by the Karkin people, who lived in the Carquinez Strait region in the northeast portion of the San Francisco Bay estuary.[5] Its only documentation is a single vocabulary obtained by linguist-missionary Felipe Arroyo de la Cuesta at Mission Dolores in 1821.[6] Although meager, the records of Karkin show that it constituted a distinct branch of Costanoan, strikingly different from the neighboring Chochenyo Ohlone language and other Ohlone languages spoken farther south.[7] Karkin has probably not been spoken since the 19th century.

All Costanoan languages became extinct, but some are being studied and revived.[8]



  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Karkin". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  2. ^ a b "Karkin." Ethnologue. Retrieved 22 July 2012.
  3. ^ Callaghan 1997
  4. ^ Golla 2007:73
  5. ^ Milliken 1995:238
  6. ^ Milliken 2008:6
  7. ^ Beeler 1961
  8. ^ Hinton, Leanne. 2001. The Ohlone Languages, in The Green Book of Language Revitalization in Practice, pp. 425–432. Emerald Group Publishing ISBN 0-12-349354-4.


  • Beeler, Madison S. 1961. "Northern Costanoan." International Journal of American Linguistics 27: 191–197.
  • Callaghan, Catherine A. 1997. "Evidence for Yok-Utian." International Journal of American Linguistics 63:18–64.
  • Golla, Victor. 2007. "Linguistic Prehistory." California Prehistory: Colonization, Culture, and Complexity. Terry L. Jones and Kathryn A. Klar, eds., pp. 71–82. New York: Altamira Press. ISBN 978-0-7591-0872-1.
  • Milliken, Randall T. 1995. A Time of Little Choice: The Disintegration of Tribal Culture in the San Francisco Bay Region, 1769–1810. Menlo Park, CA: Ballena Press.
  • Milliken, Randall T. 2008. Native Americans at Mission San Jose. Banning, CA: Malki-Ballena Press. ISBN 978-0-87919-147-4.

Further readingEdit

  • Callaghan, C.A. 1988. "Karkin Revisited." International Journal of American Linguistics 54: 436–452.

External linksEdit